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A look at the best Moka Pots of 2020 (aka stovetop espresso makers)

Stovetop espresso makers, aka moka pots, bialettis, percolators and italian coffee makers, have been keeping old-school coffee lovers happysince the 1930’s – yes, they’ve actually been around for that long. They can produce thicker, stronger coffee with a solid crema. Although they can handle any type of roast, they’re especially suited for dark roasts, hence their nickname: the Dark Roast King (okay, we may have just made that up).

So what are the best moka pots? And how do you find the best stovetop espresso maker for your personal use? Well, you’ll have to actually try the machine first.

Moka pots differ greatly in quality, and you need a high-quality moka pot and the right technique if you want them to consistently create a great cup of coffee. Luckily, we’ve done the hard yards for you and put together the best of the best when it comes to stovetop espresso makers. You’re welcome.

TOP PICK

Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker

This stovetop coffee maker garnered plenty of good remarks from happy customers, and it’s no wonder why. Designed in Italy, this high-quality ‘moka express’ comes in a variety of sizes, so you can choose according to preference. It also makes coffee fast without sacrificing quality or style.

Buying Criteria: How To Choose The Best Moka Pot

Best stovetop espresso makers on a shelf, next to a jar of coffee beans
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You should already know that a moka pot won’t brew espresso like an espresso machine will, but they still make a damn fine, strong cup of Joe (1). If you want to get it right the first time, consider the following points when choosing a stovetop espresso maker:

Where Is It Made?

While some claim that the highest quality percolators are made in Italy  which is no wonder, they are often simply called Italian espresso pots or ‘Bialetti’s’  we don’t find this necessarily to be the case. On average, it’s fair to say that whenever it says ‘Made in Italy’ you can be rest assured the quality will be great, while China is more of a mixed bag. To boot, having an authentic Italian stovetop espresso maker does add to the charm a bit, doesn’t it?

How Many Cups Can It Make?

For the solo coffee connoisseurs among us, the brew-a-cup-at-a-time Moka pots are the perfect fit. But, if you plan to share a cup with your partner or friend, choose one that can make more than 1 brew per use – there is nothing more annoying than having to repeat the process multiple times for multiple coffees.

Will It Work With Your Stovetop?

Remember that not all moka pots will work with an electric stove. Be sure to check whether the one you’re considering is electric or induction stovetop friendly. We’ve found that glass-topped electric stoves typically work beautifully, and very quickly, with moka pots.

Aluminum vs Stainless Steel (vs toxicity)

The traditional moka pot is made from aluminum – the material is light, cheap and great at conducting heat or, to keep it real for us caffeine fiends, brewing coffee. But, you’ll find that many manufacturers now include percolators made from stainless steel. And for good reason. A stainless steel moka pot looks much sexier in your kitchen plus the material racks up some major advantages when compared to aluminum (2).

Stainless steel coffeemakers are easier to maintain, do not corrode like aluminum and pose no known health risks.

Although aluminum is highly resistant to oxidation and corrosion, stainless steel is completely non-corrosive and non-porous making it considerably more durable (3). Yes, it’s a bit more pricey than its contestant but it’ll give you less headaches over cleaning-drying regimes to prevent it from rusting and has the potential to brew your coffee for decades to come.

Customer Reviews

There is nothing more reassuring than seeing thousands of happy customer reviews online. Spend 2 minutes reading the reviews and if you like what you see, go for it.

what to consider in buying a stovetop espresso maker
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A closer look at the 6 Best Stove top Espresso Makers

Based on customer reviews and our own experience with the cowboy method we’ve researched the best moka espresso makers on the market. The table summarizes features, and below you’ll find more detailed reviews of each pot:

IMAGE PRODUCT FEATURES
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BIALETTI Moka Express
  • Available in 1,3,6 and 9 cup sizes
  • Italian made
  • Trusted and long standing favorite
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BIALETTI Elegance Venus Induction 6 Cup
  • Portable and durable
  • Compact and stylish
  • Outstanding quality
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CUISINOX Roma Coffeemaker
  • Easy to clean
  • Comes with a spare gasket
  • Stylish yet practical
  • Comes with a 25-year warranty
  • Dishwasher safe (if done infrequently)
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TOPS Rapid Brew Stovetop Coffee Percolator
  • Produces consistent coffee taste
  • Stylish
  • Easy to clean
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DE LONGHI EMK6 Alicia Electric Moka Espresso Coffee Maker
  • The charm of a moka pot with plug-in practicality
  • Filter basket adapter for 3-cup use preserves correct pressure during brewing
  • Easy to clean
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COLETTI Bozeman Percolator Coffee Pot
  • Durable stainless steel construction
  • Simple operation means reliability
  • Internal components dishwasher safe (wooden handle excluded)
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1. Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker – Customer favourite

Things we liked

  • Available in 1, 3, 6 and 9 cup sizes
  • Italian-designed (new models are now made in China)
  • Trusted and long-standing favorite
  • Makes coffee fast

Things we didn’t like

  • Not ideal for electric stoves (but will still work)
  • Made from aluminum, so slightly less sexy to some
  • Not dishwasher safe (but then, why would you do that?)

