How to avoid grounds in my coffee while using a moka pot

Today I present another article on this iconic and traditional coffee maker in our culture; the Moka pot. For some time now, I have been reading some articles where an extra step is used to improve the preparation of the coffee, and many of you have asked me about this.

I had never tried this extra step before since I don’t use the Moka much daily, but I thought it would be interesting to try it and share my opinion.

Moka pot
Moka pot

Method to Improve the coffee with your moka pot

This extra step involves adding a paper filter to the Moka pot. But you may wonder, if the Moka pot already has a filter, why would we want to add a paper filter?

The Moka pot has a metal filter; as I have mentioned in other articles, there is a big difference between a metal filter and a paper filter. More than anything else, the difference is in the size of the holes in each filter.

Metallic filter of the Moka pot
Metallic filter of the Moka pot

Being the paper filter, the one that has these much smaller holes, so much so that we can hardly see them, it will filter much more, and the coffee will have less sediment and therefore less body. But we will obtain greater clarity and brightness in the flavors.

Paper filters for Aeropress
Paper filters for Aeropress

That is why we notice a great difference between the coffee produced by a French Press and that of a Chemex, for example.

And what happens with the Moka pot is that, as the metallic filter has larger holes, it allows a lot of sediment to pass through, which contributes to its characteristic body, but at the end, we see some ground in the cup.

We will then check what happens in the preparation if we add a paper filter, if the coffee grounds are eliminated and how the flavor and texture of the coffee change.

I first imagined that I would have to modify the grind since we are adding more resistance to the water flowing freely. I’m going to show you some tests I did.

Coffee brewing process

  1. First, we will prepare a coffee with the traditional procedure, which I have shown you in other articles, to be able to compare.
  2. For the second preparation, we will add the paper filter; I used one from Aeropress, which works very well for the size of my Moka pot (six cups). We will place it under the metallic filter and add a few drops of water to keep it there. The rest of the procedure is the same.
  3. Now we are going to put the coffee in small cups and we are going to test them. More than anything, I want us to see if we need to modify the grind for the coffee with the paper filter.
We place the paper filter next to the flat metallic filter
We place the paper filter next to the flat metallic filter

Differences between brewing coffee with a metallic filter and with a paper filter

In the step-by-step with the paper filter, the coffee did not get stuck, nor did it take a long time to come out; the flow was a little slower. When we taste the coffee, we will realize if the coffee is over-extracted or not, so we look for bitterness.

Coffee extraction in a Moka pot
Coffee extraction in a Moka pot

At first glance, it can be seen that the one with the metal filter has a little more oil on the surface and is darker, having a little more body. And the one with the paper filter looks a little clearer and more translucent.

Note: after allowing the temperature to drop, we can taste it well and taste the flavors better. Also, with a high temperature, you can end up burning your Moka pot.

Differences in taste between the coffee with a metallic filter and that of the paper filter

The difference is noticeable when tasting, especially in the texture, since the paper filter coffee feels very smooth and much cleaner. In contrast, the metal filter coffee has that sediment, making it more bitter.

The one with the metal filter feels heavier, and the chocolate notes are more noticeable, while the one with the paper filter has more clarity and brightness, so the acidity stands out quite a bit.

Both coffees share many similarities, such as the base flavors present in both, but the metal filter coffee feels super heavy and more chocolatey, sweeter; so I think this would be a very good combination for milk drinks like a Cappuccino or a Flat White.

Regarding the one with the paper filter, I don’t know if I would pair it with milk. It shows a lot of brightness and clarity, the flavors are super light. It has a lighter body and is smoother, so I wouldn’t add milk to it. I would drink it on its own, or as a last option, I would add a little water to make an Americano-type coffee.


After testing them, it seems to me that there is no need to modify the grind for brewing with a paper filter. It was seen in the flow that it came out a little slower, but it did not change the flavor so much; it does not seem to me that it is over-extracted.

I do not think the coffee with the metal filter lacks extraction. So it seems to me that with the same grind, they could be fine, but it is always better to test this with each coffee. I found this method very interesting to apply, so I invite you to try it.

The Aeropress filters are very easy to find everywhere. Still, suppose you cannot find them. In that case, you can also try other filters such as, for example, those of Melitta, V60, or any other of those you can find in all supermarkets; you have to cut them with the circumference of the filter of the Moka pot and try them.

Therefore, if you are interested in drinking a coffee with more clarity and brightness in the flavors and acidity that has a cleaner body, definitely try this method.

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Written by Pablo Barrantes Nevado
I am Pablo Barrantes, a coffee lover. I decided to start this website to solve all the doubts that arise every day when preparing our favorite drink: coffee. I am an industrial engineer by profession, but I have worked in coffee shops for many years, where I have learned all the secrets about coffee machines and coffee. My passion for coffee has led me to investigate and study beyond the obvious, and thanks to this, I can offer solutions and give news about coffee and coffee makers. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I research, document and write here.

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