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Videos like this one show a smooth, viscous flow of coffee from the bottom of a moka pot into the top. Moreover, I've read that you should cut off the heat as soon as you start to hear a gurgling sound, lest the coffee be bitter. However, I can't reconcile either of these with the behavior of my moka pot:

  1. The pot starts to sputter and gurgle as soon as the coffee starts to come up: there is never a smooth flow.
  2. Thus, if I were to cut the heat at that point, there would only be a tiny amount of coffee in the pot.

I assume I'm doing something wrong. Here's my current procedure:

  1. Hot water up to the steam release valve.
  2. Bustelo grounds in the filter basket, leveled but not tamped. (Nope, not freshly ground.)
  3. Low flame.
  4. Turn off flame when gurgling becomes less steady.

What, if anything, should I be doing differently?

  • How hot of water are you putting in initially? – Dando18 Apr 24 at 13:18
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I make coffee with a moka every morning, and this is the procedure that works for me:

  1. Use cold water: it will take a bit longer to boil, but the amount of steam in the chamber will be higher, thus you'll have higher pressure later on.

  2. Water level must be at the safety valve, as others pointed out.

  3. Coffee must fill the funnel without tamping. It can be a little higher than the funnel edge (a few mm) so that it gets a bit tamped when you screw the upper part. This is valid for a small-medium moka (up to 6 cups). On larger ones the coffee must not fill the funnel over 2/3 of it.

  4. Low flame usually gives better result, but if I'm in a hurry I use a high flame...no significant difference.

A trick that usually works when your moka starts sputtering is to cool down the lower chamber under the tap until you don't feel any boiling on; then put it again on the fire with a very low flame.

If you're experiencing this problem regularly, try changing the gasket and the filter on the bottom of the upper part. This should be done at least every year.

If your moka is still not working as expected, consider to change it. There is a chance that lower and upper part cannot be screwed tightly because of a weared-out or malformed thread.

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I face this sometimes, and based on my observation, it seems to depend on how tight i fix the upper and lower cambers of the moka pot. When it is looser than "perfect" or tighter than "perfect" it throws tantrums. Vary this and see if you get better results.

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Do not tamp the ground. The extra pressure this will cause could be dangerous.

Ensure you are doing the following:

  1. Fill pot to just below the safety valve with water freshly boiled in a kettle
  2. Place funnel into lower chamber
  3. Fill funnel with coffee. You can gently shake funnel or even it out with a spoon (do not tamp with the spoon) to ensure the funnel is full. It should make contact with the filter from the upper chaber
  4. Using an over mit or towel (because it will be hot) hold the bottom chamber and screw on the upper tightly

If this does not work, it could mean that the gasket between the upper and lower chamber is malfunctioning.

When you open up the pot after use, there should be an espresso puck that is flat against where the upper chambers filter would have been.

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