Moka Pot Coffee To Water Ratio + How To Measure


A big part of brewing coffee with any method is getting the right ratio of coffee grounds to water for that specific method. So what is the correct ratio of coffee to water for a moka pot and how can you get that right ratio in your moka pot? Find out here.

The correct ratio of coffee grounds to water (in grams) is 1:7 to 1:8. In other words; 1 gram of coffee grounds for every 7-8 grams of water. In a three cup moka pot this means you need 16.25 to 18.6 grams of coffee for 130 grams of water. This is the ratio you get by filling a moka pot as intended.

To get exactly the correct ratio, a simple coffee scale like this one on Amazon is a massive help and will make your coffee much more consistent.

Want to know how to get to the right ratio and what is right for your moka pot? Keep reading.


Coffee Grounds Ratio For Moka Pot

The right ratio of coffee grounds to water for a moka pot is 1:7 to 1:8. This produces a strong, dark cup of coffee that’s close to espresso provided the grind size is correct (medium-fine).

That mean 1 gram of coffee grounds for 7 to 8 grams of water. If you want to be very precise, you can measure the water in grams since the density can slightly change by temperature and elevation. However, for practical purposes you can use milliliters since that comes close enough in most cases.  If you want to measure your water in grams, you can do this by putting a container on a scale and pour in water until you add the weight of water you need.

Of course every moka pot has a different size. That means you need different amounts of grounds and water to brew good coffee. However, from this ratio it should be pretty easy to figure out how much coffee you need.

When you buy a coffee pot, it will likely tell you what its capacity is. However, usually it will show a capacity in cups and not the capacity in milliliters. And while grams and milliliters of water aren’t exactly the same, it’s pretty close.  If you don’t know how much water goes in your moka pot, you can check out this post, try to find the size on the website of the brand of your moka pot or just fill up your moka pot and then measure how much water you put in by pouring it in some measuring vessel.

A coffee scale might seem geeky to pull out for just a cup of coffee but it will help you massively to get the ratio exactly right and make the same cup of coffee every day.


Getting the right ratio

You can just fill up the filter basket to the top and fill the water up to just below the safety valve and you’ll probably be pretty close. Because that’s how they are designed. By filling up the filter basket and boiler to the recommended height, you will get really close to a 1:7 ratio. Of course without measuring you don’t know for sure but in most situations the couple of percentage points, you’re off don’t really matter.

So if you want to use a moka pot for its designed capacity, there is no need to measure weights. You can still do it if you want of course. By weighing you’ll be more consistent and you’ll know what to change if you don’t like the resulting coffee. However, most people just want easy and here’s how you can get the best cup without scales.

A good way to know if you’re getting the right ratio is by measuring once;

  • Fill up the boiler up to just (2-4mm) below the safety valve.
  • Put a glass or other container on your scale. Check how heavy the glass is.
  • Pour the water from the boiler into the container.
  • See how many grams of water you poured into the glas.
  • Fill the filter basket with coffee to the rim without tamping
  • Pour the filter contents onto the scale. Check how many grams of grounds you’ve put in the filter.
  • Now divide the grams of water by the grams of coffee grounds to calculate which ratio you have.
  • For example; You’ve got 130 grams of water and 18 grams of coffee. 130/18=7.22.
  • So now you can see you have a ratio of 1:7.22. That’s in the range of 1:7 to 1:8 which is perfect.
  • If you notice your ratio is outside of that range, you can change it by using more or less water.

If you measure this once and you fill up your moka pot the same way every time, you know you’ve got the right ratio without measuring. And most moka pots are designed to give you a ratio in this range by just filling them up.

However, just filling it up to the top only works for using the moka pot for its design capacity. If you fill up a 6 cup moka pot as described above, you’ll get 6 cups worth of brew. Maybe you don’t want 6 cups to start your morning and 3 is enough. In that case it’s much more difficult to get the right ratio and you should measure to get it right.

While it’s better to use a smaller moka pot if you want to make less coffee, you can get away with making a little less coffee in a larger moka pot. I wouldn’t go below about 60% of its intended capacity though. Because the filter basket gets a bigger diameter the bigger capacity the pot is, you will spread the coffee grounds too thin when using less coffee grounds. That means you’ll build up less pressure in the boiler and the steam has to travel less distance through the grounds. This will result in less strong coffee even with the proper ratio.

While for max capacity just filling it up will get you reasonably close to a good ratio, when using part capacity, it’s a lot harder to eyeball.

Here’s a little chart that shows you how much coffee grounds you need for a certain amount of water to make it easy for you. Keep in mind that you want to stay above about 60% of the normal capacity of your moka pot.

CupsMilliliterCoffee Grounds (Grams 1:7)Coffee grounds (Grams 1:8)
1608.67.5
29012.811.25
313018.516.25
419027.123.75
627038.633.75
94206052.5
1267095.783.75
18810115.7101.25

Adjusting the ratio

It’s possible that for a certain roast/grind or type of coffee you want to adjust the ratio a little bit. Some coffees are slightly heavier than others for the same amount of volume. Most likely the differences aren’t big enough to make any material impact though. It’s more likely the difference in taste comes from a different bean and roast than from the slightly different ratio.

Of course you can adjust the ratio by adjusting the amount of coffee grounds, amount of water or both. Adjusting the amount of water is going to be the best option. This way you retain the same bed of coffee grounds in the filter which is needed to provide enough resistance so you can build pressure in the boiler.

Favorite Moka Pot Products

You don’t need many things to brew good coffee with a Moka pot. Here are the few things you need to make the best possible coffee.

  • Moka Pot: Just buy a high quality Moka pot from the get go. The cheaper ones can be messy when brewing. Bialetti is the original and still one of the best with it’s classic looks. They cost a bit more than the cheap ones but these can last for decades and the parts that wear out are easily available for the Bialetti Moka pots. The 3 cup size is good for a single person (Amazon)
  • Beans: Good coffee starts with good beans. You can’t make bad beans taste good. Espresso roast beans are good for a Moka pot and will get you closer to that typical espresso taste. Peet’s coffee does a great 100$ Arabica espresso roast. Give it a try, you can get it here on Amazon
  • Grinder: Using whole beans means you need to grind them at home. This improves the taste because the grounds are much fresher. A Hario Slim (Amazon) is a great starting point for the starting home barista. If you want a good hand grinder for a good price, check out the TimeMore C2 (Amazon)
  • Scales: To get consistent results, a set of accurate scales is essential. Check out this Apexstone scale (Amazon). I’ve been using it for more than a year and while it doesn’t look the sleekest, it’s cheap and just as accurate as more expensive coffee scales. It just reacts a little slower.

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