Best Moka Pot: What’s the Top Stovetop Espresso Maker?CLICK HERE to subscribe to our weekly emails on finding and brewing amazing coffee!
As devout coffee fanatics, we can all appreciate the delightful flavor of a good, strong shot of espresso. Unfortunately, not every aspiring barista can afford a top-notch espresso machine. So, what’s a caffeine addict to do?
Well, you can get a Moka Pot. We’ve put together a guide to explain this unique tool, and we even reviewed some of our top picks for you to choose from.
What is a Moka Pot?
A Moka Pot is a classic tool used to make espresso-like coffee. It works off of steam pressure, like an espresso machine, but it usually only hits around 2 or 3 bars rather than 9 bars of pressure.
To use a Moka Pot, you heat up the water in the bottom chamber. This forces steam through a fine grind coffee in a strainer above it, producing a strong shot of coffee that is perfect for making a lot of espresso based drinks (like lattes).
However, if you are looking for artisanal espresso to drink on its own, you’re going to have to save up for an actual espresso machine. While Moka Pots brew nice-tasting strong coffee maybe even with a little crema, you aren’t going to get the same luscious texture and flavor that you will a high-end espresso machine.
Our Top Picks
Bialetti Moka Espress Stovetop Espresso Maker
This Bialetti model has been around since 1933 an is hands-down our number one pick for a Moka pot. The design is classic and recognizable, and for the price, this original is hard to beat.
These aluminum beauties are still made the same way they were 80 years ago, in Italy with Bialetti’s patented design that helps diffuse heat to give you the best stovetop espresso. It’s compatible with both gas and electric stoves. Also, it comes with a two-warranty.
You’ve also got plenty of options with this one. With sizes ranging from 3 to 12 cups and even a few color variations, chances are you can find one to suit your lifestyle and aesthetic.
The only complaint we have for this Moka pot is that it’s not machine washable due to the aluminum body. Everything else is a hit.
Bialetti Kitty Stainless Steel Espresso Maker
If the aluminum on the other Bialetti is really a deal breaker for you, or you just aren’t jazzed about the classic design, go for the Bialetti Kitty.
The Kitty is stainless steel and dishwasher safe. This model also features a more modern design and a handle that is a bit further out from the body, meaning it’s easier to keep your knuckles safe.
Like the other Bialetti option, the Kitty is compatible with gas and electric stovetops. However, it is manufactured in China instead of Italy.
The price is a little steeper, but if you can swing it, this model is a good option. though some users complain that the lid is more cumbersome than the original.
Cuisinox Roma Stainless Steel Stovetop Espresso Maker
Cuisinoz’s Roma moka pot is one of the higher end options you can get. This espresso maker is stainless steel and dishwasher safe like the Kitty but comes in at a price point that is more than double the Bailetti option.
With that price point comes consistency and durability. If you spring for the higher price, chances are this will be the last moka pot you buy. It comes with a 25-year warranty and is often touted as the best stainless steel moka pot that you can buy- period.
This sexy and sleek modern design comes in a variety of size options and is compatible with both electric and gas stovetops. Or only real complaint is that the price can be prohibitive, so make sure you’re really ready to commit before investing.
Tops Rapid Brew Stovetop Coffee Maker
If your love of the outdoors is a near match to your addiction to coffee, this is the moka pot for you. It’s non-electric, so it’s perfect for camping, though it’s not ideal for strictly-at home use unless you have a gas stove.
It has both stainless steel and aluminum elements and can handle brew sizes from two to 12 demitasse cups. The Tops model also features a unique design, ditching the typical plastic handle for one with a wood accent and placing a neat glass cover knob on the lid in case you want a peek inside.
De’Longhi EMK6 Alicia Electric Moka Pot
Don’t have a stove or just don’t have the patience to figure out the how to use a regular moka pot? Try the Alicia. This option is electric and features and aluminum boiler, cordless base, and plastic upper compartment.
This is a really great option if you are living in a dorm with limit space and resources (or if you like machines doing most of the work for you). However, due to the plastic top component, the flavor quality isn’t going to be as good as the stainless steel or aluminum options that we’ve presented.
The auto-off feature and the easy to use design are convenient though, and De’Longhi is a reputable brand. So for the price, this isn’t a bad option.
Things to Consider Before Buying
Is this tool going to mostly be used inside the kitchen of a typical home or apartment? Okay, then one of the classic options like the Bailettis or Cuisinox will work great for you.
Already have something that will work for you at home and just need something that can travel and come camping with you? Go for the Tops model.
In a dorm or just lazy? Try De’Longhi’s Alicia.
In short, moka pots made with aluminum are a little more high-maintenance. They are not dishwasher safe and require you to double check for electric stovetop compatibility.
Also, since you have to handwash them, you need to make sure they are COMPLETELY dry to avoid them rusting. That said, even tough they last less time than their stainless steel counterparts, they will still give you years of great coffee before they begin to deteriorate.
Stainless steel is non-porous, non-corrosive, and super durable. If you get a good one, it will probably last you a lifetime or pretty close to it. However, stainless steel moka pots are typically much more expensive than aluminum ones, which can still last a decade or so.
Moka pots with stainless steel can also be washed in the dishwasher. However, we don’t really recommend it because it can be rough on your tool and shorten its impressive lifespan. On the bright side, they’re easier to hand wash than aluminum and won’t mind a few stray water droplets.
So if you are looking for something that can easily last until you bite it or is just more low-maintenance, go for stainless steel. If you’re fine with a little extra effort and want to save a chunk of money, go for an aluminum option. They’re both durable and are going to work well if you treat them correctly.
No, we aren’t talking about B vs DD. We’re talking about demitasse.
It is important to keep in mind that moka pot size measurements are based on espresso shots not the typical American cups. So a 6 cup moka pot and comfortable brew enough for about two regular espresso-based drinks.
If you need more than that, consider sizing up.
If you are looking or something to give you espresso-like coffee without breaking the bank, a Moka Pot is definitely the way to go. Just keep in mind the different factors your lifestyle brings to the table so you can get a tool that will last.
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