How To Know When Your Moka Pot Is Finished Making Coffee

For those who are new to using Moka Pots there can be a bit of a learning curve and a lot of questions.

Unless you get an electric version, your pot isn’t going to contain a built-in alert of any kind that lets you know when it’s done and it’s certainly not going to shut off the heat all by itself either.

Moka Pots aren’t known to whistle like you’d expect from a tea kettle either. As a result, it’s important to learn how to tell when your Moka Pot is finished brewing and it’s very important to not walk away from the pot before it’s finished.

Otherwise, it can result in burnt, unpleasant coffee and a damaged brewer!

Luckily, we’re going to provide some key information on Moka Pot brewing as well as how to tell when the brewing is done.

Continue on, and you’ll learn just what to look for!

What Is A Moka Pot?

A Moka Pot is a device that allows you to make rich, flavorful coffee that is just perfect for espresso.

Some find that they are ideal tools for making an espresso that is truly authentic.

Typically, Moka Pots are used on the stove and they simmer hot water through your grounds to create a delicious brew.

While there can be a bit of a learning curve, they are largely very easy to use.

What Types Are There?

Electric Vs Stovetop

There are many varieties of Moka Pot out there.

One of the first choices you’ll need to make is between an electric model and a stovetop one.

While there are certainly benefits to both, stovetop options tend to be more popular.

Both can be easy to travel with, but you’ll need electricity for an electric model.

If you don’t already have a Moka Pot, then it can be a good idea to compare the two thoroughly.

That way, you can get the style of Moka Pot that will work best for you.

Aluminum Vs Stainless Steel

Another option to choose from is whether you want a Moka Pot that is made from stainless steel or aluminum.

Most Moka Pots use aluminum because it’s easy to shape, relatively durable, less expensive and some may find that they heat more evenly.

However, there are also many who prefer stainless steel options.

These tend to be even more durable, they impact the flavor of the coffee less over time and they tend to be resistant to rust.

That said, it’s important to keep in mind that stainless steel options can be more expensive.


Some can also have trouble with the porous design of aluminum Moka Pots.

Essentially, what the means is that the metal contains little holes, which bits of coffee can get stuck in.

Over time, this can become a problem.

Meanwhile, stainless steel Moka pots may cost more, but they don’t include this porous quality.

They’re also likely to last a lot longer before you need to replace them.

However, some feel that stainless steel Moka Pots may not always heat as evenly.

Consequently, you’ll want to compare the two carefully in order to make the best decision for your needs.

How Does It Work?

Getting Started

When you’re beginning to use a Moka Pot, you’ll want to make sure you have everything you need.

Most obviously, this includes having your Moka Pot, coffee and water.

However, you’ll also want to consider other ingredients you’ll need.

This can really depend on the type of espresso you want to make, as they can include some different ingredients.

You may need things like milk, a frother and kettle, syrups or other flavorings to ensure you get the results you want.

Once you have everything you need for your espresso, you can get the pot brewing!

The Process

Overall, there can be a learning curve to the process but it isn’t insanely difficult.

To start, measure out the amount of coffee you want. Make sure to grind the beans if you’re using fresh ones.

Then, heat up your water in a kettle.

This should be done to the correct temperature, so you don’t risk scalding your beans.

A kettle with a built-in thermometer can be great for this!

After that, add the grounds to the filter basket and insert it into the lowest section.

Make sure the top is attached securely, then set the device to a medium-level heat.

The Grinds

Considering the grinds you use in a Moka Pot is incredibly important.

Because these devices are often used for espresso, it’s common to use fine grounds with them.

That allows the device to extract what it needs more easily and quickly.

It will also give you a richer, stronger brew.

Aside from that, it’s also a good idea to use a darker roast.

The extraction process is often quick and powerful, allowing you to get plenty of energy boosting ability from a dark roast.

It’s also able to provide more flavor, which is typically what espresso-lovers are looking for.


Selecting the temperature to use for your Moka Pot can be a tricky thing.

To begin with, the ideal extraction is important.

Generally, using too much heat may be quicker, but the extraction may not be as great and you run the risk of scalding the grounds.

On the other hand, most people don’t want to wait for their Moka Pot to take 10 minutes or more to brew.

It’s not like a Keurig or Drip-Style coffee maker which you can leave and return to when you’re ready.

You will need to watch to see when the brewing is done.

Consequently, most people seek a medium to medium low heat to compromise between wait time and efficiency.

How To Tell When Your Moka Pot Is Done

how to tell when a moka pot is finishedYou can tell when a moka pot has finished brewing coffee by listening to the sound that it makes. Heated water begins to boil and the steam rises up through the grounds turning into coffee. It then spills out into the upper chamber until a sputtering and gurgling sound is emitted signaling that the coffee has finished brewing.

To keep it simple, you should be able to tell when your Moka Pot is done by simply listening to it.

You can also rely on the smell because you won’t actually smell coffee until nearly the end of the brewing process. Using a combination of the two will give you the best idea of when it’s safe to turn off the heat.

When the brewing is completed, you’ll get a strong smell of coffee from the device.

In addition, you’ll be able to hear sounds of gurgling from the Moka Pot.

How Long Does a Moka Pot Take To Make Coffee?

How Long Does a Moka Pot Take To Make CoffeeSmall moka pots can brew coffee in 2-3 minutes when set to high heat. Larger pots will take longer but they can still be finished in 3-4 minutes on high. It’s better however to brew stovetop espresso slower, on medium to low heat. Your coffee will taste better this way but the brew time will extend out to between 5 and 10 minutes.

Depending on the heat you’ve set it at, this can take between two and fifteen minutes.

Another helpful aspect is to watch the Moka Pot, and check on the coffee inside when you can.

As the pressure builds within the pot and pushes your brew through the chambers, some may begin to ooze from the top.

This can add to the bubbling noise that the Moka Pot makes, but it can also sometimes be seen.

If you notice that the coffee seems to explode out, then you’ll want to turn down your heat.

This can help you to have more delicious espresso as well as less of a mess on your stove and Moka Pot.


There can be a bit of a learning curve to using a Moka Pot, but most find that once they get the hang of it, it’s a very simple process.

Using the right ingredients and the correct level of heat is ideal for brewing a perfect cup.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that you will have to pay attention to the pot while it brews.

When it’s close to being finished, watch and listen for signs of bubbling.

You’ll also be able to smell the coffee.

In no time at all you’re sure to be a Moka Pot professional in your own home!

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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