The 12 Best Stovetop Espresso Makers (2020 Reviews & Buying Guide)

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The best stovetop espresso makers are the reason why old-school coffee is still a part of the 21st century. After all, this traditional brewing method has been around since the 1930s.

But call it traditional or old-school, the fact remains unchanged that stovetop espresso makers prepare the strongest, thickest coffee with a delicious crema. And let me also tell you that these coffee makers and dark roasts go hand in hand. Nevertheless, they can work with other types of roasts as well.

Now let’s get to the part where I introduce you to all the top-selling, high-quality stovetop espresso makers.

Top Choice – Bialetti 06800 Express Moka Pot

Bialetti 06800 Express Moka Pot

The Bialetti Stovetop Espresso Maker ranks as the best Italian coffee maker for all the right reasons. Firstly, it allows you to brew coffee the Italian way. Meaning you get a very delicious rich, velvety, and strong brew each time.

The Moka pot takes under 5 minutes for preparing the delicious brew on the stovetop. The body of the pot consists of polished, high-quality aluminum. Even the patented safety valve is a very useful feature. You can disassemble and clean it quite easily.

Bialetti recommends using their Ground Moka Coffee with this Express Moka Pot. The coffee is ground exclusively for extracting the most sumptuous flavors during the process of brewing.

After all, grind size matters a lot when it comes to the final taste of your freshly prepared brew. And Bialetti’s coffee is neither too fine nor too coarse. In my opinion, it’s an ideal way to make coffee at home. Especially when you want your brew to taste dark, rich, and strong.

Bialetti Express Moka Pot Key Features

  • Simple Moka pot made of high-quality aluminum
  • Easy to disassemble and clean safety valve
  • Stronger than French Press, less bitter than espresso

Runner-Up Choice – Primula Aluminum Espresso Maker

Primula Aluminum Espresso Maker

The Primula creation allows you to prepare espresso for making your favorite latte, macchiato, cappuccino, mocha, frappe, or americano coffee taste even better. Espresso is the common main ingredient in these popular caffeine-infused beverages.

The aluminum espresso wonder here delivers the most flavorful coffee only 3-5 minutes. The only thing keeping you from devouring the rich, dark, and strong flavors is a set of simple steps. Fill water, fill coffee, place the lid, and then let the burner do all the percolating.

Moreover, the handle on this coffee maker is heat-resistant and also firm to grip. The efficient layout of the system enables the flow of pressurized water through your favorite coffee grounds. So each time you brew, the result is full-bodied, rich espresso in the serving chamber.

Primula Aluminum Key Features

  • High-quality aluminum body looks modern and stylish
  • Handle made of heat-resistant plastic
  • Great for camping and lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, etc.

Best Budget Choice – IMUSA USA B120-43V Aluminum Stovetop Espresso Maker

IMUSA USA B120-43V Aluminum Espresso Stovetop Espresso Maker

Get charged even when outdoors with this portable and durable aluminum stovetop espresso maker. The coffee maker is also the best budget-friendly pick. This is great news for espresso lovers who prefer enjoying a cup of Barista-grade coffee right at home.

It brews coffee using optimally mild pressure. Hot water is forced through ground coffee in only a few minutes. Speaking of which, you get 6 whole cups in a single batch.

The stylish exterior design adds visual appeal to any type of kitchen. But what’s more important is that the coffee maker satisfies the cravings of an espresso lover. Even though the product title says stovetop, you can still use this on gas, coil, and ceramic surfaces.

Furthermore, the handle is easy to grip, even when your brew is hot. As for easy pouring, the design of the side pour spout and the flip-up top is spot-on..

IMUSA USA B120-43V Key Features

  • Small, portable, and durable
  • 6-cup capacity
  • Cool Touch handle and knob for easy handling

Best Stainless Steel Choice – Bialetti 06661 Kitty Espresso Coffee Maker

Bialetti 06661 Kitty Espresso Coffee Maker

Here’s the first stainless steel stovetop espresso maker. But it’s by a brand you already know because I’ve already reviewed their aluminum Moka pot as the top choice. As for the current option, its modern stainless steel design is more than just looks.

The handle of the coffee maker is heat-resistant and also extra wide. The former and latter both enable safe, burn-free handling. At the same time, you get to close and open the lid using the same hand because of the extra width.

The Bialetti stainless steel creation ranks as the best stovetop espresso maker for electric stove as well. And even ceramic and gas stovetops. To make matters even more convenient, the coffee brewing device has dishwasher-safe parts.

Bialetti 06661 Kitty Key Features

  • Open lid during brewing means delicious crema
  • 6-cup capacity and dishwasher-safe
  • Extra-wide, heat-resistant, and insulated handle

Best for Gas Stoves – GROSCHE Milano Stovetop Espresso Maker

GROSCHE Milano Stovetop Espresso Maker

Made using food-grade, high-quality aluminum, the Milano Black model by Grosche prepares rich, delicious Italian coffee. And the proof of its long-lasting build is the certified safety valve.

