This is a review of the best moka pots. Read on to learn more.
I want a way to make an espresso-like drink at home and while camping. Stovetop coffee makers (moka pots) are the best way to do so. Hence, why I assembled this list.
I chose the Bialetti Moka Express as the top pick because it’s lightweight and affordable. Making it a perfect companion for campers and RVers as well as home users. The add-on stainless steel adapter also makes it possible to use on induction stovetops.
Bialetti Moka Express:
- Price: $
- Dimensions: 6.4 x 4.2 x 8.6 in (D, W, H)
- Serves: 1-12 cups
- Material: Aluminum
- Warranty: 2 years
You may not want to buy a separate adapter. Or may want a more durable moka pot. I cover a bunch of alternatives in this guide.
Let’s dive in.
Best Moka Pot for Home Use
- Bialetti Moka Express: Top pick
- Grosche Milano Moka Pot: Cheapest
- Cuisinox Roma: Made w/ stainless steel
- De’Longhi EMK6: Best electric stovetop coffee maker
- Bialetti Venus: Best for induction stovetops
- Pezzetti Moka Pot: Best for gas stoves
- Alessi 9090: Best stovetop maker, UK
Top Moka Pots Compared
The following sections will review all the best stovetop moka coffee pots. I’ll cover each machine’s pros and cons, any exceptional features, and other features that’ll convince you it’s worth swiping your debit card for.
Before you keep reading:
Moka pots produce an espresso-like beverage that’s technically not espresso. While concentrated like espresso, it uses 1.5 bars of pressure and doesn’t have crema . Espresso uses at least 9 bars of pressure.
Almost all these moka pots are made in Italy, which will give you an authentic Italian espresso beverage. Surveys suggest that around 70% of Italian households have at least 1 moka pot .
Let’s dive into our first pick.
|6.4 x 4.2 x 8.6 in (D, W, H)
- Easy to use.
- Durable & long-lasting.
- Not dishwasher safe.
- Requires careful cleaning.
- Not suitable for all stovetops.
The Bialetti Moka Express best suits folks who want an affordable coffee maker that works on most stovetop types.
The Moka Express is worth the cost due to its high-quality build and exceptional design choices.
It won’t work with induction stovetops. These stovetops require pots, pans, and whatever else to have magnetic metals as their casings (e.g., stainless steel). The Express is aluminum; nothing happens if you try to heat it.
Spend a little extra for a stainless steel adapter; then, you could heat it without getting a stainless steel moka pot. This adapter is a flat piece of stainless steel that you place between the moka pot and your induction stovetop.
Why not just get a stainless steel moka pot? They weigh more and aren’t ideal for traveling or camping. You’re better off getting the adapter and the Express if you frequently camp and want something that’ll heat up quickly.
While aluminum isn’t as strong as stainless steel, these machines could still last over 10 years with proper care. Don’t put it in the dishwasher, though. As the harsh chemicals may corrode your Bialetti.
This moka pot weighs less than a pound, which makes it ideal for camping, backpacking, RVing, and car camping. Meanwhile, you’ll have the means to get great-tasting espresso while on the move.
Ensure you pay attention to the brewing process. As with almost all moka pots, they’re not automated. They require your full attention to prevent over-extraction (bitter coffee).
Want a more affordable—but not as well-known— aluminum moka pot? Keep reading.
|3 x 4 x 4 in (D, W, H)
- Sleek design.
- Easy to scoop ground beans into base.
- Buffer material between aluminum & outer casing.
- Coffee can run down front of device.
- Not made in Italy.
The Grosche Milano Moka Pot works best for anyone who wants a cheap moka pot to take camping.
This moka pot’s an excellent investment for someone who wants something similar to a Bialetti, but doesn’t have enough money.
The machine’s lightweight due to its aluminum casing, combined with its ability to heat and cool quickly, makes it a perfect companion for camping in groups of 2–6. The amount of people it serves varies by the model chosen.
Some will serve up to 12 cups; while others serve one.
Why didn’t the Grosche reach the top spot if it’s basically the same as a Bialetti Express?
You must pour the Grosche a specific way to avoid the coffee maker throwing up on itself like a baby. And if this “vomit” were to get on your hands, it could scald your skin. The Bialetti doesn’t have such design errors—as far as I know.
Think of the Grosche as a messy baby…
Because it also tends to spit coffee from the percolator, unlike the Bialetti, which makes it more likely to make a mess. Because of its spitting, it’ll get coffee onto areas of the device (e.g., lip) and could spit it at you.
And the Grosche is made in China, not Italy (like the Bialetti).
Here’s why I’d recommend the Grosche over the Bialetti:
- A material coats the outside to make it less hot to touch.
- Could prevent scalding if you accidentally touch the Grosche.
- It’s easy to scoop beans into the base because it has a wider mouth.
