Coffee doesn’t have to be complicated. Nowadays, we see baristas and coffee enthusiasts using a whole host of complex tools and contraptions in a bid to brew the perfect cup of Joe.
But sometimes, simplicity is key - especially if you drink coffee regularly throughout the day and want to brew it at home. This is where the traditional moka pot can come into play.
The first moka pot was invented in 1933 by Alfonso Bialetti, an aluminum industry specialist looking to create useful household items from this low cost, quality material.
It is a stovetop coffee maker that uses water - pressurized by steam - to brew strong, espresso-like coffee. You may also hear it referred to as a caffettiera, macchinetta, or stovetop espresso maker.
If you’re looking for a moka pot, chances are, you’ve found that there are countless options available on the market, and you may be struggling to figure out which will be the best coffee maker and suit your needs.
We’ve decided to take the hard work off your hands, creating a list of the three best moka pots available right now.
Hopefully, this will help you to find the best moka pot that matches your tastes, home design and budget perfectly!
Bialetti Moka Express - $30 - $60
Alessi Moka - $42.00 - $60*
Imusa - $11.90*
Best Overall: Bialetti Moka Express
If you’re looking for a classic moka pot espresso maker, you can’t get much better than the Bialetti Moka Express.
This modernized take on Alfonso Bialetti’s original design brews stovetop espresso coffee to perfection. A variety of sizes and colors makes it the perfect fit for any kitchen!
|Bialetti Moka Express 6 Cup | $39 from Amazon|
For many, a Bialetti is the obvious choice when it comes to choosing a quality Italian coffee maker. Seeing as the first moka pot in the world was created by Alfonso Bialetti in the 1930s, Bialetti is the original moka pot brand and has a long standing history of excellence.
While there are a range of different products and designs available - ranging from the Brikka which creates a crema like finish to your coffee to the Dama Pure Ice which has a transparent lid - the Bialetti Express moka pot tends to be the company’s best seller and its most touted offering. In fact, over 300 million have been sold since it first went on sale!
Perhaps the best thing about the Bialetti Moka Express is its simplicity. Its traditional design hasn’t veered far from the original moka pots of the 30s, yet the brand’s retro and iconic caricature (“L’Omino con i baffi” or “Little Man with the Mustache”) on the front ensures that this is a statement piece that will fit in well with almost any kitchen design.
Unsure of incorporating silver into your color scheme? The Moka Express is available in a rainbow of colors. Some of the most popular are:
This stovetop espresso maker is notably easy to use - once you know how to prepare coffee using a moka coffee pot, at least. It’s a lot more forgiving than other, more complex, ways of preparing espresso coffee, with the only mistake you’re likely to make being leaving it brewing for too long. It is lightweight, portable and has a heat resistant handle for easy pouring as soon as your coffee is ready. Properly used, it produces a rich, delicious espresso style coffee for you to enjoy.
The pieces fit well together. They are easy to screw and unscrew, meaning you needn’t worry about hair raising screeches and scratches or having to use excess strength to put the pot together or to take it apart. The entire process will be as smooth as the coffee it produces.
The Bialetti is available in a variety of sizes and only you can know what best suits your needs:
- The 1 cup design is ideal for those living alone.
- The 6 cup design is better for those who consider themselves a regular coffee drinker.
- The 9 and 12 cup designs are best suited to couples and families.
While this aluminum moka pot won’t work on an induction stovetop, Bialetti has created a conduction plate converter. This comes at an additional cost, but is a great investment that will allow you to use this moka pot whether you have a gas stove or induction cooktop.
Bialetti Expresss Moka Pot Pros and Cons
Best Design: Alessi Moka
This is an espresso maker that will prove practical when in use and look great on your counter space while out of use.
|Alessi Moka 6 Cup | $49.97 from Amazon|
Of course, we want our moka pot coffee to taste great, but when you’re invested in home design, you’re going to want your moka pot to look great too. If you drink coffee regularly, chances are your moka pot will be out on your work surfaces rather than being packed away and brought out on occasion. This quickly makes your espresso maker just as much a display piece as a useful and practical piece of kitchen equipment.
Originally designed by Alfonso Bialetti in the 1930s, the moka pot has a distinctive look that many of us have grown to love. In fact, several art and design museums around the world exhibit moka pots, including the Design Museum in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
The Alessi Moka provides a unique and artistic interpretation of this classic design. Created by architect Sir David Chipperfield, the Alessi Moka takes this timeless icon of Italian culture, emphasizing its details and making it even more functional, without compromising on the signature taste and quality of the drinks it produces.
