Nowadays anyone who wants to dabble in home espresso goes with a big, expensive, and overly complicated home espresso machine. However, there is another way to both get good home espresso and not pay outrageous prices, and it involves a simple metal pot.
See, before home espresso machines, people used things called stovetop espresso makers. These are still around and a lot of people actually still use them (for reasons that we will be elaborating later on when we do our follow-up purchasing guide).
If you are interested in this low-cost, low-hassle alternative to your typical espresso machine then you have found the right article. We are going to be reviewing some of the best stovetop espresso makers that you can find right now.
Table of Contents
A Spotlight On Some of The Best Stovetop Espresso Maker 2023:
IMUSA USA B120-42V Aluminum Stovetop Espresso Maker
The first stovetop espresso maker that we want to do a review of is a nice, affordable option that will be good for anyone who has come to our list seeking a very simple espresso maker that offers a good alternative to the more complicated machines that most others use.
Even though it has a very long name that sounds complex, rest assured that there is no simpler kitchen appliance than the IMUSA USA B120-42V Aluminum Stovetop Espresso Maker. We should also say from the start that this is a perfect budget option, as the whole thing costs under $10, which for the quality that you get is a steal.
To start, this espresso maker is made from fairly lightweight aluminum. While this aluminum design can pose some problems (that we will talk about later on), it also has a lot of advantages to it. For starters, aluminum is a great conductor of heat, so the espresso maker does a very good job of heating up quickly, ensuring that you get your espresso quickly in the mornings.
Secondly, aluminum is a very light material, which obviously translates to a light espresso maker overall. While those of you using this at home may not care all that much about weight, it is still a nice thing to have overall.
Although the aluminum design of this espresso maker does help to keep the product quite affordable and very light, it does come with some issues that we need to discuss. For starters, aluminum does tend to scuff and scratch quite easily.
Secondly, and this probably isn’t all that surprising given how much it costs, but the IMUSA USA B120-42V Aluminum Stovetop Espresso Maker is prone to denting. It isn’t necessarily a reason to avoid this product or anything of that nature, but it does mean that you should probably exercise a good amount of caution when using this stovetop espresso maker.
- Lightweight aluminum design.
- Very comfortable and easy to use.
- Aluminum base heats up evenly.
- Extremely affordable.
- Aluminum is prone to denting and scuffing.
Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker
To follow-up that last review, we want to take a look at a slightly more expensive espresso maker. We figured that since the first option that we reviewed was quite inexpensive and fairly simple (in terms of design anyway), that it would be a good idea to review the Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker.
The Italian name of the product is probably a dead giveaway, but we really want to emphasize how much of an improvement this particular espresso maker is over the other entry that we reviewed. Of course, there is a corresponding price increase, but this is also probably one of the best stovetop espresso makers that you are going to find on the market today.
So, what exactly is it about the Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker that makes it so worthy of all the praise that we have been heaping on it? There are quite a few good features that we think we could mention, but let’s start with what is probably the most important aspect of any espresso maker, which is the material that it is made out of.
While the Bialetti Moka is only made from simple aluminum, don’t think that it is the same sort of quality aluminum as the IMUSA that we reviewed earlier. This espresso maker definitely uses better quality aluminum that is a lot more durable and that also heats up quite easily as well.
Another aspect where this espresso maker really shine is when it comes to how easy it is to use. Whether it be the ergonomic, heat resistant handle, or just the general design of the pot (which is also very ergonomic), this is a high-quality product that produces great espresso. Definitely worth the somewhat high asking price, at least in our opinion (and we are suer serious old school espresso lovers will agree).
- Ergonomic handle.
- Handle also resists heat.
- Made from high-quality aluminum.
- Great heat conduction and high durability.
- One of the more expensive espresso makers that we have reviewed on this list.
LuxHaus Stovetop Espresso Maker
Next up on our review list, we are going to once again be reviewing another fairly pricey, but also quite well-made stovetop espresso maker.
This time the product is from LuxHaus, which isn’t necessarily a household name, but it is a brand that you might have heard of before. They tend to make pretty solid products overall and that is certainly the case with the LuxHaus Stovetop Espresso Maker.
We think the best part about this espresso maker (aside from how well it heats up of course) is just how sleek of a design it has. It is equipped with this very smooth, tough exterior. It is both very functional and very stylish. Even though it has a more modern look, its shiny stainless steel coating ensures that you can put it at the front and centre of any collection.
- Sleek exterior.
- Extremely strong.
- Distributes heat evenly.
- Yet another pricey stovetop espresso maker.
GROSCHE Milano Stovetop Espresso Maker
The next espresso maker that we want to review as part of our list is easily the most unique looking option that we have looked at so far (at least from a style perspective). The GROSCHE Milano Stovetop Espresso Maker definitely stands out from the many other espresso makers that we have reviewed for a few different reasons.
With its white exterior and wooden handle, there is no doubt that this particular stovetop espresso maker is really going to stand out. It is this unique design that really drew us to this option and we think that it would be the perfect option for any sort of coffee based collection or centrepiece.
At the same time, the GROSCHE isn’t just a pretty face, it is just as functional as any of the other options that we have looked at. It heats quickly, thoroughly, and evenly. It produces great espresso (when used correctly). Finally, it is just very comfortable to use. So, there isn’t much more to ask for.
The most unique thing about the GROSCHE Milano Stovetop Espresso Maker and what we really want to draw your attention to is its wooden handle. This is both a blessing and a curse for this particular coffee pot.
