The 10 Best Stovetop Espresso Makers

Updated May 09, 2018 by Lydia Chipman

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We spent 47 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Get your caffeine fix without having to head to the local café and shell out more than a few bucks. Assuming you have a stovetop, any one of these espresso makers provides a cheap and easy way to get a good cup of the strong stuff whenever you want it in the comfort of your own home. Just add your favorite ground beans and some water, and you'll be happily sipping crema in no time. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best stovetop espresso maker on Amazon.

10. MateoJo Italian

Offered in small, medium and large sizes to suit various levels of consumption, the MateoJo Italian is a solid choice to get your fix whenever the need arises, whether it's first thing in the morning, on a lazy afternoon, or to fuel yet another all-nighter.
  • easy to use and clean
  • traditional design
  • not suitable for all burner types
Brand MateoJo
Model A1011-12
Weight 1.9 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Bialetti Elegance Venus

The versatile stainless-steel Bialetti Elegance Venus works on virtually any cooking surface to produce that bold, rich flavor you're looking for in just under five minutes. Its sleek, streamlined design makes for an attractive gourmet complement to any kitchen.
  • classic style with broad base
  • heat-resistant pvc handle
  • requires finely ground beans
Brand La Cafetiere
Model 1685
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

8. Grosche Milano

Brewing a decent cup of coffee isn't exactly rocket science, and you shouldn't need an astronomical budget in order to do so. The very affordable Grosche Milano is a sensible solution for getting the job done right without any fancy and costly features.
  • 3- to 9-cup capacities
  • purchases support safe water project
  • can drip when pouring
Model GR 354
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

7. Primula Cafetière

Available in both four- and six-cup capacities, the Primula Cafetière is an excellent deal for a top-quality device. Its ergonomic silicone handle is sleek and comfortable to grasp, and the flip-top lid features a cool-touch trigger.
  • fragrant and concentrated brew
  • stainless steel won't rust
  • gasket wears out over time
Brand Primula
Model PES-4606
Weight 1.8 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. Alessi 9090

The Alessi 9090 is painstakingly crafted in Italy and designed to last a lifetime. It is much pricier than most other options, but that's because it's better quality, with an 18/10 stainless steel construction and a three-stage filtration system.
  • suitable for all range types
  • flared base for stability
  • should be hand washed only
Brand Alessi
Model 9090/3
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Alpha Coffee

To add a touch of sophistication to the daily brew without emptying your wallet faster than you can say "demitasse," try the Alpha Coffee. Made from sturdy aluminum, it delivers exceptional flavor in the comfort of your own home — at a remarkably accessible price.
  • user-friendly instructions
  • large ergonomic handle
  • spillproof pouring spout
Brand Alpha Coffee
Model SYNCHKG096955
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Bialetti Moka Express

The signature octagonal shape, convenient pour spout, and solid aluminum construction make the Bialetti Moka Express an attractive and functional showpiece for your coffee service. In addition to looking great in the kitchen or dining room, it brews a mean cup of Joe.
  • various finishes and sizes
  • authentic italian design
  • patented safety valve
Brand Bialetti
Model 06853
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Cuisinox Amore

If you need a little additional reassurance that you'll have a reliable source of home-brewed java for years to come, try the Cuisinox Amore. It's not only constructed from heavy-gauge stainless steel for a lifetime of use, it's also covered by a 25-year warranty.
  • 4-inch base for induction burners
  • practical and elegant
  • heat-resistant handle and lid grips
Brand Cuisinox
Model COF-8106
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Minos Moka Pot

The Minos Moka Pot is a delightfully distinctive way to enjoy an artisanal cuppa when company drops by, or to lend an extra-rich note to your daily caffeine infusions. Choose the five- or ten-ounce size to serve up just the right amount of the taste you crave.
  • multicolored interchangeable handles
  • classic kettle styling
  • produces authentic flavor in minutes
Brand Minos
Model SYNCHKG098274
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Cuisinox Roma

The Cuisinox Roma is distinguished enough for tableside service at the fanciest gala or reception. Its flame- and induction-ready base makes it a versatile option for the discerning coffee drinker, and it's available in 4-, 6-, and 10-cup capacities.
  • high quality stainless steel
  • spare gasket and reducer included
  • very well designed and durable
Brand Cuisinox
Model COF-10R
Weight 3.3 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

It’s Easier To Drink Espresso With Your Nose Turned Up

There are times in life when it’s perfectly acceptable to act like a snob. Some of these occasions will arise on a small, personal level, like besting your classroom rival in a spelling bee, or having someone weigh in on an argument with your precise point of view.

