After hours of research with practical testing and taking into consideration the price, performance and quality of coffee brewed, we’ve determined that the Bialetti Moka Express Espresso Maker is the best stovetop Espresso Maker because of its durability, sleek design and quality of coffee it produces.
Table of Contents
- 1 What exactly is a Stovetop Espresso Maker and how do you use one?
- 2 Reviews of the Best Stovetop Espresso Makers for 2018
- 3 Stovetop Espresso Makers Comparison Chart
- 3.1 Best Overall Stovetop Espresso Maker
- 3.2 Best Stovetop Espresso Maker for Home
- 3.3 Best Stovetop Espresso Maker for Safety
- 3.4 Best Stainless Steel Stovetop Espresso Maker
- 3.5 Best Induction Stovetop Espresso Maker
- 3.6 Best Vintage Stovetop Espresso Maker
- 3.7 Best Aluminum Stovetop Espresso Maker
- 3.8 Best Stovetop Espresso Maker for Electric Stove
- 3.9 Best Stovetop Espresso Maker for Traveling
- 3.10 Best Budget Stovetop Espresso Maker
- 4 What Makes a Great Stovetop Espresso Maker?
- 5 How to Choose the Best Stovetop Espresso Maker
- 6 The Advantages of Owning the Best Stovetop Espresso Maker
- 7 How to Care for a Stovetop Espresso Maker
- 8 Tips on Storing Coffee
- 9 In Conclusion
You most likely have heard people talk about espresso, you may already know what it is, or you may be part of those that ask the question, what is espresso? Espresso is a style of coffee drink that is brewed by forcing hot, pressurized water through finely ground compacted coffee beans.
You can decide to take an espresso on its own, or you can use it to make other coffee drinks such as lattes, cappuccinos and many others you find in coffee shops. It all depends on your taste.
There is usually a reddish-brown froth that forms while making an espresso. This froth is called “crema”. It is formed when soluble oils of a finely ground coffee combine with air bubbles. It is also one of the things that gives the espresso its alluring aroma and very rich taste. It is even considered as a sign of a well-made espresso.
There are different ways of making an espresso. While all espresso makers, from the drip pots to the espresso machines have the same function – making espresso – they do differ in terms of quality. There are various types of espresso machines you can get to make quality espressos for you and your family. Though, they are expensive.
If you are a serious espresso lover that does not want to break the bank in order to get an espresso machine without having to compromise on the quality of espresso you get, then, you should consider owning a stovetop espresso maker.
What exactly is a Stovetop Espresso Maker and how do you use one?
Stovetop espresso makers have done a good job in keeping old-school coffee lovers happy for a long time now. In fact, they have been around since the 1930’s (yes – that long!). Though at first, they may give off a complicated look, in time, you will discover that they are quite easy to use.
Also known as Moka pot, a stovetop espresso maker makes a quality cup of espresso when used in the right way. Though we have modern brewers that are more convenient to use, the Moka pot does not lose to them in terms of quality of espresso made. So, how do you use a stovetop espresso maker?
The three secrets behind making quality espresso are temperature, extraction, and pressure. The process employed by a stovetop espresso maker ticks all three of these boxes. The Moka pot has three main chambers: the water chamber that stores water, the filter basket where the finely ground coffee beans sit and the collection chamber.
After the water heats up, the pressure built up pushes the water into the filter basket, through the coffee grounds and it goes into the collection chamber. Then you have your espresso. Pretty easy right?
Reviews of the Best Stovetop Espresso Makers for 2018
The ten best stovetop espresso makers have been reviewed for you on this guide. You do not have to spend hours researching on what type of stovetop espresso maker would be best for you.
If you have a stovetop, then, any of the espresso makers reviewed on this guide would provide an easy way for you to make your espresso without having to compromise on the quality you get.
Stovetop Espresso Makers Comparison Chart
Here’s what we think about these stovetop espresso makers.
Best Overall Stovetop Espresso Maker
Bialetti is an old brand; they have been around for almost a century now. You can bet that they did not last this long in the market by producing low-quality products. The Bialetti Moka Express is a product from Bialetti.
This product has been able to beat the competition to the top of almost every ranking made on stovetop espresso makers. Being an Italian product, it is no surprise why it is doing so well. Most people believe that the Italians make the best Moka pots. This is understandable as espresso itself originated from Italy.
It has a unique octagonal shape which adds to its elegance. Apart from adding to the beauty, this shape also helps to distribute heat evenly while brewing your coffee. This results in a well-made espresso that comes out smooth and consistent without taking too much of your time. It also has a polished aluminium body that adds to its aesthetics.
