Invented in Italy, the espresso maker has become one of the most popular ways of brewing quality coffee around the world. This method uses hot water and pressure to extract every bit of flavor from freshly ground coffee beans, resulting in a thick and flavorful espresso topped with the signature crema. Common throughout Europe, the best stovetop espresso makers have become increasingly more popular in the US as well. And while Italian cafés still make the greatest espresso in the world, now you can get the next best thing at home with high-quality, specially designed espresso makers.

We have gathered some of the most beautiful, efficient, and convenient products we could find in a curated selection of the best stovetop espresso makers. From classic to iconic and modern, each one of these coffee makers is specially designed and made with espresso lovers in mind. But first, let’s answer some of the main questions people have about coffee brewing on a standard or an induction stovetop and how to make the best coffee with these stovetop makers.

What are the best stove top espresso makers?

Unsurprisingly, Italian brands still make the best espresso coffee makers that are suitable to use on stovetops. Apart from the iconic Bialetti Moka pot coffee design, you can also find gorgeous and innovative products from companies like Alessi and Stella. When choosing a top coffee maker, regardless of brewing method, going with an established brand is a safe bet. Not to mention that many of these Italian companies have also made design history with their products. However, you can also find other high-quality stovetop espresso makers that work on a variety of heating surfaces and brew your own great coffee at home. Some products are also dishwasher safe, for more convenience.

Can you make good espresso with a stovetop?

The key to making a good espresso on the stovetop is using great coffee and a good coffee maker. Using coffee grinders that let you adjust the grind size can greatly improve the flavor of your coffee, so taking that extra step is worth it, especially for coffee aficionados.

Can you get crema from a stovetop espresso maker?

While stovetop espresso makers usually produce much less crema than espresso machines, you can make sure your coffee has that delicious top layer with a few easy steps. First, use hot water to reduce the brewing time and minimize bitterness. Then, you’ll need freshly ground – ideally, also freshly roasted – coffee beans. Third, make sure the coffee grinds are coarser than with an espresso machine, which would require an extra-fine grind. Lastly, never use your stovetop coffee maker on high heat, as this will not only make the coffee bitter but also reduce the chances of any crema forming.

What does the word “crema” mean?

Crema is essentially a layer of foam that forms on the top of strong espresso coffee. It has a light tan-brownish color, a smooth, rich and velvety texture, and a strong flavor. Espresso machines make coffee using high pressure, thus producing a thicker layer of crema.

Which stovetop espresso maker is best for beginners?

The best stovetop espresso makers for beginners are the ones that are not only easy to use and practical, but also suit a variety of cooktops. The Bialetti Moka Express or the Stelton Collar are a great choice, and would make a great gift for an amateur coffee brewer.

What is the difference between stovetop and espresso machine?

Like its name suggests, an espresso machine is a complex product with electronics, an internal heating system, and motors which it uses to make espresso. By contrast, a stovetop coffee maker only needs water, heat and ground coffee. Another difference is the crema. The high pressure of an espresso machine guarantees a perfect crema, which a stovetop coffee maker can’t match. However, there are ways to produce crema with a stovetop pot, as explained above.

What are some of the downsides of stovetop espresso makers?

While easy to use, convenient and much more affordable than espresso machines, stovetop espresso makers do have some downsides. You have to preheat the water, grind the coffee beans to the right coarseness, and then pay attention to the brewing stage to make sure your coffee doesn’t turn bitter. Unlike a French press, percolator, or drip coffee makers which use boiling water, pressure, and gravity to extract the flavor from coffee, a stovetop espresso maker requires a bit more attention during the brewing process. However, it can also produce a deeper, richer flavor, as well.


9Barista Espresso Machine

A stovetop espresso maker inspired by professional barista machines.

Compact and stylish but above all, efficient, the 9Barista Espresso Machine has a simple design that maximizes speed without sacrificing quality. The design is minimal, with no electronics and only one moving part, a spring. Designed with patented technology, this stovetop coffee maker can make espresso from cold in only 3 to 6 minutes, depending on the stove. 9Barista works with freshly ground coffee and can produce one double shot of espresso of around 40ml, with perfect crema, no less. It’s compatible with gas and traditional stoves and camping stoves as well as electric induction and electric halogen cooktops. Crafted from solid brass, this espresso maker boasts a nickel plating and it’s specially made to last a lifetime.

Buy $425

Freud Stovetop Espresso Maker

A beautiful design with vintage cues.

