You have so many choice when it comes to making coffee it can end up becoming quite confusing.
We’re here to scythe through your different options so you can make the right choice for your needs.
Here at Madiba, we appreciate that not everyone wants to invest in a home espresso machine to make short shots of coffee at home, and this is where moka pots, also known as stovetop espresso makers, come in.
Now, while there is no substitute for a semi-automatic espresso machine if you want to master the art of pulling espresso shots, not everyone has the time or the inclination for that.
While you can get around this by investing in a super-automatic espresso machine – these are espresso machines with built-in grinders – these machines are not cheap, and they are also quite bulky.
So, if you want espresso at home but you don’t like the slightly artificial taste of espresso from capsule-based Nespresso machines, the best moka pots and stovetop espresso makers are a worthwhile compromise.
Compromise is the key word here, though. To get authentic espresso, you need 9 bars of pressure, and moka pots usually only produce 2 to 3 bars of pressure. While you’ll still get a rich and intense coffee that’s full of body, it will lack the crema you find on authentic espresso.
Assuming you don’t mind making that small sacrifice, what should you look for when you’re comparing moka pots?
Now, with that simple framework in place, you should now be perfectly placed to explore our reviews of all the best moka pots and stovetop espresso makers. For the next best thing to espresso without needing an espresso machine and without resorting to making coffee without a machine, dive in…
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The 14 Best Moka Pots and Stovetop Espresso Makers
1. Our #1 Pick:Bialetti Express Moka Pot
Bialetti invented the moka pot, so it’s unsurprising the brand has a stranglehold on this space. The Express is the flagship model still flying off shelves the world over, and it’s out favorite in today’s showcase of the best moka pots.
As with all moka pots, you will be getting an approximation rather than the real thing. Whatever you see in marketing and advertising campaigns, these devices simply cannot generate the 6 bars of pressure required for espresso like the Italians drink it.
One of the key selling points of the Express is the fact you can use it on all cooking surfaces. If you have an induction cooktop, though, you’ll need to use an adapter plate.
These moka pots are available in capacities from 1-cup through 12 cups. This model is perhaps the most popular, giving you enough room for up to 6 cups of espresso-style coffee. If you don’t feel you will make larger batches, you should consider a smaller moka pot.
Not only is the Bialetti Express extremely easy to use, but it’s also very straightforward to clean, eliminating one of the pain points common to these coffee makers. You only need to rinse it with some water after each use. Avoid detergents and avoid popping the Bialetti in the dishwasher. Doing so can cause irreparable damage to your moka pot.
This model gives you everything you need and nothing you don’t need with a moka pot, so what are you waiting for?
2. GROSCHE Milano Stovetop Espresso Maker
Next up is another superb stovetop coffee maker, this time from GROSCHE in the form of the Milano. What do you get for your money here, then?
Firstly, this pot comes in a variety of vibrant colors, making a pleasant change to the silver that dominates among moka pots.
Like all the best moka pots, you get a choice of sizes to suit. Don’t simply opt for the largest thinking that bigger is better. You should choose a capacity that best matches your everyday needs rather than using a half-filled pot.
Ideal for all gas and electric stoves, you can also use this coffee pot on propane gas camping stoves. While it makes a great addition to the home kitchen, the GROSCHE is also a first-class travel coffee maker.
If you treat yourself to a manual milk frother, you can use the rich concentrated coffee from your moka pot as the base for longer and creamier drinks, from latte and cappuccino through to a macchiato or flat white.
The pressure valve is designed for maximum efficiency, and the handle and knob are designed to stay cool to the touch.
Overall, you’re getting a pocket-friendly solution to making espresso-style drinks at home, and you won’t need to master using a complicated espresso machine either.
3. Bialetti Moka Express
Bialetti is the brand that popularized moka pots, an ingenious alternative to making authentic espresso.
Using this stovetop espresso maker couldn’t be much easier. Initially, you’ll need to master a slight learning curve, but you’ll soon be familiar with assembling and disassembling this coffee maker. Top the boiler up with filtered water, add your coffee but don’t tamp it down, then close your moka pot and pop it on the stovetop. When the Moka Express starts bubbling and gurgling, it’s time to pour your coffee.
We would advise against leaving this pot unattended. You could easily end up with coffee grounds splattered all over the kitchen walls and counters if you do this and lose track of time.
Maintenance is just as straightforward. You should clean your moka pot after every use with some cold water. Sidestep any detergents as this will cause irreparable damage. Don’t put this pot in the dishwasher either.
This model offers a 3-cup capacity, making it a smart choice for singles and couples. If this is not large enough for your liking, you can also pick up a 9-cup and 12-cup model to suit.
