Best Italian Coffee Makers And Stovetop Coffee Machines
After years of traveling to Italy in search of the perfect cup of coffee, we’ve learned how to make some of the best at home. In this post, we share our recommendations for the best Italian coffee makers along with tips on how to use one.
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Why Purchase A Stovetop Coffee Maker
Almost every home in Italy has a stovetop coffee maker. After all, Italian coffee is a way of life. Next to purchasing perfect freshly roasted espresso beans, having a quality coffee maker is the best way to ensure you have a perfect cup of Italian coffee at home.
At its most basic, a stovetop coffee machine is a great alternative to a high-quality, expensive electric espresso machine. According to coffee experts, they produce stronger, thicker coffee. There’s also a solid crema. Crema is the tan-colored foam on the top of a cup of espresso.
Stovetop espresso makers can offer a good value. They also pack relatively well if you are looking for a portable coffee maker for travel.
Best Stovetop Coffee Makers For 2020
In this post, we offer detailed reviews of each of our recommended Italian coffee makers. If short on time, though, feel free to use the table below to shop.
We recommend using Amazon for a few reasons. First, they have the largest selection of quality coffee makers online. Second, we try to recommend products that are part of Amazon Prime, which provides purchasers with free and often super-fast delivery. (Get 30 days of Prime free here.)
Our Top Pick: The Bialetti Espresso Maker
We recommend Bialetti for a few reasons. It’s high-quality. It comes in a variety of sizes and even fun colors.
According to the experts, one of the benefits of a Bialetti is the octagonal shape, which allows the heat to distribute evenly. This makes for a more consistent cup of coffee.
What Is A Moka Pot
A macchinetta del caffe, or small coffee machine, is an Italian coffee percolator. It’s a classic machine used to make espresso-style coffee. They make coffee similarly to an espresso machine, but at lower pressures than an electric espresso maker.
Italian percolators have been around since the 1930s. They work off of steam pressure where boiling water moves through the ground coffee. This is a classic and traditional way to make coffee, with no real bells and whistles. But, it’s also effective, particularly if you are looking for a classic Italian espresso at home.
A high-quality Moka Pot used with the right technique can consistently create a great cup of coffee. A Moka Pot heats water in the bottom chamber. The hot water forces steam through the coffee, which is located in a strainer above. What results is a strong shot of coffee, more similar to an espresso than a traditional American cup of coffee.
What To Consider When Purchasing An Italian Stovetop Coffee Maker
There are a few things to take into consideration when purchasing your stovetop coffee maker to make sure it is the right one for you.
The Size Of The Moka Coffee Pot
This comes to personal preference. You can buy personal, one cup machines, or large Italian coffee pots to use for a large family. Of course, there is also every size in between.
A smaller pot might be helpful if you intend to travel with it. Also, when determining cup size, these are really espresso cup sizes and not American coffee cup sizes. If you enjoy a double, go for one that is a little larger.
As a general rule, a 6 cup espresso maker will make two regular sized cups coffee by American standards.
Where Was The Moka Pot Produced
There’s a reason why a lot of people search for the best Italian coffee machine, stovetop or not. Italians take their coffee seriously and have for generations. Finding a maker that is made in Italy does generally denote quality, but it is not necessary.
I might be a little more skeptical of coffee machines made in Asia, particularly China. For us, I like that our maker is an authentic Italian stovetop espresso maker. I like even more that we bought it in Italy, but I recognize that is not an option for everyone.
What Kind Of Stovetop Do You Have
There are a few different types of stovetops in people’s kitchens. Most common is gas, electric, or induction. Most Moka Pots will say whether they can be used on an electric or induction stovetop. All of them will generally work on gas stoves.
An induction stove is a different story. Generally, special pots and pans are needed for an induction stove. Minimally, you need to have something with a little bit of weight to it.
When we tried to use our Bialetti espresso machine at an apartment rental with an induction stove it was not heavy enough to work. In this case, choose a larger, or heavier pot,. This is particularly true for aluminum Moka pots, which are lightweight. They should have some bells and whistles built into the base to make them useable on an induction stove.
Stovetop Espresso Maker Reviews 2020
Bialetti Stovetop Coffee Maker Review
The Bialetti Moka Stove Top Coffee Maker is the most classic Italian coffee maker out there and it has been since 1933. It comes in many size options, and even at the larger cup size, the price is hard-to-beat. It works on both gas and electric stoves and its unique octagon shape means heat distributes evenly.
Although the Bialetti coffee makers are made from aluminum, they are made of high-quality aluminum and are non-toxic. That does mean it is not dishwasher friendly, but that has never been an issue for us. We generally just rinse and dry. It’s also made in Italy, so it is the best way to own a classic bit of Italian coffee heritage right at home.
Our Pick For Best Italian Coffee Maker Based on Style and ReliabilityCheck Prices Here
Bialetti Kitty Stainless Steel Stovetop Coffee Maker
The Bialetti Kitty Stove Top Coffee Maker is the next step up from the Original Bialetti. This version is stainless steel as opposed to aluminum.
