Moka Pots are extremely popular coffee makers. But if you want to make the best-tasting coffee with these brewers, you have to use the right grind size. So, what’s the best grind size for Moka Pot coffee?
As a general rule, medium-fine coffee grinds are the best for Moka Pots. Grinds that are finer than this could cause your coffee to be over-extracted or result in grinds clogging your Moka Pot. Alternatively, grinds that are coarser will result in under-extracted coffee that’s sour and watery.
But of course, not every Moka Pot is the same! If you’re still wondering whether all Moka Pots use the same grind size or how to tell if your grinds are the right size, keep reading!
What’s The Best Grind Size For A Moka Pot?
The best grind size for a Moka Pot is medium-fine. While you can technically use a Moka Pot with other grind sizes, medium-fine will give you the best flavor and body.
Why? Well, keep in mind a Moka Pot’s boiler and funnel basket are built to hold a specific amount of water and coffee grinds.
(If you want to learn more about the boiler, funnel basket, and other Moka Pot parts, check out our post “What are the parts of a Moka Pot?“.)
This means your Moka Pot has a predetermined water-to-coffee ratio. And given that ratio, the best coffee extraction rate is achieved when medium-fine grinds are used.
In fact, Bialetti, the inventor of the Moka Pot, recommends medium-fine grinds as well.
But let’s quickly talk about what you may run into if you choose to use grinds other than medium-fine.
Recommended Coffee Grinders
|OXO Brew Conical Burr||Burr Coffee Grinder|
|Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill||Manual Coffee Grinder|
|Mr. Coffee Grinder||Blade Grinder|
What Happens If You Use Grinds That Are Too Fine In Your Moka Pot?
If your grinds are too fine, you’ll most likely end up with over-extracted coffee. This will result in coffee that’s dull and overly bitter that leaves a dry feeling on your tongue.
In addition, fine grinds may slip through holes and end up blocking your Moka Pot. While this is unlikely to cause issues during a single brew, it could build up over time if you don’t clean your brewer regularly.
Grinds that are too fine could be a problem for a lot of people because many coffee brands don’t sell medium-fine grounds. Instead, they’ll sell either fine or medium.
And getting the proper Moka Pot grind size could be tricky even if you grind your own coffee.
But don’t worry! We’ll talk more about how to get the correct Moka Pot coffee grind size in a later section.
What Happens If You Use Grinds That Are Too Coarse In Your Moka Pot?
When coarse grinds are used in your Moka Pot, you’ll end up with coffee that’s under-extracted. This means your coffee will be watery, sour, and acidic because not enough sugars and oils were extracted.
This could be an issue if you use pre-ground beans that are medium or coarse. It could also be an issue if you grind your own beans in a blade grinder.
Should I Buy Pre-Ground Or Whole Beans For Moka Pot Coffee?
Generally, I’d recommend getting whole beans and grinding them yourself if you’ve got access to a quality burr grinder. But, if you only have a blade grinder I’d generally recommend going with pre-ground coffee.
I’d love to give you a more straightforward answer here, but Moka Pot coffee is a little different. And there are some pros and cons to pre-ground and whole beans that you should take into account.
- Moka Pot coffee is more robust than other brewing methods
- Getting the right Moka pot grind size isn’t always easy even with quality grinders
- Your favorite coffee brands may or may not have the right Moka pot grind size
Let’s quickly talk about each one of these.
FYI: Personally, I tend to use pre-ground coffee in my Moka Pot even though I have a burr grinder. This is because I use my Moka Pot primarily to make Cuban coffee. And the brands of Cuban coffee I enjoy the most are sold as pre-ground beans. (We have a whole post on our favorite Cuban Coffee Brands if you’re interested.)
Moka Pot Coffee Isn’t As Subtle Or Complex As Specialty Coffee
Moka Pots have a reputation for making coffee that’s stronger and more bitter than other coffee makers.
Don’t get me wrong, you can make great coffee with a Moka Pot, but it’ll typically lack the subtle flavors and complexities that you’ll get from brewers like the French Press or Pour Over.
Why does this matter for choosing pre-ground coffee over whole beans?
Since the bean’s full, complex flavors aren’t as noticeable in robust Moka Pot coffee, there’s not a huge flavor difference between Moka Pot coffee brewed with pre-ground or whole beans.
- Moka Pot Strength. ( How Strong Will My Brew Be?)
- Can I Drink Leftover Moka Pot Coffee? And How To Do It Safely!
It’s Hard To Get The Right Moka Pot Grind Size With Some Grinders
The more uniform your coffee is ground, the more even the extraction will be. However, a lot of home grinders (especially blade grinders) don’t grind uniformly.
This is because they use blades to chop up the coffee beans. As a result, you’ll end up with coffee grinds of various sizes, which will give each of your brews an inconsistent flavor.
In addition, you’ll need to grind your beans for a while before you get the proper Moka Pot grind size. When you grind for this long, the beans can heat up which will also affect the coffee’s flavor.
In the end, the drawbacks of grinding your own coffee may outweigh the benefits.