On the one hand, the wooden handle is a great idea because wood doesn’t retain all that much internal heat, so you are less likely to burn your hand when making coffee. On the other hand, the wood does seem to get worn out quite quickly and it will start to fade quite heavily.
- Great for a centrepiece.
- Perfect for display at dinner parties.
- Very functional.
- Wooden handle doesn’t retain heat.
- Unique design and color.
- Wooden handle gets worn out quickly.
Godmorn Stovetop Espresso Maker
To cap off this best stovetop espresso maker review list, we wanted to look at another very affordable stovetop espresso maker.
Look, we know that these aren’t particularly expensive products, but everyone loves to save a few bucks and you can often save $20 or $30 by going with a cheaper stovetop model (all without losing much in terms of performance), so we definitely wanted at least a few budget friendly options on this list. The next cheaper option that we are going to be taking a look at is the Godmorn Stovetop Espresso Maker.
Really, there isn’t much to this espresso maker. It isn’t unique or anything like that, it is just a solid little product that is available for under $20. It does exactly what you need it do without costing you all that much, which is all that you need from a stovetop espresso maker.
Our only complaint with the Godmorn Stovetop Espresso Maker has nothing to do with how the actual product performs and everything to do with how it looks.
That may sound strange, but the way that we look at it (and we will elaborate more on this in our buying guide), when someone invests in a stovetop espresso, they want it to stand out. These are meant to be decorative items as much as they are meant to be functioning coffee makers.
Sadly, the Godmorn Stovetop Espresso Maker has an extremely bland, modern look that makes it look almost like a thermos. Still, if you don’t care about looks at all, then this is still a fantastic purchase.
- Good quality for what you pay.
- A fairly bland appearance.
Stovetop Espresso Maker Buying Guide
Buying a stove top espresso maker is a lot easier than buying an espresso machine, especially given how complicated some of those home espresso machines can be these days.
However, it is also undeniable that stovetop espresso makers are fairly uncommon when compared to machines, so for at least a few of you, this is going to be your first time buying a stovetop model; we would also imagine that there are a lot of people who are on the fence about buying one of these, given how rare they are.
So, we figured that it was a good idea to supplement our product reviews with a buying guide. This buying guide will do two things. Firstly, we are going to explain the appeal and benefits of stovetop espresso makers when compared with automated appliances. Secondly, we are going to explain a few of the different things to look for in a stovetop espresso maker.
Benefits of Going With A Stovetop Model
As we said earlier, the first thing that we want to cover is what exactly the benefits are of going with a stovetop model like the type that we reviewed above. We especially want to do this as we feel said benefits aren’t necessarily going to be apparent.
Obviously, the biggest benefit of going with a stovetop espresso maker is the fact that it costs a lot less. Automatic espresso machines vary quite a lot in price these days, but even in this day and age, you aren’t going to find a good one for under $100 to $120. Now, compare that price to the average price of a stovetop model and you start to see the price savings in action.
Even the most expensive stovetop espresso machine on our list never exceeded $50 (give or take a few bucks). And of course, this is putting it quite conservatively. Many high-end espresso machines can end up costing you $300 or $400, in which case you will end up saving even more money.
They Require Less Hassle
Another major point in favor of stovetop models is how little effort they require when compared to automatic machines.
Now, this point requires a bit of explanation since we know that a lot of you are seeing this and scratching your head, after all, aren’t automatic espresso machines supposed to make your life easier? What you have to consider is that automatic machines require a surprising amount of maintenance.
They have to be cleaned quite often and that always ends up being a major hassle since you have to pull apart the machine (and this isn’t even touching on some of the other maintenance that you will have to do). In comparison, a stovetop model requires significantly less work; and the only cleanup is very easy since the whole thing is just a metal container.
They Are More Stylish
Finally, while we know that not everyone will necessarily care about this, but we do want to say that one small benefit of stovetop models is that they are just a lot more stylish than boring old automatic models.
A good looking stovetop espresso maker has a unique look that is both sleek and old school at the same time; they make the perfect centrepiece of a China collection or a collection of coffee cups.
Some Things To Look For In An Espresso Maker
Next up we want to cover some of the things that you should be looking for in an old school espresso maker.
What Material It Is Crafted From
First off, you want to consider what material the espresso maker is crafted from. Like most pots, espresso makers can be made from a pretty wide variety of different metals, with the two most common being stainless steel and aluminum (or often some mixture between the two).
Comparing the two materials is quite easy, steel is more durable, while aluminum is lighter, cheaper, and heats a bit more evenly. You can probably tell just from this description which of the two materials we would recommend going for.
Overall Design And Shape
While the overall design and shape of the espresso maker doesn’t have an impact on how the product actually works, we would still recommend going for more of an old school look just because a big part of the reason why you even bother trying this type of product in the first place is because you kind of want them to stand out in a collection.
More modern looking espresso makers, while they are still very functional, just don’t stand out quite as well.
A Heat Resistant Handle Is Essential
Finally, you want to look out for the feature that we would recommend the most, which is a heat resistant handle.
You have to remember that these products are used directly on a hot stove and so the handle will get hot as well (especially for making espresso, which requires higher temperatures). A heat resistant handle is not only going to let you make your espresso quicker, but it is also going to cut down on accidental burnings.
As we have said a few times before during the course of this article these aren’t exactly common products anymore (even if they should be) so we imagine that a few of our readers have some questions.
If you want to get those questions answered, or if you want to leave us some feedback regarding our best stovetop espresso maker article, please take the time to leave a comment down.