Best Stovetop Espresso Maker in 2018

The Stovetop Espresso Maker (also commonly known as the moka pot) is a wondering little machine that produces an excellent and strong cup of coffee with little effort. Here’s our roundup of the best stovetop espresso makers you definitely need to checkout before buying.

 ProductPrice
1Mr. Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker Check Price
2Cuisinox Roma’s Stovetop Espresso Maker Check Price
3Bialetti Elegance Venus Induction Check Price
4Rapid Brew Stovetop Coffee Percolator Check Price
5Alessi Pulcina Stovetop Espresso Coffee Maker Check Price

How Stovetop Espresso Machine works?

A typical Stovetop Espresso maker consists of three chambers. Starting from the bottom chamber for water, follow by one layer for coffee grounds and the final product on top.

When place on a stove, the water boils to generates steam which then builds up pressure in the bottom chamber. This pressure pushes steam and water up that bottom chamber, through the coffee grounds and extracts the flavour of the coffee ground into the top layer to produce that delicious cup of espresso coffee.

All these within 5 mins.


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  • Relatively affordable (than other type of coffee maker)
  • Takes up very little space
  • Can be used indoors and outdoors (as long as there’s source of heat)
  • No wires, power sockets or electric supply needed to operate
  • Makes really strong and good tasting coffee
  • Low maintenance & Easy to clean
  • Extremely durable
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  • Requires attention when placed on stove

Pro Tip: It is always most ideal to buy coffee in bean form and grind them just before brewing to ensure the maximum flavor of the coffee beans can be capture. Beans should be stored in airtight container and kept away from extremes heat or cold.


1) Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker

The Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker by Bialetti is perhaps the ‘grandfather’ of all stovetop espresso makers on our list. This Italian beauty has been around since 1933 and till today still uses the exact patented design that produces really strong, delicious and authentic cup of espresso coffee.

It features an eight-sided octagonal-shaped base that helps diffuse heat equally, and as a result, produces an evenly brewed coffee packed with a delicious punch of rich flavor. It has bakelite handles and comes with flip-up cover and side-pour spout that makes pouring and cleaning easy. Although it is made of aluminum instead of stainless steel, this moka pot is sturdy and very durable.

[Kelly: we’ve had ours for over 3 years, and it’s still making some awesome ‘kick-arsh’ coffee.]

To use – simply fill the base with water, pour moka ground coffee into the funnel and twist the top to close it. Within minutes, the moka pot will begin to gurgle as the pressurized water passes through the grounds and up into the spout of the pot to produce some really strong and rich coffee.

Note: Put a gas flame on low so the flame doesn’t come in contact with the handle. Likewise for electric stove, keep the heat away from handle.

Bialetti has since produced many different models now, but the original Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker remains the very best product to invest your money in.

 

Pros
  • Made in Italy
  • Also works on electric stoves (but not ideal)
  • Trusted and reputable brand
  • Makes great coffee fast
  • Easy to clean
Cons
  • Made from aluminium

The Bialetti Moka Express is available in a variety of sizes: 1 cup, 3 cups, 6 cups, 9 cups and 12 cups. The standard 6-cup size is most commonly used. For users with big family or for office use, consider the 12 cup version.

>> Available in these colors: Silver, blue, orange, red, purple and black.


2) Cuisinox Roma’s Stovetop Espresso Maker

This Stovetop espresso maker by Cuisinox Roma is a sleek and modern looking high-end moka pot made out of quality 18/10 stainless steel construction.  It has a 25-year warranty and features an indication base that works on both gas and electric stove.

Compared to the traditional Bialetti, the Roma takes a completely different approach with its shiny and curvy body. Having no corners, nooks or edges, cleaning of the insides are even easier than ever (leaving you with more time to enjoy the coffee).

Pros
  • Modern design
  • Made with stainless steel
  • Screen filter allows reduction in quantity
  • Works on gas and electric stoves
  • Easy to clean
  • 25-year warranty
  • Extra reducer & gasket included
Cons
  • Handle heats up at times
  • Pricier than other moka pots available

>> Available in these sizes: 4-cup, 6-cup and 10-cup.


3) The Bialetti Elegance Venus Induction

The Bialetti Elegance Venus is a minimalist and modern looking stovetop espresso maker with smooth shiny surface that true to its ‘Elegance’ name.

