A stovetop espresso maker is an affordable and convenient way to make your espresso at home. All you need to use one is ground coffee, water, and a heating element. Stovetop coffee makers come in a wide range of designs and sizes, making it easy for anybody to find one that is perfect for your home. If you want to make espresso shots, Americanos, and even lattes and cappuccinos at home, a stovetop espresso maker can make it all possible.
Stovetop Coffee Explained
While the stovetop method of brewing espresso is not as popular as it used to be due to a wider range of affordable espresso machines now available, it’s a great way to make espresso at home. Similar to other espresso machines, it combines both heat and pressure to extract flavor from coffee grounds. However, in comparison to the nine bars of pressure that are generated by commercial espresso machines, a stovetop coffee maker only uses around 1.5 bars, which results in a brew that will be less concentrated than a true espresso, but still stronger than French Press or drip coffee.
Steam generates the pressure in a stovetop espresso machine. While the water in the lower changer heats, it expands and begins to find an outlet. As a result, it is forced up through the filter basket, extracting flavor from the grounds and ending up in the upper chamber as brewed coffee. It is a brewing method that is similar to that of a percolator, but it does produce a brew that is stronger and tastes better, because it generates more pressure and there is limited contact between the grounds and the water, giving you fewer bitter notes.
What are the Benefits of Using a Stovetop Espresso Maker?
If you want to make espresso at home, there are lots of different benefits to consider. Some of the best reasons to use a stovetop Italian espresso coffee maker include:
- It’s cheaper: Using an espresso kettle will work out much cheaper compared to buying your espresso drinks at a coffee shop or even investing in an espresso machine for your home.
- It can be used anywhere: To brew coffee using a stovetop espresso machine, all you need is a heat source. So, this makes it a great option for camping, for example, since a powerful enough portable stovetop can be used instead of the stovetop at home.
- Durability: The metal construction of a stovetop like the best Moka pot UK means that they are much more durable and long-lasting compared to other options like French Presses and pour-over brewers. Even when dropped, they are unlikely to break.
- Compactness: Unlike an espresso machine, a stovetop espresso maker doesn’t take up as much space. They are small and compact and can easily be stored away in a kitchen cabinet when being used.
- Works with medium grinds: Unlike espresso makers that require an extra fine grind to brew coffee, you can use a medium grind with a stovetop espresso maker. While this might not be such a big issue if you are grinding your own coffee, this can be a big advantage if you buy your coffee pre-ground.
How to Use a Stovetop Espresso Maker
When it comes to brewing espresso at home, this is one of the most convenient ways. You don’t need any extensive knowledge or training, and all you will need to brew perfect espresso is the coffee maker itself. How to use stovetop espresso maker?
- Separate the espresso maker into its three components. With a Moka pot, this includes a bottom water chamber, top coffee chamber, and a filter.
- Grind the coffee beans. A medium-coarse level is a better option for a stovetop espresso maker, compared to the finer grinds needed for an espresso machine. A medium grind level is the best option if you are buying pre-ground coffee.
- Fill the bottom chamber with cold water to the fill line. Filtered water is the best option.
- Place the ground coffee into the filter basket. For the best extraction, fill it to capacity. Don’t tamp the coffee; simply level it off using your finger.
- Place the filter basket in the bottom chamber and then make sure the top chamber is screwed on firmly.
- Place the espresso maker on your stove, on a medium heat. Leave the lid open. If you are using a gas stove, make sure that the flames are quite low, as otherwise they could melt the handle.
- As the coffee brews, it will start rising into the upper chamber as the water boils. This will take around 3-7 minutes depending on the size.
- Remove the stovetop espresso pot from the heat once the coffee color has turned to a dark brown color.
Best Stovetop Espresso Makers
If you are interested in brewing coffee from home using this method, these are some of the best stovetop espresso makers to consider:
Bialetti Venus Induction Espresso
When it comes to brands, you might have heard a lot about Groshe Milano vs Bialetti. Bialetti is the top-rated brand when it comes to stovetop espresso makers and was the first brand to introduce the Moka pot. The Venus is a sleek, four-cup model that is safe for using on induction burners along with other heat sources. It is well-sealed, ensuring no loss of pressure, heat, or leaks. It has a smooth-walled shape that provides you with a smooth finish for your brewed espresso.
Cuisinox Roma Stovetop
This Moka pot comes with precision construction, which leads to less heat loss, fewer leaks, and a durability that is second-to-none. You can rest assured of consistently great quality since every Roma espresso maker is hand-crafted. It can make up to four cups but includes a reducer so that you can easily make a smaller batch. The all-steel build gives it an attractive shine and increases the durability. It can be used on any heating surface.
Bialetti 06661 Kitty Espresso
Italian coffee masters Bialetti bring this stovetop espresso maker with a slightly different design. With a stainless-steel construction, it offers a wide base for more stability and better heat diffusion. The handle is also very roomy, with no risk of burning your fingers accidentally when you are using this espresso maker. It can be used on any type of stove and all the parts are dishwasher safe.
LuxHaus Stovetop Espresso
This stovetop espresso maker will look very classy in your kitchen and has a high-quality build that you can rely on. It is made using high-quality stainless-steel that won’t rust, corrode, or flake off. With a wide base, you can use it for heating and brewing very quickly, even on a lower-power camping stove. It also includes a very comfortable handle design which makes it comfortable and safe to pour with, even straight off the burner.
Oggi 6571.0 Stovetop Espresso
The Oggi Stovetop Espresso maker brings a modern take to the traditional design. It has an octagonal shape and a narrow spout and is made with durable cast aluminum. When you brew espresso with this espresso maker, you’ll get a brew with a smooth texture and rich body, and you can keep it at the right temperature in the coffee maker until you’re ready to drink it.
Yabano Stovetop Espresso Maker
With a heat-resistant and flame-retardant handle, the Yabano Stovetop Espresso Maker is a safe option for gas stoves and campfires. It’s durable too, since it is built with a higher grade of aluminum compared to other affordable Moka pot options. This espresso maker is designed to last for years or even decades, as long as it is looked after well, including cleaning it after every use. It can brew a pot of coffee in as little as three minutes thanks to the effective steam valve and heat regulation feature.
Sasso Moka Pot Espresso Maker
With a unique design, this stovetop espresso maker will look stunning in your kitchen. It comes with a narrow top and wide base, which offers more stability and limits heat loss through the spout and lid. Despite the unusual design, you will still get all the benefits of the traditional octagonal shapes with a flavorful aroma and consistent heat when you brew coffee. The soft-touch handle is ergonomic and has a stunning wood-grain design.
Coffee Gator Stovetop Espresso Maker
Following the classic Italian model, this espresso maker has eight sided chambers which provide a more even heat dispersion and results in a better aroma and taste. The handle also comes with a handy burn guard, which will stop your fingers from making contact with the pot when pouring and reduce the risk of any accidents. It comes with two vacuum insulated cups, making it a perfect choice for campers and hikers who want to be able to easily make high-quality coffee on the road.
A stovetop espresso maker can be one of the easiest and cheapest ways to make perfect-tasting espresso at home. Make sure you look at your options in detail to find the best one for your morning brew.