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There is any number of ways to make coffee on the cheap, but may we suggest the Moka pot?
Grosche’s Milano is our favorite Moka pot, and the one we recommend in our guide to stovetop coffee.
It’s a quick, space-conscious, and rich way of achieving an espresso-like dose of coffee at home.
Milano Stovetop Espresso Maker (small)
Coffee, depending upon how you take yours, can be a dizzying form of advanced chemistry or it can be as simple as popping open a can.
Somewhere in the middle, though, lies one of my most beloved methods of production: the Moka pot. Not quite percolator coffee, but not quite espresso either, it’s a small, unassuming little aluminum contraption with all the capability to match even the finest cup of Java.
In a world where anything and everything can be impossibly expensive, the Moka pot affords the equivalent of, say, Dom Perignon for the Budweiser budget.
Now, I am in the business of seeking out the best possible home espresso machine you can buy, and as such, always manage to have a mighty fine machine on my countertop (I’m currently in the process of tricking out a Gaggia Classic Pro). But, were I to be given my pink slip tomorrow and left machineless, I’d go crawling back to my Moka pot without so much as a tear shed nor a word of grief spoken.
Why I love my Moka pot
My former life saw me living a less sessile life in camper vans and aboard boats where there was no space (let alone budget) for an espresso machine – my preferred route of caffeine administration. Instead, my first order of business when arriving in a new place was to find a cheap Moka pot. It takes up hardly any space, is easy to clean (a little vinegar and baking soda works best), and performs dutifully atop everything from roaring campfires to gas stoves. Plus, once you get the hang of it, you can have it brewed and down your gullet in three minutes flat.
Almost any brand will do, but I’d recommend at least an aluminum one over stainless steel (save for induction stovetops) because it conducts heat a lot faster. But don’t take it from little old me: see what 2020 UK Brewers Cup champion and Moka pot enthusiast Matteo D’Ottavio told us).
The best Moka pot you can buy
Grosche’s Milano is our favorite option for most people because of the heat-resistant silicone handle.
And yes, if you’re wondering, it definitely beats out Bialetti, the original brand behind the 1933 invention. Once upon a time, Bialetti made nearly bulletproof Moka pots. Today, they unfortunately use an insultingly cheap plastic handle that will almost certainly sooner or later become a molten puddle of plastic upon your stovetop.
Dialing your Moka pot is no easy feat, but to do so meticulously with any approach to brewing is no different. How you drink your coffee is entirely up to you, but if you’re after an espresso-like elixir, know that with good beans, a great grinder, and a little practice, you’ll be able to achieve a cuppa that not even the most regal of royalty could hold a candle to. In the world of coffee, a peasant’s budget bears no bounds, and there may be no better case in point than Grosche’s Moka pot.
Milano Stovetop Espresso Maker (button)