If you are in search of a strong Italian style coffee than Moka pot or stainless steel stovetop espresso makers are your best bet for most at home coffee brewers. The classic and simple process is often viewed as the most romantic coffee brewing process and is sure to impress your friends or loved ones.
While stovetop espresso machines have risen in popularity recently it is important to note that they are not technically espresso machines. Making espresso is the process of pushing hot water through a compact 'puck' of coffee grounds at high pressure, usually at around 9 bar, which is 9 times the atmospheric pressure at sea level. So it is more accurate to think of Moka pot or stovetop espresso makers as espresso alternatives.
That being said many coffee enthusiasts enjoy or even prefer the Moka pot style coffee compared to espresso. The high temp brewing process creates a rich and dark flavor that will surely impress your palate.
The most famous Moka pot is produced by Bialetti and is constructed of aluminum. Many leading manufactures have adopted the unique design but changed the material to stainless steel to be more durable for at home brewers and coffee shop owners.
While we are big fans of the Bialetti classic here are a few other stovetop coffee maker options to consider:Video Courtesy of: ChefSteps
The first of two offerings from the legendary Bialetti named the Venus offers some modern touches and features to their enduring classic. First is the ability to use this stovetop coffee maker with any heat source including an induction burner.
Many users of the original Moka pot had one chief complaint. That being its inability to work with induction burners so the Venus sought to right that wrong. Adding the induction capable espresso coffee maker feature subtracted the dishwasher friendly feature of the original Moka pot. We don’t mind the handwashing but for some it might be an unwanted added chore to their morning routine.
The AMFOCUS stovetop espresso maker combines a traditional design with a compact and easy to clean package. This would be a top choice for those who travel but still want to enjoy a classic moka pot styled coffee. The stainless steel construction is durable enough to hit the road with you but also sleek enough to not look out of place in any high end kitchen.
The second offering on our list from famed Italian coffee brand Bialetti is much more traditional than the Venus model mentioned above. In fact, we would compare this to the traditional moka pot more so than the Venus. The construction material is an easy to clean and durable stainless steel unlike the original aluminum classic.
For those of us who enjoy modern styling the Minos Moka pot is the perfect option. Their goal was to update the design to the original 1933 Moka pot while still preserving the rich romantic flavors and brewing process. Here is their goal in their own words
“The classic Moka Pot has had the same look since it was first created in 1933. It’s beautiful and artistic, but the Minos Moka Pot brings authentic, romantic coffee to the modern age with an elegant, streamlined, upscale design.”
It was a tricky task to update such an iconic design but we think they succeeded and in doing so deserved a spot on our list of best stainless steel stovetop espresso makers.
Any of the above options would make a perfect choice for your kitchen or the stovetop espresso fan in your family. In fact, we encourage most home brewers to have this in their coffee making arsenal due to its compact size and ease of use.