What Grind Size Should I Use With Moka Pot?

Moka Pot

Choosing a grind size for a coffee maker is an important decision that can affect the taste of your coffee.

If you’ve never used a Moka Pot before, it might be a little confusing at first. The grind size is the essential factor in making great coffee. 

On the other hand, when you start using a Moka Pot, it's all about the size of your grind. Every coffee maker is slightly different and has a recommended grind size instead of working with different grinds.

How to use a Moka pot?

It is effortless, you do not need to be an expert to use a Moka pot, but it will help if you know some basics.

How do you make coffee in a Moka pot?
The Italian word "Moka" means to pressure, and the pot was named after Mokhtar, who invented and patented it in 1933. It's a simple coffee maker that uses pressure and steam to make coffee. 

Moka pots are popular because they are cheap, easy-to-use, low maintenance, and environment friendly. You can use a Moka pot on a stove, microwave, and oven.

The Moka Pot is available in single-serve and larger family sizes. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Start with an excellent quality coffee grind of medium to coarse size; then, you should fill it right up to the top on at least 60% of the Moka pot. Using a Moka pot is not complicated, but some information about what you should do or avoid doing helps maximise your effectiveness. 

It is OK to start with a strong coffee, but remember you will have to add more water as the process goes on. Remember that the lower the water level in your pot, the more pressure and steam will be present at any given time.

You should pour fresh hot water into your pot up to 2/3 of its total capacity. Make sure that you always use high-quality water for your Moka pot brewing. You should never introduce grains or other foreign particles into your ingredients when making a cup of coffee. 

You should always use your Moka pot when it is scorched. Make sure that your filter basket and group head areas are also dry. Remove any residual coffee grains after you have completed brewing.

Moka pot grind size

The optimal grind size for a Moka pot is somewhat coarser than that of an espresso machine. So, while a Moka pot is also known as a stovetop espresso machine, a little coarser grind is preferable. 

What grind is best for Moka pot?
Whereas if you use a fine grind for an espresso machine, a medium-fine grind size should be used for a Moka pot.

Set your grinder to an acceptable setting if you grind your coffee. Lower quality grinders, in particular, aren’t capable of producing ultra-fine espresso grounds, so their most delicate setting will get you into the right ballpark in terms of size. If you’re using a coffee maker marked “espresso,” go with a medium grind.

What to do if you have pre-ground coffee

It’s a little more difficult if you’re buying ground coffee from the grocery. The optimal grind size is between espresso and filter coffee (medium). If you must select between the two, begin with the standard filter grind. 

The espresso (fine) grind can be used, but it is more difficult to achieve. The coffee will be slightly weaker because water may easily pass through the ground with a medium grind. 

And, while the flavour is milder, it is likely to be sour. Not all the flavours can transfer, and some water will expel before extracting.

What if you use bigger grinds?

So, what should you expect if you grind your beans a little bigger?

  • Water will flow more quickly through the coffee bed. It means that less heat and pressure are needed.
  • There is also less surface area that water comes into contact with.
  • As a result of this combination, there is less extraction of the grounds.
  • This can make the coffee more acidic.
If you believe your coffee is a little too bitter, coarsen the grind. This reduces extraction and, as a result, bitterness. 

On the other hand, if you go too big, the coffee will get sour, so gradually raise the size. You’ll be able to strike the appropriate balance this way. 

What if you use a smaller grind?

Perhaps you’d want to choose a smaller grind. What will you get?

  • A finer grind has a larger surface area.
  • This results in increased pressure and temperature in your Moka pot’s boiler.
  • This implies a greater extraction.
  • Increased extraction can lower sourness while increasing bitterness.
As you can see, it all comes down to balancing the taste. You don't want too little extraction, but neither do you want too much. That is one of the most critical aspects of preparing coffee. 

Benefits of using a Moka Pot

The benefits of a Moka pot are the same if you use espresso, but the result is significantly altered since the water doesn’t boil but instead stays at about 195 degrees Fahrenheit for over 5 minutes. 

