Last Updated: 10/29/19

The Best ​Stovetop Espresso Maker

The Original Bialetti 

Top Choice

bialetti

Bialetti Venus

For all Stovetops

bialetti 06969

The Original Bialetti

bialetti
  • Timeless classic
  • Durable
  • Affordable

Cuisinox Roma

cuisinox
  • Stainless steel
  • Beautiful design
  • Dishwasher safe

Bialetti Venus

bialetti 06969
  • For induction stoves
  • Modern design
  • Stainless steel

Stovetop Espresso Makers, often referred to as “Moka Pots,” are one of the most popular methods of coffee brewing. Their long history combined with their iconic style and affectionate “gurgling” sound are some of the few things that make moka pots a staple in most coffee lovers’ kitchens. The greatest value in a moka pot, however, is the unique style of coffee they brew. Somewhere between espresso and classic drip coffee, moka pots brew some of the most memorable and comforting cups of coffee and are beloved around the world. 

Brew Real Espresso with Stovetop Espresso Pot?

Despite what their name suggests, stovetop espresso pots (moka pots) do not technically brew real espresso. Espresso is made by passing water through packed, finely ground coffee with about 9 bars of pressure. The exact pressure is what makes espresso espresso, and the reason you get such nice crema on top. By contrast, moka pots produce only 2-3 bars of pressure, and use slightly coarser, untamped coffee grinds. The result is not espresso, but a very strong, often bitter tasting coffee, ideally with a crema-like froth on top. Some models do have valves that can slightly increase the pressure and produce a creamier froth, but never to the same calibre as true espresso crema.

This doesn’t mean that moka pot coffee is lower quality. This style of coffee sometimes gets a bad rep for making especially bitter coffee. One of the problems is that people don’t often realize that moka pots do require a bit of technique, and it is easy to burn the coffee if you don’t brew it properly - hence the increased bitterness. That being said, many coffee drinkers actually enjoy the extra bitterness, so it really comes down to personal taste as well as technique. 

So while moka pots do not actually brew real espresso, they do share similar charming qualities. They offer a more involved, technique-based coffee brewing style, they brew a unique and strongly flavoured coffee, and they produce a frothy top similar to crema. It’s an old-school, wonderfully romantic coffee brewing method. And the best part? They are drastically less expensive than espresso machines. So without further ado, here is our list of the best stovetop espresso pots. 

#1

Bialetti Moka Stove Top Espresso Maker
Top Choice Since the 30's

bialetti
 Why We Love It

It’s a time tested classic

Who Should Buy This

Lovers of simplicity and authentic quality

If you’re at all familiar with moka pots, you’ll know that everyone and their dog seems to have a moka pot recipe. Bialetti, the maker of these old, classic coffee makers, has hardly changed the design since the 30s. This model comes in a few different sizes and styles, but the overall brewing process has remained essentially the same. It comes in 1, 2, 3, and 6 cup sizes.  These machines are wildly popular and long lasting, and for good reason. For starters, the Original Bialetti Moka Express has a simple design that brews great coffee and is easy to clean. It is long lasting, not only because it’s well made, but also because you can cheaply and easily replace parts like the gaskets and brew screens if needed. In recent years, the use of aluminium in these pots has raised some concerns, but the Bialetti Moka is chrome plated so that none of the actual coffee will come in contact with the aluminium. The only real drawback to using aluminium is that it can wear out sooner if you put it in the dishwasher. The good news is that the techniques you can use to perfect your brew are quite simple, and this isn’t a machine you’ll need to slave over. For a time-tested classic, the Bialetti Moka Pot is hard to beat. Best of all, it’s one of the most affordable coffee machine options out there!

Pros:

  • Classic Design
  • Unique, delicious coffee
  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Chrome plated

Cons:

  • Limited brew ratios
  • Machine wash not recommended

#​2

Cuisinox Roma
The Most Durable

cuisinox
 Why We Love It

Very durable and comes with a great warranty

Who Should Buy This

Those who prioritize longevity and want a more modern design

The Cuisinox Roma is fantastic moka pot because it is truly built to last. The makers’ confidence in the quality of this product is reflected in the warranty. The Roma is made with stainless steel and is dishwasher safe. Moka pots are not especially difficult to clean, but it’s always nice to save some of the effort. The Roma also includes an extra gasket and reducer, which are typically the parts most vulnerable to wear and tear. Moka pots are not ideal for making alternating amounts of coffee. They generally perform better when you stick to the ratios that match the size you’ve purchased. Thankfully the Roma comes in three sizes - 4, 6 and 10 cups - so you get a little more freedom with how much coffee you want to brew. Unlike the classic design, the Roma is also compatible with induction stoves. The Roma gives you a more sleek design, high durability, and more freedom with use and cup sizes. The downside, however, is that this model is significantly more expensive than other styles. Given that the overall function of the pot and quality of the machine is essentially the same, some people might have a hard time forking over the extra money. However, this coffee maker is still well within the realm of affordable products, and it’s not one you’ll be replacing any time soon!

