The stove top coffee pot can be used to make strong, espresso-style coffee that can be drunk as intense shots or paired up with milk and hot water to make coffee in a number of different styles. The simple metal contraptions can be tricky to master, but once you’ve read our how-to guide you will be in full control of a durable gizmo that can give you a lifetime of servitude. The overhead costs and maintenance on these things is really low too, making them a great option for thrifty slackers like us here at The Coffee Baazar HQ. Below is a list of our six favourite tried and tested machines in the stove top market. Yes, we know there are slightly cheaper machines out there, but many are cheap, ugly, leaky, flimsy and even worse – incapable of making a decent cup of Joe. Obviously some of the below models come in a variety of sizes, so be sure to choose the measure to matches your consumption!
This machine is the daddy of stove pot espresso makers. This is the “next-generation” version of the iconic Moke first released by Bialetti in the 1930s. The aluminum machine has an attractive rounded design, but a look under the hood reveals what separates this machine from the rest. The Brikka has a patented gasket on top of the coffee spout and a much deeper basket for coffee grounds when compared to a standard stove-top machine. Both design tweaks ramp up the pressure on the coffee which is brewed at a couple of bars pressure. That’s not as much as a standard espresso machine, but enough to yield a rich and frothy crema which adds smoothness and body to your cup. The result is a coffee capable of coating the back of a tiny spoon, much like a very good espresso ristretto. When done right the coffee from this thing is up honestly up there with an espresso from a machine that costs hundreds of pounds. The only downside is that it can take a while to figure out the best ratios of water and coffee to put in the machine and overfilling on either tends to mean you don’t get any crema at all. It might take a couple of goes to master the art of it so some patience is needed. The gasket can also be a pain to unscrew when you want to clean the thing, but in terms of results it’s as good as anything out there. 4.5 out of 5 Check price at Amazon »
This unit from Quanovo features a transparant upper chamber made from heatproof glass, which allows you to see when your espresso is done. It is useful design feature and we think it adds a litte drama to the morning’s brew ritual. The three part design is dishwasher safe and features a base and grind basket made from stainless steel. The build quality here is evidenced by the reassuring weight of the piece and stainless steel heats nicely on all hob types, induding induction. The fairly squat lower section contributes towards this pot’s stylish design and the thick easy-grip handle made operations easy giving a nice purchase when screwing and unscrewing the two sections.The unit measures a modest 13 x 17cm and is large enough to make two or three espressos at a time. 4.5 out of 5 Check price at Amazon »
The Alessi Pulcina stove top coffee pot maker is as iconic as anything else from the Italian designer’s stable of kitchenware. The machine is made from aluminium and features an eye- catching stacked-hoop design, which helps make this percolator a strong statement piece for your home. The pot’s shape is also functional, heating the water in such a way that the extraction process is terminated before the coffee can take on bitter notes. The machine features a beak-like pouring spout, specifically designed to stop drips. Indeed the pot’s name ‘Pulcina’ actually means ‘baby bird’ in Italian. It’s sturdy, never leaks or drips and consistently churns out a really lovely cup. 4 out of 5 Check price at Amazon »
Another cool and eye-catching design from Italy’s Bialetti available in silver or red. The mini espress drips your coffee straight out into espresso cups below, which means there is no need to pour. It also means you get a chance to warm your cup up during the brewing process giving you a warmer shot. It’s easy to use, a cute conversation starter when friends visit your kitchen and makes coffee consistently. There are a couple of drawbacks. You have to use two cups to collect the coffee even if you want to make yourself a double in one cup and occasionally the flow between the two spouts is uneven. It’s still very cool, and perfect for a coffee loving couple to use in the morning. 3.5 out of 5 Check price at Amazon »
This machine is made from stainless steel with a brushed copper finish and looks fantastic. The machine is easy to use and is built to a good quality. It won’t cross thread when screwing together nor will it leak and it pours very well to boot. Some stove-top machines can be temperamental, but this one delivers every time – unless you use it like a jackass. The BonVivo Itenca is made from stainless steel – which traditionalists of the stove top pot might see as heresy. However, there are obvious benefits. The first is that it is dishwasher safe, the second is that it can be used with an induction hob – unlike the aluminium versions above. 3.5 out of 5 Check price at Amazon »
Here’s an interesting twist on the stove top maker that comes with its own docking station to heat the water, much like an electric kettle. Traditionalists will no doubt baulk at the idea, but it has its advantages as the pot can be filled at night and programmed to brew up first thing in the morning, so you can wake up to the smell of fresh coffee. It’s also great for people who like espresso-style coffee but travel frequently as it can be bundled into a suitcase with a bag of freshly ground beans and used in at any hotel. Goodbye sachets of instant! The coffee it churns out is consistently good and the see-through upper chamber gives you a fun view of the percolation process. The upper chamber and the docking station are however made from rather icky plastic, which means the whole thing looks and feels a bit like a ‘Fisher Price’ toy when compared to some of the iconic designs for these machines on offer elsewhere. 3 out of 5 Check price at Amazon »