The idea that an espresso machine – that giant unit you see pumping out shot after shot in Starbucks – can be compressed into a stovetop espresso maker, is exciting to say the least.

Before you start getting technical with us and pointing out that it’s not true espresso without 9 bars of pressure (which is correct), let’s give a quick disclaimer. Except for one stovetop espresso maker, the rest on this list are modified moka pots.

But don’t turn your nose up. The best stovetop espresso maker on the market can offer you a concentrated coffee shot that could easily put Starbucks to shame. And all of that, at a cost 10 times cheaper than a good semi-automatic espresso machine.

Top Recommendation

Single Serve Coffee Makers
  • Capacity: 5 or 6 shots
  • Dishwasher Safe: yes, but not recommended
  • Material: stainless-steel
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  • Capacity: 4 shots
  • Dishwasher Safe: no
  • Material: aluminum
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  • Capacity: 7 or 8 shots
  • Dishwasher Safe: yes, but not recommended
  • Material: 18/10 stainless steel
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  • Capacity: 1 or 2 shots
  • Origin: Italy
  • Material: stainless-steel
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  • Capacity: 5 shots
  • Dishwasher Safe: yes, but not recommended
  • Material: stainless-steel
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How to Choose the Best Moka Pot

First, performance is largely subjective. Not only does your method, stove type, water quality, and bean quality affect the resulting coffee, but everyone has different tastes too.

That’s why when we read “this makes awful tasting coffee” in the comments section, we tend to ignore it.

When judging drip coffee makers like these, it’s far better to judge on:

  • Usability (was it easy to make the coffee how you like it).
  • Consistency (does it always churn out the espresso flavor you love).
  • Durability (can you rely on it every day).
  • Value (was it good value for money, whether it was expensive or cheap).

Second, if you are looking for a 12 cups moka pot, there aren’t any. Not just on this list, but on any list. 

Origin – Where Is It Made?

Italian designs are still the best. Even though, when it comes to taste, it doesn’t really matter.

We know this for a fact because there isn’t a moka pot listed here that doesn’t use that same basic concept and design that Alfonso Bialetti created.

Even though most of these moka pots were made in China, none of them have strayed far from the Italian design success. Some have even managed to improve it a little bit.

Where it’s made is irrelevant. What’s more important is who designed it and what materials were used in the built of the moka pots.

Material

There’s a lot of fuss about aluminum with some people out-right refusing to use an aluminum stovetop espresso maker even when it’s tested and graded food-safe. Like most things in life, it’s about having too much of it. As you can read in a very clearly explained article from the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry, aluminum is consumed by everyone daily. It’s only a cause for concern if you consume too much of it regularly.

Simply pick a food-safe aluminum moka pot and use water that’s neither too acidic or alkaline, and you’ll be completely fine. Most pots are easy to clean, regardless of their base material. We have not had a bad experience cleaning any of the units on this list.

Not that it matters much. Stainless steel is the superior material on the market. A moka pot made entirely from stainless-steel parts will hold onto heat better, will never corrode and is far sturdier. It isn’t bad for your health and it doesn’t have to be expensive either.

Product Reviews

We can and did test out each moka pot to determine the best one. But one, two or even three goes at using each one doesn’t give an accurate idea of how they will perform over decades. That’s why we trawled through customer and expert reviews to get a bigger picture.

We’ve done the work for you on the 9 moka pots below, but if you’re diverging from our list make sure you find at least 1 review from someone who’s used the model more than a handful of times.

Product Price

At the time of writing this, the most expensive moka pots come in at around $100 and the cheapest are around $20. Wherever your budget puts you, make sure you weigh up durability with the cost of replacement parts and special cleaning equipment. To keep a moka pot working like new for your lifetime, you’ll need to put in some effort and money to maintain it.

The Best Moka Pot Reviews

1. bonVIVO Intenca

  • Capacity: 5 or 6 shots (11.8oz)
  • Origin: China
  • Material: stainless-steel
  • Dishwasher Safe: yes, but not recommended
  • Warranty: 100% customer satisfaction policy

Our best stovetop espresso maker is the sleek, shimmering Intenca moka pot with copper chrome finishing. It looks stunning, works like a dream and is surprisingly high quality. Yep, it’s made in China, but many owners guessed it was designed and made in Germany due to the German quality control and sturdy materials. You can’t judge a moka pot by its manufacturer’s origins, it seems.

It has an 11.8oz (346ml) capacity that makes 5 or 6 espresso shots (60ml each), or there’s a 3.4oz option that makes about 2 espressos. Performance is excellent on gas, electric, ceramic and induction stovetops. We found coarser grinds perform better than the usual fine coffee grind.

As for the warranty, bonVIVO was vague when questioned. They offer a 100% customer satisfaction policy and are happy to accept returns and exchanges… but don’t mention a timeframe. They can surele improve their rating if there is more transparency.

