Is it safe to make coffee in an aluminum coffee maker?

by Mark B.

Aluminum Moka coffee maker.

Aluminum Moka coffee maker.


I have a fairly old coffee percolator, and I’m pretty sure the inside basket, that holds the coffee, is made from aluminum. I also have a stovetop moka coffee maker, and I think the whole thing is made from aluminum.

The point is, I read somewhere that it’s dangerous to cook or make hot drinks with aluminum. If I remember right, there was even a reference to a connection between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease.

Is this true or an urban myth? Is it OK to keep brewing with my trusty aluminum brewers?



Mark...excellent question.

Like you say, there has been plenty of talk over the years about aluminum being connected with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

But when you dig a little deeper you’ll find there is very little science backing those claims.

According to the Alzheimer’s Society, “Although initial studies linked aluminium toxicity with Alzheimer's disease, the link has not been proven despite continuing investigation. Importantly, there is no evidence to suggest that aluminium exposure increases your risk of dementia.”

In addition, it’s worth knowing a few facts about aluminum and our exposure to it.

First off, it is the third most common element on Earth. It’s the soil and in the water, and in the fruits and vegetables we eat every day, albeit in small quantities.

As for exposure in the home, it is found in buffered aspirin, some antacids, antiperspirants, and even in pickled and processed foods.

And yes, if you make coffee in an aluminum brewer, you’ll likely be exposed to a very small amount of the metal.

But let’s put this in perspective.

According to Cook’s Illustrated (January 2012), after lab tests were conducted on tomato sauce cooked in aluminum for two hours – tomato is very acidic - and then stored in the same pot for several hours, the sauce contained only .0024 milligrams of aluminum per cup.

That’s really not very much when you consider that a single antacid tablet may contain more than 200 milligrams.

If you are super-cautious, stick to stainless steel. But if you follow the science, it looks like there is pretty much no risk to brewing your coffee in aluminium.


Comments for Is it safe to make coffee in an aluminum coffee maker?

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Oct 13, 2015
Aluminum [ at your own risk ]
by: pistachio

Question: I've seen Asktreehugger articles on and I'm very glad that you're doing this. I have a question about aluminum. I know the health risk aluminum can create for the body if one takes in too much as well as it's link to Alzheimers disease. I know that aluminum cookware, cans, and that antiperspirant can pose health risks. My question is about aluminum "cookware". I've heard cooking acidic foods in aluminum cookware can cause the aluminum to leach out of the pan so I've avoided them. However, I've found a high quality cast aluminum manual juicer by Ra Chand and I'm wondering if this all aluminum juicer will pose a significant risk to my health. Do you think the risk to my health will be high if I use it daily to squeeze oranges and other citrus fruits-especially because of their acidity? Could they cause enough leaching of aluminum for it to be a health risk? Or does the aluminum have to be exposed for a relative time period to the citrus for leaching to occur. What would you recommend?

Response: Aluminum, a soft metal, is found nearly everywhere in the environment. Most exposures to aluminum occur through ingestion or eating and drinking, with daily intakes generally low, averaging between 30-50 mg. For the typical person, drinking water, medicines and other pharmaceuticals (such as antacids and antiperspirants) are the biggest contributors to aluminum exposures; however, aluminum cookware is also a potential source. As you note, aluminum exposures have raised some health concerns due to the effects of aluminum on the human nervous system and the much discussed (but inconclusive) linkages between aluminum exposures and Alzheimer's disease.
Aluminum exposures from cookware, of which more than half is made of aluminum, is not well studied, but is thought to be a relatively minor source of aluminum exposures. Exposures to aluminum through food can occur when aluminum leaches or otherwise dissolves from the cookware into the food. Leaching is most likely when the foods being cooked or stored are highly basic (like baking soda) or highly acidic (like tomato sauce, lemon juice, oranges, or vinegar). For example, tomato sauce has been shown to contain 3-6 mg aluminum (per 100 g serving) after cooking in aluminum pans, which translates into about one-tenth of the typical daily intake. This leaching of aluminum with acidic foods does not happen with aluminum cookware that is anodized, or electro-chemically processed to seal the aluminum in the cookware. Clemson University Extension’s Home and Garden Information Center tested different cookware types, and found anodized aluminum cookware to be safe. Regardless, it would probably be wise to store tomato sauce and other acidic foods in something other than an aluminum pot.

As for the juicer that you mention, I did a quick and non-exhaustive check of various websites, none of which said that the juicer is made of anodized aluminum. One site did say that it was made of acid-resistant aluminum and chrome, suggesting that the aluminum is somehow sealed and that leaching of aluminum will not occur during the juicing process. An easy way to check for this is to look at the juicer and see whether the aluminum becomes pitted or pock-marked after several uses. Since leaching takes time and juicing is a relatively quick process, this pitting would not occur immediately but would rather occur over time. As a result, you should probably continue to check your juicer for pitting over time.

Oct 12, 2015
coursework writing services uk
by: Anonymous

Its safe definitely i use aluminum coffee maker from Kenwood from last 4 years and nothing happen its just a myth that its not safe be happy and use you coffee maker

Jul 28, 2015
aluminum versus Anything else....
by: pistachio

I don't like Aluminum Cookware of ANY KIND - for any purpose.

The Alzheimer issue aside:

Aluminum is light yes,,, soft -----> very.

It has been said Aluminum does not rust.

Of course it rusts,, it oxidizes like any metal but we all usually think of 'rust' as a red orange color. This coloration of Rust is for Iron or ferrous metals... and Iron rusts Reddish Orange.

Aluminum rusts White. It will look like there is a white powdery dust on the surface.

Italians [ like myself ] all have a few of these stovetop espresso pots. However we are immune to Alzheimers because we are all born with it from the beginning,,, ha!,,kidding...

Don't put Anything Aluminum in the Dishwasher / it will discolor and look horrible. It will still work but it is not so pleasing.

Suggestion,,, Overall,, cooking,,, CAST IRON it the only way to go.
[ not to mention OLIVE OIL is the Only oil you will ever need to cook Anything ! ]

for COFFEE,,,, the most pleasing thing in my life,, the way to go is Stainless Steel... or Glass Perc....

Aluminum - put on the shelf as a conversation piece!

Jul 25, 2015
Yes, but...
by: Jeff

If I substituted "atomic radiation" for "aluminum" and argued that radon in your basement doesn't matter because you fly often and get annual medical x-rays... would you be convinced?

Total impact on specific bodily systems is what matters, so larger doses could actually make smaller doses more critical.

Nothing shows aluminum to be dangerous! But it's not a nutrient, and it does concentrate in bone, lung, and brain tissue. Limiting exposure to aluminum in medications and cooking isn't exactly crazy.

I just don't scrub the mokka pot. Over time it's built up a dark-colored coating of cooked-on oils and proteins. This is the lazy man's way to keep the coffee away from the soluble metal.

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