The Moka pot, also known by many as the stovetop espresso maker, has been around for a very long time — it was invented in the 1930s and has exploded in popularity since then. It is called macchinetta del caffè, which translates to “small coffee machine.” In 1933 an Italian inventor named Luigi De Ponti patented the design for Alfonso Bialetti, and the design he had made is still being used to this day in the Bialetti company.
They’re most known for brewing drinks from dark roasted grounds, but you can use whatever grounds you prefer; it can handle them all. These devices vary widely in quality, but if you want consistent good coffee then you’re going to need to get a good Moka pot. Lucky for you, we have a comprehensive guide to the best stovetop coffee makers of 2020.
Table Of Contents
- 1 Choosing the Best Moka Pot for You
- 2 Top 6 Best Moka Pot Options
- 2.1 1. Bialetti Moka Express StoveTop Coffee Maker
- 2.2 2. De’Longhi EMK6 Espresso, Stainless Steel
- 2.3 3. Bialetti Venus Induction Espresso Maker 6 Cup
- 2.4 4. Coletti Bozeman Percolator Coffee Pot
- 2.5 5. Cuisinox Roma Stainless Steel Stovetop Moka Espresso Maker
- 2.6 6. Tops Rapid-Brew Stovetop Camping Coffee Percolator Stainless Steel
- 3 Conclusion
Choosing the Best Moka Pot for You
It’s important to remember that a Moka pot is not the same as an espresso machine. The Moka pot will still give you a very strong cup of coffee, but not the same way that an espresso machine will. That being said, make the following considerations when going out to buy a stovetop espresso maker.
Will it Work For Your Stove? – Keep in mind that not every Moka pot works with your standard electric stove. When shopping, check to see if the one you’re looking at is able to be used on an electric stovetop. On average, the electric stoves with glass tops tend to work very well with the Moka pots.
Stainless Steel or Aluminum? – Traditionally Moka pots are made of aluminum, due to it being supremely light and inexpensive, along with it being good for conducting heat to get some perfect coffee brewing. There is an argument to be made in favor of stainless steel, however; firstly the material makes for a percolator that’s nice to look at. Arguably more importantly, though, is that it’s completely non-corrosive.
Even though aluminum is resistant to corrosion, stainless steel is impervious to it, making it a much more durable option in the long run. While the price for stainless steel is a bit higher, you won’t have to fuss as much over preventing rust and you likely won’t need another Moka pot for the next few decades.
The most common complaint that customers have with Moka pots is that the coffee comes out too bitter. This is usually due to over-extraction, which is a hurdle that can be overcome with enough practice. Something you can’t control with certain models, though, is how much espresso you make every time; if you have a 3-cup espresso maker, you’re going to need to make 3 cups every time.
If you want to serve a larger number of people, though, you can dilute the strong drink with water and serve something closer to regular coffee. Additionally, you’ll want a pretty consistent grind for the percolator. If you use blade grinders they will produce grains of different sizes and your coffee will be worse off for it. Instead, opt for a good burr grinder for the perfect grounds.
Why Use A Moka Pot?
For a long time, coffee from Moka pots was a way to get a less-than-ideal version of espresso if you didn’t own an espresso machine. Nowadays, though, it’s not hard to get espresso, with or without a machine. One may ask, then, what the point of a Moka pot is. Moka pots are one of the oldest forms of coffee consumption, as well as one of the most revolutionary. Using a Moka pot is not only convenient, but it’s also representative of an appreciation for the history of coffee consumption. Not to mention that it produces a unique roast that other coffee makers can’t accurately replicate.
How to Use a Moka Pot
Here is a simplified guide on the steps to take when brewing in a Moka pot:
- Preheat your water in a separate kettle; this will speed up the brewing process which will help prevent over-extraction which results in bitter coffee.
- If you’re grinding your coffee then use a burr grinder to get even grinds. If not, coffee grounds for a drip coffee machine will work.
- Fill the basket and level it at the top. Don’t compress your grounds, as this can result in over-extraction.
- Fill the bottom chamber with the near-boiling water up to the safety valve.
- Inter the basket into the top of the lower chamber with the tube pointing downwards.
- Screw together the chambers, using a towel to protect your hands from the hot water.
- Turn the stove on to medium-temperature heat.
- Monitor the percolator as the pressure from the steam and water forces the coffee upwards through the tube. Once the spout starts to sputter, take it off of the heat and set it down to allow the drink to settle. Drink and enjoy!
Top 6 Best Moka Pot Options
We’ve analyzed online behavior to find the best stovetop espresso makers on the market; below you’ll see some brief bullet points of the features, and further down we will delve more in-depth with the details of each product.
|Bialetti Moka Express StoveTop Coffee Maker||Check On Amazon
|De’Longhi EMK6 Espresso, Stainless Steel||Check On Amazon
|Bialetti Venus Induction Espresso Maker 6 Cup||Check On Amazon
|Coletti Bozeman Percolator Coffee Pot||Check On Amazon
|Cuisinox Roma Stainless Steel Stovetop Moka Espresso Maker||Check On Amazon
|Tops Rapid-Brew Stovetop Camping Coffee Percolator Stainless Steel||Check On Amazon
1. Bialetti Moka Express StoveTop Coffee Maker
Bialetti is a world favorite in the stovetop espresso maker market, which is easy to see if you look at any review section of the Moka pots on Amazon. Originating from Italy, they’ve been around since the 1950s and they have certainly built a reputation for delivering classic designs made of high-quality material. The coffee maker has an instantly recognizable octagonal shape that allows the heat to distribute throughout while the coffee is brewing, giving you a hot pot of strong brew in less than five minutes. Once you’re finished, the design makes it easy to clean up. All you need to do is unscrew it to separate the compartments, then wash and dry it.
