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The Stovetop Espresso Maker (or Moka Pot)

The Stovetop Espresso Maker (or Moka Pot)
Category: Buying Guides
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This is the smallest and least expensive method of making great tasting Espresso

This is the smallest and least expensive unit, invented nearly a century ago and still extremely popular though it does not actually create true espresso because it does not have enough pressure to meet the proper definition.  However, many of those who own one would not trade it in for anything.
These units are quite simple to operate.  Basically, add coffee and water and put on the stove and the small amount of pressure will do the rest.  Typically, you cannot make milk-based drinks, such as cappuccinos, unless you have a separate milk frothing device.  However, the Mukka from Bialetti allows you to put milk right into the unit along with the water and coffee so that you can make cappuccinos all together.

As they are small, these devices are very mobile.  You can easily take them to the cottage or camping.  Some units now have electric bases so that you don't even need the stove; just plug them in anywhere that there is an electrical outlet.

When choosing between models, they are differentiated mainly between aluminum and stainless steel materials and a variety of sizes and aesthetics.  They are measured by cups but this refers to espresso demitasse cups, which are only about 1.5oz each cup.  They can range from about one cup up to about 18 cups.

Note that with these units, there is a gasket that will need to be changed approximately every six to nine months, depending on use (not expensive - approximately $3 - $4 per gasket).  Make sure that you know where to get the correct gaskets for your unit as they are not usually interchangeable between brands.  Different models have different shapes internally and the gasket needs to be perfect in order to ensure a good seal and work properly.


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