When you’re an espresso purist, getting back to basics can be the answer. If you’re a novice, the basics can be a great place to start.
There’s a coffee roastery and shop (actually it’s more like a little piece of heaven on earth) near where I used to live. It’s called Blue Bottle. If you’re not familiar ook them up, they’re THE BEST.
Anyway, they really advocate for using all kinds of brewing methods and have some really great thoughts and tutorials on stove-top espresso machines, Moka pots in particular. Essentially, they believe the little guy doesn’t get enough credit for it’s serious ability to brew great espresso.
Stovetop espresso makers are the originals. They’re also the go-to for small living spaces and coffee drinkers on the go. They are steam-driven, portable, inexpensive and pretty darn easy to use (you can count the number of parts on one hand). They even slay some of their pricier counterparts in a key way:
One of the major drawbacks of super-automatic machines is that they just can’t handle dark roasted beans. They are too oily and really gum up the shoot. This is a problem if, like me, you really enjoy a dark roast. This is where stovetop espresso makers shine.
Stovetops can handle any type of roast, any type of bean, and produce a strong, flavorful shot with a solid crema. A lot of times you’ll find they produce a slightly thicker coffee, which I have come to really enjoy. They aren’t going to froth your milk for you, but if you’re a purist, this isn’t a big deal. Especially for the price.
My favorite is the Cuisinox. It is a classic. If you have never used one you are going to be impressed by its simple functional design.
You don’t have to take my word for it. The Cuisinox has 250+ good reviews on Amazon. You know when that many people are crazy about the maker that it is amazing and something worth owning.
If you aren’t limited by a budget, we suggest you consider seriously purchasing the Cuisinox Roma 6-cup Stainless Steel Stovetop Espresso Maker for your home brewing. It’s a bit pricier than some of the other recommended stovetop espresso makers, but it does offer some great features not found in the Moka Express coffeemaker.
The Cuisinox Roma 6-cup Stainless Steel Stovetop Espresso Maker’s has a really unique body style. It’s actually really sleek and modern in design. It’s also made of 18/10 heavy-gauge polished stainless steel. In addition to being really durable, it can also withstand higher temperatures than some of it’s counterparts. I also love that is comes with a crazy 25-year warranty. The confidence the company has in its product is a strong indicator of quality.
The second unique feature worth highlighting is its induction base. An induction base enables you to use it on all cooking surfaces, making it pretty versatile. It also has a higher coffee-preparing capacity than most moka pots. It can prepare 6 cups of coffee during one brewing—which is great if you are planning to serve several guests…or if you are just really thirsty.
The Cuisinox, like most other stovetop coffee makers, is really easy to clean. Having virtually no edges, nor nooks and crannies in which dirt could get lodged, it’s pretty much a rinse and wipe down situation. Which really just means you have more time to enjoy your coffee.
It has seriously commendable rating of 4 and half stars out of 5 on Amazon, which proves it’s a top-performing moka pot.
Many coffee aficionados consider the Bialetti Industrie’s moka pots to be the ‘gold standard’ in stovetop espresso makers. Bialetti began producing the Moka Express coffeemaker way back in 1933 after it was invented by Italian genius Luigi de Ponti for Italian engineer Alfonso Bialetti. Bialetti’s company continues to produce the same stovetop espresso maker under the same name.
It does not get more legit than that.
There are several reasons why the Bialetti 6800 Moka Express 6-cup Stovetop Espresso Maker is considered to be one of the best moka pots currently available in the market. The first reason is its design. It was made in the Moka Express’ signature octagonal shape. Luigi de Ponti himself found out that coffeemakers of this shape are better at diffusing heat uniformly – pretty cool right? It really enhances the aroma and the better your cup of coffee’s small is, the better it will taste.
The second reason is the stovetop espresso maker’s body. It’s made of polished aluminum, which makes it sturdy, lightweight, and pretty sleek. It also comes with the classic spout, flip-up top, and Bakelite handles. The spout enables it to serve as a coffeepot itself, which reduces cleanup and is super convenient.
The third reason is its capacity for preparing coffee. It can prepare three 2 oz cups of espresso within just 5 minutes, which is great if you’re like me and drink a serious amount of coffee every morning.
I am also a fan of the Bialetti because of its price. It’s currently being sold through Amazon for around $20 – you really can’t buy anything this well engineered for less than $50 anymore.
A few consumers do warn against leaving the Bialetti 6800 Moka Express 6-cup Stovetop Espresso Maker on your stove top for too long. Making this mistake will destroy its internal rubber gasket. To me, this is pretty much common sense, but it’s worth sharing.
Not surprisingly, it also has an excellent rating of 4 and a half stars out 5 on Amazon.
Currently being sold through Amazon for around $45 and with free shipping, you could say the Bialetti 6969 Venus Stovetop Percolator 6-cup Stainless Steel is the affordable middle ground alternative to both of the stovetop espresso makers reviewed previously. Like the Cuisinox, it’s made of 18/10 heavy-gauge polished stainless steel and can prepare 6 cups of 10 fl. oz. in under 5 minutes.
The Bialetti 6969 Venus has several features not found in either of the espresso makers reviewed previously. To begin with, it has the widest bottom. This makes it the most stable and therefore the safest to use on this list. According to another user, its handle also doesn’t get hot at all, which makes it really convenient to use. Assembly is also pretty fast, which is great because for stovetop makers, you should expect awesome ease of use.
The Venus has a solid rating of 4 stars out of 5 on Amazon, not surprising from a product of Bialetti!
As we hope to have proven you by way of the above reviews of three of the best stovetop espresso makers currently available in the market, there are benefits from using moka pots that you just won’t enjoy from using some of the new state-of-the-art espresso machines.
Chatting about coffee is my passion! Leave me a question in the comments, I answer each and every one and would love to get to know you better.
I am a die-hard espresso fan. I love every form of the drink from straight espresso shots to lattes and cappuccinos. I currently use a Breville BES870XL Barista, it is an awesome machine. BUT, my dream machine is definitely an Italian Quickmill Andreja. Those bad boys make badass espresso. I love answering your questions, leave a comment or question below!