5 Best Stovetop Espresso Makers In 2022 – Reviews & Top-Picks

best stovetop espresso maker on countertop - cup of caffeine

Whether you call it a Stovetop espresso maker, Moka pot, Bialettis, percolator, or Italian coffee maker, the idea is the same: a three-chambered coffee brewing device that brews coffee by passing hot water upward, through coffee grounds and the result is a pure bliss in the form of a smooth and fresh coffee shot.

If you are looking to step up a level in your coffee adventure, then investing in the best stovetop espresso maker is going to be your number-one decision. With a stovetop espresso maker, you can brew espresso-style coffee without the need for a large, expensive, high-maintenance, top-notch machine.

Making Moka pot coffee can feel like a steep learning curve when you first get into it. But with practice, you will fall in love with the process and will look forward to this daily coffee ritual that fuels the rest of your day.

Read on to find the 5 best stovetop espresso makers on the market today.

Dispelling The Espresso Myth

Does The Moka Pot Make Espresso? Moka pot is referred to as “stovetop espresso maker”, but its final brew can’t technically be considered espresso. Why? To truly be an espresso, hot water is forced through coffee grounds at 8-10 bars of pressure. The Moka Pot only comes in at around 1-2 bars. This isn’t enough to actually be called true ‘espresso’. The Moka pot coffee is as close to strong espresso without owning an actual espresso machine, but, by definition, it can not be called true espresso. If you want to be able to make true espresso, you’ll have to get an actual espresso machine.

Then why do people still use Moka pots? You see, there’s something romantic about using a stovetop espresso maker to brew strong coffee. Many Moka pot fans love it because of the intense balance between sweetness and sourness it offers. The result is a strong, heavy-bodied, espresso-like coffee, still good for making faux-espresso drinks by adding hot water for the Americanos or steamed milk for the Lattes and Cappuccinos.

Best Stovetop Espresso Makers

The stovetop coffee maker is easy to operate, but there’s a slight learning curve. But the result you get in the form of a cup of joe made specially to cater to your taste and preferences makes it worthwhile. 

Below you find our top 5 picks for the best stovetop espresso maker today!

So without further ado, let’s get started!

1. Bialetti Express Moka Pot – Best Stovetop Espresso Maker

Specs: Brand: Bialetti | Material: Aluminum | Color: Aluminum Silver | Item Weight: 1.54 Pounds | Dimensions: 4*4*9 inches

Bialetti was the original maker of Moka Pot and is the number one player in the stovetop espresso maker market.

This Bialetti Moka Express is the original Moka Pot invented way back in 1933 by Italian engineer Alfoso Bialetti. Since then, it has been the most popular espresso maker in Italy and other European countries.

This Bialetti Stovetop Espresso Maker is manufactured from non-toxic, high-quality polished aluminum and features a unique octagonal shape that allows heat to distribute evenly, resulting in a strong Moka pot coffee in less than 5 minutes. 

After you’re done with the brewing stuff, don’t worry about cleaning. The clean-up is also very easy and straightforward; just unscrew, wash, and dry — you cannot expect simpler than that.

Its ergonomic, anti-scald handle also makes pouring easier than ever. The unit is small, lightweight, and compatible with both gas and electric stovetops.

It comes in many size options ranging from 1 cup to 16 cups, but the 6-cup version seems to be the most popular among users. You’ll also get a two-year limited warranty with this classic espresso maker.

The only notable downside is that you cannot use it on an induction stovetop and the coffee maker is also not dishwasher safe. Make sure to clean aluminum carefully and dry it immediately to avoid rusting. Don’t bother using detergents; just rinse and clean – simple as that.

Reasons To Buy

  • Easy to clean
  • Premium Octagonal design 
  • Affordable and Durable
  • Made from top-quality aluminum
  • Multiple size options available

Reasons To Avoid

  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Performance issues on electric stove
  • High heat can result in melting of handle

2. Bialetti Venus Induction Espresso Coffee Maker – Runner Up 

Specs: Brand: Bialetti | Material: Stainless Steel | Color: Stainless Steel | Item Weight: 1.3 Pounds | Dimensions: 4.72*3.54*6.1 inches

Our second recommendation on this list is also from Bialetti. Unlike the above Bialetti model, this one has a newer, seamless design and is made from stainless steel rather than aluminum. 

