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A stovetop espresso maker (Moka pot) is a convenient alternative to brewing traditional espresso. It’s easy for beginners and offers a lot of variety and flexibility for seasoned coffee drinkers.
It’s also a great entry into the world of espresso-based drinks and pours a delicious shot of concentrated coffee, albeit slightly differently than what you might be used to. Some say it’s comparable to espresso, but a Moka pot uses less pressure than an espresso machine, and is far less concentrated.
In this post, we’ll look at 7 of the top contenders in the battle for the best Moka pot.
Consider the following when shopping for the best Moka pot to suit your needs:
Which Material Is Better: Aluminum or Stainless Steel?
Moka pots are historically constructed of aluminum, but many modern versions are made with stainless steel, with pros and cons for each metal.
Because aluminum is inexpensive and a great conductor of heat, it makes a great material for a brewing vessel. Also, being lightweight, it’s a great choice for camping/hiking.
Just remember that most aluminum Moka pots are not dishwasher safe and must be dried completely after every use to prevent corrosion. It’s also suggested to avoid using soaps in order to preserve the seasoning, according to many manufacturers and users.
For those concerned with food-safe aluminum, stainless steel is a suitable alternative. It’s more costly than aluminum but also more durable. Maintenance is easier with stainless steel Moka pots as well.
They’re nonporous and when constructed of high-quality stainless steel, they won’t rust or corrode with time and use. Aesthetically, they maintain their finish longer than aluminum and provide a look that is both antique and modern.
They are typically dishwasher safe, but hand-washing is still recommended to prolong their lifespan.
Will It Work With Your Stovetop?
The type of stove you have will largely determine which stovetop espresso maker to buy. Moka pots are not all created equal, and thus, aren’t interchangeable amongst different gas, electric, and induction cooktops. Be certain to verify that your Moka pot will work with your stove type.
Many Moka pots won’t work with induction stoves. In place of heated coils, this type of stovetop employs high-frequency electromagnets. This means it requires magnetic metals such as cast iron or stainless steel to function properly. Since Moka pots made with non-magnetic metal (like aluminum) cannot transmit heat effectively, you’d have to purchase a separate induction adapter plate to use them.
However, it’s also not guaranteed that all stainless steel Moka pots will work with your induction cooktop. Always consult the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure safe and effective use.
What Is the Best Size Moka Pot for You?
Moka pots come in a variety of sizes, with capacities ranging from 1 to 18 servings. In Italy, they refer to each serving as a “cup”, however, this “cup” serving size is only around 2 ounces—about the size of a double shot of espresso.
In the States, a cup equals 8 ounces, and more often we like to fill our travel mugs up with 12 to 16 ounces of coffee. So keep this in mind when reviewing the following stovetop espresso maker capacities:
A 1-cup Moka pot produces around 2 fluid ounces (60mL) of concentrated coffee
A 3-cup around 6 fl. oz. (175 mL)…
A 6-cup around 9 fl. oz. (270 mL)…
A 9-cup around 14 fl. oz. (410 mL)…
A 12-cup around 22 fl. oz. (650 mL)…
Quality & Durability
With appliances, you want to be sure you’re buying something that will last, especially if you end up using it every day.
The best Moka pots come from manufacturers with a strong reputation for high-quality products, whether they be small kitchen appliances or otherwise.
Although some in this roundup are pricey, they will probably last you a lifetime with proper care. If you expect to only use it once in a while, consider starting with a smaller stovetop espresso maker (like a 3-cup) and see if it’s something you want to upgrade down the road.
We’ve handpicked every stovetop espresso maker on this list and they’re all of sound quality. You really can’t go wrong with any of them.
Manual vs. Electric
When Alfonso Bialetti first invented the Moka pot back in ‘33, he designed it for use on a gas stove. Since then, there have been some modern updates, including an electric Moka pot that slightly simplifies the brewing process.
Electric Moka pots will cost you a bit more but are convenient in places where a stovetop may not be available or where users don’t want to stick around for the brewing process. Also, some models have a keep-warm feature that will maintain your coffee’s temperature for a set amount of time.
Reputable manufacturers will consider the safety of their customers by adding safety features to prevent burns and accidents.
