Best Moka Pot Under $50?

What is a Moka Pot?

A moka pot is a coffee maker by passing water through ground coffee under pressure generated by steam. It was invented by Luigi De Ponti in 1933 and is still used by many in Europe, Latin America and other parts of the world. This is known the “poor-man” espresso maker.

It is made of three-parts: the pot on the bottom for water, a metal filter sitting on top of the pot for ground coffee and a chamber on top for the brewed coffee. An overpressure plug is a safety mechanism to release excess pressure if the coffee grounds are too condensed for the steam to go through, similar to the mechanism of a pressure cooker.

It comes with different sizes and made from aluminum, stainless steel or titanium alloy suitable for induction heating surface. Stove-top and electric types are available on the market.

How Does It Work?

To make espresso in a stovetop moka pot, fill the bottom pot with fresh cold water. Add finer-ground coffee without tamping to the metal filter and insert it onto the pot. Screw the top chamber on. Place it on the stovetop on medium heat to cover the bottom, but not with high flame to burn the handle. The water is heated to create steam. The steam reaches to about 1-bar pressure that pushes the boiling water upwards through the ground coffee and into the brew chamber. Turn the heat off after 3-4 minutes and the residue heat will finish the brewing.

Espresso/coffee brewed in a moka pot resembles that of an espresso with some crema, but not as intense as the pressure is not as high as 9-bar required for espresso to extract maximum flavor and aroma. However, it’s more flavorful than dripped coffee.

What are some of the factors you need to think about when in the market for a moka pot? Well, size is the first consideration. Remember a standard cup of espresso is about 1.5 to 2 ounces. When you read a Product Description as “9-Cups”, be sure to think in espresso term, not a regular cup size.

Then choose a material among aluminum, stainless steel or titaninum-alloy. Each has its own merits. Aluminum is very efficient in heat conductivity, cheaper but reacts to acid; stainless steel lasts for a long time and easy to clean but takes longer to heat up.

Decide on stovetop or electric. An electric type is less hand-holding since it’s designed with the automatic shut-off. But a stove-top unit is more visceral to see the espresso bubble up and hear the gurgling sound.

Price varies from size, model and brand but generally speaking, you can get one under $50.

Bestsellers on Amazon

bialetti-6-cup-moka-express

bialetti-6-cup-moka-express

Bialetti 6800 Moka Express 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker

Bialetti is a well-known Italian brand for its original Moka Express invented in 1933 with a patented octagonal shape.

It brews 6 2-ounce demitasse cups of espresso under 5 minutes. There are different sizes from1, 3, 9 or 12 cups. It’s made of polished aluminum with plastic handle and knob on the lid. The side spout makes it for easy pouring. Hand wash with warm water and mild soap and you can purchase it for under $35. By the way, it’s the #1 bestseller on Amazon with 4.6 star-ratings by 600 reviewers.

If you like to drink espresso quality of coffee but are reluctant to invest too much in buying an expensive espresso maker, this is a great way to get started. Pair it up with a stand-alone frother if you are into cappuccinos or lattes.

delonghi-emk6-alicia-electric-moka-espresso-maker

delonghi-emk6-alicia-electric-moka-espresso-maker

Delonghi EMK6 Alicia Electric Moka Espresso Maker

Delonghi is another big name in the espresso maker market headquartered in Treviso, Italy. The EMK6 Alicia makes 3 to 6 cups of espresso with the touch of a button. The boiler is made of high quality aluminum that will last for years.

With the automatic shut-off, the espresso is prepared just right without overextraction or overflowing. The top chamber is transparent for you to monitor the brew.

Serving espresso at the dinner table can’t be easier than detaching the base and pour it right into the cup.

You will pay a little bit more for the convenience and the electric components for under $60.

cuisaid-9-cup-moka-pot-espresso-maker

cuisaid-9-cup-moka-pot-espresso-maker

Cuisaid Xpress-O Stove-Top 9 Cup Espresso Maker

Cuisaid Xpress-O is the cheapest of the three just under $10. The shape and design materais look very much like the Bialetti Moka Express, i.e. aluminum with plastic for the handle and the knob on the lid. The functionality is the same as other moka pot as far as brewing espresso goes. It comes with different sizes such as this one for 9-cups espresso.

Some people bought it to use for camping or travel as it’s so inexpensive that you don’t even care it’s get lost or banged up during transit.

 

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