Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: May 22, 2021
Wise Pick is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
A stovetop espresso maker aka a Moka pot is an ideal option for espresso lovers who don’t appreciate the hefty price tag that comes along with home espresso machines. Both Moka pots and espresso machines share the technique of using high pressure and temperature to achieve quick extraction. And while a Moka pot may not be as fast or convenient as other modern brewers, it does stand its reputation for brewing a strong cup of coffee.
Moka pots can vary significantly in quality so it’s important to know what features to look for. The best stovetop espresso maker will consistently yield a great cup of espresso without compromising your drink’s quality. It should also cater to your coffee drinking needs adequately, so factors like capacity, dimensions, and the number of cups it can brew become important. Also, you will need to consider the type of stovetop you have to make sure that you get a product compatible with it.
To take the guesswork out of the type of stovetop espresso maker to invest in, our experts have complied a list of the six best products available in this category. You can read a bit more about each in the in-depth product descriptions that follow and round off with our comprehensive buying guide that will answer all your questions about getting the right stovetop espresso maker for your individual or family needs.
The Cuisinox Roma stovetop espresso maker is nearly everything one looks for when making the right cup: quality, good coffee, and visual appeal. This strikingly well-polished espresso maker is made with high-end quality and materials, paired with masterful hand craftsmanship to create a beautiful and very functional piece.
Made with heavy quality 18/10 stainless steel, the Roma espresso maker conducts heat well, resists rust, and will retain its polished look for a long time. The sturdy welded stainless-steel handle is ergonomically designed to be held easily and comfortably without the risk of breaking or melting like plastic handles. The handle conducts heat and may be hot at first, but it will also cool down quickly.
Another plus to the Roma espresso maker is its induction base that makes it work well over any cooktop including gas, electrical, ceramic, glass, and induction surfaces.
To make half measures easier, this espresso maker includes an extra gasket and reducer for times you may not want a full cup. It also includes a filter basket and filter plate.
The Roma espresso maker is dishwasher safe, but hand-wash recommended as it reduces the chance of possible damage and is fairly easy to clean anyway.
Some customers find the two chambers hard to screw and seal tightly, but when done right there is no leakage or mess at all.
This espresso maker from Cuisinox is an overall top-quality product from a company that favors both form and function. Its sleek design and practical build are some of the many reasons why we nominate this the Editor’s Choice on this list.
What do we love it for?
Durable materials that won’t rust
Sturdy handle that won’t break
Works on any cooktop
Includes extra gasket and reducer for easy half-measures
From Alessi, the Italian company with nearly a century of experience in making top quality products, comes the 9090 espresso maker that proves to be no exception. Designed by the renowned industrial designer Richard Sapper, the 9090 is a sleek, attractive espresso machine with the potential to make great brews consistently after its first use.
This is one of, if not the best, induction stovetop espresso makers on this list.
Its induction-friendly magnetic base, simplistic and functional design, and quality of brew has made the 9090 a popular and well-liked espresso maker among others.
The quality materials that go into the 9090 include 18/10 polished and rust-resistant stainless steel, and a copper handle. The entire unit is sturdy and almost heavy due to being made entirely out of metal.
One of the more innovative features of the 9090 is its unique locking mechanism that connects the upper and lower chambers perfectly together without messes or spills. It’s also far easier to manage versus other espresso makers that require the chambers to be tightly screwed together.
The 9090 espresso maker is dishwasher compatible, but is also recommended hand-wash only.
There’s not much wrong with the 9090. It may come off as pricey in comparison to other models, but that price is easily outweighed by the promise of longevity and a consistently good brew.
Why are we impressed?
Rust-resistant stainless-steel build will keep polished
The Delonghi EMK6 Alicia espresso maker is an innovative unit that combines the traditional look of a classic Bialetti Moka pot with the inventive twists of electrical appliances. Respected for their innovative and quality small appliances, the Italian company has provided us with the best electric “stovetop” espresso maker on this list.
The trademark geometric look that inspired the EMK6 is very apparent in the aluminum bottom chamber, whereas the top is replaced with a clear plastic container which adds to a more modernistic look while allowing you to easily view the brewing process for yourself.
This electric espresso maker comes with several features that make it both safe and easy to use. The espresso maker is controlled by push-buttons and includes an indicator light that tell you when the machine is in use. The filter adapter allows you to halve the number of cups you want to make. A safety auto shutoff feature both prevents your brew from overheating and burning, and activates when the container is lifted. The espresso maker itself is cordless and can be detached totally from the base for easy cleaning.
Some conveniences include a keep warm function that keeps your espresso from getting cold up to half an hour after use. It works directly on the base so you don’t necessarily need a stovetop.
One downside to this is if you’re not a fan of plastic material, you may not be a fan of this machine. It’s made with a great quality, however, and is definitely one of the more affordable electric stovetops out there.
What do we love it for?