But there’s a lot more to like for at-home coffee brewers. Such as the fact that you can use it on electric and gas stovetops as well.

The large handle is rubber-coated and comes with a much-useful burn guard. Plus, to minimize heat transmission, the handle is seated away from the body of the coffee maker. And then there’s the silicone, non-toxic gasket seal for maintaining boiler pressure and preventing leaks.

If you’re not so fond of this particular size, which is 3-cup, then there’s the 6-cup or 9-cup version as well. It all depends on how many people you’re brewing for. Or how many cups do you like to devour at once. When the result each time is delicious and strong, you’re bound to drink more. That said, even this 3-cup capacity should suffice.

GROSCHE Milano Key Features

  • Stain-free black finish
  • Safety valve keeps internal pressure in check
  • Works on gas, electric, and propane camping stoves

AMFOCUS Stovetop Espresso Coffee Maker

AMFOCUS Stovetop Espresso Coffee Maker

With its modern and elegant look, this stovetop coffee maker is sure to transform your at-home coffee experiences. It’s constructed with food-grade, high-quality stainless steel. Just like the others, the handle is heat-resistant and comfortable to hold and pour with.

What’s special here is the undeniable fact that it forces only small amounts of boiling water under pressure through your favorite finely ground coffee. And no worries about aluminum oxide deposits either, which is a concern with questionable aluminum stovetop espresso makers.

AMFOCUS Stovetop Key Features
  • Highly durable body with a modern, elegant design
  • Tough, secure silicone gasket
  • Good for home, camping, and travel

Cuisinox Roma 6-Cup Stainless Steel Stovetop Moka Espresso Maker

Cuisinox Roma 6-cup Stainless Steel Stovetop Moka Espresso Maker

The heavy-gauge stainless steel construction marks the high-performance level of this Moka pot a.k.a. stovetop espresso maker. Its induction base is good for all types of cooking or heating surfaces, which makes the coffee maker a practical buy.

It’s dishwasher-safe and abundantly durable. The seal of the pot doesn’t leak even a single drop in case you’re wondering. Also, the stainless steel, tightly welded handle is built to last.

It’s a delightful gem if you wish to save thousands of dollars at high-end coffee shops.

Key Features

  • Brews classic Italian espresso
  • Induction base suitable for all heating surfaces
  • Superior, leak-proof seal

DELONGHI EMK6 for Authentic Italian Espresso

DELONGHI EMK6

For your daily shot of espresso, you can place your faith in this Authentic Italian Espresso by De’Longhi. It combines caffeine and convenience, no doubt. Factors like safety features and durable construction are well taken care of.

Some of the most remarkable characteristics include a transparent container for keeping a check on the brewing process. Automatic shut-off feature of the boiler for preventing overheating. And Cool Touch handle with a swiveling base.

Key Features

  • Durable, high-quality aluminum boiler
  • Safe brewing with pressurized safety valve
  • Cord-free, detachable base

Bialetti 06969 Venus Stovetop Espresso Coffee Maker

Bialetti 06969 venus Stovetop espresso coffee maker

This is the third Bialetti review so far. And that does indeed prove the fact that this Italian brand wants us to brew coffee the way they do in Italy. The legacy of reliability and quality is a part of each Bialetti coffee maker.

As for this 6-cup Venus model, it has stainless steel, induction-safe body. Then come the heat-resistant lid and handle. You get rich Italian espresso in only 4-5 minutes. And you can use it with induction-type stovetops as well.

Key Features

  • Excellent metal quality and thickness
  • Ergonomic, heat-resistant handle and lid
  • Quick brewing and easy cleaning

bonVIVO Intenca Stovetop Espresso Maker

bonVIVO Intenca Stovetop Espresso Maker

The ultimate luxurious stovetop espresso maker for aromatic, full-bodied, and full-flavored espresso at home. This coffee maker prepares 6 cups of delicious espresso, 10 ounces each. So you can devour enough and have lots left to share your fellow caffeine lovers.

The quality of stainless steel, no doubt, is on the higher end of the spectrum. The beautiful, hard-wearing chrome finish is proof of that.

If you ask me, it’s the best alternative to aluminum since it’s stainless steel on the outside AND inside.

Key Features

  • High heat-retention capacity
  • Made of thick, durable stainless steel
  • Resilient chrome finish

Vremi Stovetop Espresso Maker

Vremi Stovetop Espresso Maker

Isn’t it convenient when your coffee takes only 5 minutes to get ready? If time is a concern, then do consider Vremi. Also, if the quality of your espresso is a priority as well, then this is the most fitting choice.

