Why Is Moka Pot Coffee Sour? Answered

By Evelina •  Updated: 04/20/23 •  12 min read

The Best Answer:

There are a few reasons why Moka pot coffee can sometimes taste sour. One possibility is that the coffee grounds were not tamped down evenly, which can result in uneven extraction and lead to a sour taste.

Another possibility is that the Moka pot was not cleaned properly after the last use, and leftover coffee grounds or oils have gone rancid, imparting a sour flavor to the coffee. Finally, it’s possible that the Moka pot itself is not made of high-quality materials and is imparting a metallic or other off-flavor to the coffee.

Have you ever brewed a pot of coffee with your Moka pot and noticed it tastes sour? You’re not alone. This is a common problem that many people experience when using a Moka pot.

But why is Moka pot coffee sour, and what can be done to fix it? In this blog post, we will explore the causes of sour coffee and provide some tips for how to eliminate this issue. Keep reading to learn more!

What Causes The Sour Taste in Your Moka Pot Coffee?

delicious coffee with moka pot

There are several reasons why Moka pot coffee can taste sour. Below there are a few of the most common causes:

Old Coffee Beans

Another common reason for sour coffee is using old beans. Coffee beans go stale quickly after they are roasted, so it’s important to use them within a few weeks of the roast date.

If your coffee beans are more than a few weeks old, they will not have as much flavor and will result in a weak and sour brew.

To avoid this, make sure to buy fresh coffee beans and use them within a few weeks of the roast date. You can also grind your own coffee right before brewing to help preserve its flavor.

Poor Quality Coffee Beans

If you’re using poor-quality coffee beans, it will also result in a sour brew. Several factors can affect the quality of coffee beans, including the type of bean, how it was grown, and how it was roasted.

Type of Bean

There are two main types of coffee beans: Robusta and Arabica.

Robusta beans are of lower quality and have more bitterness, while Arabica beans are of higher quality and have more complex flavors.

If you’re using Robusta beans, it’s likely that your coffee will taste sour because of the high level of bitterness.

To avoid this, make sure to use high-quality Arabica beans.

How the Bean Was Grown

The way the coffee bean is grown can also affect its quality. If the coffee plant is grown in poor conditions, it will produce lower-quality beans.

To ensure you’re using high-quality beans, look for coffee that is certified organic and fair trade.

How the Bean Was Roasted

The roast of the bean can also affect its quality. If the bean is roasted for too long, it will become burnt and bitter. On the other hand, if the bean is roasted for too little time, it will be underdeveloped and lack flavor. The roast level can also affect the acidity of the coffee.

To get the best-tasting coffee, make sure to use high-quality beans that were roasted within the last few weeks. You can also ask your local barista for recommendations on where to find good-quality coffee beans.

Brewing Temperature

why is moka pot coffee sour

Another potential reason for sour coffee is the brewing temperature. If the water is too hot, it will extract more bitterness from the beans. On the other hand, if the water is not hot enough, it will not extract all of the flavors from the beans resulting in a weak brew.

Many manufacturers recommend using cold water; this is for liability reasons. But, if you want to make the best possible coffee, we recommend using water that is between 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit.

To ensure your water is at the correct temperature, you can use a thermometer or an electric kettle with a built-in temperature setting. It will probably take some trial and error to find the perfect brewing temperature for your specific Moka pot.

Read Also: Moka Pot Brewing Guide

Using Low-Quality Moka Pot

If you’re using a low-quality Moka pot, it will also result in sour coffee. Aluminum Moka pots are more likely to produce coffee that tastes sour because of the metallic taste that can be extracted from the pot.

To avoid this, make sure to use a high-quality Moka pot made with stainless steel. Stainless steel Moka pots do not have the same metallic taste and will produce a better-tasting brew.

Read Also: Bialetti Brikka vs Moka Express

Dirty pot

If you don’t clean your Moka pot regularly, the build-up of coffee oils and residue can affect the taste of your coffee. Over time, this build-up will make for a sour and bitter coffee.

An easy way to avoid this is to clean your Moka pot after every use. You can use a soft cloth and warm water to remove any coffee residue. If you have a tough build-up, you can use a mild detergent. Just make sure to rinse the pot thoroughly before using it again.

Low Coffee-to-Water Ratio

The coffee-to-water ratio is important because it determines the strength of your coffee. Too much coffee produces a strongly brewed, bitter beverage. On the other hand, using too little coffee will result in a weak and watery drink.

We recommend using 1 gram of coffee per 8 grams of water to make a well-balanced cup of coffee. This is a decent place to start, but you may need to increase or decrease the proportion according to your own preferences.

Water Quality

The quality of the water you use to brew your coffee can also affect its taste. Using tap water that is high in minerals can make your coffee taste sour.

To avoid this, we recommend using filtered or distilled water. This will help to ensure that your coffee tastes clean and fresh.

 Deformed Basket/Lid

It’s possible your Moka pot filter basket or filter lid is deformed. This can cause coffee to seep through and make your brew taste sour.

To fix this, you can gently bend the filter basket or lid back into shape. If this doesn’t work, you may need to replace the basket or lid. There are many affordable options available online.

Read Also: Why Is Your Moka Pot Leaking?

How The Brewing Process And The Coffee Grinds Affect The Taste

better coffee for moka pot

If your coffee grind is too fine, it will result in a sour taste. This is because the coffee will over-extract and release bitterness into the cup. On the other hand, if your grind is too coarse, the water will not be able to fully extract all of the flavors from the beans resulting in a weak and sour brew.

The best way to avoid this is to use a medium to medium-fine grind size for your Moka Pot. To put it into perspective, the grind size should be similar to what you would use for a drip coffee maker or an espresso machine.