Easy to use, simple controls
Safety features prevent any damage to the unit or your coffee
The La Conica, another espresso maker from Alessi, is just as much a work of art as it is a functional appliance for making coffee. Designed by renowned architect and designer Aldo Rossi, the La Conica features a geometric appearance and a very distinguishable cone lid that have been an iconic look among houseware since the ‘80s.
This product rates as the best premium stovetop espresso maker on this list. With top quality materials and an expressive design, the La Conica will stand the test of time while making a decorative statement. Not to mention, of course, it’ll make good espresso, the classic Italian way. This espresso maker holds the capacity to brew up to 6 excellent cups of coffee at a time.
The entire unit is made of metal, both high-end 18/10 stainless steel for the body and handle, and copper for the bottom to add extra conductivity. It won’t rust, lose its polish, and with the right proper care can last you decades.
Of course, being a premium product from a high-end company, this product is pricey and not what many look for in their stovetop espresso maker.
Overall, this is an excellent quality product with the charm of contemporary architecture that blurs the line between art and everyday objects.
Why is it special?
Has a visually appealing design and iconic look
High quality of materials and brew
What are the flaws?
Decorative purpose and price may not be what some are looking for
The Bialetti Elegance Venus is a product that hails from the company responsible for inventing and producing the first Moka pot with experience dating back to the 1930s. The Elegance Venus is a much newer product, with no messy and possibly toxic aluminum components like its predecessors.
If you’re looking for a rather affordable espresso maker constructed with the right materials, this is the best stainless-steel stovetop espresso maker for you. The body of this sleek model is made up entirely of 18/10 stainless steel, and is designed to be mess-free when brewing (vs. the Moka) and easy to clean afterward. No plastic components are used in the brewing part of the espresso maker. The only plastic component is the black insulated handle, that complements the rest of the espresso maker quite nicely and prevents any chance of burning your hand when picking it up off the stove.
The Venus is suitable for all cooktops, from electric and gas to induction. Even campfires can suitably heat it up, though open flames would risk discoloring the stainless-steel body.
Like some other high-end products on this list, you can potentially make more than just espresso with the Venus, if you know the tricks to doing it.
To prevent any harsh damage from cleaning, this espresso maker is hand-wash only.
What do we love it for?
Full stainless-steel body, no aluminum like older or cheaper models
The bonVIVO brand is made up of a variety of home & kitchen appliances that favor both good design and affordability. Their products are practical, nice to look at, and budget friendly. The Intenca espresso maker is one such product, and has every reason for us to nominate it this list’s Budget Pick.
The Intenca can be distinguished by its contemporary appearance, with simple shapes and shiny chrome finish that comes in either silver or copper. Made for quality and aromatic espresso, the Intenca makes it the traditional way and is easy to use. Every component of this espresso maker is stainless steel with a chrome finish exterior to protect it from rust and losing its luster overtime. The Intenca is also simple to clean and is dishwasher safe. Hand-washing is recommended as it’s gentler on the unit.
You can make espresso with the Intenca on all stovetops: gas, electric, induction, or ceramic. As advertised, it can also double as a coffee pot with a machine or percolator.
It includes many things that come standard with espresso makers, including a sieve basket, a filter and sealing washer. For safety purposes, a safety valve prevents extra pressure from building up when in use.
There aren’t many issues that come with the bonVIVO Intenca. The handle is made of stainless steel and can get hot, but shouldn’t be an issue if you take this caution. Some report issues with sealing the two chambers together, though it’s pretty standard with espresso makers with the screw-lock mechanism and should be no issue when tightened correctly.
What makes it stand out?
Easy to use
Compatible with all stovetops
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Handle can get hot
Issues with sealing chambers
Things to Consider
Though Moka pots aren’t as intense of a choice as a coffee maker or barista machine, they still come with their own perks. You don’t want to waste your money on something that doesn’t work in the first place, and you want something that’ll last you a long time. That way, you don’t have to keep going out to buy another Moka pot over and over again. Buying the right machine can give you a long-term best friend in the morning.
Benefits of having a Moka pot at your kitchen
Moka pots are extremely easy to use which means the job gets done quicker and more people can adapt to the technique of using a Moka pot.
There is a lot of freedom when it comes to using a Moka pot. Many people enjoy this factor since it means they can make their coffee according to how they like and even customize it and try out new recipes.
Moka pots are resilient. They can take a beating and can be transported around wherever you go.
A stovetop espresso maker can either be a cheap investment in your mind, or a long term investment you’re willing to pay the price for.
For those people who don’t believe in spending too much on a Moka pot, the cheapest models come for $30-$40. For others who want the best of the best working in their kitchen, prices can go higher than $300 in order to find the best Moka pot.
Features to consider while buying the best stovetop espresso maker
The stovetop espresso maker doesn’t have a lot of features, so it’s best to examine all of them since they will all be of importance with you final decision.
What is it made of?
There are two ways you can go when it comes to material; aluminum or stainless steel. Aluminum is the traditional material to use, but there are some downfalls to using aluminum. Aluminum can corrode and becomes a nuisance to maintain overtime.
