A stove-top espresso maker should be seasoned before it’s used for the first time. Like a brand new car, where you keep the revs low for the first 1,000 miles, a stove-top should be gently eased into its coffee making duties.
This is also the perfect deep cleaning method, if your Moka pot is looking a little worse for wear, the coffee has gone downhill or you just like to keep everything as new after a certain amount of uses.
By seasoning a stove-top, you flush out any residue from the manufacturing process and allow the washer, which prevents water escaping from between the upper and low part of the pot, to bed in and form a tight seal.
As well as when new, a Moka pot should be seasoned after any internal part has been replaced (such as the washer, filter plate or filter funnel) or when it hasn’t been used for a while. Seasoning may also rescue a stove-top which has been damaged after being left on the stove too long, flushing out nuances of burnt rubber (obviously, replace the damaged washer first).
They only require a quick rinse in between uses, with plain water. However, if you do want to give it more of a scrub and use washing up liquid or other products, try to season it again to clear the taste and residue.
Seasoning a stove-top Moka pot is simple:
1. Fill the bottom chamber with water and salt – Fill it about 2/3 full with water and add around 1 tsp salt
2. Place on stove – Let it boil up on a low/medium heat until all water is extracted
3. Empty the collection pot – Pour the water down the sink
4. Fill with clean water and coffee – Don’t add salt this time, but fill the filter with coffee and place in top chamber
5. Fit and heat – Secure both chambers tightly to avoid any spilling out, and place over heat again
6. Remove pot from heat – Once ready, remove the pot and get rid of coffee and residue
7. Repeat – Do steps 4-6 at least another two times, to ensure it is completely cleaned out
All of the above may seem unnecessary. You may want to skip it altogether and get stuck in to your coffee, but hang fire and use your instant just an extra time until it is done. Your tastebuds with thank you.