The Bialetti Moka Express makes brewing easy. All you have to do is put cold water in the lower chamber, add your finely ground coffee and put it on a stovetop. After about five minutes, just sit back and enjoy your espresso.
It is available in different sizes: 1-cup, 3-cup, 9-cup and the standard 6-cup. Depending on your preference, you can select the right size for you. If you love having color in your kitchen, then you can get this espresso maker as it comes in different other colors apart from its standard silver shade. It has a well-insulated handle, so you do not have to worry about carrying it when it is hot.
One downside of using this espresso maker is the fact that you cannot clean it with a dishwasher. You have to disassemble it and clean it manually each time. This is not much of a problem as it was made to be easily disassembled and re-assembled.
Another drawback to this product is the fact that it cannot be used on an induction stovetop. An induction stovetop gives off inconsistent heat so it is understandable why the Bialetti Moka Express cannot be used on one.
If you are looking for a traditional looking, durable espresso maker that was well crafted while also getting high-quality espresso in a short time; if you are looking for an espresso maker with good functions, then the Bialetti Moka Express is a good product for you.
Best Stovetop Espresso Maker for Home
If you are an espresso lover that wants a Moka pot that will make high-quality espresso, perfect for home and you do not mind spending the extra cash, there is hardly any choice better than the Cuisinox Roma.
It has a rounded, smooth exterior with a gorgeous silver mirror finish. It comes in three different sizes: 4-cup, 6-cup, and 10-cup. With the 10-cup, you do not have to worry about making espresso multiple times when you have guests over for coffee.
It takes no longer than five minutes to brew one of the best-tasting espressos with the Cuisinox Roma. Apart from its high-class design, it has a heavy duty 18/10 stainless steel body which is ideal for constant use.
Very few espresso makers rival the Cuisinox Roma in terms of performance. It is a durable, long lasting product which is evident in its 25-year limited warranty. Yes, you read it right – a really long warranty period. This just shows how much confidence its manufacturers have in its performance.
One issue that comes up when you are making a decision on which stovetop espresso maker to get is its compatibility with your stovetop. Well, you do not have to worry with the Cuisinox Roma because it is compatible with most stovetops (gas, ceramics, electric). One thing that adds to its appeal among users is the fact that it is a handcrafted espresso maker.
The whole body of this espresso maker is made of stainless steel including its handle. This means the handle gets hot whenever it is being used and makes it difficult to handle it when it is hot.
It can be washed with a dishwasher, so you do not have to worry about washing it with your hands. It also comes with a spare gasket and reducer.
Considering the cool design and other features of the Cuisinox Roma, it makes sense to expect that it would be expensive. It is a product that gives you high-quality performance for a very long period. If you can afford this product, it is definitely one you could say is value for money considering all its qualities.
Best Stovetop Espresso Maker for Safety
The Alpha Coffee stovetop espresso maker is a top class espresso maker. You can enjoy your espresso without worrying about how safe your espresso maker is. It is made of thick, durable aluminum and the design shows evidence of excellent craftsmanship.
If you have used a stovetop espresso maker before, you should not have any problem using the Alpha Coffee espresso maker. Even so, it comes with a well-detailed instruction set on how to use it to get maximum satisfaction.
It takes only about five minutes to brew your quality espresso so you can save some time. It is a product that is made to last a long time, so you do not have to think of getting a replacement. In fact, it has a lifetime money back guarantee. Pretty reassuring right? So you can get a refund if your product gets damaged.
The handle is large, thick and made of an insulating material. This makes it one of the easiest espresso makers to handle. The handle is also designed to stick far from the body to prevent any action of heat on the handle. A nylon gasket is included in the product which prevents any form of leakage when using the product. It suffices to say it is one of the safest stovetop espresso makers to use.
Do you want an affordable espresso maker that makes smooth, rich espresso without worrying about how safe it is? You can go for the Alpha Coffee stovetop espresso maker. It is also a long-lasting product with an attractive lifetime guarantee.
Best Stainless Steel Stovetop Espresso Maker
The Alessi 9090 espresso maker is made in Italy by Alessi. The Alessi 9090 is a high-quality espresso. It is known to last long because of the stainless steel that is used for its interior and exterior designs. The stainless steel body gives it a sturdy build, and you will not have any issue of breakdown as in some aluminum products.