Why do people love moka pot?
The pressure is also high to force water through the coffee grounds and keep it separate from other liquids as it's brewing. 

Due to the limited pressure and temperature, you can’t just use a regular espresso machine to make a Moka pot. In contrast, if you use an espresso machine, the water won’t be dirty enough for the coffee.

The Significance of Grind Size

Grind size may not appear to be important in your cup of coffee, but it is more important than you might believe.

So, if you've been tinkering with your Moka pot and still can't seem to achieve the flavour you want, finding the proper grind size could be the key!

The extraction rate, contact time, and flow rate of your brewing process define the appropriate grind size.

Rate of Extraction

The extraction rate refers to how quickly the flavours leave the coffee bean. The extraction rate is proportional to the surface area of the grounds. Therefore, finer grinds result in a larger surface area and a higher extraction rate. 

Contact Times

The contact time is the amount of time the grounds are in contact with hot water. The longer the water is connected with the grounds, the more extraction occurs. The less coffee taken from the beans, the shorter the contact time.

The Flow Rate

Flow rate is how quickly or slowly water travels through the coffee puck during extraction and pre-infusion.

You can extract all of the flavours from your coffee beans by controlling the flow velocity of the water. The finer the grind, the slower the flow rate because the water must pass through more tightly packed coffee grounds.

Simply said, finer grinds allow your coffee to extract faster, making them an excellent choice for coffee-making processes that require shorter brew durations.

Likewise, coarser grinds are preferable for immersion brewers, which steep the coffee for several minutes.

What is the best grind size for Moka pot?

The optimal grind size for a Moka pot is somewhat coarser than that of an espresso machine. So, while a Moka pot is also known as a stovetop espresso machine, a little coarser grind is preferable.

What grind setting should I use for Moka pot?

The optimum grind size for a Moka pot is between espresso and filter coffee (medium). If you must choose between the two, begin with the standard filter grind.

Is espresso grind too fine for Moka pot?

The espresso (fine) grind can be used, but it is more difficult to achieve. The coffee will be slightly weaker because water may easily pass through the ground.

What grind to use with Bialetti?

A medium fine grind is the right size for a Bialetti. The grind will be larger than what you’d use for an espresso maker, but finer than that of a French press. Use this setting if you have a Bialetti.

Is Moka coffee as strong as espresso?

No. The Bialetti stovetop coffee maker brews Italian style coffee, which is a little weak when compared with that of an espresso machine. The richness and strength of the flavour are similar, however.

Why is my moka pot sputtering?

When you’re making coffee with a Moka pot, there will be a few problems from time to time.

As you begin to pour water into your Moka pot, it can start ‘sputtering’. This happens when the pressure within the pot is too much for the brew basket to handle. You’ll need to allow the water to build up pressure on its own. Only then will it start flowing smoothly into your cup.

Does grind size affect coffee?

Grind size does affect coffee quality. Where a French press uses a medium grind, espresso machines have finer grounds. The larger the grind, the more surface area and an increased rate of extraction is possible.

Why does my moka pot coffee taste burnt?

A burnt taste to your coffee is caused by the grounds being too fine.

If you use a grind that is too fine, the plunger will spew out thick oils that can create an unpleasant burnt flavour.
If this happens, it will take some adjusting to get used to it.
As you become more accustomed to your Moka pot’s brewing characteristics, you’ll learn what normal brewing is like and when something is off.


The optimal grind size is medium. Use a medium grind if you’re using an espresso machine and can’t get the consistency you’d like.

The finer the grind, the better your extraction will be, but it will be less consistent and less stable than a medium-fine grind.

Grinding size is essential if you’re using filter coffee, especially when using a Moka pot; pre-ground coffee isn’t as easy to control as it is for espresso ground beans.

So, if you're having trouble achieving the right grind size for your Moka pot, it might be time to break out your manual grinder! I hope this article has been helpful; please leave any questions or suggestions in the comments section!

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