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Should You Put Hot or Cold Water In Your Moka Pot?

Always use hot water in your moka pot as this produces a much more flavorful and aromatic coffee, as well as a faster brew. Cold water tends to give a bitter and metallic taste and is often the result of boiling cool water in the moka pot. This “cooks” the coffee and can even taste a little burnt too.

The ultimate debate is if you should start with hot or cold water in your moka pot, and I can’t blame you but I thought about this often too. After doing the test myself, I did even more research to see if I wasn’t crazy. So, let’s have a look at what’s better, the differences, and the easiest way to get hot water for your moka pot.

Let’s get started.

Should You Use Hot or Cold Water in Your Moka Pot?

The right answer here is, it depends on your preference. But in general hot water is better in most situations as this results in better-tasting coffee with more aromas and flavors coming through. It’s also much faster as the hot water speeds up the brewing process. 

Meanwhile, cold water might give you a bitter, burnt, and metallic taste. The brewing process takes much longer as well.

If you’re already struggling with a burnt taste or smell coming from your moka pot then make sure to get rid of it by giving my other article on that a quick read.

The Pros and Cons of Using Hot or Cold Water In Your Moka Pot

Now let’s have a look at the differences between using both hot and cold water as this may be the reason why you prefer one over the other.

Hot Water

Let’s have a quick look at the pros and cons of using hot water in your moka pot.

Pros ✅Cons ❌
✅ Better tasting coffee: Better coffee is the most popular reason why people start with hot water in their moka pot. It has a lower chance of burnt coffee and it ensures that extraction happens at a reasonably high temperature. This will also mitigate any symptoms of over-extraction that the hot water may cause by coarsening the grind.

Faster brewing: As you start with hot water, the coffee will immediately start to extract at the ideal temperature. Steam is what is used to brew coffee in a moka pot and there’s nothing better than having it in there straight away. This ensures a faster brew overall.

Easier to take action when it goes wrong: If you start with cold water, you expect it to take a while for coffee to start flowing through the pot. However, if it doesn’t then you could have a dangerous situation that can escalate quickly. If you start with hot water, things should happen a lot faster and thus catch your attention quicker too.
Have to be careful: The bottom chamber will be boiling hot so it can be a little tricky to assemble the moka pot. You can easily burn yourself if you don’t watch out. So using oven mitts is recommended.

As you can tell, the better tasting coffee isn’t the only benefit of using hot water. I guess the only drawback here is that you should be careful about the boiling hot bottom part of your moka pot.

Cold Water

Believe it or not but there’s actually some benefits of using cold water in your moka pot:

Pros ✅Cons ❌
✅ It’s safer: Because there’s no boiling hot water in the bottom part of the pot, you can easily assemble the moka together without worrying about burning your hands or skin.

✅ Less steps required: It’s easier since there are fewer actions required to start brewing coffee. This is especially good in the morning when you might still be a bit sleepy and imprudent.

✅ No need for extra tools: You don’t have to worry about using a pot to boil your water or have an electric kettle in the kitchen.
Can have a less pleasant taste: Using cold water tends to “cook” your coffee grounds as it will be on the heat for longer, this adds a bitter and metallic taste. It can also burn your grounds easier as you might lose track of time for water to boil.

Extraction starts below boiling: Extraction with cold water begins well below boiling here, which isn’t ideal. This is because the air pressure increases under heat too, so not just water vapor pressure.

Can lose your attention: Because cold water needs a while before it’s boiled, you can easily lose track of time when it’s on the heat. This can be dangerous and is overall not ideal as you always want to have an eye on your moka pot.

As you can see there are a few pros and cons to using cold water as well. But even though it’s safer, it’s much slower and you lose a lot of good taste in your cup of joe.

How Do You Get Hot Water In Your Moka Pot?

The only 2 ways of boiling water that I recommend are using an electric kettle or boiling water in the bottom chamber. The electric kettle is the fastest and most convenient.

Boiling Water With An Electric Kettle

  1. Boil the water in an electric kettle and prepare your moka pot and coffee while the water is boiling.
  2. As soon as the water boils, pour it into the bottom chamber of your moka pot.
  3. Assemble the moka pot as normal. Be careful because the bottom chamber is now boiling hot, and thus it’s recommended to use oven mitts or something similar to protect your hands.
  4. Put the moka pot on the heat

Yep, it’s really as simple as just pouring the boiling water in the moka pot and just using it as usual after that.

Boiling Water With The Bottom Chamber of The Moka Pot

Another method you can use is to simply let the water boil inside the bottom part of the pot. Leave the filter and top chamber off so you only have the bottom chamber of the pot.

  1. Put the bottom chamber (with nothing else) on the stove and heat up the water inside it.
  2. Once it starts to boil you can assemble the pot again. And again be careful because the bottom chamber will be boiling hot. So use oven mitts!

The Bottom Line

So there it is, now you should know why so many people like to use boiling water in their moka pot. But at the end of the day it all comes down to preference, I know people that use cold water but the majority still likes to use hot water which results in better tasting coffee.

Be sure to always use your oven mitts when you try to assemble your moka pot with boiling hot water, as metal and water are not there to play with!

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