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Miles_R
Senior Member
Miles_R
Joined: 19 Nov 2011
Posts: 5
Location: Cambridge, Mass.
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Nov 19, 2011, 2:02pm
Subject: Cleaning Bialetti moka coffee maker
 

A few weeks ago, I bought a Bialetti Moka Express. I have been very happy with the quality of the coffee that I have made with it. However, I have been cleaning it with soap and water, which, according to something I recently read somewhere--I can't remember where, so I can't look up the statement--one is not supposed to do. I also see that the instruction booklet says, "We suggest to wash the coffeepot only with water." It seems to me that with repeated use the coffee maker would acquire a lot of stale odors and flavors if it were merely rinsed out and never properly washed. So can someone tell me (1) why is one only supposed to use water without soap, and (2) given that I have already been using soap and water to clean it, should I switch to using plain water, or have I already done some irreparable damage to the machine?

By the way, I found a thread on this topic from 2008, which was brief enough that I can quote its entire contents here (three posts; bold type added to first quotation):

El_Chato Said:

First post here.  Subject pretty much sums it up.  Just curious if certain products to be used to avoid "off" flavors.  I was told that not to wash it as the soap would impart the off flavor. Then I was told that the grounds/film could go rancid and impart off flavors. Anybody know the anwer, please chime in.  Thanks in advance

Posted November 20, 2008 link

pilgrim5 Said:

You will be much better off using products made for coffee machines like Urenex products you can google (search engine) them to find where to buy or get them from one of the sponsors on this sight.  Another good one is Joe Glow it comes in a big container and these products have no perfume added  to taint your coffee are great to eat a way coffee oils and rinse clean and easily a way so no after taste.

Posted November 23, 2008 link

bodum_fanatic Said:

Hot soapy water, and nothing abrasive (like scotch brites).

Posted November 24, 2008 link

In this exchange, it looks as if the only reason not to use soap is that you may leave soap in the coffee maker, a problem that is surely easy enough to avoid by rinsing thoroughly.
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leafygreen
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Nov 2011
Posts: 12
Location: Southern California
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Mokapot?
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso
Drip: Kalita
Posted Sat Nov 19, 2011, 2:36pm
Subject: Re: Cleaning Bialetti moka coffee maker
 

So...are you going to clean it with soap & water? :)

I'm about to get one myself, and I'm not sure either...
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CraigJS
Senior Member


Joined: 8 May 2011
Posts: 66
Location: Minnesota, USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza M plus
Drip: filter cone, FP, Moka
Posted Sat Nov 19, 2011, 5:45pm
Subject: Re: Cleaning Bialetti moka coffee maker
 

Read this, then go from there..

http://www.portanapoli.com/Eng/Gastronomy/moka-pot.html
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Miles_R
Senior Member
Miles_R
Joined: 19 Nov 2011
Posts: 5
Location: Cambridge, Mass.
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Nov 19, 2011, 5:55pm
Subject: Re: Cleaning Bialetti moka coffee maker
 

CraigJS Said:

Read this, then go from there..

http://www.portanapoli.com/Eng/Gastronomy/moka-pot.html

Posted November 19, 2011 link

Thanks for the reference. The crucial information is in the paragraphs just after the numbered instructions:

During use on the interior walls of the water container, filter and upper chamber is deposited a thin layer of greasy residue of coffee. This coating protects the coffee from the contact with the aluminum walls, which might otherwise give a metallic taste to the coffee. For this reason you should not use the dishwasher or soap to wash the moka pot, otherwise you could remove that layer of greasy residue.

Now I have never noted any metallic taste in the coffee that I have made. Further, I should expect that leaving a film of oily coffee residue in the pot after repeated use would impart to the brew a taste of rancid coffee. So it seems to me to be a matter of individual taste.
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jpender
Senior Member
jpender
Joined: 11 Jul 2011
Posts: 694
Location: California
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: OE LIDO
Vac Pot: S/S Moka Pot
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Mon Nov 21, 2011, 11:02am
Subject: Re: Cleaning Bialetti moka coffee maker
 

I have a moka pot (not Bialetti) that is made from stainless steel. I don't know what the official answer is but I clean mine with dish soap and a scotch brite. Anything gentler just doesn't cut it. I don't clean it after every use. What I notice is that the first cup of coffee after a cleaning tastes metallic, then it's fine after that. Sometimes I'll just run it with water once after cleaning which seems to help.