It has an elegant style and design. Apart from its use for making espresso, its design makes it useful for decorative purposes just like a teapot. The lever closure used in the Alessi 9090 to attach the top of the chamber to the bottom is easier to manage than the common screwing design found in most other espresso makers.
The screw design has been known to lead to leaking over time. The locking mechanism of the Alessi 9090 makes it more reliable as it does not have this issue. In fact, some users consider the locking mechanism as one of the features that make the Alessi 9090 easy to use.
It has a heavy and wide base which allows easy use on gas stovetops as well as on induction and ceramic stovetops. The handle is made of copper, and it allows for easy grasp because of its design.
Its copper handle means you do not need to worry about the handle melting as found in some makers with plastic handles. Though, this copper handle means you have to be careful when it is hot as copper conducts heat.
It comes in a variety of sizes: 1-cup, 3-cup, 6-cup, and 10-cup.
The Alessi 9090 espresso maker is dishwasher-safe. So you do not have to go through the process of disassembling it, washing it by hand and then re-assembling. It is a bit on the pricey side. Though, if you consider its good features, your decision will become easier to make.
If your preference is a stovetop espresso maker that is durable, fast, is aesthetically pleasing and you are ready to overlook its pricey side. If you want an espresso maker that is easy to clean and has a sturdy design, look no further than the Alessi 9090 espresso maker.
Best Induction Stovetop Espresso Maker
The Venus Induction Capable Stovetop Espresso Maker is another brilliant product from Bialetti. Being an Italian product, it carries that style and elegance one would expect. The Elegance Venus is one of the more recent products from Bialetti, and it is made of high class 18/10 stainless steel.
The interior parts are also entirely made of stainless steel which improves the general quality of the product.
The Venus Induction Capable espresso maker or Elegance Venus has a sleek design that gives it a look of elegance, just as the name suggests. The first time you bring it out of the box, you notice how harmonious the design is, and you get the feeling that much thought went into making this product.
Apart from its primary function of making espressos, it also adds beauty to your kitchen.
The manufacturers have made it quite portable by giving it a convenient size and making it easily detachable. So, you do not have to worry about missing out on your favorite drink while on your extended trip.
It also takes a short time to make your espresso, so you save a good amount of time using this espresso maker. It has an insulated handle that can withstand high temperatures. This allows for convenient handling when the brewer is hot.
One of the main selling points of this espresso maker is the quality of espresso it makes. You can be sure of getting a high-quality espresso.
You do have to follow the instructions on how to use this piece of kitchenware carefully as neglecting them could lead to your espresso leaking or giving you burnt coffee. This learning curve is one of the downsides to this product as it is not as easy to use as its peers. Though, once you are used to using it, you would have no problem with it.
It generally comes in two sizes: 4-cup and 6-cup. This is sufficient for regular espresso users, but it is not very helpful when you have more people around in need of a serving of your delicious espresso.
This is also one of its drawbacks. It comes in quite an affordable price which is good for a product of its quality and elegance.
You do not have to worry about its compatibility as it can be used on any stovetop. It is not dishwasher-safe. Though, this should not be a deal breaker as it has been built to make disassembling and cleaning easy.
If you are one for an espresso maker with an elegant and classy design within the range of affordability, the Venus fits your need just right. Bialetti put in extra effort to captivate with this product, and it is easy to develop a liking for this product.
Best Vintage Stovetop Espresso Maker
Some people prefer their espresso makers having an old-school look. If you are one of these people, then you should consider getting the Rapid Brew stovetop percolator. It has a beautiful old-fashioned look while also making good espresso.
It gives you a feeling of a pot from your grandmother’s cabinet because of its design. Its body is made of 18/8 stainless steel and it has a glass cover knob. The handle is made of wood which is another feature that gives it that vintage look. This wooden handle also makes it easy to handle it when it is hot.
It can make up to 9 cups of espresso, so it has capacity too. Its flat bottom makes it usable on any type of stovetop. The flame could burn the handle if the stovetop is not the right size for the bottom. Also, the lid is known to pop up when in use which is a drawback.
It is not as easy to use as some other espresso makers as it has a learning curve. Details such as: how you boil the water and the volume of coffee grounds to use needs some getting used to. Apart from this, it is comfortable to use.
Best Aluminum Stovetop Espresso Maker
You can use the Primula espresso maker to make rich, high-quality espresso. It is compact and easy to use with a unique design that provides even distribution of heat when making espresso. The even distribution of heat enhances the aroma and flavor of the espresso.
The body is made exclusively from aluminum which enhances the look and makes it very lightweight.
