Types of Stovetop Espresso PotsThere are many different types of stovetop espresso pots. Here I'll talk about the main types.
Aluminum stovetop espresso makersThe traditional Moka pots are made of aluminum. There are many different models available. I personally would go with Bialetti, but you may want to try others like BonJour, Farberware, Bene Casa, Primula or Typhoon (Typhoon has many different colors available if you want to match other equipment in your kitchen).
With all aluminum Moka pots, it is very important to take a proper care of them - read my page with tips for maintaining aluminum stovetop espresso pots.
Stainless steel stovetop espresso makersStainless steel Moka pots are quite popular these days. There are three main reasons why some people prefer a stainless steel over the aluminum espresso maker:
- There are some concerns over the impact that using aluminum may have on one's health.
- The stainless steel espresso pots are easier to maintain in good condition.
- If you have an induction cooker then the stainless steel Moka pots are your only option.
Not all stailess steel stovetop espresso makers are suitable for induction cooking.
If you are looking for an induction stove compatible espresso maker then
is a good model to consider.
Ceramic stovetop espresso makersThere are some Moka pots that have the upper part made of porcelain. The advantage of these pots is that the upper part does not get as hot as with the metallic models. This means that there is no chance that the first few drops of coffee may get burned. You may look for VeV Vigano or Valira.
Glass stovetop espresso makersNow, this is really cool. The upper part is made from glass, so you can actually watch your coffee as it is flowing into the upper chamber. As far as I know there is only one glass stovetop espresso pot easily available - the one made by Primula that you can see on the picture here.
Direct-into-cups modelsBialetti has Moka pots that do not have the upper chamber. Instead there is a space to put either one or two cups (depending on the model) and the coffee gets brewed directly into them. Just like with the ceramic models, this setup minimizes the risk of burning the first few drops of coffee. It's wonderful to watch the brewing - you just cannot wait to actually drink the coffee.
Bialetti BrikkaBrikka works similarly to the Moka Express, but it has got a pressure valve that increases the pressure under which the coffee is brewed. This is the only stovetop espresso maker that actually produces crema on your coffee! Bialetti has a patent on the design, so it's not offered by anyone else.
Stovetop cappuccino makerA stovetop cappuccino maker is ideal for people who prefer milk based drinks. The most populat stovetop cappuccino pot is Bialetti Mukka Express. It works similar to Brikka and is very easy to use. Before you start brewing your coffee, you put some milk into the top chamber. While the coffee is brewed the milk gets frothed. You can use it to made delicious latte / cappuccino directly on your stovetop.
Electric Moka potsThere are also espresso pots that you don't use on a stovetop - instead, they have an electrical heating plate that does the heating for you. The electric Moka pots work exactly the same as standard stovetop espresso pots, but they are more convenient to use.
Further ReadingStainless Steel Stovetop Espresso Maker
Electric Moka Pots