Are Moka Pots Safe To Use? The Dangers of Aluminum Coffee Pots Discussed

When dealing with all the possible preparations for making your daily mug of joe, there are certain important things to consider. As an avid coffee-lover, you’ve likely pondered the like, but there’s a range of methods to prepare coffee from the safest, most mild methods, to some more eccentric.

Many coffee fanatics continuously ask themselves “Are moka pots safe?” or, “Can I use them on a daily basis with no ill-effects on my health?”

Today we’ll answer these questions for you and give you the rundown on why making coffee in separate ways could spell a real hazard or protective safety on your health and wellness.

You might be wondering where this concern comes from, and what the search for top tier materials entails…

Simply put, whenever you heat up water to its boiling point and add coffee, tea, or other mixes of powdered drinks, your medium is vitally important.

In other words, what you use to make your favorite coffee is of utmost relevance.

You know you’re not supposed to put boiling water inside plastic, as the many chemicals inside will melt, change form, and get ingested into your blood stream. You also know never to put metal in an electrical socket, or the microwave, since it’s a conductor.

But what about stainless steel?

Cooking with teflon appliances and cookware?

Making coffee with aluminum, stainless steel, iron and the like?

The lines can get blurred quickly and easily.

This is why, our moka pot article today will decode for you the safest methods, the considerations, and the best use philosophies of this very popular stovetop coffee maker.

Specifically, the parts of the moka pot are created by combining a few key metal components. Dominantly, the components used to create moka pots consist of stainless steel and aluminum.

The much-loved token imagery of the aluminum moka pot is easily identified.

People love its antique-style, or the modernity-adjusted moka pots to display and use in their homes and kitchens. The first design goes all the way back to 1933! Perhaps your mother or her mother made espresso-style coffees with them, and now you enjoy using the same, since the tradition runs in your family.

In today’s article, we’d like to steer you away from the severely harmful, low-quality aluminum model options, and towards the robust, safer, more convenient stainless steel models on the market.

There are still some high-grade aluminum options we’ll dissect as well, that won’t come close to harming your health when using them.

And despite the shinier (rather than antique, matte-finished) look of these types of models, you’re saving yourself a lot of trouble and harm to your health, digestive, and blood systems when you opt to use better materials.

It also may be true that it affects the flavor, experience, and your wellness if you choose one material or style over the other…

Today we clear it all up.

You’re reading Gamble Bay Coffee; let’s get down to the grinds…

Moka Pots & Their Effect On Your Health & Wellness:
What You Need to Know

Okay, so the duller finish of the old-timey aluminum style pots from the early 20th century look beautiful, are lightweight, and they give you reminiscent feelings of a better day, yes?

While this may be true for you, aluminum is a much cheaper and easier-to-produce metal that’s documented to be far more dangerous than its sturdier counterpart, stainless steel.

There are several layers to preserving a health-preserving moka pot, if this is your go-to for making fantastic brews of coffee daily. We completely acknowledge and understand that you don’t have to give up your favorite brewing method, nor should you.

But of course looking after your own health and wellness in the form of purchasing, cooking, and preparing food (including your coffee!) makes a large difference and pays you dividends down the line.

Health is a long game.

And another layer of choosing the right moka pot, beyond its outer materials, is the inner coating of oil. This thin layer protects the hot coffee and boiling water from coming into too close of contact with the moka pot metal itself.

The ideal is this: aiming to use, clean out, and dry your moka pot properly, while preserving the oily coating inside the pot.

After a while, some of those thin, oily coatings will decay and leave the aluminum in clear contact with your coffee.

Aluminum + Boiling Water = Danger.

Avoid this at all costs, even if you’re hell-bent on buying the aluminum models in the first place. Similar to fillings at dental offices, having mercury, aluminum, and other heavy metals in close contact with your head, and therefore blood system is a serious hazard.

Tied to diseases like Alzheimer’s and others that seem to infect and overpower parts of the brain, heavy metals are a leading stimulus. In fact, even breathing the heavy metal pollutants from our environment: exhausts from gas vehicles, power plants, and greenhouse gases can bring enough danger to the body.

This is why detoxifying, saunas, and other health protocols can release a lot of these pollutants we come in contact with on a daily basis.

But the point is, you don’t want to deliberately (or unknowingly) make it worse by making your daily coffee! It’s completely avoidable.

Besides, the oily coating can preserve the natural oils inside coffee like cafestol and kahweol. These oils are highly beneficial and make your coffees taste distinctly flavorful. They preserve the flavor profiles that are meticulously drawn out from the roast of the coffee beans from different locations all across the globe.

This is another reason people love to use moka pots specifically.

But continuing on the tract of keeping yourself as healthy and vibrant with the choice of moka pot material, choosing stainless steel varieties cuts down your exposure to the potential toxicity of aluminum.

Still however, people worry about the nickel intake from stainless steel.

This is a valid concern, though it was more of a concern in the past. Since we’ve gotten more aware about its dangers, manufacturers often combine (alloy) several metals together that are less likely to contain high trace amounts of nickel.

Aluminum is far more likely to contain nickel in its alloy mixtures.

Taking this thought a step further, you’re much more likely to take in higher amounts of nickel by mistreating your moka pots or other appliances that contain these metals.

Keep reading, because later in this article we’ll go through a step-by-step way to care for your moka pots and other coffee-making items.

The 4 Safest Stainless Steel Moka Pot Models For Sale Today

What might reasonably happen next is you wondering where you can get yourself safe moka pots, that wouldn’t harm your health.

We’re one step ahead of you!

It so happens that we’ve cultivated a collection of some of the best moka pots, engineered to meticulous engineering standards, that’ve been tested over time for ease of use, safety, and even style!

