Best Stovetop Espresso Makers Of 2017

This guide will help you decide which elements are most important so you can make a great purchase the next time you are considering stovetop espresso makers.

There are vast amounts of methods to brewing coffee – and they’re all vastly different from one another. One of the biggest things that sets stovetop brewing apart is that your coffee travels upward, and creates a nice frothy foam for itself. Break away from the norm, and try one of these top-rated brewers!

How does it work?

Most stovetop coffeemakers are easy to use; you disassemble the product, put the proper pieces in the right place, then turn on your stove and set the coffeemaker on the burner. Typically speaking, you put cold water on the bottom layer so it's directly in contact with the heat, then the coffee grounds in the basket, one level up.

The water will boil upward and travel through the grounds at a light pressure, creating the coffee in the top basin.

You’ll be brewing a nicely blended espresso, that will (usually) have a nice foam over the top. Always be aware that the basin at the top can fill and boil over, so you always want to keep an eye on that. There's nothing wrong with popping open the lid to look at how your coffee is coming along.

Things to keep in mind while you go:

  • Choose which grounds you'd like for your coffee; the filters can handle any grind size.
  • Know your measurements! Find a water/coffee ratio that works for you.
  • Experiment, but be patient; different heats will brew different flavors.
  • Clean thoroughly, and frequently!

All that’s left to do after that, is enjoy!

Aluminum or Stainless Steel?

Here’s the deal: aluminum has been the first and foremost material used in stovetop brewing for a long time. It’s recently come under some heat for the way that the metal interacts with hot liquids; especially since your coffee could be brewing inside a completely aluminum coffeemaker.

I’ll leave you to do any research you deem necessary, but I’ll reassure you of a few things. The links between aluminum coffee making and various health issues have not been completely proven to be true.

Not to mention that any aluminum you may be consuming with your coffee would be fractions of a fraction of a dosage you might find in an antacid.

Stainless steel is the foolproof option, if you don’t want to be a part of the drama at all. I want you to promise me that if you choose stainless steel, you don’t just trust it to never rust. You’ve still got to take great care of it, and dry it properly so it lasts!

So basically, there’s little difference between the two. Weigh out your options, and choose based on what your coffeemaker is capable of!

Does it work with any stovetop?

In a word, yes.

No matter what kind of stove you own, every single one of these coffeemakers are made to work with it. Still, understand how your stovetop works, and orient your coffeemaker appropriately.

Just because all the handles are meant to resist heat and remain cool to the touch, doesn’t mean that they won’t get hot if they’re directly above the heating element.

You’ll also want to make sure that you’re using the appropriate amount of heat when brewing your coffee. All stovetops work a little bit differently, and nobody knows the state of your stove like you do.

You’re looking to manage your heat appropriately while your coffee is brewing, because a heat that is too high or too low will affect the taste of your brew.

Stovetop percolator coffee is going to have a more full, rich taste. That’s why it’s a part of the espresso family of brewers. To accomplish this, you want to make sure that your burner is producing enough heat to boil the water and brew the coffee through the neck of the brewer, for one.

However, you don’t want it to be so hot that the brew is rushed, and grounds bubble upward too. This is what leads to clogs if you’re using the recommended coarse grounds. If you’re using finely ground coffee beans, chances are, you’ll have grinds in your coffee too.

Why should I choose stovetop, when there are faster options?

Every type of brewing leads to a different flavor of coffee. Even if the coffee is named the same! Stovetop espresso will taste different than coffee from an espresso machine. I personally go stovetop because I like having a hand in each of the stages of my coffee. I grind my own beans to the coarseness I like, and enjoy the process of putting my percolator together.

There’s a certain sense of calming that comes with setting up your percolator in the morning, reading the news (paper or digital), and having your coffee cook up while you’re having your breakfast.

Sometimes, if I time it right, I can finish my meal and can enjoy my coffee on its own; I feel like I deserve it after I’ve made it myself.