The idea of a using permanently brown-stained rancid coffee pot seems riciculous to me.
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SteveRhinehart
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SteveRhinehart
Joined: 27 Dec 2009
Posts: 855
Location: Syracuse, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: 1970s La Pavoni Europiccola
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Hario Skerton
Vac Pot: Yama Tabletop 3-cup
Drip: Chemex, CCD, Kalita Wave,...
Roaster: Flavorwave/Stir Crazy
Posted Mon Nov 21, 2011, 12:54pm
Subject: Re: Cleaning Bialetti moka coffee maker
 

With the aluminum pots, the idea is to keep the pot "seasoned" as you would a cast iron skillet. Supposedly it helps to prevent corrosion over time, as well as off-tastes. Granted, every so often you might want to start anew and scrub out the old coating if it gets nasty, but I've never had any bad experiences having only used water and a cloth to clean my moka pot. SS might be a different story, but I've never seen seasoning suggested for SS anyway. Just something to think about.
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CraigJS
Senior Member


Joined: 8 May 2011
Posts: 66
Location: Minnesota, USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza M plus
Drip: filter cone, FP, Moka
Posted Mon Nov 21, 2011, 8:21pm
Subject: Re: Cleaning Bialetti moka coffee maker
 

SteveRhinehart Said:

With the aluminum pots, the idea is to keep the pot "seasoned" as you would a cast iron skillet. Supposedly it helps to prevent corrosion over time, as well as off-tastes. Granted, every so often you might want to start anew and scrub out the old coating if it gets nasty, but I've never had any bad experiences having only used water and a cloth to clean my moka pot. SS might be a different story, but I've never seen seasoning suggested for SS anyway. Just something to think about.

Posted November 21, 2011 link

Exactly what I do Steve. Done shortly after making my moka..
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jpender
Senior Member
jpender
Joined: 11 Jul 2011
Posts: 694
Location: California
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: OE LIDO
Vac Pot: S/S Moka Pot
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Mon Nov 21, 2011, 8:48pm
Subject: Re: Cleaning Bialetti moka coffee maker
 

I'm not sure the analogy is apt, but perhaps you are right that keeping a thin layer of rancid oily gunk on a moka pot is desirable. Personally I find it disconcerting that I cannot clean my moka pot completely as some parts are unreachable (e.g. the area just under the basket). Although I used a moka pot daily for many years I have come to the conclusion that it is an inferior method of brewing coffee, for more than one reason. But it is still one that I employ under certain circumstances, while accepting its inherant limitations.

I'm taking it on a road trip soon -- with it freshly scrubbed and shining brightly.
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CoffeeRoastersClub
Senior Member
CoffeeRoastersClub
Joined: 6 Jul 2005
Posts: 4,454
Location: Connecticut
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vintage La Pavoni Lever...
Grinder: Breville Smartgrind,...
Vac Pot: Vintage Silex, Nicro...
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Posted Mon Nov 21, 2011, 11:00pm
Subject: Re: Cleaning Bialetti moka coffee maker
 

When you are done with your moka pot just fill up the bottom about 1/2 way with clean water, put the strainer in and give it a good shake.  Dump out water, and then just rinse the bottom again with water, including the strainer.  Rinse out the top with water.  Then just keep the parts apart and let air dry.  Keep apart till next use and the funk won't grow in the bottom.

That is the proper way to keep your moka pot clean.  Scrubbing in any way or using detergent or soap to clean it just de-seasons the pot.  And keeping it put together when not in use only allows that funk to grow inside.

Len

 
"Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water." ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674

www.CoffeeRoastersClub.com     www.javaPRO-CRC.com     www.KaffeeFrisch.com
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__________
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Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 883
Location: .
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Awaiting spare parts ;o(
Grinder: None
Vac Pot: None
Drip: None
Roaster: None
Posted Tue Nov 22, 2011, 3:27am
Subject: Re: Cleaning Bialetti moka coffee maker
 

Have both Stainless steel and Aluminium Moka pots.

Stainless steel ones - in the dishwasher.  Have never had any problem or taint. (Assumes you have an efficient dishwasher that rinses and dries properly.)

Aluminium ones - Dishwasher detergent isn't too kind to aluminium, so they get washed by hand.  Nylon brush and dishwashing detergent.  Well rinsed in hot water and left unassembled to dry completely.  Never any problem or taint.

Rancid coffee oil sounds very unappetizing to me, but some may like the taste I guess.
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