Relax if you’ve just bought a new Moka pot and realized your coffee tastes horrible! New mokas often give your coffee a metallic or chemical aftertaste without proper seasoning.
Luckily, seasoning a Moka is quick and easy and will have your coffee tasting great in under 30 minutes.
The simplest way to season your Moka pot is to boil some water and salt to sterilize it, then heat some strong coffee several times to coat the inside of your Moka.
This prevents any foul metallic taste from seeping into your coffee.
In this article, we’ll look at the step-by-step process you can follow to season your Moka pot properly.
How To Season a Moka Pot
If you just want to know how to season your Moka pot step-by-step, here are some simple instructions.
The process takes about 30 minutes and will last forever (or until you wash your Moka pot with detergent). These instructions work on both stainless steel and aluminum Moka pots.
Pro Tip: Our post on how to clean a Moka pot will help you to clean your pot properly.
1. Rinse Your Moka Pot with Clean Water
Remove any old coffee grounds and any particles of dust or dirt that got into your Moka during transit.
2. Fill Your Moka with Salt Water
Fill your Moka and add a tablespoon of salt. This helps to sterilize your Moka pot, so it’s ready for your fresh coffee.
Moka pots are usually made from aluminum or stainless steel, so you don’t have to worry about the salt causing rust.
3. Boil the Salt Water and Empty It Out
Put your Moka on the stove and heat it until the salt water is boiling. (You don’t have to wait until the water evaporates, as soon as it’s cooking, you can empty it out)
This stage is vital as there can be industrial residue from the manufacturing process that can taint the taste of your coffee. Things like grease and anti-oxidation paste are used in Aluminum manufacturing.
Be careful of the hot water. Also, don’t hold your Moka pot by the top handle when unscrewing it, as it can break easily.
4. Brew a Regular Coffee
Once you’ve tipped out the salt water, it’s time to make your first brew. Add your beans and create a regular pot of coffee with your new sterilized Moka.
This process lightly coats the inside of your Moka pot with the natural oils and waxes found in coffee beans. This helps to insulate your future brews against any metallic taste coming from the walls of the coffee pot.
5. Tip Out the Coffee (Do Not Drink!)
The sole purpose of the first couple of pots is to impregnate the porous aluminum on the inside of your coffee pot with waxes and oils from your coffee beans.
Although your first pot of coffee will be safe to drink, it might have a metallic aftertaste, so it’s better to tip it out.
If your curiosity is getting the better of you, try a spoonful to experience the taste improving as the seasoning process progresses.
6. Brew and Tip Out Two More Pots of Coffee
Repeat steps four and five again, brewing coffee and tipping it out. Although this seems wasteful, if you try the coffee before you tip it, you will realize it’s a necessary evil.
Used coffee grounds have multiple uses around the house, so you shouldn’t feel bad about wasting coffee grounds.
Used coffee grounds are particularly useful in deterring garden pests. Check out our article on how coffee grounds keep squirrels away for more info.
Once you’ve boiled the salt water and two or three coffee brews, your Moka should be perfectly seasoned and ready for use.
This will prevent any metallic taste from transferring to your future coffee.
How Does Seasoning Affect The Flavor of your Coffee?
Seasoning doesn’t directly make your coffee taste any better. Still, it does prevent any unwanted flavors left over from the manufacturing process or the metal from transferring to your coffee.
Think of it like wearing sunscreen on vacation. Of course, sunscreen doesn’t make your vacation fun, but without it, you will end up with sunburn, and your trip will be ruined.
How to Break in A New Moka Pot
You can break in your new Moka pot by seasoning it. This involves boiling salt water in the pot to sterilize it, then brewing and discarding two or three initial pots of coffee.
The breaking-in process for a new Moka pot involves cleaning out any industrial residue left over from the manufacturing process or transit and brewing a few pots of coffee to eliminate any metallic aftertaste.
This same process applies to Moka pots for use on induction stoves. Check out our post on how to use a Moka pot on an induction stove.
Do You Have to Season a Moka Pot?
You don’t have to season a Moka pot if you don’t want to. Without seasoning, the first few pots of coffee might taste bad, but it’s still safe to drink.
Bialetti recommends that you discard the first two or three pots of coffee. This is effectively the seasoning process as the first few brews get rid of the metallic taste and create a thin seal of coffee oil and wax on the interior of the Moka pot.
Whether or not you consciously try to season your Moka pot is irrelevant. It will become seasoned anyway as you continue to use it.
Suppose you’ve just bought a new Moka (or thoroughly cleaned your existing one with detergent). In that case, it’s probably a good idea to season it.
Both aluminum and steel Moka pots need to be seasoned since both metals confer a metallic taste into your coffee on the first few brews.
What Happens if You Use an Unseasoned Moka Pot?
There’s no serious risk to using an unseasoned Moka pot. The only effect is that your first few pots of coffee might taste nasty.
Suppose you decide not to take the time to season your Moka pot. In that case, the taste of your coffee will improve over time as the pot becomes seasoned naturally as you use it.
How Often Should You Season Your Moka Pot?
It’s only necessary to season your Moka pot once when you first buy it. After that, it won’t need to be seasoned again unless you use strong detergent to clean it. (Don’t do that!)
To avoid having to reseason your Moka pot, avoid using strong detergents when you’re cleaning it.
There are a few options for cleaning your coffee maker without using detergents, including the baking soda and water method and the vinegar method.
Check out my guide to cleaning your coffee maker with vinegar, where I explain how to do it and the benefits of using vinegar compared to detergents.
How Long does it Take To Season a Moka Pot?
The seasoning process for a new Moka pot only takes about 30 minutes. Most Moka pots take between 5 and 7 minutes to make a pot, so you’re looking at around 20-30 minutes in total to boil the salt water, then make and discard 3 pots of coffee.
To sum up, seasoning your new Moka pot is an important step that shouldn’t be skipped. Otherwise, you may have impurities in your coffee from the manufacturing process or a metallic taste in your brew.
Seasoning your Moka pot is a simple task and shouldn’t take longer than 30 minutes in total.
To season your new Moka pot, simply boil some salt water to sterilize it, followed by two or three cups of coffee. This will coat the inside of your coffee pot with a fine layer of wax and oil from the coffee beans, insulating your coffee against any unwanted metallic taste.