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A Stovetop Espresso Maker or Moka Pot is a affordable way to get espresso like coffee without the machine. However, most people dont realize that the coffee isn’t quite the same. Both work under the same principle, apply pressure through the coffee grind to get a strong brew. Unfortunately, the pressure built up on the stovetop never truly reach 9 psi. At most, you are getting 1 to 2 bar of pressure. Luckily, the resulting coffee is still very good. There are quite a few mokapot on the market. The Best Stovetop Espresso Maker uses an aluminum construction with a weight to increase pressure.
How does a Stovetop Espresso Maker Work?
The basic of how a Moka Pot work is pretty simple. As water heat ups, it build pressure and moves up towards a chute. That chute will then send water through the coffee grind extracting the coffee. At the top, there will be a reservoir for the coffee.
What is Bialetti Brikka
To improve the rate of extraction, bialetti designed a Moka Pot variant known as the Brikka. The Brikka has a weighted valve to hold back water to increase the pressure and temperature. This result in a stronger flavor coffee more closely resembling espresso. However, this design comes with a cost. On average, you can expect to pay double for this design.
The Mukka Express is a slight variant of the traditional Moka Put. Instead of increasing pressure, what it does is that it froths milk. Once the milk is froth, the coffee will shoot up creating a cappuccino like coffee. Although results are dismal at best. Glass model where you can look in still commands a high price.
Best Coffee for Stovetop Espresso Maker
It really depends on your taste. However, I do prefer the espresso roast variant. They are roasted to a higher temperature for a more robust flavor. However, the medium roasted coffee has its own distinct flavor. They also have a stronger content of caffeine.
If you can, try to get whole beans and grind them as needed. Beans with roasted dates are the best. This way you can see how fresh they are. Beans with expatriation dates should be treated with caution. They could have been roasted a month to a year ago. Generally the fresher the roast the better, I try to get it within the month. My experience with Lavazza Top Class has been pretty good. You can find the roasted date on the side of the packaging.
For the best experience. You can always buy green bean coffee and roast them yourself. But this is a little bit too much work for most people.
When you grind the bean, I recommend putting it on the espresso setting. This means you want it powdery. If you find that water isnt getting through, then increase the coarseness.
Stainless Steel vs Aluminum
Traditional Moka Pots uses a aluminum construction. They are light and fantastic at transferring heat. Where as the stainless steel models are poor at transferring heat and heavier. However, stainless steel have a few advantage. First is that they are induction compatible. Since it has a magnetic pull, it will work with most electric and induction stove top. Aluminum wont work on induction without a stainless steel base.
Another advantage is that most stainless steel model is dishwasher safe. If you stick the aluminum one in the dishwasher, the oxide layer will get removed. When that happens, it gets replaced with a dark exterior and it becomes slightly powdery. While it doesn’t affect performance, most are put off by it.
Best Stovetop Espresso Maker and Moka Pot List
Below, you will find a list of some of the Best Moka Pot on the market. They all have their own quirks and features, choose one that best suit you.
Bialetti Brikka Aluminium stovetop Coffee Maker (Best Overall)
Bialetti Brikka provide the best tasting and strongest coffee out of all the moka pot. The weighted valve increase the pressure and temperature providing a flavor more similar to espresso. There are a few different sizes, but I find the smaller model gets you the best flavor. You also get more crema than the other models.
Bialetti Moka Express StoveTop Coffee maker, 3-Cup (Best Buy)
The traditional Moka Pot is still a good option. While the flavor is not as strong as the Brikka, it still has its own distinct flavor. This particular model has been in production for over 50 years and its still one of the most used one on the market. As with the Brikka, the smaller size one produce the best flavor. But the bigger model can still produce decent result.
Bialetti New Venus Induction, Stovetop Coffee Maker, 18/10 Steel (Best Stainless Steel Model)
If you have a induction stove top and need a stainless steel model than bialetti has one for you. This is heavier than your traditional moka pot. As a result, it will keep your coffee hot longer. While it might heat up slower on a traditional stove top. The induction hob will more than make up for it. The shape is also more sleek and modern than the traditional model.
Stovetop Espresso Maker and Moka Pots has been around for over 50 years. Modern variation such as the Brikka improve on the design. They produce stronger coffee more inline with true espresso. However, the old tried and true moka pot still works and its cheaper as well. These models are usually made of aluminum and they are generally better on the stove top. But for induction hobs, you need a stainless steel model. These have a sleeker design and feel more robust.
Looking for a way to serve your coffee? Check out our article on the Best Coffee Server and Decanter.