Wouldn’t we all like to have perfectly extracted espresso, with a thick Crema on top, to wake us up in the comfort of our bed every morning. Unfortunately, the espresso machines which do that job best – with ideal water temperature, steam pressure and portafilter – can be very costly, demand slightly more work and knowledge and definitely more space. It is thus not an option for small kitchens, student budgets or for people who only ever serve coffee to guests. Fortunately, there is another alternative, the Moka Pot. Before we present the best stovetop espresso maker, we are sure you will like to find out more about the technology behind the Moka Pot. After all, you are going to use it to prepare your espresso drink and surely won’t want to be disappointed with your purchase.
This stovetop espresso maker was first designed by Luigi De Ponti for the still prominent company Bialetti in 1933. It is typically made of aluminum and consists of the bottom chamber, called the boiler, a filter with attached funnel, which is placed in the boiler and the upper chamber, also equipped with a filter.
This is how the Moka works: The boiler gets filled with water, the filter then placed on top and filled with ground coffee beans – the grinds should not be tamped. Then the upper part is tightly screwed on the lower one and the whole pot placed on a hot stove – gas, electric or induction, depending on the model.
Through the heat, the water starts boiling and creating steam. The resulting pressure forces the water through the funnel into the upper chamber, passing the coffee grinds and extracting their aroma. What is collected in the upper chamber is hot, strong espresso.
To keep this process safe, a gasket ensures the two parts a closed seamlessly and the boiler has a safety valve where pressure can escape, should it ever get too high. Once almost all water has passed through the filters and into the upper chamber, a gurgling noise can be heard and the pot should be taken off the heat source to avoid burning the coffee.
As with professional espresso machines, different beans, roasting degrees and grind sizes will result in varying tastes of espresso brewed with a Moka pot.
True espresso enthusiasts will claim coffee made this way is not real espresso, as the pressure used is considerably smaller than that of a coffeehouse espresso machine. Still, it makes for a stronger brew than any drip technique and is a very popular version all over the world.
Prefer true espresso?
However, the steam is only able to achieve about 2 bars of pressure. This is far below the optimum pressure of 9 bars for espresso extraction. If you are tight on budget and still wants a taste of crema, you can get an inexpensive espresso machine for under 100 dollars such as the Mr Coffee ECMP50.
If you are willling to spend a bit more, the real bargain is around the 500 dollars mark. That’s where you get some really good quality espresso machine with just about 500 dollars or even cheaper for some model.
Besides the desirably tasting drink they create, stovetop espresso makers are by far the most affordable tool for this purpose. They are also easy to handle, brew coffee within merely five minutes and use very little space. Cleaning is simple and quick and a good quality model will last forever.
Now that you are convinced that you should get a stovetop espresso maker, let us save you the work to find the good stove top espresso maker for your home. We have reviewed all the stove top espresso makers and shortlisted the five best stovetop espresso makers. So that you don’t have to scour over many pages of stovetop espresso maker reviews and a ton of information overload.
The Italian company Bialetti, known for their simple, functional and beautiful designs, is the mother of stovetop espresso makers, having invented and produced the first Moka pot back in the 1930s.
The “Moka Express”, as it was called back then, revolutionised the art of coffee brewing and to date, it is the preferred way of coffee making in most homes in Italy. Bialetti has since reached buyers worldwide and stays true to the original design with the iconic eight-sided shape which defuses heat in a way that enhances the coffee aroma.
Made from polished aluminum, the Original Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker is durable. It is easy to disassemble and clean. In addition, the patented safety valve makes sure the pressure in the boiler stays at a secure level.
The pot is now available in a variety of fresh colors and the size ranges from one cup to three, six, nine and twelve cups of espresso brewed.
The Alpha Coffee 6-cup Stovetop Espresso Maker is sturdy and will last you a lifetime, being made of premium quality, durable aluminium. This is why Alpha guarantees every buyer their money back, should they not be 100% satisfied with the product – no matter how much time has gone by since the purchase.
The China-produced Moka pot is simple to use and is shipped with clear instructions for anyone new to stovetop espresso makers. The Alpha Coffee 6-cup Stovetop Espresso Maker is made after the classic Italian design and therefore depicts the typical octagon shape.
Alpha only produces one model in this particular shape, which produces six cups worth of espresso at a time. What makes Italian stovetop espresso maker unique is the large handle that sticks out far from the body which ensures the user a good grip and avoids accidental melting of the plastic. At a price of less than 20 dollars, this Moka pot is one of the cheapest espresso maker and is surely worth every penny.
