Moka Pot: Best Stovetop Espresso Maker For The Best Moka Pot Coffee
Need something a bit stronger? Well, the moka pot may be your answer! It is a portable coffee maker that recreates the flavor and caffeine punch of espresso without the bulky machinery. All you need is a heat source which is why we consider it to be one of the best. Curious as to what is the best coffee maker?
At A Glance: Our Top 5 Picks for Moka Pots
Moka Pot Coffee
The moka pot is sometimes called a Bialetti. That is because the original moka pot was created by Italian aluminum engineer, Alfonso Bialetti, in 1933. Coffee making at home was a much slower process before Bialetti's moka pot. Bialetti's design allowed people from all walks of life to enjoy a good cup of espresso coffee without needing a fancy machine.
As a testament to its popularity and effectiveness, the Bialetti moka pot is still being manufactured today. Today's models replicate Bialetti's classic eight-sided design from all of those years ago, so for that reason, it is our number one recommended choice!
What is a Moka Pot
The moka pot is essentially a stovetop espresso maker. Over the years, Bialetti’s moka pot design has been recreated by many different companies. While the materials, size, and look may vary now, the moka pot’s simple design stayed the same.
The moka pot is made from three separate pieces that create three chambers for your water, ground coffee, and the brewed coffee espresso. The bottom chamber holds the boiling water and comes in direct contact with the stovetop or heat source.
The Moka Pot is a portable brewing apparatus that packs a bold punch! It's not quite an espresso, nor is it just coffee...
The middle chamber is the ground coffee chamber. It sits on top of the bottom chamber and consists of a filter basket that sits atop a funnel that feeds into the water. The pressure created by the boiling water travels up the funnel, brewing the coffee grinds.
The top chamber is where the coffee flows as it is brewed. The bottom of the top chamber has a gasket and a filter, which can be removed and should be cleaned regularly. At the top of the top chamber is a lid. Many models also come with a handle these days.
That is the moka pot in its totality. We told you it was a simple design!
How to Use a Stovetop Espresso Maker
The moka pot is very easy to use. All that stands between you and a strong cup of coffee are these 10 simple steps:
- First, gather your materials. You will need your ground coffee, water, and a stovetop or other heat source.
- Place the water chamber over the heat source. You need to make sure that the moka pot you purchase is compatible with the stovetop or heat source available to you.
- Fill the water chamber up the fill line with cold water, which should be right below the pressure release valve.
- Boil the water in the bottom chamber or fill it with hot water to start.
- While the water is heating, fill the coffee chamber to the top with finely ground coffee.
- When water is boiling, add the full coffee chamber on top. Make sure you use a towel or a kitchen mitten as the water chamber will be hot.
- Once the coffee chamber is in place, screw on the upper chamber and leave the lid open.
- Watch the coffee flow in and fill the top chamber as it brews.
- Once you hear the coffee gurgling remove the moka pot from the heat source.
- Some coffee enthusiasts recommend running the water chamber under cold tap water after you remove it to stop any residual brewing process.
The coffee is now ready to drink. Go ahead and pour yourself a nice cup of stovetop coffee!
Best Moka Pot
Our Top Choice
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Now that you know how easy the moka pot is to use, you are ready to make your own stovetop espresso at home. Do not be intimidated by the variety of moka pots that you find online. We reviewed the top moka pots on the market today to make it easier to select the best one for you.
1. Bialetti Express Moka Pot
Our Top Choice
The Bialetti Express Moka Pot is based on the original eight-sided Bialetti moka design. Like its predecessors, this express moka pot is still made in Italy from high-quality aluminum. It is safe for use on both a gas stove and an electric stovetops. It can also be used on top of camp stoves if you would like to enjoy a high-quality coffee in the great outdoors.
The Bialetti Express Moka Pot comes in a variety of different sizes. You can pick from a 1-cup design all the way up to an 18-cup design, depending on whether you plan to make coffee for one or your entire crew. The 6-cup design is the standard and most commonly used one.
The Bialetti Moka Pot is our top choice. Check out our Bialetti Moka Express Review for a deeper dive!
The Bialetti Express weighs about 3 pounds, depending on the size. It features an ergonomic anti-scald handle, though be careful that it does not go directly over a flame, as it may melt. The lid also has a anti-scald knob
All you need to clean this moka pot is water, so no need for detergent if you don’t have any on hand. For the environmentally-conscious coffee drinker, Bialetti partners with an ocean conservancy organization to promote eco-sustainable practices.
Bialetti moka pots tend to be in the mid range price-wise. The tried and true Italian quality and beautiful design are so worth a little extra cash over some cheaper options on the market.
2. bonVIVO Intenca Stovetop Espresso Maker
The bonVIVO Intenca Stovetop Espresso Maker is the perfect option for coffee makers who appreciate a good design. BonVIVO specializes in home goods with simple, modern designs and the Intenca stovetop espresso maker is no exception.