The “Moka Express” name is so popular that it has been made available in multiple sizes: 1, 3, 6, and 9 cups. Select whichever one you prefer and start the day with the right amount of brew for you. It’s able to be used on most stoves; its only drawback is durability. It’s made of aluminum, so it likely won’t last as long as one of stainless steel. But there’s a reason it’s so popular–the quality is high, given its price.
- Available in cup sizes 1, 3, 6 and 9
- Made in Italy
- Favorite among many
- Trusted brand with a history of high quality
2. De’Longhi EMK6 Espresso, Stainless Steel
Do you have a stovetop that’s incompatible with Moka pots? If so, the De’Longhi EMK6 comes equipped with its own heating element. All you need to do is plug it in, and in minutes you can have between 3 and 6 espresso shots. It keeps your drink hot for up to a half-hour after brewing, and there’s an option for automatic shutoff if you’re prone to forgetting to turn off the coffee.
Since the heated base is its own component, you can lift the pot off the heat and it will automatically shut off, and since it weighs about three pounds, you could potentially bring it with you when traveling. Craving some Moka on your road trip? Just find a place to plug it in.
- Simply plug into an outlet
- Easily cleaned
- Filter basket allows for correct pressure during the brewing process
3. Bialetti Venus Induction Espresso Maker 6 Cup
This aesthetically pleasing espresso maker does more than just produce great-tasting coffee. Its sleek lines and smooth body create an elegant design that is easy on the eyes. It’s also made of stainless steel, meaning it is more durable for long term use than its aluminum counterpart, and that it’s perfectly suited for use on induction cooktops. The insulated handle makes the user able to handle it at high temperatures, so there’s no need to worry about burning yourself when pouring a cup.
The stovetop espresso maker is portable, meaning you can take it on trips with it and face minimal inconvenience. You can even bring it while camping. Though while the handle is good for induction cooktops, be careful not to have it directly over a flame at a campfire.
It’s also an extremely affordable product. If you are new to espresso percolators then this is a good first-time pick, thanks to the ratio of quality to price.
- Portable & stylish
- Good for outdoor use
- High quality
4. Coletti Bozeman Percolator Coffee Pot
The Coletti Bozeman is built with stainless steel, which means that it’s both durable for long-term use and it’s not easy to damage. This makes it an amazing pick for camping trips and outdoor cooking of any kind. It has a wooden handle that allows you to safely grab the percolator and pour your drink, along with a glass knob on top through which you can watch the coffee brew.
Similar to a French Press, one will likely experience coffee grounds when nearing the bottom of the pot. People who use percolators tend to prefer the lack of filters, but if you don’t enjoy the grounds then simply slide a disc filter into the brew basket before you add the coffee.
- Made from more durable stainless steel
- Simple to use resulting in reliability
- Dishwasher safe (except for wooden handle)
- Effective for long-term use
5. Cuisinox Roma Stainless Steel Stovetop Moka Espresso Maker
The Cuisinox Roma is able to make between 1-10 cups of excellent espresso per batch, making it a perfect option for having guests over, since you’ll be able to skip any refilling process. Its hand-crafted design is refined and elegant, making it appealing to look at. In terms of performance, it definitely lives up to modern Moka standards, sporting a number of features such as a stainless steel build and an induction base that allows for use on all stovetop surfaces.
This makes it arguably worth its higher price point since it’s a good long-term investment. If you get this espresso maker now, you won’t need to look for another one for many years to come. It’s compatible with gas and electric stovetops; this device is a commitment, but it will serve you well in the long-term.
- Easily cleaned
- Comes with a spare gasket
- Functional and stylish
- Good for groups of coffee enthusiasts
6. Tops Rapid-Brew Stovetop Camping Coffee Percolator Stainless Steel
This percolator is able to produce up to 12 cups of coffee, making it perfect for group camping trips. If you love the idea of roughing it but hate the idea of living without your morning coffee, then this is a worthy investment. It functions quickly and efficiently without using any electricity, so this might be a good pick if you’re into backpacking!
The stainless steel design is complemented with a clear glass cover so that you can observe the brew as it percolates. The assembly is made of solid metal, which makes it a good pick for using over a fire or a gas burner, along with it being able to withstand being carried in a backpack. It also sports a wooden handle, making it easier to handle when hot.
- Coffee is consistent in taste
- Easily cleaned
- Specialized for outdoor use
Moka pots are a cult classic; they have been making coffee enthusiasts happy since the 30s, and haven’t slowed down since then. In finding a balance between espresso and traditional coffee, percolators stand somewhere in the middle while maintaining a simple yet elegant charm With the right amount of care and maintenance, Moka pots can last you many years, even decades (just be sure to protect the handle). If you’re looking for an authentic, old-fashioned Italian experience, then Moka pots are the way to get your old-timey espresso fix, both indoors and outdoors.