- It could save you a split second.
- Costs a little less than the Bialetti.
- Great for budget-conscious coffee drinkers.
Despite half of this mini review crapping on the Grosche, I recommend it as an alternative for someone who’s pinching pennies, yet wants to try coffee made from moka pots.
Or, it’s a great companion to take while traveling if you don’t want to risk losing a pricier Bialetti to luggage theft.
Neither of the previous choices will work with induction stovetops. This next choice will.
|3.5 x 3.5 x 7 in (D, W, H)
- Built like a tank.
- Makes clean coffee.
- Works on all stovetops.
- Sensitive handle.
- Not dishwasher safe.
The Cuisinox Roma is ideal for folks who want a moka pot for long-term home use that’ll work with any stovetop.
Despite its higher cost, the 25-year warranty will cover your butt for a quarter of your life. A higher upfront investment for a guaranteed coffee maker that’ll last for years.
It’s also not the biggest coffee maker, which means it’ll fit under low-hanging wall cabinets and under countertop cabinets. Great for anyone who’s in a motorhome, has a tiny kitchen, lives a minimalist lifestyle, or lives in a studio apartment.
You want a stainless steel moka pot over an aluminum one if you want something that’ll keep your drink warmer for longer. And want something that’ll work on any type of stovetop (including induction). This is possible since stainless steel has magnetic properties.
Since it retains heat well, this is the best moka pot for electric, gas, and induction stovetops.
One weak point of the Roma has been the handle. If you were to twist the pot onto the base using the handle, you could break off the handle’s welds. That itself makes the Roma a bit of a pain to screw on compared to other moka pots.
“Clean” coffee means that the Roma won’t spurt when percolating, which will reduce cleanup.
This thing’s built like a tank, which can’t go in a dishwasher. The Roma also can’t go through a dishwasher. Otherwise, you risk damaging the body due to using harsh chemicals. Cuisinox recommends cleaning this maker using only hot water.
It’s also not automated. If you’re looking for something that’ll make stovetop coffee automatically, keep reading.
|9.8 x 4.25 x 9.3 in (D, W, H)
- Automatically powers off.
- Warming plate to keep coffee warm for 30 min.
- Not dishwasher safe.
- Plastic container to house coffee.
- Not suitable with dark coffee.
The De’Longhi EMK6 works best for anyone who wants coffee from a moka pot, yet doesn’t have the time to monitor the brewing process.
It’s a bit pricey. Since the EMK6 automates brewing, I believe it’s competitively priced.
Its automation works by you placing the machine’s base on a plate-like thing. From there, the plate-like thing transfers electricity to your machine and percolates your coffee. And once it’s done, a warming plate will keep your drink warm for 30 minutes.
Great for folks who can’t finish their coffee immediately. I digress.
Upon finishing warming, the machine will automatically power off. This will help save you money on electricity and potentially mitigate risks of fires caused by leaving electronics plugged in.
Considering this machine has electric parts in the base, I wouldn’t throw it in the dishwasher. Unless you want to destroy it. And you must practice caution when hand washing it. As getting any water on the bottom of the base’s electrical components could damage the machine.
The plastic container gives you a nice window to see what’s going on with the coffee percolation, but it’s plastic. Is it BPA-free?
Yes, it’s BPA-free . Most reviewers, and the product pages, don’t specify this for some reason.
Regardless, the plastic has a fresh chemical smell you could come to expect from most appliances and goods made with cheap plastics. This will vanish upon washing it out or running a couple of cycles without coffee.
But the plastic makes the top portion of the device not dishwasher safe.
As with most moka pots, try using medium or light beans over dark beans. Coffee from moka pots is already bitter, and dark beans could exaggerate that taste.
Are you searching for a coffee maker that isn’t automated, works on any stovetop, and won’t cost an arm and a leg? Keep reading.
|4.92 x 4.92 x 7.48 in (D, W, H)
- Non-stick coating in bottom compartment.
- Works on induction stovetops.
- Can last for years.
- No automation.
- Doesn’t serve many people.
- Not dishwasher safe.
The Bialetti Venus works best for anyone who needs an Italy-made moka pot for induction ovens, yet doesn’t want to spend too much.
The Venus is worth the price tag considering Bialetti’s fine craftsmanship and durable devices.
That’s thanks to its stainless steel magnetic body. This material also makes the machine last much longer due to having a more robust shell. However, it’ll take warmer to heat up, which could demand a bit more electricity or gas.
You’ll probably notice a couple of extra pennies on your electricity bill at worst.
Unlike the previous machine, the Venus isn’t automated. You must babysit it throughout the entire brewing process. Otherwise, it may over-extract your coffee’s beans and produce a bitter-tasting drink.