The bonVIVO Intenca is a beautifully designed coffee maker that comes in three color options, chrome, copper, and black. It is a great addition to any modern kitchen and is surely to get lots of compliments.
The Intenca is made from stainless steel, which is more durable than aluminum. Though stainless steel typically heats up faster than aluminum, it also tends to heat up less evenly. The Intenca is safe to use on all stove types and features a heat-resistant stainless-steel handle, though some users have reported that the handle does get hot.
BonVIVO recommends that users hand wash the Intenca, though it is supposedly dishwasher safe. Some users who have washed it using a machine, have reported that it made the copper finish peel away. Though bonVIVO promotes the Intenca as an Italian design, it is most likely is not manufactured in Italy.
The bonVIVO Intenca weighs about 2 pounds depending on the size. It comes in two size options, 4 cups and 6 cups, so you can treat a friend. The bonVIVO Intenca is comparable in price to the Bialetti Express Moka Pot.
3. GROSCHE Milano Steel Matte Black
The Grosche Milano Steel Matte Black moka pot is another great moka pot with a clean and simple design. It is made from stainless steel and is safe to use on all stove types, including gas, electric, coil, induction, and camp stoves.
The Milano Steel Matte Black comes in a 6-cup and 10-cup size option and weights about 2.5 pounds. In addition to the matte black option, the model also comes in a brushed steel color option.
The exterior of the Milano’s upper chamber is powder coated, which make it extremely durable. It can be cleaned in the dishwasher without worrying about the top layer peeling off like with some of its competitors.
While most of the unit is manufactured in China, the steam safety valve on the bottom chamber is actually made in Italy. We feel as though GROSCHE put a lot of care into this product to ensure that the safety valve was well tested and the quality was assured.
The Grosche Milano Steel Matte Black is the perfect moka pot for the socially conscious coffee maker. Grosche enables its users to make a difference while making coffee, due to its socially conscious mission: to provide safe drinking water for everyone on the planet. The company also promotes other ideals, such as food security, eco-sustainability, and a living wage.
The Grosche Milano fall in the mid-range pricewise and is comparable to the Bialetti and the bonVIVO in that regard. If the past two choices haven't convinced you, then this is your next best option!
4. VeoHome Stovetop Espresso Coffee Maker
The VeoHome Stovetop Espresso Coffee Maker resembles an electric tea kettle at first glance. Its subtle look will blend in seamlessly to any kitchen. VeoHome is a French based company, although this moka pot is manufactured in China.
The VeoHome moka pot does not come in a variety of colors, however, this may be a good thing as the exterior of the unit is less likely to wear down or chip away during use and cleaning.
Like many of the other moka pots on our list, the VeoHome stovetop espresso coffee maker is made from stainless steel. The unit’s handle is also made from stainless steel and lacks any heat resistant features, so it is likely to get hot during the brewing process.
The VeoHome stovetop espresso coffee maker is safe to use on all stove types, though some users with induction stoves have reported difficulties with getting it to work. It comes in a 6-cup and 10-cup options and weighs about 3 pounds.
While the VeoHome may lack some of the bells and whistles of other moka pots, such as a futuristic design or a flashy branding campaign, users praise for its reliability to get the job done and make a great cup of espresso. Pricewise, this moka pot is on par with other mid-range moka pots on our list.
5. Début Stainless Steel Italian Espresso Coffee Maker
The Début Stainless Steel Italian Espresso Coffee Maker probably has the most contemporary design of any of the moka pots on our list. It will not only make great coffee, but also will no doubt be a conversation starter for guests in your kitchen.
Début is a Taiwanese company and this moka pot is made in Taiwan. According to Début, this moka pot was designed by an Italian company. The Début is made from stainless steel and like the VeoHome, the Début’s handle lacks any insulation, so it will likely get hot to the touch while you are brewing your coffee.
While the Début is safe to use on all stove types, some users with induction stoves have had trouble getting the unit to work. It also comes in four size options that range from 2 cups to 8 cups, and weights under 2 pounds, depending on the design.
The Début’s coffee chamber comes with a unique feature: the reducer. The reducer is an additional filter basket that can be used to limit the amount of coffee grounds that are brewed in the chamber to decrease the strength and boldness of your cup of coffee.
The Début is a relative newcomer to the moka pot world but users are really happy with the results so far. The unit does trend towards the pricier end of similar models on our list.
6. GROSCHE Milano Stovetop Espresso Maker
The Grosche Milano Stovetop Espresso Maker is another great Grosche coffee maker that is worthy to make the top moka pot list. What differentiates the Grosche Milano Stovetop Espresso Maker from the Grosche Milano Steel Matte Black is that it replicates the original eight-sided Bialetti moka pot design.