Aside from a few gripes concerning leaks developing, almost all user feedback concerning this iconic stovetop espresso maker is positive. Does it make the right choice for your home kitchen?
4. Bialetti Moka Express Italia Collection
This next iteration of the traditional moka pot Bialetti is famous for comes in the green and red of the Italian flag. Aside from this coffee pot making a striking visual statement, what else do you get for your money here?
Families looking for a moka pot capable of serving everyone in one batch are in for a treat. When you top this thing to the brim, you can generate 6 cups of espresso-style coffee.
Using this stovetop pot won’t give you an authentic espresso, but the coffee yielded is thick, rich, and intensely concentrated. Drink this alone or use it as a base for longer coffees to taste.
As with all moka pots from Bialetti, you’ll benefit from an aluminum build that’s lightweight yet durable.
Taking care of this moka pot is a cinch. Just sluice it out after every use with some water. Don’t use detergent and don’t put this coffee maker in the dishwasher and you should encounter no problems whatsoever.
The only real complaint we can level at this iteration of the classic Moka Express is the fact it’s priced quite steeply for a stovetop coffee maker. That said, considering the build quality and anticipated lifespan, you shouldn’t need to buy a replacement for years to come.
5. bonVIVO Intenca Stovetop Espresso Maker
The bonVIVO Intenca is another outstanding moka pot that works well on all cooking surfaces, from gas and electric to ceramic and induction cooktops.
This stainless steel coffee pot comes in an arresting two-tone copper finish. You can also pick up the pot finished in black, ideal for modernist kitchens.
Designed to make 5 or 6 short shots of espresso-style coffee, you get some of the pressure you need for making authentic espresso, but you will stop short of achieving the 6 bars of pressure recommended for espresso just like the Italians drink it.
That said, you’ll still enjoy delicious rich and full-bodied coffee from this pot, and without any of the hassle accompanying using a semi-automatic espresso machine.
Like all moka pots, this one is a cinch to use, and you’ll be sucking down some lip-smacking coffee in minutes flat. Just remember to grind your beans directly before brewing, and always use bottled or filtered water for gourmet coffee at home the easy way.
The pot is also easy enough to keep clean, although we found a few scattered complaints about rusting issues with this model, so do your due diligence here. While you could pop this pot in the dishwasher, the manufacturer recommends hand washing for best results and maximum lifespan.
6. Bialetti Venus Stovetop Coffee Maker
Another offering from the legendary Bialetti stable next with the Venus, another stovetop model in their impressive line.
This company produced the first moka pot close to a hundred years ago and they have been focusing on honing the art of making stovetop espresso ever since. The simplicity of this device is deceptive: it’s also remarkably effective, and couldn’t be much easier to use.
Like all pots from this brand, you get a stainless steel finish assuring a lengthy lifespan and the ability to withstand plenty of rough and tumble.
You should refrain from putting this pot in the dishwasher. To clean it, disassemble and rinse under some running water. Sidestep detergents as this will taint the pot, and dry immediately after use. That’s the extent of the upkeep required with this fantastic moka pot from an industry titan.
The cool-touch handle prevents scorched fingers, and the handle won’t melt if exposed to heat on a gas stovetop either.
Pouring is seamless and completes a winning package in the shape of one of the very best moka pots on the market. Get top-notch coffee in less than 5 minutes, with none of the complications of using an espresso machine, and without the mess of a French press.
7. COLETTI Bozeman Camping Coffee Pot
As we near the midway point of our moka pot reviews, we have a substantial pot ideal for travel purposes from COLETTI. How does it stand and fall?
The rugged stainless steel build means you don’t get any plastic components, and there’s no aluminum either. The downside is that this pot is one of the heaviest on our shortlist, but you’ll benefit from a great lifespan and a rugged moka pot in return for that extra weight.
The tempered glass top of the pot makes a wonderful contrast with the expanse of stainless steel.
The 9-cup capacity means you can whip up coffee at breakfast for the whole family, whether you’re at home in the kitchen or out on the campsite.
While this pot is a great travel solution, it also works well for larger families at home. As mentioned, don’t get a moka pot this large unless you plan to use it. These things are most effective when filled to capacity. With so much choice when it comes to sizing, there’s no excuse to get this wrong.
As a final kicker, the manufacturer offers a no-quibbles lifetime replacement if your pot is in any way damaged. You really can’t ask for much more than that. Explore the brand’s wide line of accessories, too, and see if there is something that takes your fancy.
