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.
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.
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
Sample Customer Review… Excellent quality. If you aren’t familiar with a moka pot, it brews “espresso” coffee on the stove. Technically not due to pressure and specifications of coffee, but if you are looking to make strong, concentrated, and bold coffee this is it.
I bought the 3 cup and found it too small, fills half a standard American mug (diner style coffee mug) of 4.5 oz. It uses about 2.5 tbsp of fine ground coffee. The 6 cup version will make a standard cup of coffee, however, it will be much stronger than drip. Your preference of size and strength will drive the purchase. If you want Starbucks grande type drinks get 6 cups. If you want a double shot with milk gets 3 cups. Also great for camping/outdoors useRead more reviews at Amazon.com
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
Sample Customer Review… This DeLonghi moka pot solved my problem of trying to heat my Moka Pots on the circular flame pattern of the gas stove. The internal heating element is fast & the safety switch disengages when the pot is lifted from the base. There are also some nice tricks to the design – the circular filter element is held up into the upper pot by the silicon gasket, which prevents misplacing the filter or forgetting to place the filter on the basket.
Also, the bubbler tube has a cap on the top which prevents the expressed coffee from splattering out. This pot makes up to 1 cup (8 fl. oz.) and is listed as a 6-cup unit, 6 espresso cups that is. I love the taste of the coffee it makes. Bear in mind that all moka pots operate with only the pressure from boiling water (about 2-3 atm) and can not replicate the 10 atm. or so used in a true espresso machine. Use a grind a little coarser than your usual espresso grind.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
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
Sample Customer Review… Six cup coffee maker Mocha Pot for induction. I absolutely love this device. I live in a RV, have induction cook surfaces (no propane). There was a small learning curve on the amount of heat to apply.
Initially it was tempting to use too much heat, but with time I learned to use the lowest setting and wait for the coffee to brew. Using the induction is much faster than using gas (I tried this on a gas stove in a home).
This does on make an espresso, but it makes a nice robust cup, great for the early morning wake up. The quickness of preparation makes an easy morning cup ‘o Joe possible.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
4. LuxHaus’ Stovetop Espresso Maker
The LuxHaus’ stovetop espresso maker is known for its unique shape and stainless steel shine. The unique shape of the LuxHaus’ allows for a more controlled experience when pouring your coffee, ideally meaning that there is less of a mess. There is a steady pressure buildup because of its long and narrowing chimney.
Because the LuxHaus’s is made of stainless steel, it takes a little bit longer for the coffee to warm up compared to an aluminum moka pot. The stainless steel moka pot is more durable, non corrosive, food safe, and dishwasher safe.
Other moka pots have filters that can be difficult to remove, but the LuxHaus’ filter basket has a spring that pops it up for easy removal and cleaning. This moka pot is best used on an induction stovetop. The LuxHaus’ has two different sizes, a 3-cup and a 6-cup. A gas or electric stove is not recommended for use with this moka pot. Overall, the LuxHaus’ is durable, easy to clean, and allows for a more controlled experience compared to others.
- A 3-cup and 6-cup option is available
- Unique shape and stainless steel shine
- Filter basket is easily removable and easy to clean
- Great for use on an induction stovetop
Sample Customer Review… I’m so happy I bought this product. I was brought up using the aluminum expresso coffee maker using Bustelo as my expresso grounds. I have an induction stove which is why I purchased this product. I did my first brew this morning and was blown away of how simple and unique it is compared the the other products I’ve used all my life. I followed the direction by pouring in hot water in the canister.
I put the fine ground in that other piece, screwed it on placed it on the stove and within a minute it started to brew and I lowered the number on the induction oven so it would cook it nicely-NO bitter taste at all! It was delicious. I usually get heartburn with my old product and with this product i didn’t.
I guess the old product is aluminum and this one is stainless steel. It washed beautifully and I dried it looks brand new again. As long as you follow the instructions it will come out great! Thanks for changing my world!!Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
5. 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
Sample Customer Review… I was originally looking for an electric coffee maker to replace my old one, but the prices were insane and the reviews were truly not the best – either the coffee makers would give out after a short while or the glass was too thin. When I finally came to the conclusion that I was going to go “old school.” Best choice ever! Me and my son just love the Coletti Bozeman Percolator, the coffee tastes 10 times better than an electric coffee maker.
My son-in-law also agrees. This little coffee maker (percolator) does come with circular filters, we can usually use 1 filter twice and then we toss them. I make sure to wash the Percolator right after the last drop is poured, I don’t leave it in there. The instructions are very easy to follow, we make sure to always use low heat (we have a gas stove), but this helps with flavor, and the aroma is subtle. Strong coffee aromas (made in a coffee maker) tends to give me horrible headaches, this has not brought on any headaches whatsoever.
To make 9 cups of coffee we use three heaping spoons… delicious. I have also noticed that after drinking coffee made through our Coletti Bozeman Percolator it doesn’t make your breath stink, where if you drink it from “other” places or machines you definitely need to brush those teeth afterwards. Trust me on that one, pay attention to your breath or other peoples breath after drinking coffee from electric coffee makers…not so good, it will make people cringe, maybe they won’t say anything, but cringe none the less.
It usually takes 10-15 minutes to brew depending on heat, when it is done you will see the coffee bubbling in the little glass percolator. All in all, we are all happy that I purchased this.Read more Reviews at Amazon.com
6. Bialetti Kitty Stainless Steel Espresso Maker
The Bialetti Kitty is constructed from stainless steel which means that it is dishwasher safe and can be used on all stove tops. The stainless steel feature also makes this a durable option for years to come. This model features a more modern design and a handle that is further out from the body making it easier to pour without burning your hand. Also, unlike the Bialetti Moka Express, the Kitty is manufactured in China instead of Italy.