Another beautiful Moka pot has been developed by Vremi. This specific exemplar is, next to the classic metal exterior, available in a smooth black casing with silver detailing. The Vremi Stovetop 6-cup Demitasse Espresso Shot Maker is designed after the original with an eight-sided top chamber, yet the boiler is slightly more rounded, giving even more elegance.
The handle is rubberized for easier grip and the body is made from durable aluminum. What makes the Vremi Stovetop 6-cup Demitasse Espresso Shot Maker interesting is its versatility. It can be used on a gas- or an electric stove as well as on a small induction cooktop and is thus perfect for any kitchen. At price of less than 20 dollar, this Moka pot is not only stylish and brews good Italian coffee, it is also very affordable.
Osaka is one of the few Japanese Companies specializing in coffee products. Believing strongly in the ‘Third Wave of Coffee’-philosophy, they see the popular breakfast drink as much more than that. It is a speciality and brewing it is an art. Combined with their striving for the perfect balance between aesthetics and performance they are sure to provide their clients with excellent products, as they have been since 2013.
The Osaka Stovetop Espresso Maker “Nijo Castle” is a Moka pot made from quality aluminum and depicts a unique marbled finish on its dark grey exterior. The interior, on the other hand, is polished to perfect smoothness, incomparable to any other model on the market.
Furthermore, this stovetop espresso maker differentiates itself with a specially designed nylon handle which is flame retardant and so stays cool to the touch. The same goes for the lever which is designed in a way that allows easy control over the lid while pouring. The Osaka Stovetop Espresso Maker “Nijo Castle” is available in three, six, nine and twelve cup size. It is very affordable with even the 12-cup maker costing at less than $30.
Kamira is another Italian Company who came up with this interesting stainless steel stovetop espresso maker.
Kamira Moka Express 1/2 Cups Stovetop Espresso Maker combines features of both the Moka pot and the classic Espresso Machine.While it is usable on any stove – gas, electric, induction and even a log fire will do the trick – it doesn’t consist of the lower and upper chamber, separated by a filter, like the Moka pot. Instead, the filter that carries the ground coffee is a portafilter (a portafilter for single and one for double shots are both included) which is mounted like on an electric espresso machine.
The coffee is then extracted directly into the cup which is placed on the hollow disk that forms the boiler of the espresso maker – the bottom part, which is in contact with the heat source. The water is filled into a small container to measure the amount for one or two shots and from there released into the boiler.
As the boiler is wide and, like the whole unit, made from stainless steel, the necessary heat and resulting steam and pressure are achieved very quickly – an espresso is brewed in merely 60 to 90 seconds. With the pressure, the water is pushed through a pipe which builds an arch from the boiler on one end to the mount for the portafilter on the other. It is then pressed down through the coffee grinds and emerges as a beautifully strong and creamy shot of espresso.
The brewing technology is, therefore, similar to that in a Moka pot yet the pressure reached is stronger and with that the extracted espresso thicker and topped with the desired Crema. The Kamira Moka Express 1/2 Cups Stovetop Espresso Maker includes no electric parts, is produced from durable stainless steel, which ensures the buyer a five-year warranty, and it is recyclable.
Being priced at under $100, it is by far the most expensive stovetop espresso maker but still affordable compared to electric espresso machines. The quality of the coffee it brews will make the price acceptable for real coffee lovers.
These 5 stovetop espresso makers are the best on the market. Each of them is made from durable, quality aluminium or stainless steel, is easy to use and produces good coffee.
In the end, it comes down to personal preference. You might prefer a more elegant design, like the black Vremi Stovetop 6-Cups Demitasse Espresso Shot Maker exhibits, or look for little details like the extra large handle of the Alpha Coffee 6-cup Stovetop Espresso Maker.
Or you might trust most in the well renowned, in the inventor of the first Moka pot which also produced the Original Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker. After all, with over 80 years of experience, there has to be a reason they stay true to their iconic design.
The marbleized exterior of the Osaka Stovetop Espresso Maker “Nijo Castle” might not be everybody’s taste but Japan is known for producing high-quality products with precision and the heat resistant handle and lever are a plus not only for the safety considered.
If you are a true admirer of perfect espresso and the budget doesn’t quite allow for an electric espresso machine, the Kamira Moka Express 1/2 Cups Stovetop Espresso Maker is a good alternative.
Personally, I like my espresso strong and thick, with a beautiful Crema on top. So if I can achieve that at home, with less than half the money and space a classic espresso machine requires, I would be more than happy to give that a try. For that reason, I favor the Kamira Moka Express 1/2 Cups Stovetop Espresso Maker.
Whichever you choose, you can easily save them in less than a month from the pricey espresso drinks at the coffee joints! So start SAVING money with one of the best stovetop espresso maker today!
EspressoMachinePicks.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.