Bialetti is the number one player in the stovetop espresso maker market, which is not a surprise once you see the thousands of happy customer reviews on their moka pots. The octagonal shape of the coffee maker allows the heat to distribute perfectly while your coffee brews, resulting in the a strong moka pot coffee in under 5 minutes (4).

Once you’re done, clean-up is easy thanks to the compartment design; just unscrew it, wash it, and get on with your day. The Italian made ‘moka express’ range is so popular that they made it available in 1, 3, 6 and 9 cup options – so choose the right size for your preference and you’ll start your day with the perfect amount of coffee. Read our full review of this coffee maker here.

I personally only use this moka pot nowadays – I’ve been through other models and the consistency you get is unbeatable.

2. Bialetti Elegance Venus Induction 6 Cup – Best For Induction Stove tops

BEST SUITED FOR: The unit can only make 6 cups of coffee which makes it perfect for a small sized family or for ‘sippin’ stovetops’ with your best friends.

Things we liked

  • Portable
  • The design is compact and stylish
  • Durable
  • The quality is outstanding and makes excellent coffee

Things we didn’t like

  • Not dishwasher safe (but then again, do you really need that?)

The Bialetti Venus features soft lines and a harmonious design that give it just as the name suggests an elegant look. It’s a beauty to the eye. It also produces great tasting coffee. Its stainless steel construction means it’s suited for induction cooktops. The handle is insulated to resist high temperatures, hence you can use the unit without having to worry about burning yourself when pouring. However, if you’re using this over a campfire, be careful not to have the handle directly over the flame.

This stovetop coffee maker is portable and can be taken when on a trip without any forms of inconveniences. You can even go on camping trips and still enjoy the best espresso.

3. Cuisinox Roma Coffeemaker – best overall

Things we liked

  • Beautiful to look at and practical to work with
  • Usable on all cooking surfaces
  • The screen filter allows you to reduce the number of coffee cups if you so wish
  • Comes with a spare gasket

Things we didn’t like

  • The handle tends to heat up at times
  • Darn expensive compared to other espresso makers

You can use the Cuisinox Roma espresso coffeemaker to make up to 1-10 cups of high-quality espresso in one go, which means no need to go through the annoying process of refilling when you have guests over. The Cuisinox Roma boasts a more elegant, refined design. It’s hand-crafted, which adds to the appeal. But the fact that this is done in the P.R.O.C. (China) and not in Italy, takes away that appeal.

Performance wise, the Roma lives up to the high set standards in the industry featuring a number of awesome features including a heavy gauge 18/10 stainless construction with an induction base that makes it safe to use on all cooking surfaces.

4.  Tops Rapid Brew Stovetop Coffee Percolator – Best for camping and outdoor use.

BEST SUITED FOR: This coffee percolator can make up to 9 cups meaning that it works well with small to mid-sized groups. Choose this one if you are feeling the design, which is pretty damn nice.

Things we liked

  • The pretty wooden handle prevents burned fingers
  • Produces consistent coffee taste
  • Easy to clean

Things we didn’t like

  • The lid tends to pop up
  • Spills are a common feature

This coffee percolator is built with the ability to produce up to 9 cups of freshly perked coffee, and even though the unit is non-electric, it still functions efficiently in a fast and decent manner. The design is a beauty to look at with the sparkling high-luster heavy gauge 18/8 stainless steel with a clear glass cover knob to observe brew strength. The basket and stem assembly is made out of high-quality solid metal. The Permawood wood grain handle which makes it easier to handle the stovetop even when hot.

5.  DeLonghi EMK6 Alicia Electric Moka Espresso Coffee Maker – Most practical option

BEST SUITED FOR: Classic moka pot flavor without easy access to a stovetop, such as in an office or while traveling.

Things we liked

  • The charm of a moka pot with plug-in practicality.
  • Filter basket adapter for 3-cup use preserves correct pressure during brewing.
  • Easy to clean

Things we didn’t like

  • Rubber seals between the bottom and top compartments can leak.

Not sure a moka pot is compatible with your stovetop? The DeLonghi EMK6 Alicia has its own heating element. Plug it in anywhere and you can have three to six espresso shots in minutes. Automatic shutoff gives you peace of mind on busy mornings, and the EMK6 Alicia keeps your espresso hot for up to 30 minutes after brewing.

We love the transparent coffee carafe – there’s something hypnotic and charming about watching a moka pot fill up with bubbling, crema-rich coffee while it’s brewing.