Make sure you buy it through Amazon for the 30-day window return policy. Any faults with the design become obvious once you’ve used it once or twice, so returning it through Amazon is simple.

2. Bialetti 06800 Moka

  • Capacity: 4 shots (9oz)
  • Origin: Italy
  • Material: aluminum
  • Dishwasher Safe: no
  • Warranty: 2 years

The Bialetti 6-cup moka pot is a best-seller with thousands of happy owners. It’s Italian designed and made – truly a classic. Bialetti also sells coffee that’s ground to exactly the right coarseness for this stovetop espresso maker, which does save a lot of time. Performance is good, it makes a lovely espresso in less than 5 minutes… we just wish it was dishwasher safe.

Although it’s the people’s choice, it’s not without fault. For example, this is the 6-cup version that we’re reviewing, yet it only holds 9oz (255ml) which is just enough for 4 espresso shots (60ml each). So, it’s not a 6-cup pot for traditional sized espressos. There are other sizes available for this model, we just advise you to look at the volume capacity rather than the number of cups it supposedly holds. 2oz/60ml is 1 cup of coffee.

It also corrodes relatively quickly (1 to 2 months of regular use) particularly in the water chamber, so keep an eye out for that. The price isn’t bad, considering the built of the moka pot, and you have a 2-year warranty, so replacing it isn’t trouble if it does corrode!

Overall, we had a good experience with the Bialetti.

3. Cuisinox COF-10R Roma

  • Capacity: 7 or 8 shots (15oz)
  • Origin: China
  • Material: 18/10 stainless steel
  • Dishwasher Safe: yes, but not recommended
  • Warranty: 25 years

The Cuisinox Roma certainly is the fancy moka pot choice with sturdy 18/10 stainless steel, mirror finish, and extra gasket and reducer included in the box. There are no cheap plastic or aluminum components hidden within the stainless-steel exterior. The quality is exceptional inside and out. Cuisinox is very confident in this beauty, offering a 25-year warranty. Being made in China is no longer a sign of poor craftsmanship.

The Cuisinox Roma is suitable for all stovetops and performs very well. The gasket seals the pot perfectly and we experienced no leaks whatsoever during our testing. After questioning long-time users, we can confirm that it stays leak-free through many years of use. The replacement gasket included in the box isn’t needed.

The only design oversight that will bug you is the stainless-steel handle. It’s welded very securely to the pot, but it does conduct heat a bit too well. Use an oven glove to pour! And finally, we can’t not mention that once again, the number of true 60ml/2oz espresso shots that this makes doesn’t add up to the cup capacity. The 10-cup version holds 15oz of water, which is enough for 7.5 shots. Not 10.

In regards to taste, it is comparable to the brew we made with Bialetti.

4. Kamira Moka Express

  • Capacity: 1 or 2 shots (2oz)
  • Origin: Italy
  • Material: stainless-steel
  • Dishwasher Safe: no
  • Warranty: 5 years

Yes, it looks different but if you’re after an authentic stovetop espresso that can be made on the stovetop this is about as close as you can get. With the portafilter set up, you’d expect from a traditional Moka pot with 3 bars of pressure, this makes an authentic and creamy espresso shot. It makes 1 shot at a time, but you have a double spout attachment to make 2 half espresso shots in one go.

It tastes amazing and creates a good crema so long as you choose the right beans (a dark, oily bean works super well).

As for cleaning, it’s straightforward. Wiping it down is enough after using it. There are instructions on using vinegar to clean it included in the manual. Compared to a standard moka pot, cleaning this is a dream.

The only downsides are; it’s not as straightforward as the moka pot design (although it’s not rocket science either) and the price is quite high.

We highly recommend this for someone who wants a true espresso, made on the stovetop. The Coffee Dorks with small kitchens are totally in love with this one.

5. Minos Moka Pot

  • Capacity: 5 shots (10oz)
  • Origin: China
  • Material: stainless-steel
  • Dishwasher Safe: yes, but not recommended
  • Warranty: 30-day return policy

The soft silhouette of this stovetop moka pot sets it apart, visually. We could see this at home in the minimalist, modern kitchen, sat on the gas, electric or ceramic moka pot. On the inside, however, it’s pretty much the same as most moka-style makers. It performs well and makes a good coffee but we have a sneaky suspicion that it’s not entirely stainless-steel as the description would suggest.

It is made in China, but it doesn’t have that cheap made in China feel to it. The price certainly reflects something fancier too. The only part that feels a little bit fake is the handle. It’s sleek, shiny and made of metal… but it’s hollow. The thin metal conducts heat a lot quicker than a solid handle does, so make sure you don’t grab it off the stove without the oven mitt.

As for the warranty, there’s no mention of it in Minos’ website. Instead, you’ve got the standard 30-day return window offered by Amazon. Finding replacement parts is also very difficult and often your only option is to repurchase the entire moka pot. It’s not cheap!