When designing the pot, Sir David Chipperfield noted that its “character is defined not only by its friendly silhouette, but also by its soft dull gray aluminum materiality... How can one redesign it? Perhaps only by making it more of what it already is.”
If you’re looking for a pot that brews strong coffee and has good looks, this could be the one for you. It is available in three different sizes:
You can also purchase spare parts from the Alessi site, ranging from replacement handles to filter funnels, washers and more.
Unlike many moka pots, it is also compatible with all heat sources, meaning that it can be used on an induction stove without the need for buying a special stovetop converter.
Alessi Moka Pot Pros and Cons
Most Affordable: IMUSA Moka Pot
It may be no-frills, but it looks good and does its job, creating quality cups of brewed coffee, even with regular and repeated use.
IMUSA Stovetop Style Espresso Maker 9 Cup | $11.90 from Walmart
Delicious coffee doesn’t have to be expensive. The IMUSA Moka Pot offers a great option for those shopping on a budget. Made from lightweight aluminum, this espresso maker has a traditional look and feel.
It features a bakelite handle, which doesn’t conduct heat, meaning that the handle is easy to hold onto once the coffee is heated and ready to go. Just be wary to not place the handle directly over the stovetop, where it could be exposed to excess levels of heat and become damaged.
The coffee maker also has a flip top with a bakelite knob on the top, so you can lift the lid and stir before serving. This also makes for easy pouring, allowing you to pour while holding the top closed or while holding the top open. While the design may be basic, this is a stovetop espresso maker that will help you create a rich, full bodied brew to enjoy.
Of course, when purchasing a budget option, there are generally going to be some drawbacks in comparison to higher end moka pots with larger price tags attached.
- During assembly I found the parts a little difficult to screw together, with the parts feeling stiff and requiring some effort to turn. This could make it unsuitable for those with mobility difficulties in their hands or conditions such as arthritis.
- I found the volume to be smaller than expected when reading its claims of having a nine-cup capacity.
IMUSA Pros and Cons
Frequently Asked Questions About Moka Pots
How Do I Use a Moka Pot?
Using a stovetop espresso maker can seem complex at first, but it’s a pretty straightforward process when you get the hang of it.
First, grind your coffee bean to a table-salt consistency; you can find our guide on the best coffee grinders here.
Next, add your water to the base chamber to the level of the valve. You can then insert the filter and fill it with your ground coffee.
Screw the two chambers together tightly and place your moka pot on the stove on a low heat.
When you hear the coffee beginning to gurgle, remove it from the heat, give the coffee a stir and it’s ready to serve!
Why Does my Moka Pot Coffee Taste Metallic and Bitter?
There are various culprits that could be to blame for metallic or bitter tasting moka pot coffee - most are to do with the preparation and brewing process.
You could find that starting out with pre-boiled, hot water (instead of cold water) prevents your coffee grounds from cooking before the brewing begins.
Alternatively, you may not be grinding your coffee enough. Try grinding your beans on a coarser setting.
Can Moka Pots Be Used on an Induction Stovetop?
Unfortunately, the majority of moka pots do not work on induction stoves, as most are made from aluminum.
However, demand for options that do work on induction stovetops is on the rise, so some companies have started to create various stainless steel moka pot models. Always check the materials of any moka pot you’re considering buying to ensure that it will work with your stovetop.
Make the Most of Your Moka Pot
While these are just three of the best moka pots available on the market, they are popular for good reason. Each serves a purpose - delivering you a delicious, hot cup of espresso coffee in a convenient manner.
Whether you’re looking for a timeless classic, a more modern take on this traditional kitchen espresso machine or something cheap and cheerful, one of the best moka pot options outlined above should tick your boxes.
Only you can know which will best suit your needs and preferences. If you’re struggling to decide, ask yourself some simple questions:
- How many cups of coffee do you need to make at any one time?
- Do you want your moka pot to blend into your kitchen design or do you want something bolder and brighter?
- What is your budget?
- Do you have an induction stove and require a stainless steel moka pot?
- Or will a classic aluminum option work for your stovetop?
Whichever coffee maker you settle on, one thing is for sure; you’re going to need some quality coffee to brew in it. Take a look at our range of coffee subscriptions to make sure you always have fresh beans to put your stovetop coffee maker to good use!