6 cups of classic Italian coffee; that’s what you get in just 5 minutes. The 8-sided octagonal shape of the coffee maker diffuses heat very well. And the ergonomic, rubberized handle enables easy handling.

Use it on electric or gas stovetops or even take it for camping; the choice is all yours.

Key Features

  • Compact, portable classic espresso maker
  • Drip-free and easy to clean
  • Versatile for electric and gas stovetops

Alessi Espresso Maker 9090

Alessi Espresso Maker

The Alessi Stovetop Espresso Maker is not a boring coffee pot. Instead, 9090 is a real steam machine made using stainless steel. But the special truncated cone structure is not the only attractive quality. There’s a lot more to like.

Such as the anti-drip spout and lever lock for easy handling. Then comes the enlarged base for maximizing heat. Its high design quality is the most revered aspect. Also, the espresso maker prepares 6 cups of rich, smooth, and dark coffee without fail.

Key Features

  • Click-on closure between upper and lower parts
  • Enlarged base maximizes heat
  • Works on induction stovetops

Why Choose A Stovetop Espresso Maker?

Different Stovetop Coffee Makers

There’s no denying that the stovetop espresso maker is a classic way of brewing coffee. It prepares espresso-like coffee. So those who want to brew strong, rich, full-bodied espresso at home can buy a coffee maker like this. It even provides your cup with a little bit of crema.

I’m sure you already know by now that stovetop espresso makers are also called Moka pots. They don’t take a lot of storage space, unlike actual espresso machines. Even cleaning them is not a time-consuming or annoying task since there aren’t too many parts to deal with.

These types of coffee makers are constructed using metal. This implies a minimal chance of your coffee brewing device breaking. No electricity is required either. All this just makes the espresso coffee maker the most suitable choice for outdoor adventures like camping, hiking, or travel.

Even the brewing process is quick and easy. So you don’t have to wait for too long for the coffee maker to prepare your fresh brew when you’re in a hurry.

If you ask me, it’s the best and most affordable alternative to high-end, space-consuming, complicated-to-use espresso machines. And you can enjoy a cup of delicious coffee without having to go to a coffee shop.

Factors to Consider When Buying Stovetop Espresso Makers

Do you want yours to work flawlessly and prepare the most delicious espresso-like coffee? Then it’s best to keep the following factors in mind.

Materials – Aluminum vs. Stainless Steel

The traditional Moka pot has aluminum construction. This particular material is lightweight, cheap in terms of price, and able to conduct heat. As for stainless steel, it looks more visually appealing, no doubt.

Aluminum has a high-resistance when it comes to corrosion and oxidation. But it’s stainless steel that’s totally non-porous and non-corrosive. And that makes it a more durable choice, which explains why stainless steel coffee makers are slightly more expensive.

I mean doesn’t the idea of not having to deal with your coffee maker rusting sound like a sweet deal? Also, let’s not forget that stainless steel lasts for decades.

Size

What size stovetop espresso maker should you buy? I have reviewed models that offer 3 cups as the least capacity. And that should be enough if you’re the only one the coffee is brewing for. Otherwise, there are 6-cup and 9-cup versions as well in my reviews section.

Even though I haven’t shortlisted them, there are massive Moka pots as well. These offer a capacity of as many as 16 cups in a single batch.

But here’s the general rule of thumb. Smaller pots make way for quicker brewing. This means your favorite ground coffee is exposed to heat for a shorter time. And that, in turn, keeps the rich, aromatic flavors of the coffee more intact.

So a smaller pot brews better-tasting coffee. Otherwise, when preparing for a crowd, go for a larger capacity stovetop espresso maker.

Stovetop Compatibility

Stove Top Coffee Maker

Only flat base stovetop espresso makers work on induction cooktops. As for standard Moka pots, they’re suitable for all types of stovetops, including electric, gas, ceramic, etc.

Speaking of stovetop compatibility, make sure the coffee pot you buy is not too small if your burner is too large. And vice versa. A large burner might just melt the coffee maker’s plastic parts. And a smaller one is very likely to perform incompetent brewing.

Heat-Resistant Handle

The handle is going to be hot to touch after brewing, right? So look for the Cool Touch feature or heat resistance.

And bonus points for handles constructed with an extra-wide reach. So your hands aren’t anywhere close to the body of the coffee maker during gripping and pouring.

Safety Valve

At least the models I’ve reviewed and other high-quality stovetop espresso makers are outfitted with a safety valve. Your coffee inside is under high pressure, correct? So, at such times, what keeps your freshly prepared, hot beverage from leaking is a safety valve. It also keeps the internal pressure from escalating.

Easy to Clean

More often than not, stainless steel is easier to clean as it only demands some rinsing action. No matter the material of construction, Moka pots consist of 3 chambers. The top is where your brew gets collected, the bottom is for water, and the center one is for ground coffee.