It’s very compact in size and has an indication on the pot that allow ease of control for users to regulate the heat to their ideal level. The handle are designed to resist high temperatures to allow ease of handling.

Pros
  • Compact design
  • Modern and stylish
  • Made with stainless steel
  • Makes excellent coffee

>> Available in these sizes:  4 cups & 10 cups


4) Rapid Brew Stovetop Coffee Percolator

Made with quality 18/8 stainless steel, this stovetop coffee percolator also features a clear glass cover knob for users to observe the brew. It’s handle is made with permawood wood grain which not only make handling when hot possible, it also creates a nice contrast against the shiny body finishing.

It’s built to prepare up to 2 to 6 cups of flavourful coffee, which is perfect for small sized families.

Pros
  • Wooden grain handle design
  • Produces consistent coffee taste
  • Easy to clean
Cons
  • Cover lid has tendency to pop up

5) Alessi Pulcina Stovetop Espresso Coffee Maker

Designed by famous Italian designer – Michele De Lucchi, the Alessi Pulcina Stovetop Espresso Maker Pot is absolutely stunning in terms of its look, design and quality. Under the brand of Alessi, which is a well known espresso maker name since 1921, the Pulcina was one stovetop espresso we can’t miss to include in the list.

According to the brand, this beauty features a special boiler that stops the coffee filtering at the right moment that prevents the eruption phase that can cause a burnt aftertaste.

Pros
  • Outstanding design
  • Makes great coffee
Cons
  • Not cheap
  • Doesn’t work on induction stoves

>> Available in these sizes: 3 cup and 6 cup (choice of red or black handle)

>> Also check out this beautiful Stovetop Maker by Alessi: Richard Sapper Alessi 9090


Stovetop (Moka Pot) vs. Espresso machine

Using the brewing process described above, moka pot is only able to built up 1 to 2 bars of pressure in it’s pot chamber. A real full espresso machines is able to achieve 9 bar of pressure (some can even go much higher) to brew an even richer and stronger cup.

That said, its simplicity, low cost, durability and ability to produce quality cups of coffee in under 5 mins makes them very popular among coffee drinkers.


Common Moka Pot Sizes

Most moka pot comes these sizes: 1-cup, 3-cup, 6-cup, 9/10-cup, and 12-cup.

The cups used are small espresso shots kind of cup (instead of your regular coffee cup used for latte or Americans)

As a rule of thumb, the 6-cup size is best for couples while anything above the 9 cup machines are good for families or if you regularly have guests over.


Choosing The Best Stovetop Espresso Maker

There are many factors when it comes to considering the stovetop espresso maker to buy. Here are some of the most common things to consider before making the purchase decision.

What’s your consumption volume?

You will need to know what’s the usage of the stovetop espresso maker and size options they come in. For normal family size of 4 to 5, a standard 6-cup option would be fine. For large family or office use, a 9 cup or 12 cup option will make more sense.

Does the maker works on your stovetop?

Not all moka pots work with an electric stove (some only work on gas stoves). If you have an electric stove at home, be sure to check before buying.

Material: Aluminium vs Stainless steel

Most stovetop espresso makers are made with either aluminium or stainless steel. Stainless steel ones do look better in our opinion, are fancier, more durable and conducts heat faster. Aluminium might not look as nice but often cost less.

[Kelly: Aluminium ones are just as good provided you get one from good brands like Alessi or Bialetti. Moka Pots made with cheap aluminium can make your espresso taste pretty bad.]


Final thoughts

The smell of freshly brewed coffee on the stove is one of the most wonderful aroma to have at home. It is difficult to skip a rich and well made cup of coffee made under 5 mins, to help perk up the morning or a long car ride.

We personally own two stovetop moka pots. One of them is the Bialetti Moka Express, which we feel is a must have at home for all gourmet coffee lovers because it’s really affordable, well made to last and most importantly, the consistency in the coffee it brews.

That said, if budget is not an issue, be sure to consider the stainless steel options listed. Some of them is really outstanding in terms of its look and quality of coffee they produce.

Do remember to always ensure they can work on your stove-top at home.  

Do you own any Stove-top espresso makers at home? What are the considering factors for you when it comes to choosing moka pot? Feel free to leave a comment to share with us.

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