Despite its aesthetic looks, this Moka pot doesn’t lose its ability to brew rich-tasting coffee. The handle is insulated to resist high heat, so you don’t have to burn yourself while pouring piping hot coffee.

It’s also highly portable and an excellent investment if you want to take it outdoors. If you are placing the espresso maker on a campfire, then make sure to keep the handle away from the flame.

The entire unit is very easy to clean. A quick hand washes with tap water is enough. However, you can place it in a dishwasher too, but I wouldn’t recommend using a dishwasher for stainless steel.

My only nitpick is that the item isn’t available in multiple-size options. 

Reasons To Buy

  • Makes very delicious espresso
  • Black nylon heat-resistant handle
  • Stainless Steel build ensures longevity
  • Simple and easy to clean

Reasons To Avoid

  • Capacity for water and coffee is quite small
  • Not ideal for brewing dark roasts

3. Cuisinox Roma Stovetop Moka Espresso Maker – Best Value Pick

Specs: Brand: Bialetti | Material: Stainless Steel | Color: Stainless Steel | Item Weight: 1.3 Pounds | Dimensions: 4.72*3.54*6.1 inches

The Cuisinox Roma Stovetop Espresso Maker is great for couples, small kitchens, or those who simply don’t have storage space for a larger pot. 

The cost of this espresso maker might put a dent in your wallet, but here are a few reasons why it’s worth the price. First of all, none of the above models were compatible with induction stovetops, but that’s not the case with this Stovetop Espresso Maker. You can place it on all cooking surfaces. 

Secondly, there isn’t any cheap plastic work in this model. It’s fully stainless steel, and the gasket is made of silicone. With a market dominated by aluminum espresso makers, Cuisinox is an exception for those who need to avoid aluminum leaching into their cups.

The brewing time is also swift; you’ll get your brew ready in under 4-5 minutes. Various sizes are available with this stovetop espresso maker. If you choose to go with the largest one, you may decide to brew less if you want. This model comes with a whooping 25-Years limited warranty which shows the confidence manufacturers have in the product.

You might be thinking, why isn’t it the top pick then? Well, the reason behind this is that it’s an investment and costs far more than most people are willing to spend on a Moka pot.

Note: Keep in mind that the burner shouldn’t be bigger than this espresso maker.

Reasons To Buy

  • Brews exceptional coffee every morning
  • Compatible with all cooking tops
  • Spare gasket & reducer included
  • Durable and 25-Years warranty

Reasons To Avoid

  • Replacement gaskets are costly
  • Expensive for the stovetop espresso maker
  • Handle isn’t insulated therefore gets hot

4. DELONGHI EMK6 Electric Moka Espresso Maker – Also Great

Specs: Brand: De’Longhi | Material: Aluminum | Color: Stainless Steel | Item Weight: 2 Pounds | Dimensions: 10.4*8.1*5.5 inches

Not sure your Moka pot is compatible with your cooking top? Or if you don’t want to put yourself into the hard work that stovetop espresso makers require. This Electric Moka Espresso Maker is an option built just for you.

It has its own built-in electric heating element. The operation is effortless. Like any other Moka pot, fill the bottom chamber with water and the filter with grounded coffee. After a few minutes, the machine will deliver nice flavorful coffee into the transparent espresso chamber.

This transparent top allows you to observe the entire brewing process and is made with resistant plastic instead of aluminum. The transparent top is detachable too, which means you can bring the pot to the table and leave the base plugged in.

Thanks to the automatic shut-off feature, your coffee won’t burn or overflow. The automatic keep-warm function is also handy as it keeps the coffee piping hot for up to 30-minutes. With a simple push of a button, you’ll get this machine working. For added convenience, on/off indicator lights are also installed. 

The only flaw I discovered with this great stovetop espresso maker is that the rubber seals between the bottom and top compartments have leakage issues. Otherwise, it’s a great model that serves exceptional coffee in an uncomplicated way.