At the end of the day, if you’re looking for an efficient way to brew your coffee, then stovetop probably isn’t the way for you. But if you’re looking to have a more hands-on experience with your coffee, and say you’ve brewed your coffee in one of the most tried-and-true methods, you’re in the right place.

Here’s some top contenders to get your started with your stovetop!

What are the best 5 stovetop espresso makers?

1. Osaka Stovetop Espresso Maker

The Osaka Espresso Maker carries the classic stovetop look to a bunch of different sizes. Depending on how much coffee you intend on drinking, there’s a brewer for everyone, which is nice.

There’s a 3-cup model for personal use, or the 6, 9, or 12-cup models for the more fanatic of us. Each of them have a handle that resists heat, and will not release steam as you’re pouring.

The design is obviously meant to last, and they’ve got a lot of features that make sure that even in an emergency, you can save the day!

Osaka made sure to install a safety valve that can clear a clog if anything were to happen while brewing, or while pouring. This does, however, call attention to issues that can arise while brewing coffee on the stove top.

The pieces are meant to secure together and seal airtight. This means that you may find yourselves with some trouble disassembling the brewer when you need to clean.

Note – this brewer is made of aluminum, which conducts heat well and has never done us wrong; but there have been studies into how aluminum and hot liquids react to one another. Once everything is cooled down and you’ve got the pieces disassembled, it’s relatively easy to clean.

If you’re looking for a quick brew that’s easy to use through-and-through, this might be the brewer for you! There’s no gimmicks, or flashy bits – just straight up stovetop coffee.

PROS
  • Variable sizes
  • Heat proof handles
  • Sturdy design
CONS
  • Can clog; but has a safety valve
  • Pieces fit together too tightly; gets stuck
  • Aluminum

2. Original Bialetti Stovetop Espresso

Here it is, stovetop espresso brewing’s namesake! When surfing the web for stovetop coffee makers, you’ll undoubtedly come across the term “Bialetti-style”, which refers to this very product.

This brand has been trusted for years, and it’s allowed them to ensure that every Bialetti is of the utmost quality of materials. When you open it up, you’ll notice that there are a lot of unique pieces to assemble, and though it may seem daunting – it’s easy to work with.

First off, you’d want to find the right size for you. There’s quite a few to choose from, so gauge your addiction properly. Then, make sure to put in the research on how you’re going to brew.

This isn’t an entry-level brewer, as it takes a specific heat, specific coarse grounds, and patience, too. You’ll find yourself lifting the lid (be careful) during the brewing process to check your coffee as it bubbles along.

You’re looking for that nice creamy foam to start forming at the top of your espresso, but if you see it forming too quickly, you’re at too high of a heat. These variables make the Bialetti a little bit of a stickler to work with, because your coffee may brew at different speeds depending on your portions, heat, and filter cleanliness.

At the end of the day, much like a car: if you take care of your Bialetti, it’ll take care of you. It’s earned its place as the face of stovetop brewing, so if you’re ready to learn and make the most of this process, this is the product for you.

PROS
  • High quality build – trusted brand
  • Easy to wash – despite many pieces
  • Many different sizes available
  • Name is attributed to a brewing style; patented!
CONS
  • Can easily overheat if misused
  • Brew speed is somewhat inconsistent
  • Grounds basket removal can become tricky over time

See how it looks and works down here:

3. Cuisinox COF-10R 10-cup Espresso Coffeemaker

Think of that somebody you know that always has all their bases covered. They seem to know everything that may come up, and they've got a plan of how to handle it, right? That's this coffeemaker. You’re getting a product that doesn't look too different from the competition, but everything that comes with it is what makes it strong.

You’ll open your COF-10R and find an extra gasket, and a reducer; on top of an explanation of Cuisinox’s 25-year warranty. They've laid out everything you need to let their coffeemaker keep on brewing for a long time. It's made with stainless steel, and it’s sturdy because of it.

Newcomer to the stovetop community? Check this one out, you'll be covered if any hiccups happen.

