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The Best Stovetop Espresso Makers of 2023

A moka pot is definitely worth including in your coffee arsenal if you are looking for a brewing method that is hassle-free but with a lot of the upsides of an espresso machine.

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Asser Christensen

Licensed Q Arabica Grader, M.A. Journalism

While the humble moka pot may lack the sophistication and oomph of a proper espresso machine, its affordability and compact design make it an attractive option for coffee lovers with limited kitchen space (or budget for that matter…)

Of course, some coffee snobs may argue that the moka pot falls short of achieving the precise extraction and crema of an espresso machine, but as any data-driven individual knows, sometimes the 80/20 principle applies.

In this post, we’ll look at some of the best stove-top espresso makers on the market today.

Top pick: Best value
Bialetti Express Moka Pot, 6...
Bialetti is the go-to brand for reliable and well-crafted moka pots. While it may be a more basic model compared to some newer options on the market, the Bialetti Express is a timeless classic built to last a lifetime.

the best stovetop espresso maker in 2023

1: Bialetti Moka Express Espresso

Bialetti Express Moka Pot, 6...

When it comes to moka pots, there’s one brand that comes to mind: Bialetti.

This sleek and stylish stove-top espresso maker has become the gold standard for coffee lovers, and it’s not hard to see why. With their iconic octagonal design, Bialetti moka pots have become the go-to choice for anyone looking for a reliable and well-crafted brewing method.

Available in a wide range of sizes, from a single cup to a whopping 16 cups, there’s a Bialetti moka pot to suit just about every coffee drinker’s needs.

The Bialetti moka pot is made from top-quality aluminum that’s built to last. In fact, it’s so durable that you may just find yourself passing it down to your grandkids someday.

While it may be a more basic, no-frills pot compared to some newer models on the list, it definitely won’t let you down. And with its affordable price tag, it’s an excellent option for anyone interested in adding a moka pot to their collection.

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2: Alessi Pulcina Italian Coffee Maker

Alessi MDL02/6 B Pulcina Stove...

For the coffee enthusiast who values functionality and form, the Alessi Pulcina stovetop espresso maker is a modern take on the classic moka pot. \

Designed by Michele De Lucchi, the Pulcina offers a sleek and contemporary aesthetic.

The Alessi Pulcina is made from high-quality aluminum that’s built to last, just like the Bialetti. While it may come with a higher price tag, its superior construction suggests that it may outlast its predecessor.

If you’re looking for a moka pot that offers both style and substance, the Alessi Pulcina is definitely worth considering.

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3: Bialetti Venus Coffee Maker

Bialetti Venus Induction 4 Cup...

Our third moka pot is also a Bialetti (I told you they were known for these!). The Venus is their newer, sleeker model that is slightly more expensive but built from stainless steel instead of aluminum.

Despite its new design, this moka pot does not lose any of its ability to produce high quality coffee, brewing an espresso-like beverage that is every bit as good as the original Bialetti moka pot.

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4: Alessi 9090 Espresso Pot

Alessi Espresso Maker 9090 by...

When it comes to moka pots, the Bialetti is often hailed as a reliable workhorse. But for those who seek the ultimate moka pot experience, the Alessi Espresso Maker 9090 reigns supreme.

This sleek and modern stove-top espresso maker is crafted from high-quality stainless steel and is so iconic that it has been enshrined in the Museum of Modern Art. With a capacity of six full espresso cups, the 9090 is perfect for serving a crowd.

But let’s talk about what matters: the coffee. Thanks to its superior construction and innovative snapping/locking mechanism, the 9090 makes a cleaner, richer cup of coffee than any of its competitors. And because it’s built from stainless steel, you can count on it to last without ever rusting or corroding.

For the coffee aficionado who demands the best, the Alessi Espresso Maker 9090 is an attractive option.

DOES A MOKA POT MAKE REAL ESPRESSO?

The coffee that comes out of a moka pot is not espresso per se since it’s only brewed under 1-2 bars, whereas authentic espresso requires between 5-10 bars

💡Sidenote: most people think 9 bars is the perfect number, but you can make espresso with less.

While the moka pot may not produce the thick crema of proper espresso, it’s still more substantial and potent than your average cup of coffee.

In fact, it’s the drink of choice for many Italians who brew it at home, while they opt for espresso at the café.

And when it comes to pre-ground coffee for moka pots, the same brands that produce espresso blends, like Lavazza and Segafredo, also offer moka pot blends. As a result, the flavor of stovetop espresso is not far off from Italian espresso.

How to Use a Moka pot: Hacks for a smoother cup

Although the coffee that comes out of a stovetop percolator can sometimes lack a bit of depth and flavor, it can be improved by following these small hacks:

  1. Filling the bottom chamber with preheated water can shorten the brewing time, which prevents the coffee flavor from degrading from being on the stove for a long time and being exposed to heat.
  2. It is also essential to remove the moka pot from the heat as soon as your brew is completed. You can even run some cold tap water over the body of the device to cool it down faster. This will ensure that the brew stops when you want it to.
  3. Another method for improving your cup is be to opt for a medium roast. Traditionally, this kind of Italian coffee maker has been used with very dark roasts, which can produce a somewhat bitter cup. This can be lessened with a City+ t0 Full City roast that is 100% arabica.
⚠️ Remember cleaning: Many moka pots end up becoming disgusting because people don’t wash and dry them properly.

You should remove the rubber o-ring and filter underneath the brew head often.

When the o-ring starts cracking (or gets too disgusting), it should be replaced.

It should go without saying that you should always use a scale to accurately measure coffee and water! Only that way can you improve or tweak your brew in the right direction.

Other thing to consider when buying A stovetop coffee maker?

Although stovetop espresso makers have been around almost as long as coffee has been drunk, there have been quite a few improvements to look out for when choosing one today. Here are a few point to take into consideration when you are trying to select the best stovetop espresso makers – sometimes also referred to as Cuban coffee makers.

Material

Most stovetop espresso makers are either aluminum or stainless steel. Aluminum is lighter and heats up more quickly whereas stainless steel is heavier, sturdier, and heats up more slowly. Some people swear that a stainless steel moka pot brews a better cup, but selecting between both of them will always depend on your preference and liking.

Size

Moka pots range in size from tiny 1-cup pots to massive pots over 16 cups. Again, the size of your moka pot depends on your needs. Will this moka pot be used on a daily basis for a single drinker or once in a while for parties of 10 people? Smaller moka pots tend to brew better coffee, since your coffee still brew more quickly, spending less time on the heat, which can warp flavors in your brew. Therefore, if you are the only coffee drinker in your house, you may want to err toward a smaller size.

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Further Reading: The 5 Best Gooseneck Kettles for Coffee