Pros:

  • Great Warranty
  • Includes extra gasket and reducer
  • 4, 6 and 10 cup sizes
  • Can be used on induction stoves
  • Dishwasher Safe

Cons:

  • High Price Range

#​3

Alessi 9090 Stovetop Espresso Maker
A modern take on a classic design

alessi
 Why We Love It

Ergonomic and well engineered design 

Who Should Buy This

People who like user friendly design features

The Alessi 9090 is a great looking moka pot. We love this design because it has some nifty features that really make using the moka pot a lot more enjoyable in ways you previously wouldn’t have thought. It has a non drip spout that gives pouring your coffee a genuinely enjoyable sensation, much like the smoothness of pouring from a gooseneck kettle. It also features a hermetic closure base that pops off rather than twists. The hermetic seal prevents any leakage, but this pop off feature makes filling and cleaning the Alessi a lot easier. It’s also a design we haven’t seen done well in any other model. The lid is also fantastic, it comes with a handle that allows you tilt the lid up without having to touch any hot part. The Alessi is also a genuinely nice looking coffee maker that has an old school feel to it, but still boasts a very modern stainless steel appearance. Like the Cuisinox Roma, it’s one downfall is its price range. It’s quite a bit more expensive than most moka pots, and many people might find this price range unjustified for such a simple coffee maker. But if you are willing to invest a little more, the Alessi 9090 certainly won’t disappoint. 

Pros:

  • Ergonomic handle
  • Stainless steel
  • No-drip spout
  • Hermetic closure (pop-off vs. twist)

Cons:

  • High price range

#​4

Grosche Milano Moka Pot 
An Affordable Alternative

grosche
 Why We Love It

Great alternative to the original moka pot

Who Should Buy This

Those who want a modern twist at a more affordable price

Grosche is a popular name in the coffee world, and we love their take on the original Bialetti. The Grosche Milano stays true to the classic design with its square-edged silhouette, but offers a range of colours and handles that give it a colourful, modern twist. It comes in black, white or red with plastic or wooden handles. It also features a heat resistant handle and knob and can be used on gas, electric, induction and even camping stoves. It’s made with food grade, lead free aluminum and the proceeds for this model go to support the Safe Water Project (a feature of many Grosche products currently). The best part is that the Grosche Milano is really affordable. It strikes the perfect balance between modernizing a classic design and staying within a super affordable price range. If there were a downside to this model, it would be that the spout is prone to dripping. It’s not so much a design flaw as it is just an average spout compared to some of the other models we’ve reviewed. Overall this is a great looking moka pot that you can pick up on any budget. 

Pros:

  • Safe for induction stoves
  • Great alternative to the original
  • Food-grade, lead-free aluminum
  • Affordable
  • Process support Safe Water Project

Cons:

  • Prone to drippage when pouring

#​5

Bialetti 06969
Best Choice for Induction Stoves

bialetti 06969
 Why We Love It

It’s a sleeker Bialetti that you can use on an induction stove

Who Should Buy This

Those who want a Bialetti for Induction stoves

The Bialetti Venus is a much sleeker looking moka pot than the original. Rather than the classic edges, the Venus has a smooth, rounded design that gives it a more a kettle-like appearance. It’s made with stainless steel rather than aluminum, so it can be used on an induction stove safely. It’s also less prone to corrosion spots that can form over time on aluminum models. This model is not dishwasher safe, however, so you’ll have to put in a little extra work for that cleaning. It has a heat resistant handle and is easy to take apart and clean. It only comes in two sizes, 4 and 6 cup, so it’s not ideal if you’re looking for a larger 10 cup moka pot. It costs a little more than the original Bialetti, but you get a more modern design in exchange. This moka pot is perfect for those who are loyal to the Bialetti brand but prefer stainless steel or a more sleek appearance.

Pros:

  • Stainless steel
  • Competitive Price
  • Sleek, modern design

Cons:

  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Only two sizes

#​6

Delonghi EMK6
A Fully Self-Contained Alternative

delognhi emk6
 Why We Love It

It’s fully self contained alternative to other stovetop espresso makers

Who Should Buy This

Anyone who doesn’t have a stove, or prefers stand alone units

For those of you out who don’t have a stovetop, or if you simply prefer stand alone units, Delonghi offers an electrical version of a stovetop moka pot. The EMK6 comes in only one size, but can be set to brew 3 or 6 cups of coffee. It has an automatic shut off as a safety feature, but this also means you won’t burn the coffee  (if you’ve ever owned a moka pot, you’ve almost certainly been down this road after forgetting you’ve started the brew). The EMK6 is also cordless, so it’s easily transportable just like the stovetop options. That makes it just as good for camping and traveling and camping. One thing we love about the Delonghi is that the coffee collector is transparent, so you can watch the brewing process unfold (which is actually pretty satisfying when it comes to moka pots). The downside is that this collector is plastic, so it’s not nearly as durable as the aluminum and stainless steel models. There is also no temperature control with the electric style, so that gives you less leeway if you want to play around with different beans, grinds and temperatures to get an array of flavours.  As with most electric coffee machines, you trade some level of flavour control for convenience and ease of use. 

