The 6 Best Moka Pot Picks Of 2020 (Stovetop Espresso)
There might be 100 ways to brew a cup of joe, but which one is your favorite?
Some of the best ways to make something are often the simplest. Coffee is no exception, especially when it comes to the Moka pot, aka stovetop percolator.
Regardless if you’re new to this kind of brewing or if you’re just looking for a replacement coffee percolator, in this guide we are going to find the best moka pot for you!
If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best moka pot is then our top pick is below:
Best Alternative Moka Pots in 2020
The 6 Best Stove Top Espresso Makers Reviewed
Below we run through the best stovetop esspresso makers, outlining the pros and cons of each pick.
Let’s get started with our favourite:
Bialetti is the old school king of stovetop coffee makers. Having manufactured over 200 million coffee makers since the 1950s, they certainly know what they are doing!
- Premium craftsmanship
- A variety of cup size
- Designed in Italy
- Not suitable for Induction stovetops
- Not dishwasher safe
Designed in Italy like all the best stovetop espresso pots, the moka express has a unique octagon design and is lightweight due to being manufactured from aluminum.
With perfect heat distribution and super easy disassembly, the Bialetti comes in 1, 3, 6, and 9 cup sizes to please even the largest family.
When it comes to stovetop espresso makers, the moka express is in a league of its own. Brewing excellent coffee quickly and efficiently every time.
Nonetheless, while it raises the brewing bar, it’s not perfect by any means. Being carved from aluminum means its subject to oxidation and isn’t suitable for induction worktops.
Still, this is our personal favorite by far and I personally use it near enough every other day. It genuinely makes the best stovetop espresso, which only gets better each time you use it.
If you’re looking for a premium design and don’t mind paying for it the Cuisinox is for you. Excluding the gaskets, its made entirely from stainless steel, meaning it’s built to last.
- Elegant design
- Suitable for all stovetops
- Adjustable brew capacity
- The handle isn’t heat resistant
With its variety of size options, you can pick from a 1-10 cup size (up to 15 ounces capacity) to meet your brewing needs, and the larger cup sizes have inbuilt adjustable brewing capacity for times when you don’t need as much.
As a result, it’s durable, dishwasher safe, and looks great on any worktop. Its induction base also means you can brew great coffee on any stovetop without an issue!
Interestingly, the Roma comes with a 25-year manufacturer warranty. Yup, that’s right…25 years! As a result, when you add this into the mix, it certainly becomes more attractive.
Given its premium price point, the handle isn’t plastic or wood-like other stovetop espresso makers; its pure stainless steel. Although, this can wreak havoc with your hand if you don’t use gloves or a cloth to avoid burning yourself each time you pour.
The venus is a newer model from Bialetti to cater for induction stovetops. Its made from premium stainless steel to ensure longevity and its elegant design mean it doesn’t go unnoticed on any worktop.
- Beautiful design
- Robust construction
- Premium price point
If you’ve got an induction cooker and want an Italian designed stovepot espresso maker to rival the original Bialetti moka express, then look no further.
With its insulated handle, the venus also gives you peace of mind that you won’t get burnt while pouring the perfect cup of coffee.
However, there is a learning curve associated with this moka pot, and it can take some time to yield the best stovetop espresso from it. So, if you’re willing to be patient and read the instructions great!
- Food grade stainless steel carafe
- Premium look without the price point
- Works on any stovetop
- Lid closure can be a problem
Glass, electric, or induction the LuxHaus espresso maker will brew you a tasty pot of coffee.
The carafe is made from stainless steel and has a 10 ounce capacity, avoiding any problems with oxidation.
Additionally, the team at LuxHaus is so confident you will love it that they also offer a lifetime satisfaction guarantee!
Love the outdoors but want to drink fresh coffee without oxidation? The Farberware coffee percolator is built with on the go use in mind.
- Heavy-duty stainless steel
- Perfect for outdoor family trips
- Large capacity
- Glass percolator is fragile
Manufactured to last it uses a heavy-duty stainless steel construction, with a glass percolator knob you can quickly see when your coffee is ready to drink.
Like the LuxHaus the Farberware also comes with a limited lifetime warranty, so you can buy with confidence it will last.
Its 12 cup (64 ounce!) capacity makes it an excellent buy for any family who loves coffee and the outdoors!
The Cook N Home moka pot is made from 18/8 stainless steel through and through, including the heavy-duty gasket.
- XL heat resistant handle
- Value for money
- Dishwasher safe
- Lid isn’t removable
With its extended handle, this stovetop coffee maker makes pouring your favorite espresso easy without getting burnt!
While it’s originally made for brewing coffee, it also works well to make tea or boil water, making it multifunctional!
Summary and recommendation
For us, there one clear winner in the Bialetti moka express!
It’s the original Italian stovetop espresso maker, which delivers a consistent brew at a friendly price point.
While stainless steel espresso makers are the top one for those of us looking for an easily cleaned pot and a premium finish, I love the traditional nature of a Baliettti, making it the one for me!
Moka Pot Buying Guide
Invented by an Italian engineer called Alfonso Bialetti way back in 1933, stovetop esspresso is makers now a regular part of Italian coffee culture, and their use has permeated across the globe.
The versatility of a moka pot to brew without the need to harness electricity along with the ability to make multiple cups in one shot makes it a godsend. Especially if you’re on the go or just enjoy the traditional coffee-making methods.
While the traditional moka pot is a stovetop espresso maker and only requires a naked flame for heat, there are modern electric versions also available.