An instruction set on how to use it is included in each box. It takes a few minutes for your espresso to be ready. It has a safety release valve which controls the pressure in the espresso maker. The pressure control is one of the factors that determine the quality of espresso you make.
It has a temperature resistant handle and knob that allows easy and safe handling when it is hot.
One drawback to its use is that it cannot be washed with a dishwasher. Whenever you want to wash it, you would have to disassemble it, wash it with your hands and then reassemble. Though, it is made to be easily disassembled and reassembled.
If you prefer stovetop espresso makers that are easy to handle, easy to use, have a compact design and is made from aluminum, you can go for the Primula aluminum stovetop espresso maker.
Best Stovetop Espresso Maker for Electric Stove
The Bialetti Kitty is one of the numerous espresso pots from Bialetti. Its rounded bottom and cylindrical top give it its unique design. It is also up there with the best in terms of quality of espresso brewed.
Its body is made of high-quality stainless steel. Since this is a more recent model from Bialetti, it has solved the two major issues of the Bialetti Moka Express. It is dishwasher-safe, and it can be used on any stovetop most especially electric stovetop. It has an insulated handle with a wide reach that makes handling easy when it is hot.
A drawback to using this espresso maker is that it only comes in two sizes: 4-cup and 6-cup. Therefore, it is not very convenient for brewing espresso for a large group of people. The rounded base gives it good balance and makes using it on electric stovetop convenient.
Another issue some users have had is the lid that does not fit perfectly, so you have to serve your espresso immediately after brewing. It is also known to take longer to make your espresso using the Bialetti Kitty compared to some other espresso makers.
Looking beyond these drawbacks, the Bialetti Kitty is a good product. Its small size also makes it kitchen friendly as it does not take a large space on your kitchen counter. So, if you have an electric stovetop and you are looking for a product you can use, you can count on the Bialetti Kitty.
Best Stovetop Espresso Maker for Traveling
Getting a good cup of espresso can be quite difficult when travelling. You might order a cup of espresso at a coffee shop and get disappointed by the quality you are served. You can save yourself this struggle by getting an espresso maker you can take along with you on your travels.
The Bialetti Mini Express is a perfect gear for your camping or traveling. It is made of high-quality aluminum and brews a good quality espresso for you in a short time.
The biggest selling point of this product is its portability. It is very light and small so you would not even notice its presence in your luggage. Its small size means it does not have a collection chamber as in other stovetop espresso makers, so the espresso goes directly into a cup. So, you have to drink it immediately after it is brewed.
It also does not give you any indication whenever your espresso is done, so you have to pay attention to it when you are using it.
With the Bialetti Mini Express, you do not have to postpone that trip anymore. Now the problem of not having your favorite drink on your journey has been solved.
Best Budget Stovetop Espresso Maker
The Decdeal stovetop espresso maker is one of the cheapest you will find out there. It is made from durable cast aluminum and it has the classic octagonal shape which allows even distribution of heat whenever it is in use and improves the quality of espresso made.
Just like most other espresso makers, it has three chambers: the water chamber, the filter basket, and the collection chamber. It gives you a well-brewed espresso in no more than five minutes.
It has a plastic handle which gives it a firm and reliable grip. The plastic handle also means you can easily handle it even when the espresso maker is hot. It can be used on any type of stovetop (gas, electric).
It comes in various sizes: 3-cup, 6-cup, 9-cup, and 12-cup.
Although it is built with less finesse and it pales in comparison with top name brands in terms of quality, it does a good job of making good espresso.
It is a cheap but quality product which is evident in its general features, from the type of plastic used in making the handle, to the lid that sometimes leaks when you are pouring out the espresso. This is understandable as it is not expected to be a world beater considering its price.
So, if you are looking for a cheap product that does not stray too far from the top name brands in terms of quality of espresso made, you can go for the Decdeal stovetop espresso maker.
What Makes a Great Stovetop Espresso Maker?
A question most Moka pot users would ask is, what makes a great stovetop espresso maker? Answering this question correctly could also help when making the choice of which Moka pot to use.
The primary use of a stovetop espresso maker is making good espresso. A great stovetop espresso maker should be able to brew a rich, smooth and flavorful espresso. It is also important that it is very durable as this means it will last the user for as long as possible.
A great design does not hurt too as a stovetop espresso maker that is pleasing to the eye gets more attention. The affordability and how easy it is to use are also qualities that can separate a great stovetop espresso maker from a good one.
Overall, a great stovetop espresso maker would have all these qualities in a perfect blend.