Pros:

  • Electric base prevents burn/bitter
  • Transparent coffee collector
  • Cordless

Cons:

  • Less durable (plastic)
  • No temperature Control

Which Stovetop Espresso Maker
is right for me?

Now that we’ve taken a look at the best stovetop espresso makers on the market, we’re going to help you decide which one is right for you. Each of these moka pots brings something different to the table. Which one is best for you depends on your personal needs. Factors such as budget, how often you want to use it, where you want to use, and how much control you want over the coffee all come in to play. Here is our breakdown of which stovetop espresso makers are best for who.

For Lovers of the Original Classic:
The Original Bialetti Moka

bialetti

If the phrase “moka pot” conjures specific images of a sharply designed, angular aluminum stovetop pot gurgling away in nostalgic serenity, then you probably want the original Bialetti Moka. Its design is in many ways a reflection of Italy’s economic and industrial history of the mid 1900s, and this humble percolator is now also an infamous work of art. Balancing affordability and a satisfying coffee making experience, the original Bialetti Moka is an unmistakably valuable addition to your coffee arsenal. 

For the Longest Lifespan:
Cuisinox Roma Stovetop

If you prefer to spend a little more up front for a product that will last, the Cuisinox Roma is a great coffee maker. It has a more modern design, is completely dishwasher safe, and is designed for durability. Cuisinox not only provides replacement parts with the initial purchase, but an excellent warranty that reflects a confidence in their product rarely seen in the world of throw-away consumer goods. This is a high quality, modern moka pot for those who value durability. 

cuisinox

For ​a high-end, modern alternative:
Alessi 9090

The Alessi 9090 is an elevated moka pot for the modernists out there. It stays true to the percolating process that moka pot fans love, but has redesigned the traditional pot style for a high end, sleek looking coffee maker. Alessi revamped the traditional moka pot in more than just style. It also has a hermetic closure base for a pop rather than twist off procedure. So for a more sophisticated, modern stovetop espresso maker, we suggest the Alessi 9090. 

alessi

For ​a ​classic alternative at a competitive price:
Grosche Milano

If you find yourself torn between the classic design and a penance for a more modern look, Grosche has designed the ideal moka pot. Drawing directly off the classic design, the Grosche Milano is the perfect alternative to the original moka pot at an equally affordable price. It offers more colours and design features while staying true to the beloved Italian design. So for a more vibrant alternative at a competitive price, we recommend the Grosche Milano. 

grosche

For a Bialetti you can use on an induction stove:
Bialettive Venus

While Bialetti will always be known for its classic moka pot, they do make other great stovetop espresso makers like the Venus. One drawback of the original Bialetti is that it can’t be used on induction stoves, which are much more widespread than when the original came out. The Venus has a modernized appearance and is made with stainless steel, making it safe to use on induction stoves. At a competitive price, this is the perfect coffee maker for those loyal to Bialetti but who are looking for more flexibility.

bialetti 06969

For ​an electric option:
Delonghi EMK6

Electric coffee makers are very popular for their convenience and ease of use. Despite their beautifully simple design, moka pots do take a bit of know how in order to brew good coffee. The Delonghi EMK6 is the moka pot for lovers of convenience. It’s simpler to use, 100% cordless, and still gives you that distinguishable moka pot taste. So for a more convenient electric option, we suggest the Delonghi EMK6.

delognhi emk6

What kind of coffee should
I use in my espresso pot?

You can technically use any coffee with your espresso pot. The most important factor is getting the ride grind fineness. And like any coffee maker, it really depends on the flavour profile you want to brew. If you know what you’re doing, you can play around with different beans, ratios and temperatures. If you want to keep it simple, Lazara preground coffee is a popular choice with these machines, and it tastes great. 

Should I buy a stainless steel 
or aluminum model?

This is completely up to you! While a lot of people have concerns over aluminum, this is not actually an issue health wise. Today’s models are chrome plated, so no aluminum will actually come in contact with anything you consume. The only issues with aluminum is that it shouldn't be used on induction stoves. Aluminum is also usually not dishwasher safe. So if those are factors, it’s best to look for stainless steel. Just make sure you double check before you wash it in the dishwasher, because even some stainless steel models need to be washed by hand. 

Will these work on an electric stove?

Most moka pots can be used on electric stoves, but look out for aluminum. Unless otherwise stated, aluminum moka pots are best used on gas stoves. Most models with specify which stoves they can be used on. Different stoves heat differently, so either way, you’ll want to keep an eye on it - if only to avoid burning your coffee! And of course, electric moka pots come with their own hot plate so shouldn’t be used on any stove. 

What's involved in cleaning and maintenance?

Cleaning a moka pot is actually very easy. Much like a french press, you simply take it apart and rinse the components. In the case of dishwasher safe models, you can simply put the parts in the dishwasher. 

The Best Stovetop Espresso Maker
The Best Stovetop Espresso Maker 1

Last Updated: 10/29/19The Best ​Stovetop Espresso MakerThe Original Bialetti ​Top ChoiceCuisinox RomaMost DurableBialetti VenusFor all StovetopsThe Or

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