8. DeLonghi EMK6 Moka Pot
DeLonghi’s EMK6 is an electric moka pot that’s ideal if your experience with manual moka pots is returning to find your kitchen covered with coffee splattered everywhere. You get none of that accidental overflow with this model, so how does it shape up?
Well, although this is an electric coffee pot, it stands on a base and offers you cord-free pouring, so you’ll have total freedom of movement while benefiting from an electric-powered device.
Using this pot couldn’t be easier. All you need to do is top up the aluminum boiler with some water and some ground coffee – for the freshest taste, grind right before brewing – and then you’ll be enjoying barista-grade coffee in minutes.
You get a safety system baked in so the pot will automatically power down after a couple of minutes. The pot will also switch itself off when you lift it from the base, giving you a double layer of protection.
Once you’ve made your coffee, you can keep it warm for up to 30 minutes in this pot, ideal when you’re rushing around in the mornings.
If you want more convenience than a manual moka pot but don’t want go all-in on an expensive espresso machine, this DeLonghi makes a superb compromise.
9. Bialetti Moka Induction
One of the lesser-known gems in the Bialetti line, the Moka Induction delivers as promised on induction cooktops.
This induction-readiness is achieved thanks to the stainless steel boiler complementing the aluminum build. Overall construction is impressive, and while this coffee pot isn’t cheap, you’re getting excellent value for money.
The stainless steel boiler is left untreated, while the chassis of this pot is available in this vibrant red or a black alternative, both adding nice contrast.
This 6-cup pot has the largest capacity in the range. You can also opt for a 2-cup or 4-cup alternative.
Aside from adding your water and coffee, there’s nothing else you need to worry about with this highly efficient stovetop coffee maker. Wait for the pot to start bubbling away and you’ll be drinking delicious and robust concentrated coffee in minutes.
We found a few complaints about the plastic handle on this pot, specifically with regard to melting issues. Do your due diligence here.
The coffee you get from this thing tastes close to an espresso. The Italian-style coffee is rich and velvety, and you’ll get at least an approximation of a crema, too.
As with all moka pots from this brand, you should handwash it using only warm water. You will damage the pot beyond repair if you pop it in the dishwasher, so avoid the temptation.
10. Cuisinox Roma Moka Pot
Next in line comes a smaller and more compact moka pot, this time from Cuisinox. What do you get for your money with the Roma, then?
Despite the small form factor, you certainly don’t sacrifice build quality. The premium 18/10 stainless steel is built to stay the distance and buffed to an attractive mirrored sheen.
Weighing 4 pounds, this is the heaviest pot on our shortlist, even though the capacity is fairly limited. You can make up 4 shots of espresso-style coffee with this pot, so it makes a great choice for couples of small families.
A nice touch with this model is the reducer attachment included. This allows you to make half the amount of espresso without impairing the extraction. Beyond this, you can also pick up larger pots if you feel this capacity will leave you wanting.
This pot is suitable for use on all cooking surfaces, giving you total versatility, even if you change your stovetop in the future.
To get the very finest coffee from this pot, always grind your beans right before brewing, and also use either filtered or bottled water, either of which will give you a much crisper coffee than using water from the faucet.
You should wash this pot by hand to prolong lifespan and prevent your coffee from becoming contaminated by detergent.
11. IMUSA Espresso Stovetop Coffee Maker
As we near the end of our collection of the best moka pots on the market, we have a dinky stovetop espresso and coffee maker from IMUSA. How does this pot differentiate itself, then?
Perhaps the key selling point with this model is the compact footprint and smaller capacity. This will not be advantageous for everyone, but all singles or couples looking for espresso with stovetop ease will appreciate the smaller size of this model.
Made from aluminum throughout, this is one of the lightest moka pots you’ll find.
The spout is intelligently designed so you’ll find serving a snap, and you won’t end up with coffee cascading all over your counter.
When you’ve finished your coffee, this model is extremely easy to clean. It comes apart and all you then need to do is run the components under some hot water to keep it at its very best. Avoid dishwashing this pot.
The main point to consider before committing to this moka pot centers on the capacity. This is arguably the most critical part of your buying decision, so make sure this smaller model suits. If not, we review plenty of beefier models above and below.
12. Bialetti Kitty Espresso Maker
Bialetti is famous the world over for its manual moka pots, and this larger model continues that tradition admirably.
This pot comes in a more rounded design than the classic angular moka pots from this brand. The 6-cup capacity makes this a smooth fit for families looking for multiple servings at the same time.
The stainless steel build returns an impressive lifespan, and you can expect years of faithful service from this pot, despite the very attractive price point.
