Looking for the best moka pot? Want to know which stovetop coffee maker to buy? Read our guide from coffee expert Celeste Wong below, then check out which bean-to-cup coffee machines to buy. Try Celeste’s tried and tested list of the best coffee beans to use in your moka pot.
What is a moka pot?
A stovetop coffee maker boils water from the bottom of a chamber. This creates steam pressure that forces hot water through the coffee and up into a top chamber. The name ‘moka pot’ for a stovetop coffee maker came from the 1933 invention by Alfonso Bialetti, named after the Yemeni city of Mocha.
How do you use a moka pot?
All moka pots come with very detailed descriptions if you’re unfamiliar with how to use one. All in our list below (except the 9barista stovetop) are used in the same way – fill the bottom chamber with water to the valve, put medium-ground coffee in the funnel, screw the top part on and heat on the stove until the water pushes up the extracted coffee. Read our full guide to how to use a moka pot for more detail.
What are the benefits of using a stovetop coffee maker?
Everyone has a stovetop of some sort, so a coffee maker can become an essential part of kitchenware for the coffee lover. It’s especially perfect if you want a short, strong coffee. Most moka pots aren’t too heavy, so they can be stored easily or even taken away on holiday.
It’s a fast, efficient method that produces strong-tasting coffee and is eco-friendly in the sense that you don’t need messy filter papers, so it produces minimal waste. It’s the closest mouthfeel and strength to espresso you can get without having a machine. The coffee is usually not as intense as an espresso made in a machine; however, there is a product in our list that rivals even that.
What factors should be considered when buying a moka pot?
When you’re looking for a stovetop coffee maker, you want to consider:
- The quality of materials (usually aluminium or stainless steel)
- The volume (are you making coffee for one or more people?)
- How often will you use it
- Is it compatible with gas or induction?
- Design or aesthetics
Best moka pots and stovetop coffee makers at a glance
- Bodum Chambord, £37.95
- Bialette New Moka induction stovetop, £33.70
- VonShef six cup/300ml Italian espresso coffee maker, £16.99
- Bialetti Moka espresso caffettiera, £20
- Bialetti 06969 Venus stovetop espresso coffee maker, £80.52
- Godmorn induction stovetop 200ml, £14.99
- Stelton Collar espresso maker, £77.95
- 9barista stovetop espresso maker, £325
The best moka pots and stovetop coffee makers to buy in 2021
At first glance, this looks very similar to the classic Bodum cafetieres: tall and narrow, with the quintessential round knob on the flip lid. It’s made of shiny stainless steel and has a minimalist, smooth design with a wide handle, so there’s no chance of touching any hot metal of the hob element.
It feels nicely evenly weighted (at around 662g). This particular model makes about 177ml, and is usable on any stovetop: ceramic, electric, gas and induction. This makes it very versatile, and it makes a strong cup.
Buy the Bodum stovetop coffee maker from Bodum
Bialetti moka pots are probably the most well-known because of their quality. This little moka pot is small and compact. There’s something about the traditional shape that is nostalgic and classic. The upper part of this moka pot is made of aluminium alloy and has a stylish outer black coat, while the base is made of steel (with outer part suitable for induction hobs). The handle has a gripped texture made of thermoplastic material. Surprisingly, this is also suitable for any type of stovetop. The basket/funnel is wide for easy filling, and various colours are also available.
Buy the Bialetti New Moka from Amazon
This is a very lightweight, shiny moka pot in the classic 10-sided shape. The handle has an ergonomic grip. The volume is great for a large, strong cup or for two smaller cups. This model is only compatible with electric, gas, ceramic and halogen hobs, so it’s not suitable for induction.
The quality of the inner part and silicon rings doesn’t seem as high as others we tested; overall, it feels a little more flimsy in comparison, but is a very affordable option that will do the trick. It’s important to clean and dry these aluminium moka pots well to maximise the longevity of the equipment.
Style-wise, this Bialetti moka espresso pot looks almost identical to the VonShef moka pot and and is also made of aluminium, but feels slightly heavier and more sturdy. The handle and knob on the lid feel smoother, too. This design has an octagon shape and makes a good volume of coffee. The holes in the filter screen in the funnel are slightly larger than on the VonShef moka pot, to let the steamed water through more easily.
Made from stainless steel, this can be used on electric or ceramic induction hobs as well as gas/fire. Induction always seems a little quicker and the coffee that comes through is good. The design and shape of this Bialetti induction moka pot is different to the more classic Italian shape. It’s great because you have all the options of heat, so it’s a good one to take away with you on holiday, too.
Buy the Bialetti Venus stovetop from Amazon
This little model is the same shape and similar design to the Bialetti Venus, but they differ quite substantially in size, despite the Bialetti being only slightly larger in volume. With both bottom chambers filled to just under their steam release valve, it holds about 30ml less than advertised. This is fine, but just know that your coffee volume will be small.
The Godmorn remains good for a quick, small stovetop coffee at an affordable price. It’s a good option for those on a budget or using the moka pot method as a back-up to other brew methods.
Buy the Godmorn from Amazon
Designed by Italian duo Daniel Debiasi and Federico Sandri for Danish Design company Stelton, this has simplicity and a different shape, with its sleek wooden handle and minimalist straight black body. The coffee produced is lovely and full in body.
The volume of the base chamber is about 240ml, and it has an extra filter plate that sits on top of the coffee, which none of the other moka pots tested had. Be careful not to overfill the coffee basket though, because you run the risk of bending the filter plate. It’s a little more pricey than the other more traditional-looking options, but overall a good coffee and beautiful, modern design.
Warning: this isn’t a moka pot because it really isn’t in the same category. However, it is a stand-out stovetop for those who want a much more professional espresso-like coffee without the big machine.
This is an impressive piece of kit. It has a unique twin-boiler system that heats to 170C, then pushes the pressure to 9bar exactly (the same pressure a commercial espresso machine would demand). This opens a valve that allows water to pass through the coil heat exchanger to bring the temperature back down to 100C, then 93C, where it passes through the coffee.
A smooth crema comes up into the espresso reservoir, making this fun to play with – the method and physical motions are very similar to when you use a manual espresso machine with tamping and a lever lock ‘portafilter’. The espresso is lovely to drink. You can use both regular espresso coffee and decaf, or make a latte by combining this with a milk frother. The technology is very impressive.
The caveats are that this is much more expensive than a regular moka pot for the stove, plus you’ll need a very good coffee grinder that grinds fine enough, which can also be expensive. However, the machine is intuitive to use and produces a superior espresso compared to the humble moka pot.
Buy the 9barista stovetop from 9barista
Want to learn more about becoming an expert at-home barista? Read our guides here:
Celeste Wong’s guide to becoming an overnight coffee expert
Celeste Wong’s best gooseneck kettles
Celeste Wong’s best coffee grinders
Celeste Wong’s best decaf coffee to try
Celeste Wong’s best reusable and compostable espresso pods
Celeste Wong’s best coffee beans to try
Best coffee subscriptions to try
Best coffee pod machines
Best bean-to-cup coffee machines
Best espresso machines