People love their coffee, which is why there’s seemingly innumerable options for coffee makers, espresso machines, and caffeine contraptions of all sorts. Despite the myriad of options for making good espresso at home, the humble moka pot remains the preferred option for a whole lot of coffee drinkers around the world.
Originally invented in the 1930s, the moka pot shortly became a staple in most Italian homes, having become the locals’ preferred way to brew up strong and aromatic espresso. It didn’t take long to spread out from there, with the moka pot still remaining a ubiquitous fixture in many European and Latin American homes to this day. Even in other countries, dedicated coffee enthusiasts will probably have one lying somewhere (or maybe even sitting in their stovetop).
Moka pots are able to brew strong, intense, and flavorful espresso by the use of steam pressure. Basically, the water boils down on the lower chamber, which creates steam that pushes water up the middle filter to extract coffee and sends it up to the upper chamber, where it stays until you pour it into your cup. Does it produce café-quality espresso? Not really, since even the best moka pots can’t make espresso with that creamy layer floating on top just like you get from the café. As far as flavor and intensity goes, though, it sure does come close enough.
As far as convenience goes, nothing beats stovetop coffee using a moka pot. We’d dare say, it’s even more convenient than using fancy espresso machines. Plus, it’s arguably the most economical way to enjoy an espresso fix, whether you want it first thing in the morning or at various times throughout the day.
This list compiles the best moka pots for making delicious Italian-style espresso on the stovetop. To standardize, we opted for six-cup sizes when available, although you can usually get them bigger or smaller, depending on what you need in your home.
IMUSA Aluminum Stovetop Coffeemaker
Everybody loves a bargain, even coffee drinkers. As such, those who want to get in on that moka pot action with minimal investment, this eight-buck, six-cup stovetop espresso maker is the way to go. It reprises the familiar design of moka pots through the years, from the angled sides and the hourglass shape to the standard top-middle-bottom layout. How did they make it so cheap? Well, the aluminum is pretty thin, probably much thinner than most you’ll find in the category, so it’s easier to dent and damage (you definitely don’t want to take this camping). It does make good espresso, enough to rival more expensive options, although we’ve found it to be less consistent than those moka pots with more substantial builds.
We love the larger filter basket on this moka pot, which is big enough for those who want really, really, really strong coffee, as many options in this list came with smaller filters. It’s also still very affordable despite doubling the price of the IMUSA, so if you want to brew strong espresso, go with this one instead. It’s also relatively thin, so you may experience the same consistency issues, while the handle doesn’t seem to be all that heat-resistant, so it might melt off some if you’re not careful when positioning it during a brew (just try to keep it as far away from the fire). Like the IMUSA, we recommend this as a starter moka pot – something to help you decide whether stovetop espresso is your thing, after which you can upgrade to something a little pricier.
This moka pot has excellent build quality for the price, with reasonably thick walls that allow for consistent heating speeds. Suffice to say, this one can probably last you years. It has a stainless steel plate at the base, too, so you can use it on gas, electric, and induction stovetops alike. The coffee it makes is strong and intense, both in terms of appearance and taste, with a quality that’s easily comparable to the best moka pots out there. The only real problem is it’s hard to both close and open the lid, since it’s done up really tight to both prevent leaks and lock in the pressure. While that’s just fine when closing (although we worry about damaging the gasket), it is a problem once to try open it while the coffee’s still very hot. Basically, there’s a learning curve to figure out the timing and you’ll want to be very careful, since that’s some scalding coffee sitting inside. We also appreciate the two stainless cups that come with the pot – such a nice touch.
We love the thoughtful details behind this moka pot, which seems to be designed with ease and usability in mind. For instance, it uses a thick food-grade aluminum material that lets you confidently take it camping without any hassles, as well as a silicone gasket, which is way longer-lasting than the rubber ones used by many others. Even the outer handle gets a silicone coating, so it never gets hot enough that it can burn your hand, allowing you to confidently grab it any point. The brew itself produces coffee on par with the best moka pots in the list, making this one of the few options that really ticks all the boxes. Seriously, it just does things right. If there’s any complaint, it may be that the filter isn’t big enough for those who want stronger brews, but the size should be appropriate for most coffee drinkers looking to live another day. Just kidding, you can’t die from extra-strong espresso… at least, we don’t think so.