While Freud doesn’t make this stovetop espresso maker anymore, we had to include in our list as it looks simply gorgeous and also performed exceptionally well. The Stovetop Espresso Maker featured vintage design cues as well as contemporary details. Made from stainless steel, it had a wooden handle that provided the perfect grip and also softened the gleam of the polished body. The coffee maker had a capacity of 250 ml, meaning that it provided the perfect solution to prepare more than one shot of espresso at a time. The design also optimized function, with the stainless steel material keeping the coffee hot for longer and the hefty wooden handle making pouring each shot easy, safe and comfortable.

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Tivoli Espresso Maker

A classic design with a larger capacity.

If you’re looking for a blend of classic style and convenience, the Leopold Vienna Tivoli Espresso Maker may be the ideal choice. Simple and elegant, this stovetop espresso maker has an hourglass silhouette (an homage to the iconic Moka) and a curved handle for easy pouring. The large size allows you to quickly prepare up to 6 espresso cups. Tivoli has a capacity of 310 ml, which is larger than most espresso makers. Made from stainless steel and aluminum, the coffee maker suits all heat sources, apart from gas. Available in polished stainless steel or in red or black versions, this design looks great in any kitchen space.

Buy $45

Stelton Collar Espresso Maker

An elegant blend of Italian and Nordic style.

The best stovetop espresso makers deliver the goods and also look fantastic in your kitchen. The Stelton Collar Espresso Maker is one of them. Designed by two Italians, Daniel Debiasi and Federico Sandri, this product blends elegant Italian style and Nordic minimalism. Similarly to other designs from our list, Collar has a stainless steel body. Unlike most products in this niche, however, this espresso maker boasts a durable Teflon® coating that makes it look similar to cast iron objects. A rubber wood handle adds a rustic touch to the design while providing a perfect grip. Finally, the Stelton Collar Espresso Maker works well on both gas and electric stoves.

Buy $89

Alessi La Conica

An architectural design created by a renowned architect.

Established in 1921, Italian brand Alessi has become synonymous with innovative Italian design. Collaborating with celebrated designers and architects, the company has produced an impressive collection of home accessories, tableware and kitchenware that blur the line between art and design. Case in point? The striking La Conica. Created by renowned architect Aldo Rossi, this espresso maker has a distinctive silhouette that combines simple geometric shapes in an architecture-inspired design. Elegant and imaginative, La Conica refines the coffee making ritual. It has a stainless steel body with a polished finish on the upper and bottom chamber, as well as a copper base. This stovetop espresso maker comes in two versions: of 3 or 6 cups.

Buy $390

Bialetti Moka Express

The most famous espresso maker.

Italian people know their coffee, and most of them have a Moka in their house. Which tells you everything you need to know about this iconic espresso maker. Founded in 1919 by Alfonso Bialetti, the eponymous company first introduced the Moka in 1933. The renowned design has stayed the same. Featuring Art Deco cues and the signature octagonal body with a tapered base, the best Moka pot makes a bold style statement in a contemporary kitchen. The Moka Express provides an easy and efficient way to prepare excellent espresso at home. Crafted to last and made according to Italian traditions, it features an aluminum body with a thermoplastic handle and an easy-clean safety valve. This espresso maker has a capacity of 90 ml and works on most cooking systems, except for induction plates.

Buy $39

Ilsa Carmencita

A renowned Italian design.

Leave it to Italy to produce not one, but several iconic espresso makers. Also on the list, the Carmencita, originally designed by architect Marco Zanuso in 1979 in collaboration with renowned company Lavazza. Relaunched for a new generation of coffee and design lovers, this espresso maker is fun and creative. It features a tapered shape and an angled handle that comes in black or in vibrant red, yellow, or muted blue colors. For the first time, this stovetop espresso maker features a traditional aluminum build that enhances the taste of coffee during the brewing process. Apart for its eye-catching design, Carmencita is also convenient as it works on any heating surface.

Buy $40

Lagostina 6 Cup Espresso Coffee Maker

A fresh twist on a classic.

Inspired by traditional Italian coffe makers and the best stovetop espresso makers, Lagostina has a stylish design with a curved body and handle. It’s made from heavy gauge, 18/10 stainless steel and comes with an ergonomic Bakelite handle that doesn’t heat up but stays cool and provides a safe and comfortable way to pour each shot of espresso. The size also makes Lagostina a great choice for those who make more than one cup of coffee at a time, since you can prepare up to 6 cups. Apart from induction stoves, this espresso maker works on any stove, including electric, gas, and ceramic.

Buy $40

Guzzini Zaza Coffee Maker

A playful design with a vintage feel.

