Are Aluminum Moka Pots Safe? Let’s Find Out!

By Evelina •  Updated: 05/13/22 •  9 min read

The Moka pot is a very popular coffee maker that can be found in many kitchens around the world. The aluminum pots are often used because they are lightweight and inexpensive, but this may not be the best option for those with health concerns about aluminum exposure.

In fact, some studies have shown possible links between high levels of aluminum consumption and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s Disease!

In this article, we’ll explore aluminum in general, as well as whether it’s safe to brew coffee with an Aluminum Moka Pot.

What is A Moka Pot?

Are Aluminum Moka Pots Safe

Moka pots are small coffee makers that use steam pressure to create a rich, flavorful cup of coffee. The first ones were designed by Alfonso Bialetti in 1933, and since then they have become popular around the world because of their unique design.

As you heat up the water in a Moka Pot, it gets pressurized inside and slowly fills the top part of the pot. When this chamber is full, steam pressure forces boiling water through coffee grounds held in a filter towards the top of the pot.

The Moka Pot can be made out of aluminum, or stainless steel. Aluminum is the most common choice because it’s lightweight and cheap. Stainless steel pots are more expensive and can conduct heat better, but they’re also heavier.

Read Also: Moka Pot Brewing Guide

Why is The Moka Pot So Popular?

aluminum stovetop espresso makers

The Moka Pot is the most popular by far among stovetop brewers. It is also sometimes called a “stovetop espresso pot” and it does make a kind of coffee that some people do indeed describe as “espresso-like.”

So why has it become so extremely popular, in recent years? After all, many people have been using various kinds of percolators for decades, even centuries, without it ever really catching on.

A Brief: Moka Pot History

But the Moka Pot went from zero units sold in Italy in 1982 to over 200 million units today! And considering that percolators are commonly used in Europe and elsewhere (and they’re still fairly popular there), we can see how truly impressive this sales figure actually is.

Why the recent popularity?

There are a number of reasons why the Moka Pot has recently become so popular. One is that it makes an especially smooth cup of coffee, with a rich flavor and a wonderful aroma.

This can certainly help to sell products! But if it’s the only reason, then we would expect Americans to have been using them for decades now.

In fact, the main factors that led to its current sky-high popularity appear to be:

It allows anyone to make “real” espresso — at home! In fact, many people consider their Moka Pot’s coffee brews as good as those made by inexpensive espresso machines selling at around $350-500 USD or more!

You can even use finely ground espresso beans or other coffee, so convenience is not compromised. This means that it’s possible to get the same kind of crema you’d find in an expensive professional espresso machine for around $25-50!

Read Also: How to Clean A Moka Pot

Safety Concerns About Aluminum Moka Pots

stainless steel moka pot

Due to their popularity, Aluminum Moka Pots have been the subject of some safety studies. People are concerned about aluminum intake because it’s a common neurotoxin that can potentially contribute to Alzheimer’s Disease and other health-related problems.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of Dementia and nearly 6.2 million Americans suffer from it in 2021. Researchers have found many correlations between Alzheimer’s disease and aluminum consumption. [1]

Aluminum is present in Moka pots because it’s the cheapest material that can conduct heat, and this may be part of a larger risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

Metal Fume Fever

Metal fume fever is a very serious condition that can lead to lasting health problems if you’re exposed to high levels of aluminum. The symptoms are flu-like, you will have a metallic taste in the mouth, fever, chills, and muscle aches. This condition usually only lasts for a few days but may recur if you’re exposed to high levels of aluminum again.

This can occur if you use Aluminum Moka pots that haven’t been properly cared for.

Shortness Of Breath

Being exposed to aluminum long-term may also cause shortness of breath. This is a sign that your body is having issues with aluminum, and it’s important to address this symptom if you notice it.

Anemia

Anemia is a condition that occurs when your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells. This can happen if you’re exposed to high levels of aluminum for a period of time.

Generally speaking, the less aluminum you consume, the better. It’s recommended to eat around 7-9 mg of aluminum per day, with no more than 15 mg/day except for people who are on drug administration. The aluminum used in kitchenware is generally safe unless the pots are worn out or damaged.

Frequently Asked Questions

stainless steel moka pot

Why is my Bialetti Coffee Bitter?

Sometimes, your Moka pot coffee can taste sour or bitter. This is because the oils that are naturally occurring in the ground coffee beans escape too quickly when the pot is heated.

The bitterness probably results from a number of different factors, but it’s most likely caused by a too-high temperature setting or too much water for the amount of coffee (over-extraction).

To avoid this, I would suggest brewing with your Moka pot using low to medium heat.

Is Aluminum or Stainless Steel Better for Coffee?

Aluminum is the most popular choice of metal for Moka Pots because of its low cost, but it’s also associated with some health risks. As such, stainless steel pots are sometimes preferred as they have less risk for contamination and can be cared for easier.

Is Bialetti Toxic?

No, the Bialetti Moka Pot is not toxic. Aluminum is actually an alloy of two types of metal; 6% magnesium and 94% aluminum. It also contains other metals, like silicon (around 1%) and trace amounts of iron (less than 2%).

Compared to stainless steel this may make the surface slightly more reactive, but the quantity of these elements is very small.

There are no toxic substances released at all. Bialetti does not recommend using any non-stick surfaces or dishwashing and they warn against using strong alkaline detergents that can cause scratching.

Are Aluminum Coffee Pots Bad for You?

There are many reasons why people want to know if the aluminum coffee maker is bad for you. Aluminum has been known to cause some health problems in certain cases, but scientific evidence does not support a claim that coffeepots made out of aluminum are bad for you.

Many people have a concern with aluminum coffeepots because of their link to Alzheimer’s disease. Recent research has shown that there is not enough evidence to prove that the use of aluminum in coffeepots poses any significant threat when it comes to getting Alzheimer’s disease.

There are some who suggest that certain compounds in coffee may promote the release of aluminum from pots, increasing exposure to a hazardous material; however, no scientific studies exist which directly link this with health issues.

It is important to keep in mind that excessive amounts of aluminum-containing products (such as antacids or deodorants) taken within a short period of time can result in health problems; however, if you are simply enjoying your daily cup of coffee in an aluminum coffeepot, you should not experience any health problems.

Are Old Moka Pots Safe?

There’s no easy answer to this question – it all depends on the particular Moka pot in question. Some older models may be made of materials that are now considered unsafe, while others may be perfectly fine. It really varies from pot to pot.

If you’re concerned about whether your Moka pot is safe, the best thing to do is to research its history and find out what materials it’s made of. You can also contact the manufacturer directly and ask them about the safety of their products. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether or not you feel comfortable using an older model Moka pot.

Read Also: Common Moka Pot Mistakes

Last Thoughts

The more we learn about the dangers of aluminum, the better. It’s important to be aware and educated so you can make an informed decision on what pots are best for brewing coffee for your family.

As our knowledge evolves, it may become necessary to rethink how often people use these types of pots in their kitchens.

For now, there is no clear answer as to whether or not they’re safe for frequent usage – but caution would seem prudent given all that has been discovered about this potentially harmful metal.

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Evelina

Evelina’s passion for coffee could never been hidden. Having worked as a barista, she learned the true value of the coffee bean and its secrets. As she continued to evolve as a barista, so did her knowledge, techniques on making different coffee blends and most importantly how to operate every kind of gear when it comes to coffee. Having a degree in biomedicine and being a barista, allows her to provide our community with in-depth knowledge surrounding the topics of coffee.