Bialetti Moka Pot 3-Cup review
Many people love to start their morning with a cup of coffee. With more professionals working from home than ever before, people have been looking for ways to improve their coffee-making experience. It can be hard to find a coffee maker that brews strong, smooth java and is also reasonably priced.
Bialetti claims to have the solution with their stovetop espresso maker. The Moka Pot promises to make a strong, rich and velvety brew on your stovetop in less than five minutes. The brand, known to be a worldwide icon of Italian lifestyle, says their stainless steel Moka Pot is a sustainable way to enjoy the highest quality espresso at home.
We wanted to see if the Bialetti Moka Express can truly brew great-tasting coffee at home, so we put it to the test. Here's what we found.
How we tested the Moka Pot
We used the Bialetti Moka Pot 3-cup two days a week for almost a month. Our tester prefers going to a coffee shop over making coffee themselves, but they were interested in finding an affordable way to make excellent-tasting espresso at home.
What is the Moka Pot?
The Moka Pot is known as a stovetop espresso maker. Although it brews coffee stronger than drip-style coffee makers, the Moka Pot doesn't technically brew authentic espresso. You need at least nine bars of pressure to be considered espresso, and the Moka Pot only uses one to two bars of pressure. That said, the Bialetti stainless steel Moka Pot is as close as you can get to traditional espresso without using a bulky, expensive espresso machine.
How does the Moka Pot work?
The Moka Pot uses steam pressure to allow water to pass upward through coffee grounds and into a separate chamber. As a result, it doesn’t have to pass through a paper coffee filter and all the grounds stay underneath the prepared coffee.
The Bialetti Moka Express coffee pot works best with a gas stovetop as it’s difficult to regulate the temperature using an induction stove or electric stovetop.
The size of ground beans is critical in creating the best coffee. You want to grind your beans finer than you would for drip coffee, or the water will pass through the grounds too fast and the brew won’t be very strong. You also want your grounds coarser than you need for an espresso machine or the water won’t be able to pass through.
The first step is unscrewing the top half of the stainless steel pot and adding water to the lower section until it reaches just below the safety valve. Next, fill up the filter with coffee grounds, but do not press them down. Screw on the top and place the pot on the stove.
You want to ensure the flame from your stove never envelops the Moka Pot. Let it heat up for a few minutes and turn it off as soon as you hear the coffee start to gurgle. Do not let the coffee continue to boil or it will be bitter.
How does the Moka Pot perform?
Using the Moka Pot to brew great-tasting coffee does come with a bit of a learning curve. However, once we learned the correct size to grind our coffee beans, the ideal stove heat level and how long to leave the pot on the stovetop, the process was fairly quick and straightforward. It’s important to note that the entire pot gets hot, so be sure to use a towel or hot pad when handling it.
Cleaning the Moka Pot is fast and easy. Bialetti prides themselves on making “zero detergent” products, meaning the Moka Pot does not require chemical detergents for cleaning and can be cleaned only with water.
Best home espresso machines
If you’re looking for other home espresso machines, here are a few worth considering.
Breville Nespresso VertuoPlus Deluxe Espresso Machine: available at Amazon
This versatile machine makes both coffee and espresso in a variety of sizes, including 5-ounce and 8-ounce coffees and single and double espresso. With a fast heat-up time of only 15 seconds, you’ll never have to wait for good coffee.
Cuisinart 1.66-Quart Stainless Steel Espresso Maker: available at Amazon
With this espresso maker’s 15 bars of pressure, your espresso will be rich and strong enough to create a plethora of coffee drinks. The machine includes a 53-ounce removable reservoir, cup-warming plate, steam nozzle, frothing cup, removable drip tray and tamping tool.
Moka Pot cost
The Bialetti Moka Express 3-Cup Moka Pot costs $27.22.
Where to buy the Moka Pot
You can buy the Bialetti Moka Express on Amazon.
Moka Pot pros
The Moka Pot is a convenient way to brew coffee on the stove. The stainless steel pot itself is light, durable and easy to manage.
This stovetop espresso maker delivers better flavor and intensity than a French press or drip-style coffee maker. If prepared correctly, the coffee doesn’t have a bitter aftertaste or an over-roasted flavor. The Moka Pot is also quick and easy to clean, needing only water.
Moka Pot cons
The Moka Pot comes with a steep learning curve, especially when you’re determining the right temperature on your stovetop.
While it wasn’t our experience, other users found metal flakes in their coffee from the pot, and a few experienced leaking water and coffee. Durability is also a concern, with some pots corroding shortly after use.
Is the Moka Pot worth it?
Based on our experience, we feel the Bialetti Moka Pot is a convenient way to make delicious coffee on your stovetop. We were searching for an affordable way to get espresso-style coffee at home and felt the Moka Pot provided the solution.
We recommend the Bialetti Moka Pot to anyone looking for a way to make great-tasting coffee at home. It's not a one-touch coffee maker, and some trial and error is required to get the coffee to your liking, but it delivers a rich, strong brew that many coffee lovers will appreciate.
Bre Richey is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.