Stainless steel lasts longer than aluminum and is easier to maintain. Stainless steel is non-corrosive and non-porous, meaning there is less chance of overtime damage. The additional price that comes with stainless steel is worth it since it lasts longer and brews better.
How much can your Moka pot carry? Depending on how much it can make, will depend on how much you can create in one go. If you’re serving one person, then it’s alright to have a capacity of one each time you brew. If you’re a couple or family that’s in love with the idea of strong coffee in the morning, then you’re going to need a Moka pot that can hold and brew a lot of coffee all at once.
Electric Moka Pots mean you have to worry less about the consistency of temperature and time. This will all be done for you which to some people is a pro. If you’re busy in the morning and don’t have time to stand over your Moka pot, then electric is right for you.
Other people don’t want to pay the extra amount for the electric Moka pot since it means they give up their control. All you’re left to deal with after purchasing the electric pot is the grind size and that just doesn’t feel right for some coffee lovers.
Not all stovetops are the same. Some are induction and others are gas. Just as how the stovetops are different, the Moka pots are different as well. Moka pots are made to work with certain stovetops or they are made to fit multiple stovetops.
If you want one just for your stove, then looking for a specific Moka pot will take time. On the other hand, looking for a versatile Moka pot will cost more.
Judge the looks
A stovetop espresso maker is no big deal, honestly. Most of the stovetop makers you’ll come across will all have practically the same features and capabilities. Therefore, appearance is a great way to make the final choice. After looking at material, price, durability, warranty, and everything else, you can now look at how stylish your model will be to choose which Moka pot is your winner.
Safe and sound?
How safe is your Moka pot? The best way to check this is by seeing how hot your pot gets while you are using it. Naturally, you want your pot to be a conductor of heat so that the coffee brew warms up, but you don’t want the pot to get so hot that your hand will burn if you touch it.
You want the handle to remain cool, you want the pieces to fit together tightly and you don’t want to hear hissing noises from your pot when it’s turned on or placed on the stove. Check your Moka pot to make sure there isn’t anything out of place about it.
The best kind of espresso maker is one that lasts a long time. You get used to using it, you’re comfortable with the utensils you’re using, and you get consistent results you love every morning.
Make sure the Moka pot you get yourself is strong, doesn’t chip, corrode, or smell after you use it. You don’t want a pot that burns easily either. Clean it after every use and store it in a safe spot to ensure it lives longer. You don’t want someone accidentally dropping it, leaving an irreparable dent on its body.
Strong material, quality construction, and efficient performance will all point you to the perfect durable stovetop espresso maker.
Obviously, nothing is a worthwhile purchase unless you have warranty coverage. The warranty doesn’t determine whether something is ruined or not, it just helps you fix the problem in case there ever is one.
Warranties for stovetop espresso machines can be from one year to twenty-five whole years. Some models will also offer you a full-refund within 14 days if you’re not satisfied with your Moka pot within this time.
Tips for a perfect coffee with stovetop espresso maker
With coffee being such a widely loved beverage, there are bound to be some people out there ready to give advice on how to make your coffee better. Even with a Moka pot you can make some memorable coffee, and this video can provide you with some helpful tips:
You can stick to the absolute basics of coffee making, and keep your pot clean. Always store it somewhere there won’t be any dust collection and keep the parts off of one another to make sure there is no pressure stiffening the Moka pot. When using the pot, however, you want everything to fit together tightly so there is no air coming through and ruining the Moka pot’s process.
The fresher your ground coffee is, the richer it will taste. Grind your coffee finer than you would for drip coffee, but coarser than you would make it for an espresso. Extracts, instant coffee, and infusions will never give you the taste you want.
You don’t want any residue in your espresso maker, that’ll only ruin the taste of future brews. If your espresso maker is made out of stainless steel, you can either brew water and vinegar, or use baking soda and cold water.
With water and vinegar, you take one part white vinegar with two parts water and brew a full pot. Let this sit for fifteen minutes and then rinse it out with cold water.
If you don’t want to brew your pot clean, then use baking soda and cold water, and scrub off all of the remnants of your previous cup of coffee.
Yes, it is. You can turn your espresso into a latte simply by adding frothed milk over your espresso after the Moka pot is done. You can either use a frother or a simple pan and whisk to create your frothed milk.
The Cuisinox Roma stovetop espresso maker is our top choice on this list. Plenty of care has gone into this product, making it stylish, practical, and great quality in both its design and coffee brewed. It’s one of the several products that would be a worthy investment to last you decades and produce consistent brew nonetheless.
Another great choice is the 9090 from Alessi. With a reputation for quality and overall well-liked products, you can be sure you’re getting your money’s worth with this induction-friendly stovetop espresso maker with innovations realized by a distinguished designer.
For electrical options, the best stovetop espresso maker would be the Delonghi EMK6 Alicia. It’s visually inspired by the classic Bialetti Moka pot design and adds modern twists for convenience and safety, without sacrificing the traditional Italian brewing method espresso fans have come to know and love.