The Best Stovetop Espresso Maker for Design Lovers | Architectural Summary

If you didn’t already know, coffee is life in Italy. Having an espresso in the morning is more than a wake-up activity for Italians, it’s a treasured ritual. But you must be wondering what is the secret to making great Italian coffee at home? Please welcome the stovetop espresso maker, aka the moka pot.

The moka pot was invented in 1933 in northern Italy by Alfonso Bialetti with the Bialetti Moka Express. Several decades later, the Bialetti company continues to be a major producer of the octagonal-shaped Art Deco percolator. Bialetti’s original design is so iconic that it is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Statistically speaking, three out of four Italian households have a moka pot in the kitchen as more and more Italians brew coffee at home, helping to bring the coffee maker back into vogue. Globally, international designers have tried to replicate the moka pot for design and coffee lovers at heart. Alessi is another iconic Italian brand that comes to mind when thinking of the fine art of Italian espresso. Have you seen La Caffettiera con cuore e stelle? (Translation: Coffee pot with heart and stars.)

The Italian moka pot was born out of necessity after the Great Depression of 1929, when Alfonso offered Italians a way to enjoy premium coffee in the comfort of their own homes. Ask any Italian about coffee, and they’ll paint a nice picture of the characteristics of a good brew: strong, intense, flavorful coffee without the expertise of a trained barista. True caffeine aficionados will point out that moka pots don’t produce real espresso, because they lack crema – a silky, almost creamy layer floating above a shot produced by an espresso machine. However, according to all my Italian friends, an “espresso” moka pot can be used interchangeably, and who are we to argue with the founders of espresso?

If you thought designer coffee involved a barista or a thousand-dollar espresso machine, think again. Just add water to the lower chamber of your moka pot, ground coffee in the middle, and turn on the stove to let it do its thing – a nice cup of moka coffee will appear in the upper chamber within minutes. Here are some options for the best moka pot that make great kitchen decor on your stovetop and a great brew.

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