As any espresso lover knows, the choice of Moka pot is an important one.
Coming in all shapes and sizes – not to mention price points – it can be hard to know which Bialetti Moka pot will best suit your needs.
Today I’m going help you out by taking a closer look at 5 iconic models: The Mokka Express, Venus, Kitty, Musa, and the crema-producing Brikka! Dive into my showdown below as we compare them.
|Moka Express||0.5 to 18||Aluminum|
|Brikka (crema)||2, 4||Aluminum, stainless steel|
|Musa||2, 4, 6,10||Stainless steel|
|Venus||2, 4, 6, 10||Stainless steel|
|Kitty||2, 4, 6, 10||Stainless steel|
These are their most important models, so I’m just comparing them. There are way more though, just have a look at this pick from my trip to Rome.
Now let’s move into the comparison. Party time? Stovetop espresso time!
Table of Contents
The Classic Stovetop Espresso Maker: The Bialetti Moka Express
Bialetti’s original design is a staple for Italian coffee brewing. The classic Moka Express, is an aluminum Moka pot that is easy to use and makes a strong, delicious cup of coffee.
90%+ of Italian households have one of them in their kitchen, which tells a lot of its enduring popularity.
One thing to note is that because the original Moka Express is made from aluminum, it can only be used on gas and electric stoves, not on an induction stovetop. It was designed for the gas stove, but I’ve used it on the open flame as well. It works at campfires, but it’s a more hands-on process.
- Makes a strong and rich cup – A great and quick way to get espresso-like coffee without an espresso machine
- Portable – The material and build of the Moka Express make for a lightweight coffee maker that you can even bring on your travels.
- Less expensive – Even with the many sizes offered, aluminum pots are generally going to be less expensive compared to other options.
- Aluminum body – The aluminum material allows for even heat distribution, lowering the chances of having under-extracted or over-extracted, bitter coffee.
- Needs extra care when cleaning – With an aluminum pot, you also have to do regular descaling and make sure to clean your Moka pot thoroughly after each use. You cannot use dishwashing liquid or put the Moka pot in the dishwasher.
- Need for a good burr grinder – While this pot doesn’t require the finest grind, you need to make sure that the ground coffee is consistent throughout.
- Has a considerable learning curve – Again, you can exercise more control with this model, but that also means you need to at least know the basics of how to use a Moka pot.
Bialetti has rolled out the Moka Induction, which keeps the aluminum top coffee collection chamber like the original Moka Express, but swaps the bottom water chamber with a stainless steel one, so it can be used on induction stovetops.
This is great news for you if you have a modern induction hob, and is my top recommendation out of all of the Bialetti pots due to its versatility. Just look at it, classic shape with a bit of modern style.
For Crema! The Bialetti Brikka
If you have experience with Moka pots, you’ll know that there’s technically never any crema produced when you brew coffee. This is what Bialetti aims to address with the Brikka.
Does it work? Well, I’ve found that it does, to an extent.
While some coffee enthusiasts have successfully created crema with their standard stovetop pots, Bialetti designed this model to help users achieve that frothy layer consistently.
A special valve and column are installed to maximize the creaminess of the coffee while still delivering the rich flavor you’d get with a standard Moka Express.
With this new addition, however, there are new things to consider. For example, I noticed that the crema valve adds additional pressure which does shorten the brew time, but also increases the chances of over-extraction.
Aside from that here are some other pros and cons of the Brikka:
- Aluminum body or Steel – The Brikka has 2 versions, aluminum or stainless steel. This is good news for crema-seeking coffee enthusiasts who have an induction hob at home.
- A step closer to espresso-like coffee – The Brikka produces coffee almost similar to espresso already. The visuals (with the crema) and the bold taste of the Moka espresso can now be enjoyed at home. I’ve even seen some reviews saying it makes coffee that’s a bit stronger and tastier than the Express.
- It brews faster – I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just want to get a sip of my coffee ASAP!
- Parts can be hard to find – Because the Brikka is less common, it’s also more difficult to find parts. This is relevant because some have said their Brikka had a shorter lifespan than their Express pot. The main cause was that parts needed to be replaced after a few years.