Safety features may include:
A rubber-coated heat resistant handle designed to stay cool to the touch
Safety valves that prevent excessive pressure from building up and possibly exploding
Automatic shutoff feature on electric models
Most Moka pots on the market today have stayed true to Bialetti’s original design—having either a round or octagonal base structure. Some users claim that the octagonal shape of Alfonso’s creation contributes to better heat distribution, but test results have shown this has no bearing on the final brew.
Both stainless steel and aluminum stovetop coffee makers have an old-timey charm, although stainless steel versions will maintain their sheen for longer. Some models in both metals come available in different colors to match your other kitchen appliances if desired.
Top 7 Best Moka Pots (Stovetop Espresso Makers) in 2022
With consideration to everything above, the following are the best Moka pots on the market today.
Bialetti Moka Express 6 Cup—Best Overall Moka Pot
"An Italian icon spanning decades, the Moka Express has earned its place in households the world over."
The 6 Cup Moka Express brews enough concentrated coffee for 1-2 coffee lovers at a time.
Never let the flame go past the sides of your pot.
Bialetti still leads the market with its renown Moka Express stovetop espresso maker.
Everybody knows the brand for their reliability and consistency, and the Moka Express does not disappoint with its wide selection of sizes, durability, and tasty Moka pot coffee. The Moka Express comes highly acclaimed with thousands of positive reviews from happy customers the world over.
Its octagonal shape disperses the heat evenly, resulting in a flavorful and smooth cup of Moka coffee in just under 5 minutes . It also has a patented safety valve, which prevents the pot from exploding under excessive pressure.
When brewed correctly, some Moka pots can actually produce a crema similar to espresso.
The Bialetti Moka pot comes in many sizes—1, 3, 6, 9, 12, and 18 cups – so you can choose the best size for almost any situation. When you’re finished, the easy-to-clean design lets you quickly disassemble the pot and wash it in under a minute.
If you’re obsessed with exquisite coffee and looking for an easy way to make espresso-like coffee, the Bialetti Moka Express is a timeless classic you’ll love using day after day.
The 6 Cup Début stainless steel Moka pot is, without a doubt, the most modern-looking of all the Moka pots on our list. Not only will this coffee maker make great coffee, but it will also look stunning in your kitchen and coffee bar.
Designed in Italy and manufactured in Taiwan, it’s available in four sizes, from 2 cups to 8 cups, with the 6 cup model weighing in at only a little over 10 ounces.
What’s significant about this Moka pot is the fact that the stainless steel won’t pit or corrode with use. We searched far and wide to find a stainless steel pot that didn’t. The inside of the pot isn’t coated or lined with any other metal, like many other Moka pots are.
It’s made of 304 (18/8) stainless steel and will work with most stovetops. However, a few users have reported problems with this model working on their induction stoves.
The company has stated that the smaller capacity pots (2 cup – 4 cup) may not work on all brands of induction cooktops. Some stovetop brands simply don’t recognize the smaller surface area on the bottom of the Début coffee maker.
The Début has a unique “reducer” feature not commonly found on other stovetop coffee makers that allows you to fill the entire grounds bin up (as recommended), but using only half the coffee grounds. How, you ask?
It’s a filter that fits perfectly inside the grounds funnel. It’s the same diameter, but only half the height. When you want to brew half-strength, you just flip it over and it consumes half the original volume of the grounds bin.
This is an excellent stainless steel version of the Moka pot and you won’t go wrong with it as long as you ensure it’s compatible with your cooktop.
A bestseller in Italy, the Induction Moka pot has quickly become an enjoyable morning routine in households all over the world.
The Bialetti Moka Induction Pot stays true to its history with its traditional upper octagonal form. This masterpiece is a well-crafted hybrid of aluminum (upper chamber & lining of bottom chamber) and stainless steel (lower chamber exterior—induction stove compatible), placing this Moka pot in a class of its own.
Gripping the circular base might be difficult for those with weaker grips.
The aluminum lining in the bottom chamber guarantees coffee is brewed true to Italian tradition, providing the excellent heat distribution found in aluminum Moka pots, with a stainless steel exterior that ensures induction hob compatibility.