This moka pot comes in 4-, 6-, and 10-cup sizes. If you want something that’ll produce 12 cups quickly, consider a stainless steel percolator instead. They tend to brew more coffee at once.
The Venus is easier to clean than most moka pots because it has a non-toxic, non-stick coating around the inside of the base. This prevents coffee beans’ oils from sticking to the base, which could result in stale-tasting drinks due to remnants from past brews.
Don’t use dish soap when cleaning this, as it could damage the components. Also, avoid throwing it in the dishwasher, which could also damage it.
Because of the machine’s robust construction, it could last for more than 10 years. So long as you follow Bialetti’s care instructions and only wash it by hand using hot water.
Not interested in what I’ve presented thus far? Consider this aluminum alternative to the Bialetti.
- Lightweight & compact.
- Prone to spilling.
- Some models not made in Italy.
The Pezzetti is best for anyone who wants an affordable alternative to the Bialetti Moka Express.
If you’re after a viable alternative to the Bialetti, the Pezzetti is worth the cost.
You won’t find many differences, though. Both coffee makers cost roughly the same, though the Pezzetti is often more affordable than the Bialetti.
There’s a gamble when it comes to buying a Pezzetti. They have 2 factories in Italy and 1 in China. ⅓ Pezzetti moka pots you buy could come from China [4 site is in Italian]. Meaning, you technically won’t have an “authentic” Italian coffee maker.
The Pezzetti beats the Grosche because it won’t typically spurt coffee from the percolator. But if you pour it the wrong way, coffee could spill over and leak onto your hand. Practice a pouring technique with only water in the Pezzetti before making coffee with it.
The Pezzetti is a solid choice for anyone who needs a companion when traveling or camping. Or for folks at home who don’t use induction stovetops. Because this moka pot’s aluminum body won’t work due to not having magnetic properties.
Pezzetti doesn’t offer stainless steel adapters like Bialetti. You’re out of luck if you get this and happen to have an induction stovetop. Check ahead of time to ensure no buyer’s regret occurs.
There’s not much else to say about this device. It’s essentially the same as the Bialetti. Except for having a lower price and a bad spout design choice. And some of them aren’t made in Italy.
Read our last pick for a stainless steel, Italy-made moka pot.
|11 x 17.5 x 11 cm (D, W, H)
- More ergonomic handle than most.
- Great lid design.
- No drip spout.
- Priciest moka pot.
- Takes long to heat up.
The Alessi 9090 works best for anyone residing inside or outside the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada due to not relying on specific voltage. The lack of such a requirement allows this device to work in any country.
It’s also the most expensive moka pot on this list. Considering all the design choices and its robust build, I believe it fits the price tag.
The 9090’s handle goes all the way down the machine, making it much easier to grip for folks with wrist issues or bigger hands. The handles on other stainless steel moka pots like the Bialetti Venus have smaller handles, which makes it difficult for me to grip.
The lid has a small knob on the side toward the handle, which makes it much less likely for you to burn your hand when pulling off the lid to check on your coffee. A design choice that almost all moka pots don’t incorporate.
The spout also doesn’t drip, which again, is something I can’t say for most moka pots. Because of these design choices, you could monitor your coffee easier and not have to worry about as much cleanup.
The 9090 also has a hermetic closure. No matter how many times you screw the top part of the body to the base, it’ll never leak. That’ll enhance the overall coffee brewing process since air won’t escape. And it’ll reduce cleanup.
It’ll take longer for the Alessi to heat up compared to aluminum since the maker’s made of stainless steel. That’s not ideal for folks who want to get coffee quickly.
Now learn how to choose the best moka pot.
How to Choose the Best Moka Pot: Buying Guide
Consider these factors when shopping for a moka pot:
|Why it’s Important
|Determines heat retention, durability, & cost.
|What each machine can make.
|Number of cups it could brew.
|Ease of Use & Cleaning
|Time & energy spent on cleaning & maintaining device.
The following sections will cover each of the above criteria more in-depth. Use all the information I provide to build a checklist to help you find the best moka pot.
1. Materials Used: Stainless Steel vs. Aluminum Moka Pots
Manufacturers will craft moka pots with a stainless steel or aluminum casing. Both have their pros and cons, which we’ll compare now:
1. Stainless Steel Moka Pots
Best for: At-home use.
Stainless steel moka pots cost more to make, which reflects in their higher price. They’re much more durable than their aluminum counterparts and will likely last for many more years. They are also dishwasher safe.
- Better heat retention.
- More durable.
- Compatible with induction stovetops.
- Takes longer to heat up.
- Not ideal for travel.
Due to their heavier weight and higher price tag, they’re not ideal for folks wanting to travel or save money. They’re also not great for anyone who needs coffee quickly. However, they’ll last much longer and work with more stovetop types.
2. Aluminum Moka Pots
Best for: Camping, backpacking, & RVing.