Reasons To Buy

  • Auto shut-off with level 2 safety system 
  • Cordless operation makes serving easy
  • It’s durable and easy to clean
  • Choose 3-6 cups of coffee with filter adapter

Reasons To Avoid

  • Not stainless steel
  • Not confirm about warranty
  • Leakage issues from bottom

Also, Read –> Best Coffee Mug Warmer

5. COLETTI Bozeman Campfire Coffee Percolator – Great for Camping

Specs: Brand: COLETTI | Material: Stainless Steel | Color: Polished Steel | Item Weight: 2 Pounds | Dimensions: 8*4.8*7.5 inches

Durability and affordability are the two great reasons to invest in the Coletti Bozeman Campfire Percolator. Its stainless steel construction makes this coffee percolator tough as a tank. Not only is it durable, but it also delivers rich-tasting coffee with robust flavors at a very reasonable price.

Speaking of design, it’s also very attractive and has a convenient pouring spout for spill-free pouring. The beautiful rosewood handle offers a burn-free grasping and classic look. Moreover, there’s a glass cover knob button present at the top so you can see your coffee bubbling up as it drips through the grounded beans.

The cleaning is also very convenient, as the whole unit is dishwasher safe. Shop with confidence as Coletti offers a lifetime replacement guarantee which is undoubtedly an insane thing. 

Furthermore, the item is available in various cup sizes, and replacement parts are also available.

Reasons To Buy

  • 100% dishwasher safe
  • Highly durable and perfect for outdoors
  • Features glass knob and rosewood handle
  • Lifetime Replacement Guarantee

Reasons To Avoid

  • Not many fancy features
  • Replacement knob doesn’t fit very well

How to Use a Stovetop Espresso Maker?

Making Moka pot coffee is really simple. With some practice, right grind size, and a careful eye, you can have your big-bodied, sweet, and viscous cup of Moka pot coffee in no time. All you need is water, Moka pot coffee beans, and a stovetop espresso maker.

  1. For a 6-cup Moka pot, grind about 25 grams of coffee beans, about as fine as table salt.
  2. Preheat the water and add this heated water to the line in the bottom chamber of the Moka pot. This preheating step helps prevent your coffee from tasting slightly “burnt”. 
  3. Place the filter basket —the coffee grounds receptacle— into the bottom chamber. Pour out the excess water that may enter above the basket
  4. Fill the filter with ground coffee, leveling the grounds but don’t tamp them down.
  5. Screw the Moka pot’s top chamber on tightly.
  6. Place the Moka pot on a burner over medium heat.
  7. When the coffee stream starts flowing into the top chamber, you’ll hear a gurgling sound. Immediately, remove the Moka pot from the stove and pour your coffee into cups or a larger vessel with caution.

How to Clean Your Stovetop Espresso Maker

To clean your Moka pot for its next use, follow these steps.

Once your Moka pot cools, unscrew the top chamber and remove the rubber gasket and filter plate that sit above the filter basket. Clean all of the parts thoroughly using warm water. To remove any leftover residual coffee oils, rinse it with any coffee-specific cleaner such as Cafiza (View On Amazon), to remove the residue. Wipe away stubborn grounds from the filter basket or seal using a paper towel. Make sure every Moka pot part is dry before putting it all back together.

Don’t scrub the Moka pot with any abrasive material, as it may accidentally remove the protective coating that keeps your coffee from taking on a metallic taste.

Buying Criteria: How To Choose The Best Stovetop Espresso Maker

In this brief buying guide, I’ll show you the main things you should consider when trying to pick the best stovetop espresso maker.

best stovetop espresso maker - cup of caffeine

Aluminum VS Stainless Steel

Most stovetop espresso makers are made with either aluminum or stainless steel. Both have their own merits & both make great cups of coffee. However, the differences lie elsewhere. Let’s take a look.