- Defective funnel – Many consumers have also complained about faulty construction, specifically with the funnel.
- Limited sizes – The Brikka is only made in 2 and 4 cups sizes
Bialetti Goes Stainless: The Musa, Venus, and Kitty
More and more people own electric or induction cooktops, so Bialetti has recognized the need for a quality stainless steel Moka pot. Their stainless steel line is made up of the Musa, the Venus, and the Kitty.
Aside from being compatible with induction, electric, and gas stovetops, stainless steel pots are typically more durable compared to aluminum models. They are also easier to clean. You can use dishwashing soap and even put it in the dishwasher (well, you can, but I still advise against it otherwise).
Another feature to point out is the added heat resistance and reach in the handles. This is to address a previous issue with the original Moka pot where many consumers noticed the handle getting too hot.
These three have virtually no difference when it comes to the brewing process. The only visible difference is in the design and style in which they were made.
The Bialetti Musa
The Bialetti Musa is designed in a way that complements the kitchen and dining decor. Compared to the other two stainless steel Bialetti pots, the Musa has a heat-resistant knob at the top of the pot.
The Musa comes in 2, 4, 6, and 10-cup sizes.
- Made from food-grade stainless steel
- Ease of use and cleaning
- You can still make a delicious cup as a newbie
- On the flip side, the Musa is rather heavy and not a suitable choice if you do a lot of backpacking or traveling.
The Bialetti Venus
The Bialetti Venus is the most popular of the stainless steel models. It is known for its sleek and functional design featuring a pouring spout and a heat-resistant handle with an additional anti-slip grip.
It comes in 2, 4, 6, and 10-cup sizes. However, the 2-cup size is not induction stove compatible for some reason. I don’t really know why.
I would say that this model is great for those who prefer ergonomic and convenient designs.
The pros of the Venus include:
- The handle makes it easy to pour and hold the pot comfortably
- The dripless pouring spout works wonders
- It looks aesthetically pleasing
The one noticeable downside of the Venus is that dirt and gunk can easily get into the crevices of the pot. Then again, that’s easily solved with a thorough cleaning.amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “bigcoffee-20”; amzn_assoc_ad_mode = “manual”; amzn_assoc_ad_type = “smart”; amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”; amzn_assoc_region = “US”; amzn_assoc_design = “enhanced_links”; amzn_assoc_asins = “B07ZKZXM4B”; amzn_assoc_placement = “adunit”; amzn_assoc_linkid = “36828d5577ffa4d516c890f0062db6aa”;
The Bialetti Kitty
The Bialetti Kitty is the top choice if you want to worry less about the setup and cleanup but still enjoy your cup of Italian espresso coffee.
It is made of stainless steel and stands out from the other two with its convenience during and after your brews.
It is dishwasher safe as you can very easily disassemble the chambers and throw them in for a quick clean. It also features an extra-wide heat-resistant handle which adds more safety, especially for users that tend to grab hot handles in a rush.
This model comes in 2, 4, 6, and 10-cup size variants.
The one downside to consider is that it’s a bit pricier upfront.amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “bigcoffee-20”; amzn_assoc_ad_mode = “manual”; amzn_assoc_ad_type = “smart”; amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”; amzn_assoc_region = “US”; amzn_assoc_design = “enhanced_links”; amzn_assoc_asins = “B071XPWKDK”; amzn_assoc_placement = “adunit”; amzn_assoc_linkid = “8997b611ad754127bc458ccc4e9394e0”;
Of course, all of these stainless steel versions still share the safety features of a traditional Moka pot. The upper chamber and bottom chambers are still secured with gaskets and the mechanics inside each pot still pretty much work the same way.
I would argue that, while they do have their advantages and disadvantages, no one Moka pot is superior to the other. You might find that an aluminum Bialetti pot fits your lifestyle more than a stainless steel one will.
I hope this helped you better compare that Moka pot you’ve been eyeing to the other options.
Let me know which one you have and how you’re liking it with a comment below.