A couple possible setbacks—the circular base might be difficult for some to grip when unscrewing the top chamber. A silicone cooking mitt will help you grip it better while protecting you from the heat.
Also, a couple users have stated their induction hob doesn’t detect the 10cm base found on the 2-cup version. Check the minimum diameter detected by your induction hob to ensure compatibility.
Bialetti’s Induction pot in black and chrome
Short of that, the Bialetti Moka Induction is easy to clean and comes in several sizes to meet your needs—2 Cup, 4 Cup, and 6 Cup. Available in a beautiful, vibrant red/chrome or a sleek black/chrome finish, this Italian coffee maker will gleam brilliantly in your kitchen.
It naturally comes equipped with a tested/certified safety pressure valve to prevent excessive pressure buildup in the lower boiler chamber.
Interestingly enough, Bialetti has introduced a ground coffee they’ve dubbed “Perfetto Moka”, that they claim pairs perfectly with the Moka Induction coffeemaker.
So long as you’re aware, it isn’t necessary to purchase a “special” coffee intended for your Moka pot. If you grind your coffee beans to a medium-fine consistency with a good burr coffee grinder, you’ll have no issues using your favorite beans with any of the Moka pots in this roundup.
Bialetti is a trusted and well-known Italian company synonymous with manufacturing high-quality products of simplicity, functionality, and beauty. The Moka Induction pot is no exception to this commitment of quality, and they’ve done an outstanding job with their version of the Induction Moka pot, both in functionality and aesthetics.
The 12-cup Moka Express is ready to take on your next large gathering.
Having the same classic octagonal shape and all the advantages of the 6 Cup Moka pot, the 12 Cup Bialetti Moka pot is ready to take on larger-sized gatherings of friends and family.
Making around 22 ounces (650 mL) of aromatic Moka pot coffee, this big boy will brew enough coffee to keep everybody yapping for hours. It’s also a great option for offices and other businesses who understand the importance of quality coffee.
If you don’t want to fumble around with emptying, washing, refilling, and brewing over and over while trying to entertain your guests, the 12 Cup Moka is your best bet.
Next up is the LuxHaus 6 Cup espresso maker, a budget-minded alternative to the pricier stainless steel coffee makers. It’s constructed of food-safe stainless steel and comes with a no-rust guarantee.
It’s compatible with induction ranges and heats quickly, making it a brilliant choice for those who want to save time in their morning ritual.
A word of warning, though: the hinge is delicate and a couple users broke it while washing or using their pot.
As well, a few users have stated that the stainless steel has corroded/rusted on them. That said, the seller has outstanding customer service and stands behind their no-rust guarantee a 100%. They will send free replacement parts or a new Moka pot to maintain their reputation and customer loyalty.
This version of the popular 6 Cup Moka Express is for those looking to add a bit more Italian flare to their kitchen.
Like the other Moka Express pots, this uniquely colorful 6 Cup Moka pot is a best seller with excellent reviews. It’s available in a 3 Cup or 6 Cup size.
The Bialetti Tricolor is available in a 3-cup and 6-cup version.
As with all other aluminum pots, the Italia Collection Moka pot works best on a gas stove/open flame, but is also compatible with electric stovetops.
A couple users complained of the red paint on the bottom chamber fading after use—turning a bit of an orange. Although, it’s uncertain to say how high they had their flames. Bialetti recommends low heat, where the flame never comes outside the bottom of the pot.
This Italia Collection Moka pot by Bialetti offers the same quality and convenience as their other Moka pots, and pays homage to the Italian heritage that made it best, earning this best-selling brand a spot as one of the best Moka pots available today.
There's no need to watch over the De’Longhi Alicia. Just set it and forget it.
The De’Longhi EMK6 Alicia electric Moka pot is a great option if you don’t want to worry about stovetop compatibility or waiting for your stovetop espresso maker to brew.
There’s no need to babysit it either. After putting your coffee grounds and water in, just flip the switch and get back to what you were doing while it brews.
Pouring a delicious Moka coffee from the Alicia.
Use it wherever there’s a plug. It will also keep your coffee warm for up to 30 minutes before the safety auto-shutoff kicks in to prevent you from scorching your coffee.