Aluminum Moka pots

Aluminum Moka pots are widely used because of these benefits:

  • It’s a good conductor — an aluminum Moka pot conducts the heat very well compared to stainless steel ones. So less heat energy and less time are required to brew your coffee.
  • It’s inexpensive — it’s more affordable than stainless steel ones.
  • It’s lightweight — there are no weight concerns with aluminum Moka pots.

The downsides of using aluminum Moka pots are:

  • It’s porous — super tiny holes are present in aluminum along its surface, which may impact coffee flavor if not properly cleaned. Tiny coffee particles and oils get stuck between them over time. That’s why it is advised not to use soaps or abrasive surfaces to clean a Moka pot, as it may scratch off tiny pieces of aluminum. The result will be a tainted metallic flavor.
  • It’s corrosive — aluminum corrodes easily if exposed to acid and oxygen (coffee and air). But here’s the catch: dry your Moka pot well with the towel.

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, aluminum’s the way to go. Because the aluminum Moka pots are often half the price of stainless steel ones.

Stainless Steel Moka pots

best stovetop espresso maker on countertop - cup of caffeine

The bright sides of using stainless steel are:

  • It’s non-corrosive — stainless steel doesn’t rust due to the formation of a very thin oxide layer on the steel’s surface. If taken good care of, stainless steel will last a lifetime.
  • It’s durable — stainless steel is one of the most durable metals, so it can withstand weight, hot and cold temperatures, as well as weather extremes.
  • It’s easy to clean — Stainless steel brewers are a breeze to clean. Thanks to its chrome property, you can wash and wipe the coffee gunk off the chambers with ease, unlike aluminum ones. You can use a mild detergent to clean the stainless steel Moka pots and a liquid chrome polish along the grain to make it shine.
  • It reduces the flavor impact — Stainless steel Moka pots will not affect the color, taste, and flavor of coffee, as it is less reactive to food.

If I were you, I’d go with a stainless steel Moka pot to not have to worry about its durability. It is a bit pricier than the aluminum one, but it’s really worth its higher price tag as it can last not just a couple of decades but your entire life.

Manual VS Electric

When it comes to Moka pot choices, there are only two varieties: manual and electric.  

Manual Moka pots tend to be the more popular ones. Using the manual Moka pot to brew your coffee is a bit of a learning curve, but it isn’t that difficult either. The rich, flavorful coffee you get makes it worthwhile. To master it, you need to control two elements: the right grind size and the right heat level

Manual Moka pots don’t have any built-in alert feature to let you know how long to leave the pot on the stovetop and when it’s done. Make sure not to walk away from the pot before your coffee is finished brewing. As soon as your coffee is done, immediately remove the Moka pot from the stovetop to avoid overcooking in the residual heat. Otherwise, it may result in a burnt, unpleasant coffee. 

Thanks to science, Moka pot has also gone through a lot of technological advancements. Electric Moka pot will solve all of your morning troubles. One of the perks of using the electric Moka pot is that it’s very easy to operate; even a child can use it efficiently. Some of them even have timers that you can set the night before. A pretty handy feature, if you ask me. 

Can you barely get your feet on the ground when you wake up? If you’re not a morning person and don’t want to spill hot coffee all over the kitchen after you wake up, then go for an electric Moka pot. 

To Tamp or Not To Tamp

The most common pitfall when making Moka pot coffee is tamping the grounds too forcefully. When you put the grounds in the filter basket, make sure the coffee is loosely packed so water can pass through the coffee.

If you tamp the grounds, the water flow will slow down, resulting in over-extracting, yielding bitter hits. Just fill it up below the pressure relief valve. While it may be important in an espresso machine, you might be tempted to do so in the Moka pot too, but don’t tamp or pack the grounds.

Final Verdict

cappuccino vs latte - the differences explained - cup of caffeine

There you have it! The best stovetop espresso makers on the market today! With the help of this article, you’re ready to pick out the best stovetop coffee maker and brew your Moka pot coffee, leaving you in good spirits for the rest of the day. 

Our best pick is Bialetti Express Moka Pot, built to last and priced to compete. For those looking for a portable coffee maker for their outdoor adventures, this COLETTI Bozeman Campfire Percolator is worth a try.

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