Best Stovetop Espresso Maker (AKA The Moka Pot!)
The stovetop espresso maker may look like a strange old fashioned vintage espresso brewing machine which would be more suited in a museum than on your kitchen countertop, but don’t let looks fool you. This stovetop coffee maker can keep up with the newer big boy espresso machines when brewing a full-flavored espresso, and they can do so with little to no fuss; To be honest, most of the time, the Moka pot will outshine them in terms of "Brewabilty."
Stovetop espresso makers have been around for quite some time, with the first Moka pots being used to brew espresso more than three-quarters of a century ago (in 1933 by Italian inventor Alfonso Bialetti, to be precise). It's that same stovetop espresso maker which is still being produced to this day (with a few extra safety features) and under the brand name Moka Express. Today you can find the best stovetop espresso maker being enjoyed by coffee enthusiasts all over the globe (apparently over 90% of Italians own a Bialetti!) who swear by this "primitive" coffee brewing device.
How Does The Stovetop Espresso Maker Work?
If you're new to making espresso in a stovetop espresso maker, you might be wondering how the hell does this thing work? Sure it looks pretty simple from the outside and once opened it only contains a few parts, but for a novice, it can take a bit of practice to master this type of coffee brewer.
Coffee brewed in a Moka Pot isn’t technically an espresso per se, why? It comes down to the amount of pressure. The best espresso is brewed at about 9-bar whereas the Moka Pot can only generate up to 1.5-bar of pressure; so in laymen's terms, an espresso made with on a stovetop Moka Pot is going to be less concentrated or not as rich.
The coffee brewed in stovetop coffee maker is something in-between an espresso shot and a strong filter coffee, with a consistency of Turkish coffee.
The best Moka Pot typically has three parts which are all tightly screwed together to form a sealed, airtight, pressurized container. There's the water chamber (where cold water is added), a funnel-shaped filter in the center of the Moka Pot where the ground coffee is placed, and the chamber at the top of the pot where the final brewed espresso coffee is collected.
How the stovetop espresso maker works is pretty simplistic, the cold water at the bottom of the Moka Pot is heated on your stovetop, as the chamber heats steam is produced. As the pressure builds inside of the lower chamber, it in-turn pushes the hot water through the filter and then up into the top chamber.
The water hits the ground coffee and then soaks the grounds, the coffee grounds expand and as the pressure continues the top chamber will fill with freshly brewed “espresso.” All of the best stove-top espresso makers I have used typically give out a gurgling sound once done, which means that the espresso is now ready for drinking.
Once you hear this “gurgling sound” turn off the heat because if the Moka Pot is left on the heat for too long, you'll have a bitter, burnt tasting coffee. If you want a full step-by-step brewing guide on how to use the Moka Pot click here.
Stovetop Espresso Why They're The Best!
Even the best stovetop espresso maker might not be for every coffee drinker. In fact, I know a few of my buddies can’t stand them and would rather brew coffee in a French Press or just press a button on an automated drip coffee maker. I’ll admit I don’t use mine that often but below are some of the reasons why I still love them.
Some of the benefits of using the best stovetop espresso maker over other coffee brewers include:
- They're cheap to buy when compared to other coffee makers (and last a lifetime if looked after).
- They are relatively easy to clean and maintain.
- They don’t take up a lot of kitchen storage or countertop space.
- Cost less to brew a coffee because you don’t have to keep buying filter papers regularly.
- They can be used to brew coffee almost anywhere where there is a heat source (take it on a camping trip).
- Stainless steel stovetop espresso makers and even the aluminum Moka Pots are extremely durable and will easily outlast most electric coffee makers.
- Many coffee connoisseurs believe that they make the best-tasting coffee (I still prefer my Aeropress!).
There are probably a whole lot more benefits of using a stovetop espresso maker that I have overlooked if you can think of some more leave a comment below.
BEST Stovetop Espresso Makers (Top Rated 2017)
I have only used a handful of Moka Pots over the years, and my favorite has always been the classic Bialetti Moka Express; I currently own three different sizes, the 9, the 6, and 3 cup.
Below I have listed three of the best stovetop coffee makers that I have used, or I currently own. I’m sure there are others in the marketplace, but from personal experience, these are the best when it comes to durability and more importantly value for money. Let’s take a closer look.
Bialetti Moka Express 9-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker
The Bialetti stovetop espresso maker is my personal favorite, and it also makes logical sense that one of the best stovetop espresso makers in 2017 comes from the actual company that first manufactured it.
If you're looking for real Italian stovetop espresso maker, the Bialetti is the one you should have. It's vintage looks, and polished aluminum build combined with the classic Bialetti octagon shape makes it a great addition to any coffee lovers brewing arsenal.
The Bialetti Moka Express 9-cup stovetop espresso maker is the perfect size for family brewing or placing on the table when you have friends over. With the Moka Express, you can brew a velvety espresso in less than 5 minutes from the times it's placed on the stovetop. If the 9-cup is too big for your needs, you can downgrade to a smaller 3-cup or even a slightly BIGGER 6-cup.
All of the Bialetti Moka Express range are available in various colors from vintage brushed aluminum to modern-day purple, reds, and blues. So whatever your style there's sure to be a suitable Moka Pot.
Cuisinox Liberta 6-Cup Stovetop Coffee Maker
Another top rated stovetop espresso maker is the Cuisinox Liberta 6-cup stovetop coffee maker, this is an attractive alternative to the above Bialetti, albeit a bit more expensive at nearly double the price.
The Cuisinox stovetop coffee maker has a more modern look, and all of their high-end pots have been made from top quality stainless steel. Even with the higher price, this stainless steel stovetop espresso maker is still a favorite with consumers who are consistently giving it five-star reviews.
What’s nice about the Cuisinox Liberta Espresso Maker is the fact that is can be used on almost any cooking surface (I wouldn’t use it on a camp fire though), and it utilizes a unique induction base, which the above Bialetti doesn’t have.
The Richard Sapper 9090: Espresso Maker Stovetop
The last stovetop espresso brewer recommendation is the Richard Sapper 9090. This Moka Pot isn’t a cheap by any means, and if money is tight, I highly recommend my first option the Classic Bialetti Moka Express.
However, If money is no object and you want the best stovetop espresso maker, you can buy, the Richard Sapper 9090 should be at the top of your shopping list. When you get past its modern, sleek stainless steel looks, you’ll find a truly functional Italian stovetop espresso maker that is a workhorse when it comes to brewing great tasting espresso.
The Richard Sapper 9090 has been crafted from high-quality stainless steel, with an aluminum core and cast iron handle. Its sleek looks needn’t be hidden in the kitchen because once your coffee has brewed, you can bring the Richard Sapper 9090 directly to the table for serving directly to your guests.
Like I said this stovetop espresso maker isn't cheap, and you’ll be lucky to get change out of a $200 bill but for that particular person in your life who loves coffee this would make a beautiful gift.. or if you are wanting to buy the best stovetop espresso maker you could treat yourself!