Stovetop Espresso Maker
Best 6-Cup Reviews, How to Use & Crema Instructions

The stovetop espresso maker has been called as “poor man's” espresso probably because you do not have to buy an expensive espresso machine to enjoy a good shot.

Stovetop-Espresso-MakerThe first stove top espresso maker was developed by Italian Alfonso Bialetti in 1933. He fondly called his invention the macchinetta (little machine) or the more popular name Moka Express pot. The macchinetta is steam-based espresso maker stovetop equipment that can produce dark and strong brew akin to a conventional espresso shot.

Of course the resulting brew is not an “espresso” in its truest form as coffee aficionados will say, as true espresso is expressed by high pressured water at high temperature.

Stovetop espresso pots only produce coffee by the steam's natural pressure. However the macchinetta or moka pot is one inexpensive way of producing good espresso for home consumption.

Stovetop Espresso Maker Parts Buying Guide

Note this European tradition stove top espresso makers are not percolators as they actually “brew” and not “boil” grounds. It produces a good brew by creating pressure as heat forces water through fine grounds into a chamber. How? Stovetop expresso makers comprised of three parts:

  • Bottom chamber normally has a pressure valve and holds the fresh water
  • Middle chamber is the perforated funnel or coffee basket that holds the grounds.
  • The top canister or chamber contains the brewed coffee.

The resulting brew is good enough as it generally is at par with espresso made from electric ones. However, do not expect a “cream” as the brewing pressure is much too low to produce one. Before you brew you first cup, take apart the machine and learn its parts, how they fit et al. Also, wash the parts with cold water.

Fill the bottom chamber with fresh water up to the pressure relief valve. Make a dry-run brew by filling the middle chamber with old/used grounds, attach the top canister and brew. Throw out this first brew as it was only intended to clean the machine.

How to Make Stovetop Espresso Drinks?


Stovetop Espresso with "Crema" Foam
Recipe Video Instruction

  1. First, fill the bottom chamber with cold water making sure it only reached up to the pressure valve.
  2. Insert the cone or funnel filter and smoothly fill it up with fine grounds.
  3. Look for a flat round filter plate and rubber gasket and make sure that both are under the upper center column of the machine.
  4. Screw the top on and you are set.
  5. Next, make sure that the heat is nice and even.
  6. When the macchinetta starts to “gurgle” remove it from the heat and let it sit and seep for another 30 seconds, and then it's ready to be served.

Bialetti Stove Top Espresso Maker Review

Bialetti-Moka-Express
Buy Bialetti Moka 6 Cup
(US only) Check Best Price

Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker is a 6-cup serve moka pot made of polished aluminum. It features a safety pressure release valve. It is also available in 1, 3, 9 and 12 cup servings.

Reviews indicate that this model is reliable as one user claimed that she has been using one for the past 5 years and the Bialetti has never clogged or had a build-up of sediments.

Priced under $30 for a 6-cup serve and below $60 for a 12-cup serving, this model is a good buy. However, there are experts who say that stainless steel stovetop espresso maker is better.

Bialetti-Mukka-Express
Buy Bialetti Mukka
(US only) Check Best Price

Bialetti Brikka Stovetop Espresso Maker is like the regular macchinetta but with a new innovation. It was designed specifically to begin brewing only after maximum pressure is reached. The resulting brew is creamy and smooth with a nice frothy cap. The lid is transparent so you can see how the creamy coffee is “expressed”.

However, you have to be careful with the heat temperature and the amount of water used as any misstep will result into the brew bubbling all over the stove. These stovetop espresso makers can serve 4 cups and like all the Bialetti models, are made in Italy.

Bialetti Mukka Express Stovetop Cappuccino Maker is the best stove top coffee maker! It makes authentic cappuccino by simply filling the base with water and the metal basket with grounds then opening the lid to add cold milk.

Push the pressure button then heat up the Mukka on the stove. Wait a few minutes as the machine combines the fresh espresso with the steamed and foamy milk for a great cup of cappuccino. At less than $80, this stove top espresso maker is a steal deal!

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Updated January 2011