The 6 Best Stovetop Espresso Makers

by Anne Loreto Cruz

It doesn’t take an espresso expert to know that how you brew your coffee makes a huge difference in the taste and quality of your brew. The best stovetop espresso makers are made from either aluminum or stainless steel and heat evenly to extract the flavor of your beans without burning them.

Stovetop espresso makers are actually a bit of a misnomer, since they can’t produce the high pressure needed to produce a true cup of espresso — but they can make concentrated coffee that is just as tasty and strong. Most stovetop espresso makers are moka pots, which have three compartments that use your stove’s heat to push boiling water through the coffee grounds and up into a pitcher for serving. Aluminum is the most traditional material for moka pots, but stainless steel is compatible with induction stoves and is typically easier to care for. A stovetop percolator can also make a strong, bold brew, and since they have a larger capacity, they're great for a group.

You'll also want to consider capacity. Many moka pots measure their capacity in espresso (or demitasse) cups, which are much smaller than the standard cup measurement most people use in their kitchens. To avoid confusion, look for the moka pot's capacity in ounces. A six-ounce option typically serves one or two people, while a ten-ounce model or bigger will work well for a group. Other details to look for are ergonomic heat-resistant handles, thumb latches for one-handed pouring, and glass vessels for watching your coffee brew, all of which can add convenience and ease to your routine.

With that in mind, here are six stovetop espresso makers that are perfect for serving your daily hot cup of joe.

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1. The Moka Pot With More Than 14,000 Ratings On Amazon

  • Capacity: 1 cup (or 2 oz.), also available in 6 cup, 9 cups, and 12 cups
  • Brewing style: moka pot
  • Materials: aluminum

This aluminum moka pot is a cult-favorite among coffee enthusiasts, and for good reason. Bialetti creates the gold standard of moka pots, and this one consistently brews a strong pot of coffee with each use. The moka pot uses three distinct chambers to delicately extract the distinct flavors of your coffee, and some users say they even get a small amount of crema with their brew.

This classically designed moka pot also has a heat-resistant ergonomic handle, and a patented safety valve to ensure the coffee brews at the correct pressure. Since it's made from aluminum, it must be hand washed after use, and it's not compatible with induction stovetops.

One reviewer wrote: “I've used a Bialetti stove top every morning for 6 years and love the ease and minimalism - no cords, nice to look at. Finally upgraded from a 6 cup to a 9 cup (which really makes 2 cups of coffee since I'm not making tiny teacups of espresso) and really happy. Make sure to follow the instructions and never immerse in cold water while still hot as this will warp the metal and affect the seal which will prevent the thing from working.”

2. A Compact Espresso Maker That Brews Directly Into Your Cups

  • Capacity: 2 cups (or 4-6 oz.)
  • Brewing style: moka pot
  • Materials: aluminum

This mini espresso maker from Bialetti is sure to be a standout centerpiece in any coffee-lover’s home. It works just like a moka-pot, but instead of hot coffee rising into a pitcher, it’s directed straight into your espresso cups. The cups sit on a heated aluminum plate, so your espresso will still stay at the optimal drinking temperature after it brews.

This option turns the routine of making coffee into a joy, and eliminates the extra step of pouring your espresso from a pitcher into a demitasse cup. When it’s time for clean up, there’s a heat-resistant handle to help you remove it from heat, and the aluminum construction rinses and can be wiped clean by hand.

One reviewer wrote: “I am a big Bialetti fan, so this particular item was specifically for my afternoon coffee (working from home, away from my usual coffee shop).”

3. This Stovetop Percolator For Larger Batches Of Coffee

  • Capacity: 12 cups (or 39 oz.), also available in 9 cups
  • Brewing style: percolator
  • Materials: stainless steel

Unlike a moka-pot, the reservoir for coffee grounds in this COLETTI Bozeman percolator is at the top of the pot, so brewed coffee drips back into the pot of boiling water. The result is a cup of coffee that has a similar texture and feel to drip coffee, but is highly concentrated and as strong as espresso. This particular model is made from stainless steel and has a rosewood handle, plus a glass top knob that allows you to peek at the coffee as it brews, and take it off the stove before it over-boils.

