When to Take Moka Pot Off Heat: Tips for the Perfect Cup of Coffee

Moka pot is a coffee maker ideal for brewing strong and espresso-style coffee. While the coffee produced may not be similar to an espresso shot, it’s capable of a rich and tasty cup of coffee.

However, the quality of the coffee produced highly depends on the timing. You should know when to take the Moka pot off the heat at the right time, not too early or too late. Most times, the time takes between 3-5 minutes for brewing in a Moka pot depending on the Moka pot size, and grind size.

Read on to learn more about the timing and tips for the perfect cup of coffee.

When The Moka Pot Is Done & Time to Take off the Heat

Moka pot brewing coffee
Moka pot brewing coffee

As said before, the timing matters when using a Moka pot to brew the coffee. In most cases, you should take it off as soon as it starts gurgling or whistling.

If you’re observing as it cooks, it should be as soon as the brew starts sputtering into the upper chamber, between 3~10 minutes.

Why timing matters when it comes to taking the Moka pot off heat? Once the water begins boiling, it is pushed through the funnel into the middle section with coffee grounds.

If the pot stays on the heat, the temperature continues rising, resulting in a burnt bitter taste back of your throat.

For optimum quality and taste, the pot should be taken off at the right time and left to cook with the residue heat.

What happens if taken off too early?

It is too early to take the Moka pot off the heat
It is too early to take the Moka pot off the heat

If you take the Moka pot off the heat of the stove too early, the coffee will be under-extracted. Under-extraction happens when only a few components are extracted from the coffee grains when the water passes through.

When this happens, the coffee is sour, salty, or has a thin flavor.

What happens if it’s too late?

If the water continues to boil and extract the coffee grounds, they become overheated. If this happens, coffee becomes over-extracted resulting in a bitter cup. So, when you brew coffee in a Moka pot keep an eye on the spout.

It's the right time to take the Moka pot off the heat
It’s the right time to take the Moka pot off the heat

If you see coffee coming out of the spout in an angry sputtering way, then you should take the Moka pot off the heat. Or, you can also look for the first whisp of steam from the spout.

You should remove the Moka pot from the heat when you observe any of the mentioned symptoms. Otherwise, the coffee will taste burned, and bitter.

How to Correctly Time the Brewing Process Based on Your Stove Type?

Most times, it’s best to observe the pot as it cooks for better timing. You can cook with the top open and watch as the coffee starts flowing. The brewing process is almost the same in different stove types.

A gas stove is among the most commonly used when preparing coffee in a Moka pot. It is the fastest method, especially if you use pre-boiled water.

Once you’ve placed water and ground in their ideal section, set it on the stove with medium heat.

Moka pot brewing is done here
Moka pot brewing is done here

Once the brew begins rising, or you hear a gurgling sound turn off the flame.

What You Need to Do in An Induction Stove

Some Moka pots have stainless steel circular bases that can work using an induction stove. When the brew begins pouring into the upper section of the Moka pot, turn off the stove.

However, you can also move the pot to the side of the eye to keep the heat moderate.

The Ideal Temperature to Brew Coffee in a Moka Pot

According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, the ideal temperature is between 90.5°C and 96°C (195°F-205°F). But how can make sure that your water temperature is just as ideal in a Moka pot while brewing?

You should fill the water chamber with preheated water for the best results. The recommended starting water temperature is 70°C (158°F), achieved by mixing cold and hot water.

Additional Resources:

What Should You Do After Taking the Moka Pot Off the Heat?

Once the Moka pot is off the heat, you should cool it immediately. If you don’t do that, heat from within can continue brewing and interfere with the coffee’s quality. You can use a cold towel or pour water on the base of the Moka pot to cool it.

Never leave brewed coffee on the stove
Never leave brewed coffee on the stove

Also, never leave the Moka pot on the stove after brewing. The Moka pot’s purpose is not to keep the coffee warm. There’s no way to keep the coffee warm for longer periods in a Moka pot.

After brewing leaving the Moka pot on the stove even at low heat can damage the Moka pot, and also cause your Moka pot to explode.

Never leave the Moka pot unattended on the stove, especially without water in the water chamber.

Common Mistakes Made When Brewing with a Moka Pot and How to Correct Them

Most times, it takes several tries to note the various things you need to do to prepare a quality cup of coffee. However, there are several common mistakes when brewing with a Moka Pot.

Tamping the Coffee Grounds

Never tamp coffee grounds so firmly
Never tamp coffee grounds so firmly

Tamping the coffee ground is important for espresso, but not for Moka pot. You don’t need to tamp it so firmly like espresso brewing. Rather use your finger to gently even the surface of the coffee grounds.

If you tamp the coffee ground firmly it creates channeling. Water can’t pass through the grounds evenly. It’s also one of the major causes of the Moka pot leaking & exploding.

Using Cold Water

Brewing using cold water takes time since the water has to first get heated. Also, some of the flavors are not extracted from the coffee grounds, resulting in unflavoured coffee.

You should always use preheated water (around 70 °C for better results) instead of cold water. Using boiling water can also yield overly extracted coffee.

Too Much Fine ground

When you grind coffee grounds too fine, it can also yield bitter flavor coffee. At the same time, it can also cause a channeling issue, which creates a poor cup of coffee.

The ideal grind size for Moka pot brewing is medium-fine coffee grounds, coarser than espresso grind, but finer than sea salt.

More Moka Pot Resources:


For quality coffee from your Moka Pot, proper timing is crucial. It’s best to turn off the flame as soon as the brew starts gurgling to the upper pot. You can turn off the heat or adjust it to low until the coffee is ready.

Water temperature and stove type are some things that affect the quality of the brew as well as time. If you’re using warm water, the cooking time should be below five minutes.

Also, keep the potential mistakes in mind and avoid them to get the best result.

Sujit Modak

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