If you want full brewing control, you’ll probably want a stovetop coffee maker. But if you just want it to do to the job without any responsibility and avoiding an over-brewed pot, go for an electric one.
It’s important to note that technique and the type of coffee you use along with its coarseness can make a huge difference to the brew – but we’ll get into that later.
So how do you judge the many different moka pots on the market today?
Origin: Coffee Maker Italian or Not?
When it comes to stovetop espresso makers, I don’t favor one country over another. However, these things originate from Italy, and some people suggest the best ones are made or designed there – which makes sense.
The Bialetti is indeed still designed in Italy, but it’s no longer produced there since the company shifted production to China in 2010.
You will notice espresso makers designed or produced in Italy might come with a slight price premium. It’s something to consider if you’re looking for an authentic and quality stovetop espresso maker, which will last the test of time. You can see my Bialetti working hard after years of use below:
Capacity: How many cups can it brew?
The size of a cup can differ!
While we might assume that the cup size used in the states is what’s standard around the world, it often isn’t the case.
So, if you assume cup capacity is uniform across brands, don’t! Unfortunately, there isn’t a universal size for a cup, and it can vary.
Often, you will find products designed in Europe will have a smaller volume measurement per cup (for example, Bialetti). It’s important to remember in Europe. A cup is traditionally smaller than in the states.
Instead, look at the measurement in ounces. From there, it’s easy to see how many cups you will be able to pour from the espresso maker.
This way, you can easily discount some options due to their volume constraints.
Will it work with my stovetop?
Not all moka pots work with an electric or induction stove, but all work with gas.
If you don’t have a gas stovetop, be sure to check if the one you want to buy is compatible.
Remember, induction stoves require a magnet at the bottom of the moka pot to function!
Warranty can give you peace of mind that if the item breaks down in use, it’s easily replaced without an added cost.
Although, it’s important to note that each stovetop espresso maker doesn’t necessarily have the same warranty period across brands.
You will find it can vary from one year right through to a lifetime! Be sure to look beyond the price point as otherwise if you’re out of warranty and your espresso maker breaks, it’s going to cost you money to get a new.
In short, if warranty matters to you (it does to me), then the best one for you has to meet your support needs.
As moka pots have three chambers and gaskets to maintain pressure, each piece needs to be individually cleaned for the best performance.
I’ll admit, cleaning them can be a pain if you’ve not got the right technique, especially if you have an aluminum moka pot, which requires extra care to maintain the seal. Nonetheless, you just need to use warm water to rinse the moka pot if its alumninum (don’t use soapy water no matter what you do!).
As a result, stainless steel ones are considered the easiest to clean. Often, they can be partially disassembled and placed directly into a dishwasher.
But, do if you’re seeking a traditional Italian experience, you might not want stainless steel.
Aluminum moka pots vs stainless steel
Traditionally, a moka pot is made from aluminum.
While this conducts heat evenly making excellent coffee, it can lead to higher levels of oxidation (build up on the pot). While this is considered safe, for some, the grungy look and taste disruption is too much.
On the other hand, stainless steel doesn’t conduct heat nearly as well and can lead to uneven heat distribution regardless of the age of the espresso maker.
On the other hand, stainless steel is often dishwasher safe, which can be useful, especially if you’re brewing regularly!
If you do decide to go traditional, a trick is not to wash the aluminum coffee percolator. Instead, rinse it under hot water and use a non-abrasive cloth to ensure the oils from the coffee remain on the surface of the pot.
This is one of the reasons traditional Bialetti moka pots can look filthy after a while, keeping them this way keeps them sealed and avoids flavor disruption.
But hey, doesn’t the tired look add to its character? If you think, so you’ll need to avoid stainless steel for that aged look.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does a Moka pot work?
Using a triple pressurized chamber, a moka pot uses the power of a steam vacuum coupled with a coffee filter.
Water is heated in the bottom chamber by exposing it to a heat source, as the water boils steam rises to the top via a tube with a perforated top edge. Resulting in a vacuum that saturates the coffee grounds, which are then filtered and drop back into the water reservoir below.
This process repeats on multiple occasions, with the coffee stepped and filtered continuously while the coffee is ‘perking’ (i.e brewing).
is moka coffee as strong as espresso
Coffee from a moka pot isn’t as strong as traditional espresso, but it is stronger than drip coffee.
As a result, the coffee isn’t the same as an espresso shot from a professional coffee maker but, it’s super portable and economical!
Crucially, without the need to harness electricity, a Moka pot can be used both at home and while outdoors.
Which is better French press or moka pot?
This is more of a preference than a definitive answer. For us, its a moka pot all the way!
Although there are is some specific criteria to consider:
French press coffee is steeped, whereas a moka pot is (lightly) pressurized. As a result, moka pots can yield a (tiny) topping of crema on your coffee. French press coffee is full-bodied vs a more potent and sharper brew from a stovetop espresso maker.
Which do you prefer?
Moka pots also require a little more trial and error to get right. However, once you have mastered the art, you can make the best coffee without a machine!
Is Moka Coffee Bitter?
If you over-extract, yes, it can turn bitter.
This is often a result of adding too little water or using fine grounds, which can end up going overboard in terms of extraction when it comes to brewing your cup of joe.
Lesson: use the right amount of (pre-heated mineral ideally) water and a coarse grind for stovetop espresso!
Ahmed Mir is the founder of Sip Coffee House. If he isn’t working, you can probably find him experimenting with different brewing methods, hanging out outdoors, or traveling.