Stovetop Espresso Makers

Looking for a stovetop espresso coffee experience and wondering where to start your journey? That’s understandable. The marketplace is rich with option when it comes to stove espresso makers. And there are questions to be asked. Which brand is best? Aluminium vs steel? Electric vs stove? (stay tuned)

Coffee Brewing In Moka Pot
Coffee preparation in Moka Pot

And What Exactly is a Stove?

The stovetop espresso coffee maker (also spoken about as a Stove Moka Pot) is the quintessential component of an Italian coffee lover’s kitchen and has taken the world by storm. The steam based stove espresso coffee maker was invented by Alfonso Bialetti in 1933. Since then, the Bialetti brand has become synonymous with making a shot of espresso coffee coffee, part of the each day ritual of life.

The stove works by passing boiling water through the ground coffee utilizing pressurized steam. Technically, stove espresso coffee makers do not make genuine espresso. Only an espresso machine can produce the higher pressure steam (9 bar to be precise) necessary. But there’s no shortage of stovetop enthusiasts. For me, my day doesn’t stack up if my stovetop top hasn’t had a good work out!

Which Brand is Best?

I have a sweet spot for the Bialetti Moka Express, a traditional and iconic stovetop that I call on to get me started. The ageing simplicity of the aluminium design is found in so lots of homes of today and is the memory play of several an Italian upbringing.

Having said that, it’s fair to say that in a competitive market all players need to bring their A game if they want to have a chance. So DeLonghi, Cuisinox, and newer brands have great stovetop espresso coffee makers that have their own appeal for buyers.

Why I Love the Bialetti Moka Express

The Bialetti Moka Express stacks up well in my book for the following reasons:

  • It’s beautiful, simplistic and timeless design
  • Bialetti is a quality brand that knows it’s stuff
  • The feel good aspect of classic old school Italian and memories of life
  • It sits in the kitchen like an art work hangs on the wall
  • The Moka Express gets better with use and time
  • Very little cleaning is essential
  • It’s robust and it works well
  • Pipes excellent coffee into the present moment

The Bialetti Moka Express is Available in the Following Sizes:

(Please note that the max. boiler capacity is mildly more than the final output since there is always a little water left in the boiler after brewing.)

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How to Make Wonderful Coffee with a Bialetti Moka Express

Aluminium Stovetop Vs Stainless Steel Stove

Aluminium is the original material used for the early Bialetti models and is still used today. It’s light and is a good conductor of heat. Stainless steel takes a bit longer to heat up and a little longer to cool down. Both require really little cleaning. The more the aluminium stovetop is used, the more the coffee oil coats the inside of the pot, enhancing the flavor of the coffee.

Bialetti Venus Coffee Maker
Bialetti Venus – Stove Espresso coffee Coffee Maker

There is concern that aluminium may potentially be a health hazard. Whilst there’s no genuine proof of this, choosing a good quality aluminium stove will keep you on the safer side of the fence. Cheap and nasty versions will be more prone to erosion. That said, take good care of your Bialetti Moka Express.
Some also claim to sense a metallic taste in coffee brewed from an aluminium stovetop. A lot of argument this claim (myself included). I’ve read about a few DIY experiments with findings that don’t support this claim either. Maybe it all boils down to an individual’s taste buds! I’m hooked on aluminium.

Electric (plug in model) Vs Stove/Electric Hot Plate

As I’m a hard core traditionalist, the site of the flames massaging the base of my much loved much used, aluminium Bialetti Moka Express can’t be traded for a plug and cord.
But that’s not to say the plug-in model deserves to be overlooked. On the contrary, the Bialetti 6-cup Easy Caffe is a worthy option and adapts the classic style of the Moka Express. Three things going for the Easy Caffé are convenience, ease of utilize (less human interaction needed) and the coffee is kept warm for up to 25 minutes. If you don’t have a stovetop, then this is will suit you well.

Other Popular Brands of Stovetop Espresso coffee Makers

More stove-top espresso coffee makers on Amazon.

I’ve got my stovetop espresso coffee maker – what’s next in the mix?

We thought this post was worth mentioning, all the credit goes to Moka Head, a website that takes Moka Pot coffee brewing seriously.