So, unless you’ve got a high-quality grinder that can give you a consistent and uniform grind, you may be better off buying pre-ground coffee beans for your Moka Pot.
(If you’re looking for a quality grinder, check out the OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder on Amazon.)
Your Favorite Coffee Brand May Not Have The Right Grind Size
When deciding between pre-ground and whole beans, you should also take your brand preferences into account.
You may have some brand that you love that doesn’t sell pre-ground beans. In that case, all the pros and cons of pre-ground vs whole beans won’t matter. Whole beans is what you’ll go with.
And vice versa.
Personally, my favorite brand of coffee for Moka Pot coffee is Pilon (available on Amazon or your local grocery store). However, Pilon is most often sold pre-ground.
So, even though I have a burr grinder and I understand the benefits of using whole-bean coffee, I still buy pre-ground Pilon.
What’s The Best Grinder To Use For Moka Pot Coffee?
As a general rule, the best grinders for the best Moka Pot coffee grind size are burr grinders.
Either type would work fine for Moka Pot coffee.
But let’s quickly go through each type of grinder to see how well they work for Moka Pot coffee.
How Well Do Blade Grinders Work For Moka Pot Grind Size?
Blade grinders are generally good grinders. Personally, we have a Mr. Coffee Grinder that has worked well for us for years. However, blade grinders are less ideal than burr grinders when it comes to Moka Pot coffee.
There are two primary reasons for this:
- Blade grinders chop the beans into various-sized pieces. This leads to uneven extraction and inconsistent brews.
- Blade grinders also need a lot of time to chop your beans to a medium fine grind, which can heat the beans and affect the flavor.
If you don’t have a burr grinder, your blade grinder will work just fine to make Moka Pot coffee. But if you want a better grind, consider one of the burr grinders we’ll talk about next.
How Do Manual Burr Grinders Work For Moka Pot Coffee?
Manual burr grinders such as the Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill (link to Amazon) work great for Moka Pots.
While the grinds won’t be 100% uniform (there’s always some randomness when crushing stuff) they will be more uniform than what you’d get with a blade grinder.
These grinders also require more work since you’ll have to manually operate the grinder.
However, a benefit here is that you can grind the exact amount of beans you need without fear of grinding too much. Which is awesome when you want to brew a small batch of coffee.
How Do Electric Burr Grinders Work For Moka Pot Coffee?
Electric burr grinders are another great option for Moka Pot coffee. The main benefit here is that it doesn’t require any manual work on your part and your grinds will be crushed as uniformly as possible.
However, if you don’t measure your beans precisely, you could end up with more grinds than you need.
You can either get a stand-alone burr grinder like the OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder. Or, if you’re in the market for an espresso machine, consider getting one that includes a burr grinder.
Personally, I have a Breville Barista Express that comes with a burr grinder. (I highly recommend this machine if you’re an espresso lover.)
How Can I Tell If My Grinds Are The Right Size For A Moka Pot?
There are three main ways to know if your grinds are the right size for Moka Pot coffee.
- look: medium-fine coffee grinds should be about the same size as table salt.
- feel: medium-fine coffee grinds will feel gritty between your fingers and not powdery like flour.
- grind setting: if you’re using a burr grinder, the setting should indicate the level of coarseness or fineness.
Can I Use Espresso Grind In My Moka Pot?
Espresso grind can be used in a Moka Pot. However, the recommended size for Moka Pots is medium-fine, while espresso grind is fine.
For comparison, the Moka Pot grind size will look like table salt, while the espresso grind will be more like white sugar.
This really isn’t a huge difference, so it shouldn’t cause huge problems if you occasionally use espresso grind in your Moka Pot.
However, it’s more likely that sludge will end up in your coffee since the smaller grinds can slip through the Moka Pot filter more easily. If you are interested in knowing more about how to brew your coffee without sludge, we wrote an article about How to reduce sediment in Moka pot Coffee ( 9 easy fixes!)
It’s also possible that the smaller espresso grinds can clog your Moka Pot over time.
So, if you do use espresso grind, take care to clean your Moka Pot thoroughly after every brew.
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- Moka Pot Size Guide. (What Size Moka Pot Do I Need?)
Do Different Moka Pots Use The Same Size Grinds?
As a general rule, Moka Pots use the same grind size regardless of brand or model.
While Bialetti is the most popular Moka Pot on the market, there are a lot of different brands out there and a lot of different sizes.
However, despite the differences, they’re all typically made with similar specifications. And because they all brew using the same mechanisms, they’d use the same size grounds.
Similarly, French Presses, Pour Overs, and Espresso Machines all use the same grind size regardless of the brand or model.
Grind Size Moka Pot – Key Takeaways
- the proper Moka Pot grind size is medium-fine
- grinds that are too fine will result in over-extracted coffee
- grinds that are too coarse will result in under-extracted coffee
- pre-ground coffee beans work well for Moka Pot coffee
- a burr grinder works best if you’re using whole-bean coffee
Cheers Coffee Lovers!
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Oliver is co-owner of Coffee Break Lovers. The only thing he loves more than the process of brewing coffee is drinking it.