To brew delicious Italian coffee, simply fill the bottom chamber with water to just below the valve, put the grounds funnel in, and fill with ground coffee (don’t tamp). After that, screw on the top chamber, set it on the EMK6 base, flip the switch, and you’re off to the races.
Another significant feature is the ability to prepare 3 cups instead of 6 cups by using the filter adapter. This is convenient when you only need half a fix and don’t want to waste your precious coffee beans.
The EMK6 Alicia is a best-selling electric coffee maker for a reason. It’s a modern alternative to the traditional Moka pot and doesn’t require any guesswork.
A stovetop espresso maker (Moka pot) is simplistic in design and functions similarly to a traditional coffee percolator, with one major distinction. The coffee that’s brewed in a Moka pot only passes through the coffee grounds once, making it a far superior option to that of a percolator.
A Moka pot’s key components include a bottom chamber used for boiling water, the funnel-shaped strainer that holds ground coffee, and the upper chamber that collects the brewed coffee.
Here are a few tips and tricks that will help you succeed with brewing espresso-style coffee in your Moka pot:
Use a finely ground coffee that falls between espresso (very fine grind) and drip coffee (medium grind).
NEVER tamp your coffee grounds like you would with traditional espresso.
Start with hot water you’ve already brought up to temperature.
Remove your Moka pot from the heat source as soon as possible and rely on the heat inertia to finish the brew process.
Cool your Moka pot with a wet towel or under cold water immediately after removing it from the heat source.
So Which Moka Pot Is for You?
Just like anything else in life, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for choosing the best stovetop espresso maker for your kitchen. You’ll have to decide between aluminum and stainless steel, then which size will routinely accommodate your needs. There’s also the question of stovetop compatibility to consider, as discussed above.
But if you’re looking for an affordable best all-around performer, the Bialetti 6 Cup Moka pot is still the tried-and-true champion. Also, with a variety of sizes and materials to choose from, there’s a Bialetti Moka pot for everyone.
We hope you found this article helpful in trying to decide which Moka pot will best serve your needs.
As always, happy brewing!
Clint Doerfler is the founder of Coffee Gear Gurus® and has been obsessed with everything coffee since a very young “growth-stunting” age. He is passionate about helping fellow coffee lovers make amazing coffee at home, no matter what their level of experience.
Moka Pot FAQs
What is the best coffee for a Moka pot?
Similar to an espresso machine, medium and dark roasts perform better in Moka pots because of their oils and lower acidity. Also, because darker roasts are more water-soluble, there’s less room for error when brewing coffee with a Moka pot, which can be temperamental.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experiment with different types of coffee to find what you like best. If you have a light roast that you love, try it in your Moka pot coffee maker.
Whatever brand you choose, just try to aim for a grind that falls somewhere between espresso and drip coffee.
How long does Moka pot coffee take to brew?
Most traditional Moka pots can brew up a tasty batch in around 5-7 minutes.
However, this is largely determined by the temperature of your heat source. But keep in mind that brewing too hot with your Moka pot will cause burnt-tasting, bitter coffee.
Can you make less coffee in a Moka pot?
Unless your Moka pot came equipped with a filter adapter, we advise against using less coffee or water in it than what’s recommended.
Doing so can yield undesired results, like over-extraction of your grounds. If you find you mostly only prepare coffee for yourself and want to reduce waste, you might opt for a smaller sized Moka pot, like the 3 Cup.
Is a Moka pot easy to clean?
Most Moka pots are fairly simple to clean. You can easily disassemble them to access and wash the lower chamber, grounds funnel, and filter/gasket, if equipped.
Some stainless steel espresso makers are dishwasher-safe, but you should always double-check with the maker.
On the other hand, aluminum Moka pots typically aren’t dishwasher-safe, and it’s recommended to hand wash them. When you’re finished washing your aluminum espresso maker, be sure to always dry it completely to avoid any unwanted corrosion.
Can you make regular coffee with a Moka pot?
Yes, you can.
A Moka pot produces coffee that is rich, intense, and full-bodied but if regular coffee is what you desire with your Moka pot, you can dilute the concentrated brew down with hot water, similar to how you would dilute an espresso to make an Americano.