Because you can detach the coffee pot from the base (like an electric kettle), you can bring the pot to the table and leave the base plugged in. The EMK6 Alicia automatically shuts off when you lift the pot from the base. And since it only weighs less than three pounds,this machine could make a great travel solution if you crave a moka in your motel.

6. Coletti “Bozeman” Percolator Coffee Pot – Most Durable

BEST SUITED FOR: Lovers of the rugged outdoors, or coffee fans feeling nostalgic for the days before drip coffee ruled the Earth.

Things we liked

  • Durable stainless steel construction
  • Simple operation means reliability
  • Internal components dishwasher safe (wooden handle excluded)

Things we didn’t like

  • As with all percolators, grounds will be present in your cup
  • Multiple-pass percolation method can lead to over-extraction

The Bozeman’s 18/8 stainless construction means it’s nigh indestructible, making it a great solution for campers and outdoor cooks. The attractive wooden handle protects your hand when it’s time to pour your freshly perked coffee, and of course there’s a glass button at the top so you can see your coffee bubbling up from the bottom as it drips through the grinds.

As with the French press, percolator coffee tends to have a few grounds, especially as you near the bottom of the pot. But again, fans of percolators like the way it doesn’t filter out the oils as it brews coffee.If the grounds bother you (they’re not everyone’s cup of tea – pardon the expression), 3.5″ disc filters help solve that problem. Just slide one down into the brew basket before adding your coffee.

THE VERDICT: which Moka Pot is best for you?

For us, it’s the OG amongst the moka pots: the original Bialetti Moka Express. With the large range of cup sizes, it’s suited for everyone. It’s cheap, it’s made to last, and you can’t beat the consistency it delivers. 

Bialetti Moka Express
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Congratulations, you’ve made it all the way to the end of this buying guide. Hopefully, this has helped you make the right call on deciding on the best stovetop espresso maker for your situation. Wondering what the difference is between a Moka Pot and a French Press? Read this.

Next up, it’s time for you to learn how to use you new moka pot and choose the right coffee for your new toy. Here’s a guide to the best coffee for Moka Pots.

FAQs

You can use your favorite kind of coffee blend (beans) in a stovetop espresso maker. It’s recommended that you grind your coffee fresh at home and use a grind size slightly finer than you would for drip coffee and a little more coarse than that for an espresso machine. Don’t use extracts, instant coffee or infusions in your stovetop maker. Here’s a guide on the best coffee for moka pots.

Stovetop espresso is good but not as good as a connoisseurs-like espresso. Though, the results don’t quite live up to the real deal, moka pots are a convenient home-brewing alternative producing a thick, strong, and delicious cup of coffee. It’s easy to over or under extract your grounds using a stovetop maker but, you should know, practice makes close-to-perfect (espresso).

You make a latte with a stovetop espresso maker by adding frothed milk to your espresso like this. Brew the espresso using your stovetop coffee maker as you normally would. Then, top up your cup with the desired amount of frothed milk. If you don’t have a milk frother at home you can use a simple pan and whisk.

You can clean a stainless steel moka pot using one part white vinegar and two parts cold water. Pour the water and vinegar into the basin of the pot and turn it on. Brew a full pot and let the solution sit for 15 minutes. Then, empty the pot and rinse with cold water. Or, use a combination of baking soda and cold water for a simple clean (no brewing here!).


  1. How to Brew in a Moka Pot: Stumptown Coffee Roasters Blog. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.stumptowncoffee.com/blog/brew-guides-moka-pot
  2. Pantsios, A. (2019, January 31). Is Your Coffee Maker Toxic? Retrieved from https://www.ecowatch.com/is-your-coffee-maker-toxic
  3. 10 Differences Between Aluminum and Stainless Steel: Metal Supermarkets. (2018, June 05). Retrieved from https://www.metalsupermarkets.com/10-differences-aluminum-stainless-steel/
  4. Moka Pot Brewing Guide – How to Make Moka Pot Coffee. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://bluebottlecoffee.com/preparation-guides/bialetti-moka-pot
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Alex is an Editor of Home Grounds, who considers himself as a traveling coffee fanatic. He is passionate about brewing amazing coffee while in obscure locations, and teaching others to do the same.

Comments

  1. I have. Breville Pro grinder with all the bells and whistles. I’ve set the grind setting on 10 for my DeLonghi expresso machine (for expresso, I’ve set it as low as 5 and as high as 15. ) Ten Gives me the most consistent cup using single organic beans from Papa New Guinea. What grind would you recommend for for My 3 cup Bialetti Moka pot ? At the same grind, coffee is cloudy with sediment in the bottom or the cup. Flavours ok but very little/no creama. My pot is ancient battered and bruised but seals and screens are ok.

    Reply

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