The Kitty is compatible with both gas, electric, and ceramic stoves. It also has a more contemporary rather than a classic design, which comes in even cup sizes ranging between two and 10 cups.
The Bialetti Kitty is technically dishwasher safe, but again, I don’t really see a need for washing the stovetop coffee makers.
Our Pick For Best Stovetop Coffee MakerCheck Prices Here
Cuisinox Roma Stainless Steel Stovetop Coffee Maker
The Cuisinox Roma Stainless Steel Stovetop Moka Espresso Maker is a premium stovetop coffee maker that is made of high-quality 18/10 stainless steel. It can be used on an induction stovetop as well as gas and electric. The coffee maker is made with a stainless steel handle, which means it won’t melt like cheaper models. This does mean that the handle gets hot. It’s probably best to use a pot holder to hold the pot. They also recommend only washing the coffee maker by hand, even though it is made with stainless steel.
It comes in four, six, and 10 cup options, but there’s a special feature in the Cuisinox that is not available in a lot of other coffee makers. This coffee maker actually comes with a reducer. If you want to make less coffee, fill the base of the coffee maker halfway. Place the funnel filter into the base. Then, add the reducer that comes with the coffee maker into the funnel, which reduces the capacity for the coffee grinds by half. It’s a pretty nifty feature. Plus, this stovetop espresso maker is just stunning and works great for entertaining.
GROSCHE Milano Moka Stovetop Espresso Maker
The GROSCHE Milano Stovetop Espresso Maker Moka Pot 6 Cup – 9.3 oz, Black – Cuban Coffee Maker Stove top coffee maker Moka Italian espresso greca coffee maker brewer percolator is a great alternative to the classic Bialetti.
It’s made of high-quality aluminum and is made in Italy. The GROSCHE is available in three, six, and nine cup options, and also comes in a few different stylish colors including black, white, red, and silver.
Although it works on gas, electric, and induction stoves, it takes longer to heat on an induction stovetop because it is not magnetic. One benefit is that they have a large, soft-touch handle, with a burn guard making it easier to manage than other stovetop coffee makers.
bonVIVO Inteca Stovetop Espresso MAker
The bonVIVO Intenca Stovetop Espresso Maker comes in chrome and black, but the copper version is pretty stunning.
The bonVIVO is made of stainless steel with a copper chrome finish to add elegance to any kitchen. It has a six cup capacity. It also works on all stovetops, including ceramic and induction cooktops.
Although not an Italian brand, it is German made so it is made with quality and German-style quality control.
How To Use A Stovetop Coffee Maker
Italian coffee machines are a great addition to any kitchen. However, using a Moka Pot can be intimidating for first-timers. After purchasing your new stovetop espresso maker it can take a half dozen or so times before you figure out how to use your pot, with the right amount of coffee, water, and time.
Steps To Use A Moka Pot
To make coffee in an Italian Moka coffee pot, unscrew the bottom of the pot. Fill the base of the coffee maker with water, up to the water line. Add ground coffee into the filter basket. Add about 20 grams of coffee for each cup. The coffee should be level, but not too tightly packed.
Twist the top of the coffee maker closed. Italian style coffee makers work on both gas and electric stovetops. If using a gas stovetop, place the coffee maker on a low to medium flame. Using a flame that is too high can actually burn the handle.
After a few moments, you will hear the coffee brewing and will start to smell the tasty coffee. The steam-pressurized hot water will pass through the coffee grounds, up through the spout.
Using An Italian Coffee Maker The First Time
When using a Moka Pot for the first time, it is best to watch the coffee brew rather than walking away from it. This is in case you need to turn the heat up or down, or to just make sure you are using the maker correctly.
How To Clean A Stovetop Coffee Maker
Cleaning a Moka Pot is super easy. But there are a few dos and don’ts to keep the coffee maker working. The best Italian coffee machines will last several years if they are used and cleaned properly.
Aluminum coffee makers should not be put in a dishwasher. It is possible to put a stainless steel Moka Pot in the dishwasher, but I don’t recommend it. Some say it shortens the life-span.
It’s best to hand wash any stovetop coffee maker and to avoid placing it in a dishwasher.
FAQs - How To Use an ITalian Stovetop Coffee Maker
When making any coffee at home, freshly ground beans are the key to releasing the aromas and flavors of great coffee beans. Although any beans can be used, dark roast coffee is the best for a Moka pot. Around 18-20 grams of coffee for each cup is about the right amount. If you are ever in doubt, choose an Italian coffee brand.
The best coffee grind for a Moka Pot is a fine grind. You want to use the same coffee grind size as you would for an espresso machine, or just slightly more coarse.
Italian coffee makers are good for making classic Italian-style espresso drinks. They are specifically designed for this purpose. They are not the right choice if you are looking for large cups of drip-style coffee. Paired with good quality espresso beans, a stovetop espresso maker brings Italian cafe culture to the home.
There are several Italian coffee maker brands on the market. They all have pros and cons and vary in cost. Some of the most reliable brand names include DeLonghi, Nuova Simonelli, and Gaggia. Which is the best is a matter of personal preference. But most coffee lovers will say you can’t go wrong purchasing one of these three brands.