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I used the Bialetti maybe 5x. It’s always bitter. No matter the coffee, temp, tamping etc. always bitter. And never good like my grandparents or mother made it. I noticed black oxidation. I tried to clean it up with BKF and it’s better. But still there. Could this be what is making the coffee bitter? If it is, then I’ll just buy a new pot. But I don’t want to buy a new one if it’s something I’m doing wrong!

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If your equipment is clean and your coffee is fresh, bitterness can be caused by two things:

  1. Dark roasts. With the Bialetti especially, most people tend to use "italian roast" coffee, which has been roasted into oblivion (i.e. beyond the second crack), making them taste burnt and bitter.
  2. Overextraction. When brewing with the bialetti, one uses boiling hot water which is in contact with the grounds for much longer than most brewing methods. The general rules for adjusting overextracted coffee apply: grind coarser, lower temperature (impossible with a Bialetti), reduce brewing time. The brewing time can be slightly reduced by preheating the Bialetti and using already boiling water when pouring it inside.

You may be interested in this video by James Hoffmann, explaining what one can do to get a palatable cup of coffee out of the Bialetti moka pot. It is the third video in a series about the moka pot in general, I definitely recommend checking it out if you're interested in coffee.

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