How To Use A Stove Top Espresso Maker

Espresso is the perfect way to start the day for any coffee-lover. But going out and buying one every morning can be a hassle. Those big, fancy espresso machines can be pricey, even on the budget end.

Luckily, making yourself an espresso can be cheap and easy using a stovetop Moka pot espresso maker. If you’ve ever been lucky enough to try a cup of real Italian coffee, then chances are it was made using a Moka pot.

In this guide, we’ll show you that you can make a really good cup of espresso from the comfort of your own home using your stovetop espresso maker. 

What You’ll Need

Whichever you’d prefer! We like to grind our own beans, but if you’re in a hurry then pre-ground coffee works, too.

  • A coffee grinder if you’re using un-ground beans
  • Filtered water (hot or cold)
  • A stove
  • A cup

Using a Stove Top Espresso Maker: Step-by-Step Instructions

It’s simple really. Here’s the rundown on how to use a stovetop espresso maker.

Buy A Moka Pot

A Moka pot is a special kind of coffee pot that’s used on a stovetop and works similarly to an espresso machine.

A Moka coffee is made by boiling water in the base of the espresso maker and then passing pressurized steam through the ground beans into the top chamber.

There is a variety of excellent stovetop espresso makers on the market, but our favorite hands down the Bialetti Moka Pot Espresso Stovetop Maker.

Bialetti - Moka Espress: Iconic Stovetop Espresso Maker, Makes Real Italian Coffee, Moka Pot 6 Cups (6 Oz), Aluminium, Red

Why We Like It:

It’s a 6 cup espresso maker that produces rich, velvety espresso in just minutes.

While the pressure that a stovetop Moka pot delivers isn’t quite as high as an electric espresso maker, it still provides a delicious Moka coffee and is an essential tool for making delicious espressos on your stovetop.

Related: Best Moka Pot – The Classic Espresso Making Machine

Take Apart Your Moka Pot

First, take apart your stovetop espresso maker. There are three parts; the bottom and the top chamber, and your filter.

Separate them first so you can easily access each part. This way you won’t get any coffee grounds in your water.

Grind Coffee Beans

sack of coffee beans

If you’ve opted for coffee beans then grind them finely for the best flavor. Not too fine though or it could leak out of your coffee filter.

Making the perfect coffee using a stovetop Moka espresso maker is a fine line. It takes some practice, but getting the right balance will be well worth it for a rich cup of espresso in the morning.

Once your beans are ground, set them aside for later.

Pour Water Into The Bottom Chamber

As we said before, whether you use cold or hot water is up to you. We prefer to preheat the water before brewing.

You can always experiment to figure out which way works best for you, but for the best results filter your water first.

Put as much water in as you want coffee, but don’t fill it past the safety valve, or the espresso maker will leak.

Fill Your Filter With The Coffee Grounds

Fill up the filter with coffee grounds. Be careful not to under-fill it, or else you’ll end up with an espresso that is far too weak. Fill it right to the top for the best espresso.

This is another reason that you don’t want the grounds to be too coarse. If it’s slightly on the finer side, you’ll be able to fit more coffee into the filter for more delicious results.

Place The Filter Into The Bottom Chamber

To reassemble the Moka pot, you’ll need to go from the bottom up. First, place the filter into the bottom chamber. It should slip comfortably inside.

Make sure not to spill any of the grounds while doing this. Refilling the filter when it’s already attached to the bottom chamber can be a hassle.

Screw Together The Chambers

Once the filter is inside the bottom of your Moka pot, secure the two chambers together. Screw the top chamber onto the bottom of your Moka pot.

Make sure the two chambers are properly sealed to prevent leakage. If they are too loose, then hot water might spill out as your coffee begins to boil.

Avoid overtightening them because you want to be able to get them apart again without struggling. The chambers have to be sealed, but there’s no need to overdo it.

Heat Your Coffee

Turn on your stove to your desired heat. Put your coffee maker on the stovetop once it’s hot enough. Be careful that it doesn’t melt the handle if you’re going to use a gas stove.

You can also use a stovetop espresso maker over a campfire. It will just need some extra care since it will heat up much quicker than a stovetop. 

Keep an eye on it; the espresso maker is small, so it won’t take long to boil.

The coffee will filter from the bottom part of the Moka pot into the top part as it heats up. Once it’s boiling, it will be sitting in the top chamber. This is when you know that your stovetop espresso is done.

At this point, you can remove it from the heat and get ready to serve.

We Think You’ll Like: De’Longhi EC155 Review

Enjoy Your Stovetop Espresso

stovetop espresso maker with opened cover

Now all that’s left is to pour yourself a cup and enjoy.

Whether you’re having a shot of espresso in a small cup or a full mug of coffee, this method works great for either.

Add sugar if you don’t like your espressos too bitter, and add some milk or creamer if you’re more of a latte fan.

Sit down, relax, and enjoy your home-made stovetop espresso.

Let Your Moka Pot Cool Down

Let your espresso maker cool down before doing anything else.

The stove will have heated the metal to burning temperatures, so it’s important to wait until it’s cool enough to handle safely. You won’t be able to make more espresso with burnt fingers.

Clean Your Stovetop Espresso Maker

A moke pot coffee maker is easy to use and simple to clean.

Take the espresso maker apart again and empty out the leftover grounds. Give all the parts a really good clean before you use it again.

A spick and span espresso maker is the best way to get that rich, flavorful cup of coffee every time.

Experiment With Different Combinations

Everyone’s tastes are different. Figure out which combination works best for you, and what will give you that delicious cup of espresso you’re craving.

You can switch between cold or hot water, and experiment with how coarse or fine you prefer your coffee grounds. You can even experiment with different flavors.

Go crazy, and you’ll end up with your perfect cup of espresso.


Espressos are a must-have for some coffee-lovers but can get pricey if you’re buying them every day. Most decent espresso machines are way out of most peoples’ budgets.

Related: Gaggia Espresso Machine Reviews

Fortunately, making coffee at home and using a Moka pot on a stovetop can be simple and truly delicious.

Hopefully, this tutorial helped you achieve a perfect cup of delicious and hassle-free espresso.

Did you enjoy this guide? Which step did you find the most helpful?

Do you have any other tips for using a stovetop espresso maker?

Let us know in the comments.