This percolator was made with durability and camping in mind, but is just as efficient and lovely to look at on a home stovetop — though it's not induction-compatible. The large capacity can serve a crowd, and Coletti also provides optional fine filters that can be used to prevent smaller grounds from falling into the pot. It also has a convenient thumb latch to flip open the lid.

One reviewer wrote: “The exact same coffee in a drip coffee isn't even close. I have a french press... I have an aeropress, and this is better [...] I bought it because my bellini espresso maker only makes enough for me and there are times where you must share. The colette percolator may actually be better.”

4. A Luxurious Stainless Steel Moka Pot

  • Capacity: 6 cups (or 12 oz.), also available in 9 cups
  • Brewing style: moka pot
  • Materials: stainless steel

This stainless steel moka-pot has a more streamlined silhouette than traditional aluminum models, and it's compatible with induction stovetops. It has a 12-ounce capacity, so it can serve six demitasse cups with each brew, making it another great option for those times when you want to share coffee with friends. The ergonomic, heat-resistant handle makes it easy to lift the moka pot from the stove, and the lid has a convenient thumb latch to open the pot.

The stainless steel body of the moka pot is dishwasher safe, and the spring-loaded grounds dispenser pops out for easy removal. Reviewers raved about how easy this moka pot is to use, and how well it works with induction stovetops for lightning-fast brews.

One reviewer wrote: “I bought this primarily so that I could use it with an induction burner [...] I really like it. The build quality seems solid: it's well put together and has a nice heft to it. Definitely made out of solid stainless steel. My induction burner can finish coffee in around a minute to a minute and a half: my old stovetop would have taken longer than three minutes (and I like the improved efficiency of an induction burner). [...] Very pleased with my purchase.”

5. This Stunning Moka Pot With A Glass Pitcher

  • Capacity: 4 cups (or 5.6 oz), also available in 9 cups
  • Brewing style: moka pot
  • Materials: stainless steel and glass

The glass pitcher of this stovetop espresso maker is not only gorgeous, but it’s a convenient feature that allows you to monitor your brew and remove it from heat as soon as it’s ready to prevent scorching. The stainless steel base has a classic polished finish and is compatible with all stovetops, including induction.

There are also several handy features on this moka pot, including a tapered spout for mess-free pours and a lid that can lock into place to prevent spills or burns. Once you’ve had your coffee for the day, this moka pot is dishwasher-safe.

One reviewer wrote: “This is a 5-star espresso maker! The crystal-top allows you to see exactly when the espresso is perfectly harnessed, and helps to avoid over heating/burning. The handle is sturdy and resists heat very effectively. The 6-cup size is perfect for my girlfriend and I to split into two gorgeous lattes each morning. We love this thing and would recommend it to anyone looking for an aesthetically pleasing espresso maker/moka pot. You will be happy you chose the Geesta!”

6. An Espresso Maker That's Great For Camping

  • Capacity: 12 oz.
  • Brewing style: moka pot
  • Materials: stainless steel

This lightweight stainless steel moka pot can be used to make strong espresso-like coffee in the great outdoors or at home. You can place it on a portable camp stove, a small campfire, or on a stovetop. It even works with induction stovetops, but its narrow body may not work well with traditional gas stoves.

While this coffee maker is intended to save space and weight while backpacking, reviewers noted that it has become their primary coffee-making device that they use at home. It also comes with a convenient 13-ounce cup with a silicone grip to help make holding your hot cup of joe easier.

One reviewer wrote: “Espresso-style coffee on the go. Bought this coffee maker in conjunction with nCamp's wood burning stove. To my surprise, it fit easily on the outside of my smallest hiking backpack. I was able to hike to a lake with friends and brew coffee while we watched the sunrise, which was super cool. The coffee tastes great and heats up fast on the stove, Would definitely recommend.”