This coffeemaker will teach you a thing or two about brewing, as well. It takes some specific measurements when you're brewing – so you can get that perfect flavor every time. That's the tradeoff for a large tank – unless you're making the full 10 cups every time, you’ve got to be meticulous. It gets a little tough to make single servings when the measurements start at 2 cups.

All in all, the few downsides to this product are trial-and-error based. If you can master the art of the brew; then this is the one for you.

PROS
  • Comes with extra pieces to ensure lifetime
  • 25-year warranty
  • Stainless Steel
  • Reducer for smaller servings
CONS
  • Water container has no markings for smaller servings, despite having reducer
  • Requires more specific measurements in brewing to ensure quality

See how it looks and works down here:

4. Venus Espresso Coffee Maker

With a brand name shared with a planet, you're correct in thinking this model is futuristic. You get an ultra-sleek, polished look with the Venus coffeemaker. It's smooth and easy to clean, and it's made from stainless steel of the utmost quality so you can rest easy knowing it's built well, and built to last.

You've also got a non-conductive handle that remains cool to the touch no matter how hot your stove is running.

You’ll want to take special care of this product, however. It is meant to be washed exclusively by hand, which isn't the worst thing as all the pieces are wide enough to have running water and soap travel though.

But if you can take the time to wash around the hinged lid, and make sure to get the crevices, you’ll be set for a long while using your Venus coffeemaker.

Speaking of the hinged lid, be aware that as stovetop coffee travels upward, the steam may come through the area between the hinges while you're pouring your coffee. This also means that you've got to be careful with your brewing temperature, because coffee tends to boil over and run down the handle.

If you’re prepared to take extra care of your brewer, and you’re ready to put in the extra work – you’ll find the Venus is a strong choice. It brews fantastic coffee; it just takes a little extra love to do so.

PROS
  • Stainless Steel, sleek look
  • Easy to clean
  • Non-conductive handle
CONS
  • Hand wash only
  • Hinged lid – sometimes coffee boils over
  • Steam can escape near handle – be careful during pour!

See how it looks and works down here:

5. Minos Moka Pot Espresso Maker

The Minos Moka gives off an “exclusive” kind of feel. Almost like you are a part of a special club, with its futuristic stainless steel look. It has a lot of top-quality components that make up the brewer, in addition to a lot of features that make it adaptable to your needs as they develop and change.

You’re investing a little bit more for this one, and if you’re okay with knowing it – then by all means, choose Minos.

You will have the option of using a reducer to facilitate smaller batches of coffee, and single servings are a breeze. The measurements are laid out for you, and the brewer itself is easy to work with. You also will be using filters that ensure the coffee you’re making is of the utmost quality.

Built entirely out of stainless steel, and man, they used a lot of it. This thing is sturdy, built to last, and can withstand heat a lot better than its aluminum competitors. The spout itself is thinner, so even though the brewer is tough – it is equipped to avoid spills and messy situations.

This comes at a cost though – the brew chamber is smaller, and can lead to a more difficult cleaning experience, at least for that component. All in all, the Minos Moka provides great quality coffee with few shortcomings.

If reliability is important to you, then Minos is the way to go.

See how it looks and works down here:

PROS
  • Futuristic, Stainless Steel look
  • Reducer available for smaller pours
  • Filter ensures high quality coffee
CONS
  • Narrower coffee chamber – can be tough to clean
  • Higher investment; for name and style.

Conclusion

Stovetop coffeemaking has many topics that divide it – stainless steel vs. aluminum, large batches vs. smaller batches. Some may be more compatible to those that take less work, where others may value the quality of a coffee that’s been earned. When taking all these factors into account, it's clear to see that the best choice for your stovetop coffeemaker is the…

Cuisinox COF-10R

With the 10-cup beast that it is, this coffeemaker is the perfect blend of efficiency and utility. It's clean appearance, entry-level ease of use, and ability to brew virtually any volume of coffee, it's the clear choice for anybody; no matter their needs. It’s flexible, durable, and can work with any stovetop without worry.

Now brew proudly, coffee drinkers – and enjoy your piping hot espresso!