Founded in 1912, Guzzini has been making innovative kitchenware and tableware for over 100 years. The company was the first in the world to introduce two-tone colored items made with thermoforming technology in the 1950s; two-color detailing made with bi-injection molding technology in the 1980s; and the first porcelain products in the world made with two-tone acrylic handles, in the 1990s. Guzzini has also collaborated with the world’s most brilliant creative minds, including the iconic Ettore Sottsass. Keeping all this in mind, meet the Zaza coffee maker. Made from aluminum with a vintage-style design, this stovetop espresso maker also features an ergonomic handle and knob – both of them manufactured from heat-resistant plastic. Zaza comes in a 3-cup or a 6-cup version.

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Alessi Pulcina

An innovative coffee maker.

Designed by architect and designer Michele de Lucchi for world-renowned Italian brand Alessi, Pulcina is unsurprisingly unlike any other espresso maker. And we mean that both in terms of design and features. Made with a subtly futuristic aesthetic, this coffee maker boasts a distinctive design with “stacked” layers in an hourglass-shaped silhouette. In fact, this stovetop espresso maker is made from cast aluminum and features a vertical handle that remains cool for safe pouring. Pulcina is also innovative, as it features a simple system that allows the user to stop dispensing the coffee before it gets a bitter aftertaste. The angular spout that resembles a beak inspired the name, as Pulcina means “chick” in Italian. Finally, this espresso maker comes in two versions, with a red or a black handle, and in three sizes.

Buy $95

Alessi Ossidiana

An elegant and artistic concept.

Believing that design can bring a sense of poetry to the world of everyday objects, Sicilian architect and designer Mario Trimarchi creates items and spaces with a singular beauty. Ossidiana is a great example. The designer took inspiration from the narrative power of simple objects to design this creative coffee maker for Italian company Alessi. Sculptural and imaginative, this cast aluminum espresso maker boasts indentations and textured lines that give a nod to artisanal crafting methods and age-old Italian traditions. The thermoplastic black resin handle has an ergonomic shape for comfort and a great grip. Like the best stovetop espresso makers, Ossidiana comes in more than one size, to suit all needs: 1 cup, 3 cups, and 6 cups.

Buy $80

Illsa Neapolitan Coffee Maker

A traditional Neapolitan coffee maker.

Unlike other espresso makers from our list, this coffee brewer doesn’t use pressure to extract coffee from the ground beans, but gravity. Commonly known as a Neapolitan coffee maker or flip coffee pot, this design allows the user to brew coffee by first heating the water and then flipping the entire pot to let the water seep through the coffee grounds. Choosing finely ground coffee results in a stronger brew, while using coarser grounds provides a milder tasting coffee. Made in Italy from stainless steel, this espresso maker works perfectly with electric, gas, and ceramic stoves, but it’s not suitable to use with induction stoves. Comes in small, medium, and large sizes that correspond to 3, 6, and 9 cups, respectively.

Buy $79

Stella Aroma Moka Espresso Maker

A timeless Italian design, brought back to life.

Established in 1924, Italian company Stella produced premium quality stainless steel kitchenware with the help of expert artisans and craftspeople. While the brand ended its operations some years back, Stella partnered with Canadian company Grosche to bring one of its timeless products back to life. More specifically, the Milano Stella Aroma stainless steel moka pot. Introduced for a new generation of coffee lovers who appreciate the elegance of Italian design, Aroma is sleek and refined as well as convenient. Made by hand from quality 18/8 stainless steel through a process that involves 80 different steps, this espresso maker also features a removable stainless steel filter that allows the user to adjust the strength of the coffee. Available in a 4 cup and 8 cup capacity, the Stella Aroma moka pot coffee maker works on any stovetop, from induction and electric to coil, ceramic, and gas.

The sale of every Grosche Milano product, including this one, contributes to the company’s Safe Water Project.  For example, each Milano Stella Aroma sold provides funding for 50+ days of safe drinking water to people in need.

Buy $125

Gemini Express Espresso Maker

An ingenious way to make and serve espresso.

Designed in 1968, the Gemini Espresso Maker provided a practical and fun way to prepare two cups of espresso at a time and serve them in style. Now part of MoMA’s design store, this 1960s gem is perfect for those who love the modernist aesthetic and Italian design in equal measure. The concept is cleverly simple: Gemini incorporates a plate along with the espresso maker, which means that you can brew the coffee on the stove, pour it onto the two cups, and keep it hot. Made from aluminum, Gemini Express features green, red, or yellow colors. This espresso maker also comes with two cups and saucers. While it’s not suitable for induction stoves, this product works perfectly on electric and gas stoves.

Buy $125

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