Friday, May 15, 2020

The Moka Pot Review: Espresso Machine Alternative?

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 the 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. 

True coffee lovers know there's more than one way to make a cuppa, and they've tried them all: French press, drip coffee, cold brew, fancy espresso machines, and so on. One of the most humble and effective machines for making a strong cup of coffee is the stovetop espresso maker also known as the Moka pot.
The Moka pot, or macchinetta del caffè, which literally translates to "small coffee machine," is a stovetop machine that moves boiling water, pressurized by steam, through ground coffee to make a delicious brew.
Back in 1933, an Italian inventor named Luigi De Ponti patented the design for Alfonso Bialetti, and the company is still making stovetop espresso makers with the same basic design. Bialetti's classic Moka pot is so reliable, that it remains the best stovetop espresso maker you can buy. 

Here are our Top 5 Picks for Moka Pots:

1. Bialetti 06800 Express Moka Pot, 6 -Cup, Aluminum Silver

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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.
2. GROSCHE Milano Stovetop Espresso Maker Moka Pot 9 cup, 15.2 oz, Silver Cuban Coffee Maker 
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The Milano Moka Pot is one of four styles in our line of popular Moka Pot stovetop espresso makers. Made of quality EN301 food grade aluminum, these premium espresso pots produce a rich and delicious cup of Italian coffee. This is the classic Italian coffee maker, with a modern design. Its also a cuban coffee maker or cafetera Cubana, and a greca coffee maker - cafetera greca - grecas de cafe. The GROSCHE Milano also comes with a certified safety valve made in Italy, to give you the added security and know you are purchasing a quality product that's built to last.

3. Bialetti Kitty Stainless Steel Espresso Maker

Bialetti's Kitty espresso maker features a modern upscale design made of 18/10 stainless steel. Brew a nice cup of espresso with this Kitty espresso maker from Bialetti. With the exception of the heat-resistant bakelite handle, this stylish stove-top espresso maker is completely fabricated of stainless steel. The ergonomically designed handle has an extra wide reach, creating more distance between the body of the maker and your hand for safer handling while still allowing you to comfortably open and close the lid with the same hand. Suitable for use on gas, electric, and ceramic stovetops, it is even dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. Never use other contents besides coffee like teas, cacao powder, instant coffee, or fine ground coffee as it will clog the filter plate. Bialetti is the world's most recognized and beloved Italian coffee company.

4. Cuisinox Roma 4-cup Stainless Steel Stovetop Moka Espresso Maker

Cuisinox Roma 4-cup Stainless Steel Stovetop Moka 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.

5. De’Longhi EMK6 Alicia Electric Moka Pot

Don’t have a stove or just don’t have the patience to figure out how to use a regular Moka pot? Try Alicia. This option is electric and features an aluminum boiler, cordless base, and plastic upper compartment. This is a really great option if you are living in a dorm with limited 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 Know 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 Bialettis or Cuisinox will work great for you.  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 though 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

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.

Cup size

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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