A hand grinder can be a great tool for getting the perfect grind size for your Moka pot.

Another common issue is brewing time. If you brew your coffee for too long, it will over-extract and release bitterness into the cup. On the other hand, if you brew for too little time, the water will not be able to fully extract all of the flavors from the beans resulting in a weak and sour brew.

The ideal brewing time will vary depending on the grind size, type of bean, and other factors. In general, we recommend brewing for 3-4 minutes.

We recommend using a timer to ensure your coffee is brewed for the appropriate amount of time. This will save you time and help you achieve consistent outcomes.

Related Read: Moka Pot Mistakes

Tips to Improve Your Moka Pot Coffee Taste

how to improve moka pot taste

Now that we’ve gone over some of the common reasons why Moka pot coffee can taste sour let’s go over some tips to help you improve the taste of your brew.

Don’t pack your coffee too tightly

If you pack your coffee too tightly, it will restrict the water flow and result in over-extraction. This will make your coffee taste bitter and sour. Instead, we recommend using a light hand when packing the coffee into the filter basket. Add your ground coffee to the bottom chamber of the Moka pot. Then, gently tap the side of the pot to level off the ground.

Preheat your Moka Pot

It’s important to preheat your Moka pot before you can brew coffee. This will help to ensure that the water is hot when it comes into contact with the coffee grounds.

To preheat it, simply fill the bottom chamber with water and place your Moka Pot on the electric stove over low heat. Once the water starts to simmer, remove the pot from the heat and proceed with your brew.

Choose your favorite coffee beans

The type of coffee beans you use will have a big impact on the taste of your brew. We recommend trying out different beans until you find the ones that you love.

There are many great coffees out there. We recommend asking your local barista for recommendations. They will be able to point you in the right direction based on your preferences.

Sanitize your Moka pot

It’s important to clean your Moka pot on a regular basis. But, it’s also important to sanitize it every so often. This will help to remove any build-up of coffee oils and residue that can cause your coffee to taste sour.

To sanitize your Moka pot, simply fill the pot with a solution of equal parts water and vinegar. Then, let it soak for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, rinse the pot with clean water and proceed with your brew.

Let your coffee cool down before serving

If you serve your coffee right after brewing, it will taste sour. This is because the coffee needs time to cool down and reach its ideal flavor profile. In general, we recommend waiting 3-5 minutes before serving.

If you can’t wait that long, we recommend pouring your coffee into a thermal mug or carafe. This will help to keep the coffee hot while it cools down.

Tip: Your Moka Pot size is really important for the final brew. Make sure you check all the Moka Pot sizes and choose the one that you think will be better for your situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

making moka pot taste less sour

How do you make a Moka pot less acidic?

If you find your Moka pot coffee tasting too acidic, there are a few things you can do to lessen the acidity. First, make sure you’re using freshly ground coffee beans – stale beans will make for more acidic coffee.

Second, try using a less aggressive brew ratio – this will make for a weaker, less concentrated coffee that won’t be as acidic.

Finally, if all else fails, try adding a pinch of baking soda to your coffee grounds before brewing – this will help to neutralize some of the acids in the coffee.

How do you stop a bitter Moka pot?

If your Moka pot is bitter, it means that the water is not hot enough and the coffee is over-extracted.

Here are a few tips to help you fix bitter Moka pot coffee:

1. Make sure to use fresh, hot water in your Moka pot brew. Do not use distilled or softened water.

2. Make sure to preheat your Moka pot before adding the coffee grounds.

3. Use a fine grind for your coffee beans. Coarse grinds will produce a bitter cup of coffee.

4. Brew for the recommended amount of time (usually 4-5 minutes). Brewing for too long will produce a bitter cup of coffee.

There are a few techniques to reduce the bitterness of your Moka pot coffee, but there will always be some in this brewing method.

How do you make Moka Pot coffee taste better?

One way to make Moka Pot coffee taste better is to grind the coffee beans a little finer. This will produce a more consistent flavor and prevent anyone from dominating the flavor profile.

Another way to make Moka Pot coffee taste better is by using fresh, high-quality beans. If you can find Arabica beans, that would be ideal. And finally, make sure to use hot, filtered water for the best results. Hot tap water can contain chlorine and other impurities that can affect the taste of the coffee.

Why does my Moka Pot coffee taste burn?

It’s possible you’re brewing your coffee for too long, which can cause it to taste burnt. Moka pots are designed to produce a short espresso-style coffee, so coffee brewing for too long will result in a stronger and more bitter flavor. Try brewing for shorter periods of time to see if that fixes the issue.

What should Moka Pot coffee taste like?

Moka pot coffee should have a rich and robust flavor with a slight bitterness. The bitterness is what gives espresso its unique flavor profile. If your coffee is too bitter, it’s possible you’re using too much coffee or brewing for too long. If your coffee is not bitter enough, try using more coffee or brewing for a longer period of time.

Last Thoughts

So, what’s the secret to getting that perfect sour taste in your Moka Pot coffee? The answer is a combination of factors – from the brewing process to the grinding of your coffee. But with a few simple tips, you can be on your way to enjoying delicious Moka Pot coffee every time. What are you waiting for? Start experimenting and find out which techniques work best for you!


Evelina’s passion for coffee could never been hidden. Having worked as a barista, she learned the true value of the coffee bean and its secrets. As she continued to evolve as a barista, so did her knowledge, techniques on making different coffee blends and most importantly how to operate every kind of gear when it comes to coffee. Having a degree in biomedicine and being a barista, allows her to provide our community with in-depth knowledge surrounding the topics of coffee.

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