You can expect a rich and full-bodied coffee from the Bialetti in anywhere from 3 to 6 minutes, making this a reasonably brisk brewing method that still keeps quality uppermost.
Suitable for use on most stovetops, this model is nevertheless not induction-friendly.
Unlike most moka pots, this is safe to slip into the dishwasher. Having said that, we would always recommend washing moka pots by hand for best results. It takes so little effort to rinse them out with some hot water that it’s not worth taking the risk of detergents tainting your espresso-style coffees.
Overall, you’re getting one of the best moka pots for a larger family here from the best brand in the business at a price you’ll love.
13. Luxhaus Stovetop Espresso Maker
We have time for another couple of moka pots before rounding out today, including this sleek and simple model from Luxhaus.
The stainless steel build makes this pot a neat choice in high-demand kitchens. You should get years of service from a properly maintained pot like this, and it’s just a fraction of the cost of an espresso machine.
Sitting in the middle of the range when it comes to capacity, you can make up to 6 cups of espresso-style coffee from this pot. Luxhaus also offers a smaller 3-cup pot and a bigger 10-cup pot for large families, so pick which works best for you.
Made from food-safe materials throughout, you won’t suffer from the rusting or flaking that blights many of the cheaper moka pots that didn’t make out shortlist.
As with all the best stovetop espresso makers, you’ll enjoy a rich and full-bodied coffee that comes very close to the intensity of authentic espresso, even if it lacks that trademark crema.
As a final incentive, Luxhaus warranties this moka pot for life, removing any niggles from the point of purchase and allowing you to buy with complete confidence.
Almost all reviews of this stovetop espresso maker are positive, but we found a handful of complaints concerning customer service issues.
14. Alessi Espresso Maker
To round out today’s curated collection of the best moka pots and stovetop espresso makers, we have a sleek pot from Alessi.
Designed by Richard Sapper, you are rewarded here with an expanse of polished stainless steel and rounded lines that makes a statement piece on the kitchen counter.
While it doesn’t hurt for a moka pot to look this good, we know that’s not your primary reason for purchase. Fortunately, it’s not a case of form over function here.
All you need to do is load in some of your favorite coffee beans, ideally ground directly before you brew. Fill the water chamber with some filtered or bottled water for the crispest end result in your cup, and you’ll benefit from the pressure generated on the stovetop to extract espresso-style coffee in minutes flat.
This moka pot will work on all types of cooking surface, including induction cooktops, making it one of the most versatile performers in this crowded space.
If the 6-cup capacity of this pot doesn’t make the right fit, you can also opt for a smaller 3-cup model.
For a moka pot that gives you everything you need but nothing you don’t, this is one of the strongest options at your disposal.
1) Can you make authentic espresso in a moka pot?
No, but you’ll find that the rich and concentrated coffee you can produce in a moka pot comes pretty close to the real thing. The lack of pressure prevents you from achieving authentic espresso. Espresso refers to a brewing method, and this method requires that hot water is sent through the coffee grinds at high pressure. 9 bars of pressure is recommended for espresso. The best moka pots can generate pressure, but they will typically only achieve 2 to 3 bars, insufficient for authentic espresso.
2) Is a moka pot safe to use?
These devices are safe to use when supervised. Leaving moka pots unattended is a recipe for disaster. It’s too easy to lose track of time, and this can easily lead to your pot overflowing and coffee grounds being sprayed all over the kitchen walls and countertops. If you have experienced this in the past and don’t want to repeat it, either supervise your moka pot or consider an electric pot featuring auto shut-off.
3) How long does it take to brew coffee on the stovetop with a moka pot?
With most moka pots, you’ll find it takes between 3 and 5 minutes to brew espresso-style coffee. Be prepared to experiment when you start out. Note down your preferences as you dial them in and then replicate the results with ease when you have mastered the method.
4) What grind size do I need when using a moka pot?
Use a grind size that comes somewhere between fine and medium-fine. If your grinds are too fine – the consistency you would use for authentic espresso or Turkish coffee – this could clog the filter, leading to unwanted and excessively high pressure.
5) Does a moka pot make strong coffee?
Yes. The coffee from a moka pot will be roughly double the strength of regular brewed coffee.
6) Does a moka pot have any removable components?
Yes. The filter screen and gasket will detach for ease of cleaning.
7) Is it possible to add milk to coffee made in a moka pot?
Certainly! You could turn your espresso-style base into longer and creamier coffees using some steamed milk from a milk frother. Alternatively, add some hot water to dilute your strong and short shot into a delicious americano.
8) What size moka pot should I get?
Get a pot capable of making the amount of coffee you typically drink in a single sitting. Filling moka pots to capacity gives the best results.