Bialetti pioneered the moka pot in 1933, so it only makes sense they remain among the biggest names in the category today. While there’s, obviously, a lot more competition for them now, they continue to maintain their spot because their moka pot is just so well done. You get thick-gauge aluminum construction, a filter basket that can handle a proper 1:10 coffee to water ratio for those who like their espresso strong, and a tried-and-tested design that consistently brews at the same pace each time out. Sadly, even Bialetti uses plastic for the handles now, but that’s just something necessary, we guess, if they want to be able to price competitively. Do note, it seems to be a little trick to assemble compared to some other options in this list, but you do get the hang of it eventually.
This more expensive version of Grosche’s moka pot is styled exactly the same as the regular Milano, albeit with different materials that make it such a nicer option. While it still uses anodized aluminum for the body, they give the exterior a premium stone finish that, the outfit claims, is 20 times more durable than ordinary enamel, so you get to enjoy a bit of color, complete with hand-applied specked paint. It reprises all the good things we love about the Milano, from the thick build and the silicone gasket to the excellent coffee taste, but goes even one better on the handles. Instead of silicone-coated plastic, they went with wood on both the grips for the pot and lid, so it both absorbs less heat and looks so much nicer.
If you want to get a Bialetti, but use an induction cooker at home, this stainless steel moka pot is the way to go. For whatever reason, the outfit decided to make it a pitcher-like shape with an extra-wide handle, so people probably won’t think it’s a moka pot when they first see it in your home. Still, it’s a nice design choice if you’re tired of the same hourglass shape with angled sides that’s been the cookware’s signature aesthetic in its near-century of existence. We love the wide base and the sturdy 18/10 stainless steel construction, which allows it to heat up faster than other moka pots in the list. That means, you get your coffee faster than other moka pots, so you’ll have to reorient yourself on the timing here, as the water will definitely start sputtering well before you expect it to. Once you get used to it, though, the process is just as easy and the coffee it makes is just as excellent. Oh yeah, the new design is also a lot easier than the classic shape, which is a definite plus.
If you want moka pots that offer a bit of reprieve from the classic angled design scheme, it’s really worth giving Alessi’s line of moka pots a look. They make designs that are an outright visual treat for the eyes. This one hews closer to the traditional moka pot, retaining the same hourglass shape, but switching it up by eliminating the angled sides in favor of what looks like chunky rings stacked together. It’s a nice look. We do wish it was a little thicker and steered clear of plastic entirely at this price, but it does make coffee as well as other moka pots in this list. Plus, it has a wider handle that we just appreciate for the better ergonomics.
You know how some people prefer single-purpose kitchen appliances instead of just using a stove or oven for everything? Well, this moka pot is for those people, as it takes the vintage moka pot design and puts it on top of its own heating base. You know… like an electric kettle, but for making espresso. There are no settings here, so you just turn it on and wait for the coffee to brew. Do note, there are no temperature adjustments, which makes it convenient, although we found it a little slower compared to just brewing on a stovetop. As far as taste goes, it’s actually good, right on par with most moka pots we’ve tried. On the downside, the top compartment is made from plastic, which is quite disappointing, since it’s on the pricier end. If you want simplified and self-contained way to make espresso at home, though, this definitely looks like it will get the job done the way you like.
Another one of Alessi’s unusual moka pots, this one looks like a series of flat discs stacked together to form an hourglass shape. It’s quite breathtaking, honestly, although it can also feel gimmicky because of how strange it looks. Fortunately, it actually does a great job at brewing, producing a consistent-tasting batch each time out. Seriously, we don’t think we ever had a single bitter cup using this thing. Plus, it actually uses up all the water, so you get to enjoy the full ratio, which hasn’t been our experience with some of the more conventional moka pots we’ve tried. We’re not sure how well it holds up, since the design is so unusual, but the build quality feels really good, so we have a feeling it should last us a bit. Granted, it’s a little expensive for a moka pot, but if you want a fresher aesthetic for the kitchen, this is definitely a great way to go.
Want to get as close to real espresso using a stovetop pot? If you’re willing to fork out the cash, this moka pot should do the trick, as it produces arguably the best-tasting stovetop espresso we’ve ever had. Like other moka pots, it uses pressure to brew the coffee. Unlike them, though, it’s equipped with 304-grade stainless steel construction and heavy-duty gaskets that allow it to produce significant levels of pressure, complete with a gauge outside, so you can actually see how much it’s producing. The pressure gauge also comes in handy when it’s time to open the tap, since you can see whether it’s actually safe to try to open it or not. And if you like your coffee while the pressure’s still high, you can wear appropriate protection just in case. It even comes with a double-nozzle steam wand and a milk streaming jug, in case you want to make cappuccinos, lattes, and other milk-infused coffee drinks.