Moka Pots are known for brewing a rich, espresso-like coffee. But their metal filters allow some sediment and bitterness to get into the final cup. So, can you use a paper filter in a Moka Pot and will it improve the flavor if you do?
A paper filter can be added to a Moka Pot, however, it will affect the quality of your brew. It will prevent some of the coffee’s oils from getting into your final cup which will reduce flavor and body. But a paper filter will also keep sediment from getting into your cup which reduces bitterness.
Besides the changes in flavor, a paper filter can affect your Moka Pot coffee in other ways. If you want to know what to expect, keep reading!
Can You Use A Paper Filter In A Moka Pot?
Moka Pots don’t require a paper filter because they already come with a metal one. However, you can add a paper filter if you want to increase the filtration. Just keep in mind that this extra filtration will affect your coffee in both positive and negative ways.
Let’s take a look at each of the benefits and drawbacks of using paper filters.
Benefits Of Adding A Paper Filter To Moka Pot
There are a few benefits to adding a paper filter to your Moka Pot.
- it prevents sediment from getting into your coffee
- it increases the crema that appears in your coffee
- it slows down the brewing process which increases your extraction time
Your Moka Pot’s metal filter allows all the coffee’s flavors to pass through, but they also let small coffee grinds pass through as well.
These small coffee grinds will add bitterness and possible grittiness to your coffee that many coffee drinkers would rather avoid. Paper filters will keep these grinds out of your cup.
Slower Extraction Process
Normally once the water pushes its way through the coffee grinds, it will shoot up into the Moka Pot’s top chamber. But when you use a paper filter you’re adding another layer of resistance.
This slows the extraction process which theoretically allows additional flavor to be pulled out of the coffee beans.
Increased “Crema” In Your Coffee
In general, a Moka Pot doesn’t generate enough pressure to create crema like an espresso machine. However, when you add a paper filter, something like crema definitely appears in the Moka Pot.
Check out the crema we got when using a paper filter in our Moka Pot.
Drawback Of Using A Paper Filter In Your Moka Pot
Earlier, we mentioned that adding a paper filter will slow the brewing process, which should theoretically create a stronger coffee. However, in my experience, Moka Pot coffee tastes less robust when I add a paper filter.
Why does this happen?
Moka Pots come with a metal filter that’s perforated by several holes. While these holes are relatively small, they’re still big enough to allow all of the coffee’s oils, acids, and sugars to flow through.
But when you use a paper filter in your Moka Pot, you’re stopping a significant amount of those solubles from passing through and getting into your cup of coffee.
To see how much of the oils and sediment get’s left behind, take a look at what our paper filter looked like after using it in our Moka Pot.
Don’t get me wrong, your coffee will still be stronger than what you’d get with a pour-over, but it’ll be less robust than your normal Moka Pot brew.
Where Should You Place The Paper Filter?
The best place to put your paper filter is between the coffee grounds and the metal filter.
There are only two locations you could put your paper filter.
- in the filter basket below the coffee grounds
- on top of your coffee grounds
If you put the paper filter below the grounds, you would only end up filtering the water before it touched the coffee. The coffee would still be extracted like normal and you would end up with the same amount of soluble and sediment in your coffee as before.
On the other hand, by placing the filter on top of the grounds most particles will be stopped and you’ll end up with a cleaner cup of coffee.
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What Kind Of Paper Filters Can I Add To A Moka Pot?
If you want to add a paper filter to your Moka Pot you can either use an Aeropress filter or you can cut a standard filter from your drip coffee maker.
An Aeropress filter should fit well inside a 3 Cup Moka Pot. (If you’re not sure what an Aeropress is and you’re interested, you can check out the Aeropress on Amazon.)
Even if you don’t have an Aeropress, you could buy the filters separately. But, honestly, it’s not necessary to buy them just to use in your Moka Pot, when you could just buy basket coffee filters.
Basket Coffee Filters
Basket coffee filters are the paper filters normally used in drip machines. If you don’t have them, they’re extremely cheap and can be bought at pretty much any grocery store.
All you need to do is get a pair of kitchen scissors and cut the filter so it fits in your Moka Pot.
Personally, this is what I do when I want to use a paper filter in my Moka Pot.
Using A Paper Filter In Your Moka Pot May Lower Cholesterol
In addition to keeping sediment out of your coffee, paper filters may also help lower your cholesterol levels.
Coffee oils contain particles called diterpenes; specifically cafestol and kahweol. These chemicals are naturally found in coffee oils and they’ve been shown to increase LDL cholesterol.
Brewers like Moka Pots and French Presses normally allow most of the oils to remain in the coffee. But using paper filters, you’re stopping a large amount of the oils and diterpenes from ever getting into your cup.
(If you want to read more about keeping sediment and oils out of your French Press coffee we’ve got a whole post on it! Check out “Why Is Sludge In My French Press Coffee“).
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There are several people who can benefit from using paper filters with their Moka Pot.
- Fans of Moka Pot coffee who want a cleaner and smoother brew
- People who want to reduce cholesterol without giving up their coffee
- People who want more “crema” in their Moka Pot coffee.
On the other hand, if you prefer a richer and more robust coffee using a paper filter with your Moka Pot may not be for you. But, you’ll never know if you don’t try!
Cheers Coffee Lovers!
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Idalmis is co-owner of Coffee Break Lovers. She is a Cuban coffee enthusiast that is passionate about coffee and coffee culture.