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I love coffee, but I don’t make mine often enough to justify an expensive espresso machine. I also buy drinks made by baristas in cafes quite regularly, which isn’t cheap either.
However, brewing my daily coffee in the Bialetti Moka pot not only helped me save money, but also introduced me to a delicious new morning ritual. With a little trial and error, I learned how to make my own espresso-style coffee in a gadget that costs a fraction of the price of an espresso machine.
You probably recognize the design of the Moka pot, but if you’ve never experienced it for yourself, I recommend giving it a try. If you want to save some money on your coffee, or if you’re looking to experiment with how you brew it, here’s everything you need to know about the Italian gadget that brought coffee from the cafe into the everyday house. .
What is the Bialetti Moka pot?
The Bialetti Moka Pot is a stovetop percolator style coffee maker, typically made from aluminum or stainless steel. Rather than plugging into the wall, it brews espresso-like coffee on your stovetop and uses steam pressure to force water to pass through a colander. The coffee it produces isn’t quite espresso (you would need a real espresso machine for that), but it is certainly stronger and more concentrated than filter coffee or French pressed coffee, and it produces smaller portions than the average coffee maker. Because Moka Pot coffee is quite strong, it is often compared to espresso, especially for those looking for that strong shake in the morning.
The Moka pot gained popularity around the world after WWII and its design became so iconic that it is even on display in museums.
How the Bialetti Moka pot works
With its steam pressure coffee extraction system, the water in the lower chamber of the Moka pot heats up and rises through the fine, loose coffee grounds to produce a flavorful and creamy coffee. Since the coffee grounds do not need to pass through filters, the flavor remains richer and stronger. Brewing only takes about four to five minutes. For a home coffee experience, use a milk frother on hot milk, then pour it over a cup of your brewed coffee.
What you should know before buying the Bialetti Moka pot
I find using a Moka pot to be very satisfying, but learning to use one takes some trial and error. I had to read a few online user guides to determine how finely ground my coffee should be (finer than filter coffee, coarser than espresso), how long it should be brewed and more. I also tried a few other tricks like brewing the coffee with hot water instead of cold to avoid a metallic taste. If you enjoy the convenient process of brewing your morning coffee, a stovetop method like the Moka Pot will give you a pleasant start to the day and a satisfying cup of coffee.
Depending on how much effort you want to put into your coffee, some of the things that I see as advantages, like the multi-stage brewing experience, can be seen as disadvantages for others. Two potentially significant drawbacks are that the Moka Pot cannot be used on an induction hob and must be hand washed. Overall, however, the Moka Pot has several distinct advantages over espresso machines, primarily the low price and quality of the coffee. It’s also faster to clean, small enough for easy storage, and much less maintenance than an average espresso machine or large coffee maker.
Where to buy the Bialetti Moka pot?
Bialetti Moka Express 3-cup mocha pot
The original Moka pot is made in Italy and offers a capacity of 3 cups. It is constructed of aluminum with several finishes available and has an ergonomic handle. (Other sizes are also available.)
Sold by Amazon
Bialetti Venus induction espresso machine
Featuring a sleek and slimmer design, this 6-cup coffee maker is crafted from stainless steel and can be used on induction hobs.
Sold by Amazon
Other products to consider
Zulay Classic Stovetop Espresso Machine
Featuring a classic design almost identical to the Bialetti, this lightweight mocha pot offers a capacity of 3 cups and is available in a variety of colors. Like the original, it is not dishwasher safe.
Sold by Amazon
GROSCHE Milano stovetop espresso machine
This modern 6-cup stovetop espresso machine comes with safety features like a larger rubber grip and silicone gasket. GROSCHE also donates drinking water with every purchase.
Sold by Amazon and Macy’s
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Laura Duerr writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.