On a more general level, it’s harder to find socially acceptable times to really throw your nose up in the air with that combination of distinction and self-righteousness that only a true snob can perfect. More often than not, the temptation to do so arises out of some cultural artistic preference like a certain musical performer or artist. Snobbery here can get you into some hot water, though, especially if you run into someone with both opposing tastes and a deeper knowledge base in the area. Ultimately, you can fall back on the argument that it’s all a matter of taste, but that often cedes the snobbery high ground to your opponent.

The coffee world offers us a different opportunity to be snobs, however, as there are scientifically measurable ways to determine — at least in part — the quality of a cup of coffee. And if you pit the taste profile of a shot of your homemade stovetop espresso up against that of a cup of mud from the burner at your local gas station, yours is pretty well guaranteed to emerge as the winner.

If you’re not made of time and money, the stovetop espresso maker will provide you with the added benefits of being inexpensive and very fast — particularly if you only need to make a shot or two of the good stuff. High-quality espresso machines can cost well into the thousands of dollars, making the elite brew seem unreachable to the common man. Fortunately, stovetop espresso makers are much more economical, and their contents are ready as soon as the water cooks, though they don’t have the ability to store heated water as some countertop models can, which means you may have to wait longer to brew shots for a larger number of people.

Do keep in mind that if you choose to invest in a stovetop espresso maker over the more haute countertop variety, owners of the latter will, technically, be in the right if they choose to turn their nose up at your device.

How A Stovetop Espresso Maker Brews

Espresso is all about pressure. In a drip coffee machine, hot water slowly makes its way into a basin containing coffee grounds. Once enough of that water builds up, it filters through the ground beans and falls down into a waiting receptacle, often a pot or single-serve cup.

Traditional espresso machines heat up water and force it through a tube that delivers it to the espresso grounds at extremely high pressures, pushing the liquid through the grounds with significant force. These units allow users to precisely dial in the amount of pressure they want to apply to the beans, and a debate over the perfect amount of pressure is liable to rage on until climate change renders the coffee bean itself extinct.

A stovetop brewer marries the simplicity or a drip coffee machine — or more precisely, a percolator — with the high-pressure environment of an espresso maker. The unit consists of three main compartments: a water well, a filter, and a coffee pot.

To make a pot of espresso, you fill the water well to the fill line (or below if you want a smaller, stronger serving). When you place the pot over a heat source, the water’s temperature — and the pressure in the well — rises. The filter at the middle of the pot contains your espresso beans. At the bottom of that filter is a valve that only opens when a certain water pressure is reached in the chamber below. Once the valve opens, it allows hot, high-pressure water to move steadily through the grounds in the filter and collect inside the coffee pot above.

A Brief History Of Espresso

The American blood in my veins recoils to learn that an invention brought about by sheer capitalistic yearning for more efficiency and a better product took place far away from the 50 states. The Italian blood in my veins, however, delights to learn that espresso, quite possibly the best form of coffee available to mankind, was created in Italy.

Fans of the steampunk genre will probably also enjoy the tale, as it includes a great deal of experimentation with different pressures of steam at a time when the substance powered a lot of incredible inventions. At the time (the late 1800s), inventors sought to decrease the time it took to brew coffee, as cafes were cropping up all around Europe and the drink had become more popular than ever.

One of these inventors, Angelo Moriondo, received a patent for a machine that pushed hot water through coffee grounds at 1.5 bars of pressure. Over the course of the next few decades, competitors of Moriondo’s successful espresso machine would experiment with ways to increase that pressure and deliver even faster, more flavorful brews.

Today, you can still purchase large boilers that greatly resemble the machines of the early 19th century, many of which come in fine brass finishes complete with ornate statuettes and other artistic flourishes. Compared to the espresso makers of old, modern models have highly adjustable pressure settings, with nine bars being the common starting point for most brewers as they refine their combination of coffee bean, grind size, and water pressure.

Most of the stovetop espresso makers on the market are designed to draw their pressure from a direct heat source in such a way that the pressure itself opens a valve that lets the water interact with the beans. In order to ensure that this water isn’t so hot that it burns the coffee, these stovetop valves allow water through at approximately 1.5 bars. As such, a cup of stovetop espresso will greatly resemble a cup that would have been produced by Mr. Moriondo all those years ago.

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Last updated on May 09, 2018 by Lydia Chipman

An itinerant wordsmith with a broad constellation of interests, Lydia Chipman has turned iconoclasm into a livelihood of sorts. Bearing the scars and stripes of an uncommon diversity of experience—with the notable exceptions of joining a religious order or becoming an artist—she still can’t resist the temptation to learn something new.

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