Moka pots are pretty simple brewers but do consist of several parts. The first time it might be a bit confusing how everything goes together but after a two times it’s easy. Below you can find which parts a moka pot consists of and how to put them together the right way.
A moka pot consists of 5 parts; The boiler, filter basket, filter lid, silicone gasket and collector. Assemble the pot by first putting the filter lid in the collector and fixing it in place with the silicone gasket. Then fill the boiler with water and the filter with grounds and screw the top on.
To find out how to do this in detail, keep reading below. You’ll also find which parts can wear out and how to replace them.
Parts Of a Moka Pot
Moka pots have a few parts but in the end they’re pretty simple because it’s quite obvious how they should go together. There isn’t much room for mistakes because every part only really fits in one place except for one. However, before we get to how assemble a moka pot, let’s take a look at which parts it consists of. From bottom to top;
- Boiler: The bottom part where the water goes
- Filter basket: This part holds the coffee grounds and sits in the boiler.
- Gasket: The silicone ring sits between the filter basket and filter ring to seal in the pressure and liquid.
- Filter lid: The filter lid goes on top of the basket/grounds to make sure the grounds don’t get into the coffee. It sits on the bottom of the collector and is held in place by the gasket.
- Collector: The top part where the coffee collects. There is a tower in the middle where the coffee flows out. The lid and handle are permanently attached to this.
Those are the separate parts. The collector (top part) of the pot still has a few other parts that are part of it but you can’t really take them off because they’re one part. The tower, handle, knob and lid are all part of the collector. You could take off the knob and handle but it’s unlikely you ever will.
In the boiler there is also a safety valve. Just like the knob and handle, you’ll likely never take it out of the boiler. The valve can break or wear out over time and in most cases can be replaced but they should work properly for years before that is necessary.
The silicone gasket is what makes sure the two main parts seal together and the pressure/liquid goes through the bed of coffee so you get the brew you crave. All the other parts of a moka pot is made from aluminum or stainless steel and don’t wear out.
So now we know which parts we have to put together, let’s take a look at how to do it.
Moka Pot Assembly
The best way to assemble your moka pot is to make two parts you can easily screw together.
Part 1: Boiler and filter basket: Simply put the boiler the right up and drop in the basket. If you’re making coffee fill the boiler with water first of course.
Filling the filter basket before dropping it into the boiler will help prevent coffee residue from getting into the screw threads and potentially damaging them. Aluminum is quite soft and getting things in the threads can damage them.
Part 2: Collector, filter lid and gasket: The second part of the pot consists of the rest of the parts. From top to bottom it’s; Collector, filter lid and gasket. To build it, hold the collector upside down and drop in the filter lid. Now put in the gasket to keep the lid locked into the collector. This way it seals properly and the filter lid doesn’t move around when screwing the top onto the bottom part.
Assembly: Now we have two parts. I think you can see where this is going but let’s follow through to the end.
Put the lower part with water and grounds on the counter top. Hold it in place (use a cloth or glove if you used hot water) and screw part 2 onto it.
Grip the top part by wedging your hand against the side of the pouring spout and the mounting point of the handle to get a better grip. Screw it onto the lower part so it’s tight and sealed properly. This will take a little strength but don’t go full hulk on it. The screw threads are made of aluminum which is a relatively soft metal so it’s possible to damage them by tightening them too hard.
Moka pots can last for a very long time with proper maintenance. Sure they might start looking a little rough especially if you use them on a gas stove. However, even if they look bad on the outside, they still brew good coffee. And usually it’s pretty easy to restore them if you want to freshen up the looks a little.
There isn’t much that can wear on a moka pot which makes it pretty durable. The parts that can wear out are relatively easily replaceable.
Here’s what can wear out on a moka pot;
- Safety valve
Let’s take a closer look at what the problems are with these parts and what you can do.
There is a silicone gasket that seals the upper and lower part of the pot together. It sits between the filter basket and the filter lid. This gasket makes sure the water moves through the coffee into the collector and doesn’t leak out the seams.
Where most other parts of a moka pot are made from aluminum (usually), the gasket is silicone. And with time and many heat cycles, the silicone degrades and doesn’t seal properly anymore. This can cause the coffee to leak out from between the screw threads. That means it ends up on your stove and not in your cup.
Not having a proper seal also means you have a lower pressure than with a good gasket which can change the taste of the coffee that does end up in your cup.
Luckily it’s pretty easy to replace this silicone ring. There are plenty of replacements available. You do have to get the right size otherwise it doesn’t fit properly. There are plenty of replacement gaskets available online or at your dealer.
This is one of the biggest reasons to go for a more expensive Bialetti moka pot over a cheap brand less one. Bialetti has all the replacement parts readily available and you can be sure they fit. With the cheaper ones the replacement parts can vary in size and fitment a bit more so it’s a bit of a question mark if the part you buy will actually fit. Most moka pots are based on the Bialetti ones so parts have a good chance of fitting but you can never be sure.
The other part that sometimes wears out is the safety valve. Usually if the valve is stuck, it’s just a matter of cleaning and descaling it properly. Residue gets stuck in the valve preventing it from moving. However, if cleaning doesn’t work, it can just be worn out.
A safety valve has a tiny spring and rubber O-ring. Both of those parts can wear over time. this will usually result in a leaking safety valve, preventing the pot from building enough pressure.
Sadly, there aren’t replacement valves available for most moka pots. There are valves for the older style Bialetti pots but not the new ones. However, if your moka pot is relatively new the valve shouldn’t be failing yet and you should check if it’s still within the warranty period.
The handle and knob on the lid aren’t really wear parts but the could break. The knob can become loose. In most cases that knob is just tightened with a screw. In most cases just tightening the screw will fix a loose knob.
The handle is a bit more prone to breaking. Especially if you screw and unscrew the collector by holding the handle. That’s the biggest reason for this handle breaking. If the plastic part of the handle breaks and you have a Bialetti pot, there are replacement parts available.
If the metal part mount is broken, you’re out of luck. You can still use the moka pot without the handle but of course you’ll have to hold it by a hot metal part so you’ll have to use a glove or cloth to pour out your coffee.
Another part that isn’t really a wear part but can be replaced is the filter basket and lid. These parts are made of pretty thin aluminum so can be damaged pretty easily. Especially the basket can sometimes be damaged. It’s not uncommon to empty the spent grounds by banging the basket on the side of the sink. However, if you do that too often you can dent or deform the basket which has as a result that the basket doesn’t fit or seal properly anymore.
If that’s the case, replacing the basket is the best option. This can happen to the lid as well but is less common. Both parts are easily available online.
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.