This moka pot is safe to use on most stove tops but is not intended to be used on induction stoves. The Grosche Milano Stovetop Espresso Maker adds a modern twist to the Bialetti with a wooden handle and wooden knob on top of the lid. This material is heat proof and unlike the heat resistant features of some of the other moka pots on this list, does its job well!
Like the Bialetti it is made from aluminum but what makes it standout is the exterior enamel coat that allows for its attractive modern look. It comes in four color options: red, black, white, and silver. It also comes in four size options that range from 1 cup to 9 cups.
The price of the Grosche Milano Stovetop Espresso Maker is significantly lower than most of the moka pots on our list. It is about half the price of its muse, the Bialetti. As your already know from reading the Grosche Milano Steel Matte Black, Grosche is proud to be a socially conscious minded company and gives back a lot in the community.
7. Primula Espresso Maker
If you look at the Primula Espresso Maker too quickly you might mistake it for the Bialetti Express Moka Pot. That is because it copies Bialetti’s eight-sided design and silver exterior. It is a well crafted device capable of brewing a strong cup of Joe.
Like the Bialetti, the Primula Espresso Maker is made from aluminum. It is safe to use on all electric, ceramic, gas, and propane stove tops. Also, like the Bialetti, the Primula features a heart resistant handle and lid knob, which users report can get overheated if placed directly over the heat source. Unlike the Bialetti, the Primula is made in China.
The Primula comes in two different color options: the plain aluminum and a shiny red finish. While the red finish is attractive, some users have reported fading on the bottom chamber after use.
The Primula comes in five sizes that range from 1 cup to 12 cups. It weighs about two pounds, but varies a little bit depending on the size you purchase.
If you are on a budget, the Primula Espresso Maker is worth it at just a fraction of the cost of the Bialetti. However, if the original moka pot design is what you are after, it might be worth spending a few more dollars and investing in the better quality Bialetti.
8. LuxHaus Stovetop Espresso Maker
What makes the LuxHaus Stovetop Espresso Maker unique is that it is the only unit that the company sells. In fact, LuxHaus makes a total of three products, the stovetop espresso maker and two types of coffee tampers.
Though this laser focus on one product could be interpreted as a bad or a good thing, in this case, it is most definitely is a positive. Because it specializes in just one thing, LuxHaus has perfected its moka pot. The user reviews speak for themselves.
The LuxHaus Stovetop Espresso Maker is made from stainless steel and comes with a heat resistant handle. True to the company’s approach, the unit comes in only one size, 3 cups, and just the basic steel color option. It weighs just over 2 pounds.
A unique feature of this moka pot is the spring on the coffee chamber that pops it out and makes it easier to take out and clean. The LuxHaus Stovetop Espresso Maker is safe to use on all stove types. Unlike some of LuxHaus’s competitors, it has been proven to work on induction stoves.
The LuxHaus is on the lower end of the price points featured on our list, and though it is no-frills it is also very affordable.
9. London Sip Stainless Steel Induction Moka Pot
The first two things that will strike you about the London Sip Stainless Steel Induction Moka Pot is that it looks cool and it is affordable.
The London Sip is a very attractive moka pot that features a modern design and comes in a unique copper color. A second option is a standard silver finish. It also comes in three sizes: 3 cups, 6 cups, and 10 cups.
The London Sip is made from stainless steel and weighs about 1.5 pounds depending on the size. The unit’s handle protrudes more than most of the models featured on this list to keep it out of direct heat and safe to the touch while brewing your cup of coffee.
This moka pot is safe on most stove types, include electric, gas, induction, and ceramic. Unfortunately, propane is not a compatible stove type for this unit and therefore you probably won’t be able to take it camping with you.
Like the LuxHaus brand, the London Sip specializes in only three products, its two moka pots and their replacement parts, including the rubber gasket and filter plate.
While the name may suggest that the London Sip is made in the UK, the majority of the unit is actually manufactured in China. The London Sip is another lower priced model that makes it an affordable, entry level moka pot.
10. Coffee Gator Moka Pot Stovetop Espresso Maker
At first glance, you may think that the Coffee Gator Moka Pot Stovetop Espresso Maker is another Bialetti Express Moka Pot wannabe. And it’s true, this moka pot features the quintessential Bialetti eight-sided design, as well as the heat-resistant handle and lid knob.
However, don’t write the Coffee Gator moka pot as another Bialetti knock-off. There are some things than make it stand out a cut above the rest. For starters, Coffee Gator was founded in the United States by a guy who used to drink instant coffee before he was converted to real coffee while traveling through Colombia.
Another reason why the Coffee Gator is a unique pick is it comes with two complimentary stainless steel espresso mugs. Did we mention that despite this, it is also one of the most affordable units on our list? It is.