How to Choose the Best Stovetop Espresso Maker
Choosing a stovetop espresso maker is not actually as simple as just going through a list and picking one that looks nice. There are some things you should consider so as not to get an espresso maker that you will not serve you well.
Stovetop espresso makers are mostly either made of stainless steel or aluminum, with both having their pros and cons.
Stainless steel is mostly preferred because it resists corrosion better than aluminum, hence, it lasts longer.
Aluminum pots conduct heat better than their stainless steel counterparts. Therefore, they are faster and more efficient. So, brewing would take less time than if stainless steel is used. Aluminum pots are also less expensive.
Compatibility with stovetop
There are different types of stovetops. Your choice of stovetop espresso maker should also depend on the type of stovetop you own. You would be surprised at the number of people that overlook this. If an electric stovetop is the only one you have, buying a stovetop espresso maker that is not compatible with an electric stovetop would end up being a waste of your money.
A lot of buyers go wrong when it comes to picking the capacity that best suits them. Let your choice depend on the amount of espresso you would be making. Someone that makes espresso regularly for a group of people would not necessarily use the same capacity as someone that makes espressos for one person.
It is important to clean your espresso maker as soon as you finish using it. While some espresso makers can be washed using a dishwasher, some do not support this. If you would prefer using a dishwasher to wash your stovetop espresso maker, then, go for the ones that are dishwasher-safe. If not, then you can get the ones that are not dishwasher-safe.
The Advantages of Owning the Best Stovetop Espresso Maker
As a lover of Coffee, owning the best possible stovetop espresso maker is a thing to desire. There are different types of stovetop espresso makers having different qualities. It is unreasonable to expect all of them to have the same quality. So, what are the advantages of owning the best of them?
- You would be able to make the best quality espresso. Seasoned espresso consumers will tell you that the quality of espresso you get depends a lot on what type of espresso maker you are using.
- Stovetop espresso makers generally do not take long to brew. This is also a quality that separates the best pot from the rest.
- It is important that a good espresso maker is durable. Durability is a quality that you will get if you are using the best quality espresso maker. Every consumer wants to use a product for as long as possible. So, using the best espresso maker assures you of its longevity.
How to Care for a Stovetop Espresso Maker
Cleaning and caring for your stovetop espresso maker is very important if you want it to last long. A well cared for stovetop espresso maker would maintain its quality for a long time. This eliminates any worry you might have about getting a replacement espresso maker.
Here are some tips for you:
Before the first brew
Before you make your first espresso using your new product, it is advised that you make a couple of dry runs. That is, you make a few brews and throw them out. This removes any metallic taste that could be in your espresso.
Avoid cleaning your pot with abrasive sponges or soapy water. This also applies if you are using a dishwasher. Just rinse it with hot water and wipe it clean with a clean cloth.
Make sure there is no moisture inside your stovetop espresso maker before storing it away. Any moisture could cause dark grey, moldy like growths to appear inside your pot. If you find this growth in your Moka pot, you would have to remove them with soapy water which affects your coffee oils.
Over tightening the pot when brewing espresso could lead to wearing out of the rubber gasket. Also, you do not want your pot to leak while you are making espresso so ensure that it is tightened enough. Replacement rubber gaskets are available, so you do not need to worry if yours is worn out.
Tips on Storing Coffee
If you want to preserve the taste and aroma of your coffee, then, you need to store it properly. There are a number of things to put in mind when storing your coffee. What to do, as well as those to avoid.
- Do not make the mistake of buying already ground coffee. The best way to maximize the flavor of the coffee is to grind the beans just before you brew it. So, make sure you get your coffee in bean form.
- Coffee should be stored in airtight containers. This protects it from moisture, light, and heat. Also, use containers made from stainless steel, ceramic or glass as they are the best for storing coffee.
- Keep the container in a cool, dark place.
- Freezing of coffee diminishes the taste so do not refrigerate your coffee.
Starting your day with a nice cup of well-made espresso could give you that extra boost for the day. Using a stovetop espresso maker, you can make yourself that perfect cup of espresso you need.
It is important that you buy a stovetop espresso maker that is well suited to your needs. Getting a high-quality stovetop espresso maker that is the right fit for you is the perfect combination of a functional, long lasting stovetop espresso maker.
If you are a coffee lover and you have not tried using a stovetop espresso maker to make your favorite drink, you need to try one out. All the stovetop espresso maker products reviewed here can be obtained online so with just a few clicks, you can own your own quality stovetop espresso maker.