All 3 chambers are connected using gaskets, which should be easy to disassemble, clean, and then put together again. Then there are some models that come with dishwasher-safe parts for more convenience.

How to Brew Coffee Using A Stovetop Espresso Maker?

The best part of this old-school method of brewing is how easy the whole process is. All you require is your Moka pot, coffee, and water.

  • When using a 6-cup pot, take 25.5g of coffee beans and grind them. If using ground coffee, that’s about 3.5 tablespoons. The grind size, in both cases, should be fine.
  • Add water into the coffee maker’s bottom chamber. You can fill hot water for speeding up the brewing process. Make sure to not go past the pot’s safety valve.
  • Then fill the filter and basket of the center chamber with fine ground coffee.
  • Now attach the top chamber and set the pot on the heat source.
  • Pressure starts to build slowly to force the hot water into the middle compartment and then to the top, where your freshly prepared, hot brew collects.
  • If water is exploding off the top, it means the heat is too high. On the other hand, in the case of only slight bubbling, turn up the heat.
  • Once all the water collects in the top chamber, a bubbling, hissing sound comes to life. That’s your call to turn off the heat and serve your rich, dark, strong brew immediately.

Tips for Brewing Better-Tasting Coffee Using A Stovetop Espresso Maker

If you think your espresso-like coffee is tasting a little less flavorful or lacks depth, then these little hacks might help.

  • I have already mentioned that adding pre-heated water in the bottom chamber helps in that it shortens your brewing time. And that means the flavors of your coffee remain more intact.
  • Another way to improve the taste and flavor is to use a lighter coffee roast. It’s only natural for darker roasts to be a little bitter.
  • And finally, make sure to remove the heat source as soon as the brewing is complete.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do Moka Pots Prepare Real Espresso?

Coffee from stovetop espresso makers is not like what you get with high-end espresso machines. The former is not as rich or as bold as the latter. Nor does it have that deliciously thick crema real espressos offer.

Even so, Moka pots are very popular. And that’s because they prepare strong coffee. It certainly tastes more bitter in comparison to standard coffee.

Q. What’s the Difference Between Espresso Machine and Moka Pot?

Moka pot brewing involves the passage of boiling water through your ground coffee. As for espresso machines, they force pressurized water through the ground coffee and a filter for delivering a thicker concentration of coffee.

Espresso machines use 9 bars of pressure. As for Moka pots, the pressure doesn’t exceed 2-3 bars. That explains why the latter doesn’t make real espresso shots. Also, espresso machines take only 10 to 30 seconds as opposed to 3 to 5 minutes in the case of Moka pots to ready your caffeine beverage.

What about quantity? With Moka pots, you get 3 cups, 6 cups, 9 cups, all the way to 16 cups even. And espresso machines give you 1-2 shots at once.

Q. What Is the Best Coffee for Stovetop Espresso Maker?

If you’re grinding your coffee at home, then make sure the grind size is fine. To be more specific, finer in comparison to that of drip coffee. And coarser in comparison to that of espresso machines. This applies to ground coffee as well.

But you cannot use instant coffee for a stovetop coffee maker.

Q. How to Clean A Stovetop Espresso Maker?

If the parts aren’t dishwasher-friendly, then you can use cold water and white vinegar. Two parts of the former with one part of the latter. Brew an entire pot with this solution. And let it sit for about 15 minutes. After that, rinse the whole thing using cold water.

If you don’t have time, then just use cold water with baking soda. No need to brew here.

Q. Do Stovetop Espresso Makers Work on Gas or Electric Stoves?

They’re suitable for both actually, and even ceramic.

As for induction cooktops, the stainless steel and flat-based Moka pots are better suited for that.

Q. Does Stovetop Coffee Maker Prepare Coffee with Crema?

Not like legitimate high-end espresso machines, that’s for sure. But with most models, you do get a little bit of crema. Especially if the Moka pot is manufactured by Bialetti.

Q. Do Stovetop Espresso Coffee Makers Prepare Regular Coffee or Tea?

You should never use contents like instant coffee, cocoa powder, tea, etc. with Moka pots. It’s because they tend to clog the coffee maker’s filter plate.

As for preparing regular coffee using a stovetop espresso maker, buy a Moka pot coffee dispenser. You can then add the contents to the filter to avoid clogging the pot’s filter plate.

Conclusion

No doubt, the stovetop espresso coffee maker, also called a Moka pot, is the best traditional method of brewing. Some people find the process complicated. But, in my opinion, and even at Koobies Coffee, the brewing technique is in no way complex.

As long as you’re using a high-quality, high-performing, portable, and durable model, you have nothing to worry about. And I have reviewed Moka pots that rank the highest in terms of all of these crucial factors.

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