The Kitty is compatible with both electric and gas stovetops. It also comes in three different sizes, ranging from a 4-cup to a 10-cup. Even though the price point is slightly higher than others, the portability and durability of the Kitty is hard to come by therefore making it a very appealing option to most.
- Stainless steel construction
- Handle is heat resistant
- 4-cup, 6-cup, or 10-cup
- Dishwasher safe
- Made in China
Sample Customer Review… This is a beautiful stainless steel pot. It is quality, well made, and very nice looking, suitable for yourself or guests. It has a great and attractive shape, and functions very well and easily for fresh stove top coffee. I prefer it to the aluminum pot I had for the same purpose. The coffee tastes better. It is listed as a 10 cup Espresso pot and would make 10 tiny espresso cups of coffee. It makes two large/mug size cups of coffee, or about three regular cups. A great purchase!Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
7. Grosche Milano Stovetop Moka Pot
The Grosche Milano, originally made in Italy, is built with thick aluminum, making it extremely durable and functional. It also has a silicone gasket instead of a rubber gasket, which allows for a better seal that prevents leaks and will ultimately last longer.
Grosche’s Milano is functional for gas, electric, and camp stoves. The silicone coated handle won’t melt and has a stylish and modern look that will compliment any kitchen.
The Gorsche Milano comes in three different sizes 3, 6, or even 9 cups. This moka pot is not great for induction stoves and it is not dishwasher safe, so there is a possibility of corrosion if not cleaned properly. Overall, the Grosche Milano is made with high quality parts and is an easy to use moka espresso coffee maker.
- Built with thick, food-grade aluminum
- 3, 6, or 9-cups option
- Made with silicone handle that won’t melt
- Compatible with gas, electric, and camp stoves
Sample Customer Review… I read some of the reviews on Amazon watched, watched some more reviews on YouTube and decided it was a worthwhile risk for the price. I am in love! This little stovetop espresso pot makes strong, delicious coffee in just a few minutes. I love how easy and painless the whole process is. I have always preferred getting my coffee out, but this last week I have been choosing to stay in for my caffeine boost.
I don’t know if it’s the beans I’m using, or this little espresso pots magic but the flavor of my coffee is better than any maker I’ve used before! This pot is easy to clean and can be taken apart to make sure there is no water or coffee grounds stuck anywhere. If you’re questioning if you need this in your life, the answer is yes – yes you need this in your life.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
8. 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
Sample Customer Review… After reading countless reviews for stove-top espresso makers, I settled on the Cuisinox Roma–a marked difference from my gifted Bialetti Moka Express aluminum pot. Aside from the aesthetics, the construction is impressive–a heavy-gauge stainless steel ensemble that assembles with ease.
I use a gas-top stove and found that the Roma heats up quicker and produces that bit of goodness so much sooner than its aluminum counterpart. Who knew? I also notice that the coffee does not spurt out of the stem, but instead eases out almost imperceptibly.
Clean-up is much easier and notable in how the machined surfaces seem to reject stains when compared to the Moka–a messy endeavor to clean out. Yes, the price is somewhat hard to swallow, but honestly, I look forward to weekends when I’m able to brew up some magic–well worth the price of admission. Consider this purchase an investment in prolonged happiness as you are transported to Roma, Italy in a cup.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
9. 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
Sample Customer Review… The stainless steel seems very sturdy, the outside of the pot hasn’t gotten any dings since I have been using it. The bubble is actually glass– a rare find in percolators as they usually come with bubbles made of plastic. I was worried the hinged lid would leak coffee when it perks but I haven’t had any leaks at all.
The permawood on the handle stays cool enough to touch after making my coffee. I do choose to use a filter in the basket because I don’t have a coffee grinder so I purchase pre-ground coffee and the grinds of pre-ground coffee are so fine it would easily get through holes in the filter basket. I read a review stating that the lid must be held down when pouring the coffee to prevent the lid from opening because of the lid being hinged.
I don’t really see this to be a problem, up until the last drops of coffee the lid doesn’t start to open so I don’t have any issue with the lid being hinged. The size of this pot is about enough to make three or four cups of coffee, I appreciate being able to make just enough to fill up my travel cup if I am the only one drinking coffee. I would highly recommend this percolator, I have thoroughly enjoyed waking up and making my coffee with this percolator.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
10. Imusa’s Aluminum Stovetop Coffee Maker
Imusa’s stovetop coffee maker is made of durable aluminum that heats up quickly, allowing for a faster coffee making process. This stovetop coffee maker is also offered in many different sizes, such as 1-cup, 3-cups, 6-cups, or even 9-cups! It is an ideal option for making espresso. The side pour spout is an additional feature that really takes this pot to the next level, allowing for an easy pour and no need to worry about your hands getting burned.
Imusa’s Moka pot includes a silicone gasket that is preferred over the rubber one. This model is more delicate than others, especially around the lid and handle. It is not dishwasher safe and can potentially get corrosive overtime if not cleaned properly. This moka pot is perfect for those looking for a cheaper option and espresso-like coffee.
- 1, 3, 6, or 9-cup option
- Durable aluminum
- Small and portable design
- Detaches for easy cleaning
- Flip up top and side pour design for easy serving
Sample Customer Review… I’ve been using these products for about a year now this is my second one that I’ve purchased. I quit the pump base electronic espresso machines and converted to this for the ease of functionality and that it can be used if there’s even a power outage. It produces great flavor from my ground espresso beans. I would highly recommend this as it’s a great product and great value for the price.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
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.
Written by Evyn Carter and Hollee Mattei