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The Italian moka coffee maker


The Italian coffee maker, commonly called moka or macchinetta (small machine) is an Italian brewing system on stoves, patented in 1933 under the name of Moka Express by Alfonso Bialetti .

Mr. Bialetti was an engineer who had been working for many years in the aluminum industry. He used aluminum to design the body of his coffee maker, a new concept since aluminum had never been used for "domestic" purposes.


Until 1940, Mr. Bialetti would only sell his mocha locally in the Piedmontese markets, a region in the northwest of Italy. Within 6 years, only 70,000 coffee makers would reach Italian homes.

During the Second World War, production was even halted due to the rising cost of aluminum and coffee. At the end of the war, in 1946, the company's production was limited to the Moka Express and a great marketing campaign on radio and television was launched, which made the Moka Express popular.

It has since been copied a lot, and has become a design object, exhibited in modern art museums such as the Science Museum in London. Today it is the most used coffee brewing system in Italy.

Good to knowThe " omino con i baffi " (which means "the little man with a moustache"), which has become the company's mascot, is a caricature of Mr. Bialetti by Paul Campani, made in 1958!

Alfonso Bialetti

Alfonso Bialetti

I Love Coffee Collection

For coffee lovers, with the original design.

300ml capacity.

Bialetti mocha express collection I love coffee

Bialetti Blue Venus

Venus Collection

Revisited elegance and renewed performance.

Induction-safe model.

300ml capacity.
Available in copper


The mocha coffee maker is a stovetop coffee maker that uses the expansion of hot air to brew coffee.

The coffee maker is divided into three parts that can be unscrewed:

    • at the base, the water tank equipped with a pressure valve
    • in the center, the filter holder and ground coffee container
    • at the top, the brewed coffee container with the coffee pot and the lid.

The process is relatively simple. The water in the base is heated, the steam pressure pushes it up through the ground coffee, brewing the coffee. A gasket seals the system, allowing the pressure to build up in the lower part. The pressure reached with this method is slightly higher than the atmospheric pressure. When the water tank is almost empty, steam bubbles appear at the outlet and produce a characteristic gurgling sound.

The result in a cup? You get a full-bodied, richly flavored coffee, halfway between espresso and filter coffee.

The Italian coffee maker should not be left on the heat source once the coffee has brewed. Remove it just before the gurgling starts, when about half of the top part is filled. Otherwise you will burn your coffee and have an unpleasant taste in the cup. We also advise you to unscrew the hot coffee pot slightly so that the seal does not heat up and compress.

Good to know: legend has it that the Bialetti coffee maker was inspired by the first clothes washing machines that used a heat source to boil a bucket of soapy water and then let it out through a tube to wash the clothes.

Break Alpina 3 cups

A limited edition with an Alpine design.
150ml capacity.

Bialetti Break Alpina 3 cups

Mocha Express 12 cups Bialetti

Mocha Express Classic 12 cups

Bialetti's classic and popular model.

600ml capacity.


For Italian coffee makers, also known as stovetop, you should use a medium-fine grind. This is a grind halfway between espresso and filter, resembling table salt.

My Caffeine


As with any coffee machine, your Italian mocha coffee maker needs regular maintenance.

Whether it is made of aluminum or steel, never put it in the dishwasher, so you risk damaging it and wearing it out prematurely. Indeed, these materials do not like detergents and washing too aggressive.

Wash it by hand after each use, with hot water without soap and let it dry in the open air. Also, don't leave the coffee grounds in the filter holder for too long, they could clog your grate.

Concerning limescale, here is a 100% economical and ecological solution: white vinegar! Fill the water tank of your coffee maker with a mixture of hot water and white vinegar, and heat the coffee maker as if you were preparing your usual coffee, but without the coffee. The brewing process will allow the system to be thoroughly cleaned. Then simply rinse the coffee maker thoroughly and brew a coffee rinse, which you will discard, to remove any smell of vinegar in your future coffees.

To avoid any lime deposits, repeat the operation every month, or every 15 days if your water is very hard.


The Bialetti Italian moka coffee maker is made of aluminum. We are often asked the question: is there any danger in using an aluminum coffee maker?

Aluminum can indeed be harmful to the body. But we must first take into account, and start by saying that this material starts to become toxic when it reaches a certain threshold.

In the case of an Italian coffee maker, and especially a Bialetti, the aluminum does not systematically spill into the food during preparation. In fact, Bialetti coffee makers are made with a certain quality coatingThis greatly reduces the risk of aluminum spilling into your coffee.

Therefore, favour a good maintenanceDo not use dishwashers, abrasive detergents or metal sponges that could damage the coating that protects the aluminum.


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