Most moka pots have aluminum casing, likely because of its lowered cost. This material also gains and loses heat quickly, which is great for folks who want to drink coffee immediately.
- Heats quicker.
- More affordable.
- Not as durable.
- Won’t work with induction stovetops.
- Cools quickly.
These will dent easier and aren’t dishwasher friendly as stainless steel. They also won’t work with induction stovetops since aluminum isn’t magnetic. However, it’s more affordable and easier to carry due to its lighter weight.
2. Drinks It Can Make
Here are some of the drinks that moka pots can produce:
Any stovetop coffee maker will produce drinks that taste similar to all of what I included in the table above. However, coffee produced through moka pots has a mixture of black coffee and espresso.
It’s concentrated like espresso, but bitter like black coffee.
Unlike black coffee, that made from moka pots uses steam to force water through coffee grounds. That percolation process gives it a more robust and concentrated flavor.
Black coffee from drip coffee makers also often give you more control over parameters like temperature and blooming.
Many folks frequently confuse moka coffee and espresso. Let’s clarify those differences.
Moka Coffee vs. Espresso
Here are the differences between coffee from a moka pot and espresso:
|Almost no crema
|1–2 fl oz shots
Differences between moka coffee and espresso.
Coffee from stovetop coffee makers are still concentrated (similar to espresso), which means you could make a great-tasting, espresso-like beverage on a budget. Get yourself a milk frother as well, and you could create a latte-like or cappuccino-like drink.
3. Brewing Capacity
Capacity refers to the amount of coffee your moka pot can brew. Most moka pot manufacturers will offer various options that range from 1-, 4-, 6-, and 10 cups.
Such choices make the moka pots a great choice for entertaining small groups of people or for brewing drinks for yourself. Anything more than 10 cups will require a drip coffee maker or a percolator (closest relative).
Estimate how many people you’ll often serve moka coffee to and get a size that best represents that. Getting a 10-cup moka pot will give you the best chances of not messing up and serving the most people.
4. Ease of Use & Cleaning
Almost all moka pots don’t have electrical components, which means you could easily clean them under running hot water. However, most manufacturers recommend you don’t use detergents or run them in dishwashers.
This makes them take a bit longer to clean.
Some machines require more effort to clean than others. If, for instance, your moka pot doesn’t have a drip-free spout, you’ll frequently find coffee caked alongside your coffee maker’s side or on a counter. This requires more cleanup.
Moka pots with such design choices typically cost more.
Stovetop Espresso Maker vs. Other Coffee Machines
Let’s compare stovetop moka pots to other types of coffee makers:
|Simplicity & strong coffee lovers, small kitchens.
|Drip Coffee Maker
|Automation & saving time, large volumes.
|Precision & control, coffee connoisseurs.
|Thermal Coffee Maker
|Keeping coffee hot for long periods, offices.
|Making more cups than stovetop.
|Semi-automatic Espresso Maker
|Producing strong-tasting beverages.
|Capsule Coffee Maker
|Convenience & speed.
Stovetop coffee makers produce a concentrated espresso-like beverage and don’t cost much compared to most electric coffee makers. However, the money saved results in more manual work to brew coffee.
Let’s compare who should get the moka pot’s counterparts:
- Get the drip or thermal coffee maker if: You want to automate coffee-making & entertain large groups.
- Thermal coffee makers are the same as drip ones, but keep coffee warmer for longer without a warming plate.
- Get a manual pour-over coffee maker if: You want control over every parameter of brewing black coffee.
- Get a percolator if: You want to serve more people espresso-like coffee & don’t mind a bit more sediment in your drink.
- Get a semi-automatic espresso maker if: You want to have some control over brewing espresso.
- Consider automatic or fully-automatic espresso makers to automate espresso-making.
- Get a capsule coffee maker if: You want to brew coffee quickly, automatically; with minimal cleanup.
Weigh each machine type’s pros and cons and determine whether they’ll fit your taste preferences and lifestyle.
FAQs: Moka Pots
Read on to find frequently asked questions about moka pots.
What is the Best Coffee Bean Grind for Moka Pots?
Use a medium-fine grind when brewing coffee in moka pots. This grind should feel a bit gritty when rubbed between fingers, but not as fine as powder.
Here are our top picks:
- Bialetti Moka Express: Balances durability, compact(ness), & affordability.
- Grosche Milano Moka Pot: Affordable.
- Cuisinox Roma: Should last for 21+ years.
I chose the Bialetti Moka Express as the best because it’s affordable and a perfect companion for campers due to weighing less than a pound.
Bialetti Moka Express:
- Price: $
- Dimensions: 6.4 x 4.2 x 8.6 in (D, W, H)
- Serves: 1-12 cups
- Material: Aluminum
- Warranty: 2 years
- * Price will vary by model, manufacturer, and vendor.