6. Alessi Moka Pot 9090

  • Capacity: 5 or 6 shots (10.5oz)
  • Origin: Italy
  • Material: 18/10 stainless-steel
  • Dishwasher Safe: no
  • Warranty: 2 years

This was the first stovetop espresso maker (not moka pot) in history, and it’s still one of the best! The Alessi 9090 moka pot is that classic design that all over stove top coffee makers try to replicate with their own spin. Except it’s rarely as good as the original. This model is still made in Italy and is stamped to prove it on the base. It’s compatible with all stovetops, including induction.

It holds 30cl, which is approximately 10.5oz making 5.5 espresso shots. It comes with a reducer which turns it into a 2 or 3 cup espresso maker by halving the volume it holds. Performance is excellent and finding replacement parts is easy, albeit expensive. It’s entirely stainless-steel and the handle is easy to grip, giving you better control when pouring your espresso.

You shouldn’t put this in the dishwasher, which does make handwashing it a tad annoying. But we can forgive that.

Overall, it’s sturdy, reliable and well-built. Some people think it’s too basic, but we love that classic feel. The only reason it’s not top of the list is that sometimes it can be hit and miss. Some people report problems and leaks as soon as it’s out of the box… others have used this model for several decades without issue.

7. Bellemain Moka Pot

  • Capacity: 6 shots (12oz)
  • Origin: China
  • Material: aluminum
  • Dishwasher Safe: no
  • Warranty: 3 years

Finally, a moka pot that genuinely makes as much espresso as it states! The 12oz capacity turns out 6 full espresso shots in a matter of minutes. This is a very familiar looking moka pot. It’s the kind your mind instantly goes to when thinking about this method of making coffee.

But, strangely, Bellemain doesn’t go classic with the materials. They use aluminum, which many people go to lengths to avoid, and practically brag about it. Another thing to note is that the handle is plastic. It won’t burn your hand off, but it’s not very nice to look at or for the overall feel of the moka pot.

It’s made in China… and this time it feels like it.

After testing it out and talking to users who’ve been using this for a while, we’ve concluded that it’s not the sturdiest. While the top coffee makers on this list could last you a lifetime with the proper care, this one isn’t going to be a permanent fixture in your kitchen. We’d recommend it if you’re the occasional stove top coffee maker, not the everyday addict.

8. Grosche Milano

  • Capacity: 2 or 3 shots (5oz)
  • Origin: Italy
  • Material: anodized aluminum
  • Dishwasher Safe: no
  • Warranty: 1 year

It’s quirky and kind of sweet. The Grosche Milano is an Italian-made moka pot that makes 5oz of espresso (2.5 espresso shots). It’s made with food-grade aluminum and a classy wooden handle (that’s actually painted soft-touch rubber) that we love the look of. The white paint finish sets it apart and makes it stand out in the kitchen. Aesthetically it’s easily a 10/10. The cheaper materials, compared to real wood and stainless-steel, make it a very attractive price too.

It works well on all stovetops apart from induction and performance is very slow on glass-topped electric stoves. It also fits the Bialetti replacement gaskets, which are a bit easier to find than the Grosche Milano ones.

Standard 1-year warranty plus Amazon’s 30-day return program make it a risk-free venture. We like this as one of the best small, single-serving moka pots. You don’t need to buy extra reducers to quickly make your coffee in the morning. If you need something bigger, it also comes in 9oz and 15oz sizes.

9. Elabo Italian Moka Pot

  • Capacity: 6 shots (12oz)
  • Origin: China
  • Material: stainless-steel
  • Dishwasher Safe: yes, but not recommended
  • Warranty: 30 days

Another simple, stainless-steel receptacle that makes a decent coffee on your stovetop. The Elabo Italian (Chinese) Moka Pot is a budget option, to be frank. It holds 6 espresso shots, which is standard, and features a plastic fire-retardant handle. It’s not nice to look at but it’s functional. For the price, you can’t argue.

It works best on electric, gas and ceramic stoves and provides a pretty seamless experience. It’s good for travel too, as it adds a little more class to your camping trip.

Construction-wise, it’s not bad. The stainless-steel is the superior material on the market. The rubber seal at the top isn’t overly strong. You’ll struggle to find replacement parts from a brand like Elabo (they’re a bit obscure) but you might have some luck finding one on eBay. There’s no warranty that we could find from our research, so you’re relying on Amazon’s 30-day return policy.

It’s a good moka pot, but it’s not good enough to reach near the top of our list.

Quick Summary

Overall, the stovetop espresso maker market is struggling. The concept is so basic that it becomes difficult for brands to differentiate their models. Nonetheless, performance, durability, and price determine who has the best deal. bonVivo and Bialetti offer excellent classic moka pots that you’ll feel comfortable buying, using, cleaning and maintaining.

However, our hearts were won over by the Kamira Moka Express. If you’re feeling brave, you won’t regret trying it out! It offers the most realistic espresso complete with crema and it’s the best option for wannabe Coffee Dorks.

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