The Coffee Gator is made from aluminum like the Bialetti, It comes only in one size, a 6 cup option, and only in a gray color option. The Coffee Gator is safe on all stove types, including induction and propane, so you can take it camping if you want.
Take note, the Coffee Gator is not dishwasher safe. To keep it clean, just rinse with water. It is a bit strange that something can hold boiling hot water, yet it can't go in the dishwasher...
Is Moka Pot Coffee As Strong As Espresso?
Espresso purists will argue that stovetop espresso is not real espresso. While moka pot coffee may not be exactly as strong as espresso made with an industrial machine, it is very close.
Moka pots are capable of making a very strong cup of coffee, much stronger than drip coffee. In fact, there are some techniques that you can use to reduce the boldness of your moka coffee, such as increasing the coarseness of your coffee grounds and using a lower heat setting on your stovetop to increase the brew time.
If you find your moka top coffee to be too strong for your tastes, you can always dilute it with water to make it closer to drip quality. Like espresso, you can also use moka pot coffee as a base for other espresso-like drinks, such as lattes and cappuccinos. All you have to do is add milk.
Is Moka Pot Coffee Good?
Moka pot coffee is as good as the quality of the coffee you use. Moka pot coffee is great if you use good quality beans. Some people complain that moka pot coffee is bitter. There are a few easy solutions to this, including:
- Grind coffee beans to a texture that is a bit coarser than the fine coffee grounds used in an espresso machine.
- Keep the moka pot clean. There is a myth that some old buildup in the pot adds flavor to the coffee. That old residue actually contributes to the bitterness.
- Fill the moka pot with hot water from the start. If you heat up cold water with the coffee on top, you are also heating up the coffee grinds, which can add to the bitter taste.
Does a Moka Pot Make Espresso?
Espresso is a coffee brewing method in which an industrial machine forces pressurized boiling water through densely packed, finely ground coffee. As a result of this technique, espresso has a unique flavor, is thicker, and much stronger than drip coffee.
A shot of espresso delivers caffeine to your system quicker and more effectively than its milder filtered coffee counterpart. While the Bialetti moka pot cannot attain the nine bars of pressure of an espresso machine, it comes pretty close.
Moka Pot Caffeine
The amount of caffeine between a drip coffee, a moka pot coffee, and a shot of espresso differs.
- Drip coffee cup: ~175mg for a Starbucks medium roast
- Moka pot: ~105mg
- Shot of espresso: ~75mg for a Starbucks espresso
Keep in mind that the size drip coffee size is much bigger than the moka pot cup which is bigger than a shot of espresso. As you go down in size, the caffeine becomes much more concentrated, which is why people look for a caffeine kick opt for the quick-release of an espresso.
How to Clean A Moka Pot
Cleaning your moka pot is an important practice that many java lovers do not perform. Doing a routine cleaning will help with the coffee oils and particles that tend to form on the surfaces of your beloved brewing apparatuses. The moka pot is no exception which is why we have laid down these simple tips to follow!
- Rinse an dry after every use. The more consistent you are with this process, the less likely that calcium deposits will start to form.
- Descale your moka pot. After many uses, the minerals in your water will begin to calcify and you'll need stronger acids to break them down. We recommend a tablespoon of vinegar and lemon juice!
- Rinse and repeat as necessary. If you have routinely cleaned your moka pot, then one descale should suffice. However, if you have neglected the cleanup process then yo may need to do this one or two additional times.
Best Stovetop Espresso Maker
The moka pot is a very simple, three-piece machine, so even with all of the varieties narrowed down to the top 10, it might still be very difficult to pick one out. As we have just discussed, there are a few features that you should be on the lookout for when shopping for a moka pot.
Whether you opt for an aluminum or a stainless steel option, look for a moka pot that is compatible with all stove types, especially the one you plan to use it on the most. Look for a moka pot with heat resistant handles and knobs that truly work. And while a colored coating on the exterior may be more attractive, make sure that it will not fade or peel when exposed to heat or your dishwasher.
If you can't decide which of these is the best stovetop espresso maker, the you should stick with the Bialetti... it's perfect!
One thing to note when it comes to moka pot sizes, cups equates to espresso cups not regular coffee cups. One espresso cup is equal to about 2 ounces vs the standard 8-ounce cup. Some users have felt mislead when their moka pot was much smaller than expected.
Remember, espresso is usually consumed in shots due to the concentration of caffeine versus regular coffee cups. Finally, if you are socially conscious or care where your moka pot is manufactured make sure you pay attention to the little details.
There you have it, ten great moka pots to choose from if you would like to make espresso from the comfort of your own home (or tent). These days, coffee maker companies come in all shapes and sizes, so you are bound to find a moka pot that not only fits your budget and style specifications, but also one that meets more special requirements.