How Do Stovetop Coffee Makers Work

Find Out How Stovetop Coffee Makers Work 

Stovetop coffee brewers have garnered global popularity, and while they’re straightforward in usage, newcomers might find them slightly baffling initially. They operate on simple scientific principles, which is precisely what might stir curiosity and a bit of bewilderment about their function. Referred to as moka pots or coffee percolators, these devices stand as an excellent substitute for those unable to procure a genuine espresso machine, offering both affordability and quality brews. Discover the workings of stovetop coffee makers in this detailed guide.


What To Know About Stovetop Coffee Makers

Stovetop coffee makers can be traced back to many years ago, precisely 1933. They were invented by Alfonso Bialetti, who said the invention was borne from watching his wife use their primitive washing machine. It then became popular worldwide particularly in Latin America and Europe. They have three chambers and can make good cup of coffee in a short while. They come in different shapes with size ranges from single serve coffee makers to 3, 6 and 9 cups coffee maker. Most stovetop coffee makers equipped with an Italian safety valve.


How To Use A Stovetop Coffee Maker 

There are a few steps to using a stovetop coffee maker, which is quite simple. Now let’s get into it.

  1. It is good if you have coffee grounds ready, but in case you do not, get a grinder and grind your coffee beans, but make sure it is not too smooth.
  2. Prepare your stovetop coffee maker for work by separating it into the various chambers. The bottom chamber is for the water, the middle chamber is for the coffee grounds, and the top is for the ready to drink coffee.
  3. Add the desired amount of water into the bottom chamber, just make sure you don’t fill it past the safety valve and close it up. Always use cold water. Filtered water will give the best results because unlike some drips makers, it doesn’t have a water filter.
  4. Add the coffee grounds into the middle chamber. Make sure you fill it completely to avoid any forms of issues during brewing.The filter basket can only contain an adequate amount of coffee for your coffee maker, so you don’t have to worry about using too much coffee, and you shouldn’t compress the coffee. What determines the number of cups is the size of coffee maker you’re using and not the amount of coffee.
  5. Put everything back together. The filter basket is to be screwed into bottom chamber that contains water and the top chamber goes with the middle.
  6. The last thing to do is to bring it to a boil. You can use either an electric stove or a gas cooker for this. Put the moka pot on the fire and make sure you are around when it’s boiling. If you hear it boiling, then your coffee is almost ready.
  7. The ready to drink coffee will be at the top chamber, and you can easily pour into a cup and enjoy. Please note that a cup in the stovetop coffee maker is not the regular size but the espresso cup sizes.


How Does Stovetop Coffee Makers Brew Coffee 

How a stovetop coffee maker works is quite simple. And uses basic physics. I’m not going to talk all science but, how it works is that the bottom chamber which contains the water heats up and crates a pressure which forces the steam to climb up to the middle chamber which contains the coffee grounds. The steam then saturates the coffee grounds which expand and forces the water up the chamber which is the one for the already brewed coffee. There is a sputtering or bubbling sound to be heard when the coffee is done brewing. Ta- Da, your coffee is ready.


Benefits Of Using A Stovetop Coffee Maker

Because of how primitive a stovetop coffee maker is, you might wonder if you have any reason to choose it over an electric espresso machine. And for that purpose, I’ve put together some benefits that you will enjoy from using a stovetop coffee maker.

  1. It is small and can go anywhere with you. Even if you go camping it can go with you and will make sure you have your regular cup of coffee.
  2. It does not require electricity so you can use it anywhere, as long as there is fire. And you and I know that fire is more accessible than electricity.
  3. It is a cost effective version of an espresso machine and it is easy to use.
  4. It makes a cup in less than five minutes.
  5. It comes in different shapes, sizes, and colors, so you can choose what you want.


Maintenance Tips For A Stovetop Coffee Maker 

Just like your regular coffee maker, a stovetop coffee maker needs to be maintained and kept in good condition to enable it function well and last long. The following tips will guide you through how to maintain it.

  1. Do not overfill it above the safety valve to prevent blocking the valve.
  2. You should not use detergent or any form of soap to clean your stovetop coffee maker.
  3. Always keep it dry after use and store properly to prevent molds from growing on it.
  4. Do not use abrasive materials or sponges on it. Make sure what you’re using is soft.
  5. After every use, rinse under hot water and remove coffee grounds.
  6. Just like every other coffee maker, it needs to be descaled every once in a while using vinegar and lemon.



A Stovetop Coffee Maker is a cost effective version of an espresso machine and it makes strong coffee. While using it might not make great a coffee as an espresso machine will, it does have its own benefits and the benefits are not disputable. It has a simple science to its functioning, and can be trusted anytime any day to make a regular cup of coffee.