The top four moka pots we’ve come up with are as follows. Click the image of each below to pick up your favorite today:

The Safest Moka Pots For Sale Today

The following moka pots are made to extremely high standards and have been tested over time to be very safe to use. Three of the four listed below are made from stainless steel meaning they are even that much more safe for your health.

 Bialetti 6800 Moka Express 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker Venus Espresso Coffee Maker, Stainless Steel, 4 cup Ilsa Stainless Steel 3 Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker Cuisinox COF-10R Roma 10-Cup Espresso Coffeemaker

You might want to know what our standards were for choosing such pots.

First off, we made sure to avoid low-quality aluminum in this selection, as it’s the most dangerous for your system. It both heats up and cools off quickly, which is useful. It’s lightweight and easy to maneuver, but that’s about where the positives end.

Acidity has a massive, detrimental effect on aluminum.

If you cook acidic foods or liquids in a pot or pan made from aluminum, it’ll eventually warp the metal, erode its surface, and possibly even make it concave or convex.

Stainless steel makes the grade, since it’s much more durable and takes longer to heat up and cool down. You may see this as a negative, however remember that it has a less detrimental effect on the chemical makeup of the metal.

It’s usually a bit more expensive, but it is sturdier and lasts longer, needing to be replaced much less frequently than aluminum would.

The acids in acidic drinks and foods are held off by steel much more efficiently, and won’t damage the material. You’ll know the following from first-hand experience if you’ve made coffee in both metals. The aluminum leaves you with a far more metallic, iron-like flavor, which is both gross and dangerous.

It’s gross because the taste is awful, and dangerous since that is a reflection of the metal and its chemicals inside being melted off into your mouth, and therefore right into your blood stream.

We’re not sure about you, but we enjoy single origins, espressos, and lattes that taste like coffee, not metal! Nothing should get in the way of your authentic, high-quality coffee beans

Stainless steel simply preserves those profiles of taste much better.

The Proper Way to Care For Your Moka Pots Long Term:
Choosing The Material

In most cases, aluminum contact with high heat is going to be harmful.

However, there are such pots made of higher-end aluminum, usually leveraging anodized aluminum. This helps prevent your foodstuff from ever actually coming into contact with the metal itself.

Now, just as important as choosing the proper ones is cleaning and preserving the moka pots you choose.

Overall, most pots will be pretty safe to use, depending on their material. However, stainless steel has a marked difference in quality and safety for your health.

Here’s your quick checklist for choosing the perfect moka pot:

  1. It must be made up of high quality materials, no excuses. Ideally stainless steel
  2. Check the specifications and technical details from the manufacturers; ensure you know what went into creating your moka pot
  3. Clean the pot properly, and avoid scratching it (especially on the inside, with its oily coating)
  4. Take care to not drop, dent, or destroy it in other ways
  5. If you are going to opt for these aluminum pots (instead of stainless steel), we’d recommend investing in some of the higher-end options, where there isn’t much chemical reaction with your coffee.

    The two following options are both Italian imports:

    Bialetti: Moka Express 6-Cup Black-Lacquered

    Pedrini: Sei Moka 1-Cup Marble-Finished

    There also tend to be a few options that consist of stainless steel and differ from the first four we recommended.

    If going for stainless steel over aluminum, it’s vital to purchase a stainless steel moka pot with better materials than the lower-quality (and priced) options that alloy using weaker metals for filler.

    These two options are fully stainless steel:

    Bialetti Kitty Stove Top 4-Cup Stainless Steel

    Cuisinox COF-B6 Bella 6-Cup Stainless Steel

    The Proper Way to Care For Your Moka Pots Long Term:
    Cleaning Your Moka Pot

    Here are a few ground rules for cleaning your moka pots, and the attached explanations for in-depth detail.

    – Never use soap or detergent

    If you feel you must, only use a pea-sized amount and do NOT scrub the oily coating off the inside. The chemicals in the soap are made for eating away at bacteria and build-up, and that’ll include your protective oily coating.

    We’d recommend against it.

    – Remember to properly air-dry, or use a soft cloth

    Rather than drying with abrasive material, take the soft-towel approach, or ideally the air-dry method.

    – When you first buy your moka pot, it’s a good idea to “break it in”

    You can do this by just boiling water inside, brewing a tea, or some coffee.

    It might be a good idea to brew it and leave it sitting there for a while, to collect and discard any dust or random chemicals that could’ve been left from its production.

    – Never store it pre-assembled

    You can easily take the pieces apart, as to avoid trapping moisture which could mold and corrode the surface, or the coating inside.

    – It’s possible for that oily coat inside to go rancid or get dirty and collect dust, if you leave it for a long time without using it!

    Periodically take it out to clean it, store it disassembled, and thoroughly wash with hot water before making the cup of coffee you will be drinking.

    Another interesting report is from users that say the more you use your moka pot properly, the better the coffee tastes. This could be from a combination of the oily coat protecting your beans’ flavor, and breaking your moka pot in.

    Also, we’ve got an entire dedicated article to the comparison between stainless steel and aluminum moka pots, for further reading.

    This is a must-read if you’re interested in the science behind our suggestions, and how to preserve your health and wellness long term.

    You really can preserve your wellness, while enjoying your ideal cups of coffee and bean flavorings, using your hands-down favorite preparation method: the classic moka pot.

    Enjoy your preparation this way, reminisce with your moka pot and your memories, and remember to pour us a cup!

Brian Mounts

Head blogger, editor, and owner of "Top Off My Coffee", a website that has been educating readers about coffee brewing techniques and equipment since 2012.

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