Electric coffee makers? What kind of joke is this? Aren’t most coffee makers with an outlet electric? Technically yes, but in our industry, we refer to electric coffee makers when we talk about Italian coffee makers or Moka pots plugged into the mains and therefore do not need to be put on a fire to generate heat.
The term ‘electric coffee machine‘ only makes sense compared to manual domestic coffee machines. For example, everyone knows that a superautomatic coffee machine is an electric coffee machine, and no one refers to them as such. However, it does make sense to talk about electric drip coffee machines (because there are also manual ones) or electric Italian coffee machines (because manual ones are, in fact, the most common).
Italian electric coffee machines have gained popularity over the years and are now a significant alternative to the Moka pots. Little by little, they are being introduced in every home, and in today’s blog post, we will see why.
They are called electric pressure coffee makers. They prepare espresso coffee instead of electric drip coffeemakers, which is another very popular name in Latin America, but which have nothing to do with the Italian ones.
If you have any doubts about this type of electric coffee maker or are just thinking about buying one, but you are not sure what the market offers, read this post carefully.
How does an electric Italian coffee machine work?
Italian electric coffee makers prepare coffee in the same way as traditional ones. Their internal mechanism and functioning are identical: the water in the lower tank is heated until it becomes steam. It begins to rise towards the upper basin, passing through the coffee filter and giving rise to our precious drink.
The fundamental difference between Italian electric coffee makers lies in how the water is heated to that boiling point. Traditional Moka pots were put on fire (in your gas, ceramic hob or induction cooker in the case of induction Mokas), and we waited until the pressure was sufficient and the espresso was ready.
An electric coffee maker does not need to be put on the fire but incorporates an electric base that plugs into the current and lets us heat the Moka anywhere we plug nearby. It works, worth the comparison, in a similar way to an electric kettle.
You can even plug and heat the base previously (as if you were charging a mobile phone) and then attach the Moka on top and press the power button without having it plugged in. That’s why they’re great coffee machines for hiking or vacationing.
The coffee maker and the electric base are separate parts, so the Moka itself has no cables or accessories to make it challenging to handle. We only need to attach it to the electric base when we heat the coffee. The rest of the time, we can store it separately, wash it separately, serve it directly on the table, just like a traditional coffee maker. These electric bases work similarly to chargers for mobile phones: you only need to take them out of the drawer when you plug them in.
Below is the electrical base (you see the cable sticking out on the left) attached to the lower body of a Cloer 5928.
It is essential to point out that not all electric coffee makers have an independent base. In some cases, the base and the mocha are all one piece – which is what a typical machine with a socket is all about -and this prevents, for example, your electric coffee machine from being washed under the tap or from being put in the dishwasher.
Advantages of electric Italian coffee machine
An electric base allows these Italian coffee machines to offer the user a series of advantages and comforts that are impossible to obtain in a coffee machine with traditional handling.
The first is that the risk of overheating and overpressure is considerably reduced. We all know the typical situation where we leave the Italian coffee maker on fire. The coffee ends up spilling, or the safety valve is forced into action to expel steam and prevent the coffee maker from exploding.
In electric coffee machines, this does not happen since they have a mechanism that automatically turns off the electric base when the coffee is already finished (come on, which is the same as if we removed them from the fire).
Secondly, they are safer, especially if we have a gas stove at home. The difference between turning on your gas stove and watching that the coffee maker does not exceed the pressure and simply plugging your electric coffee maker to the current and waiting for it to finish is abysmal.
Also, keep in mind that the lower the risk of accidents, the less often you will have to clean up spillages. In general, electric coffee machines are cleaner. They also suffer less risk of deterioration as they are not permanently in contact with fire or directly exposed to high temperatures.
Nor can we overlook their portability: as they are small and do not need a stove to light up, they are efficient to take on excursions or trips and use them anywhere we have a plug at hand.
Finally, another advantage that allows the incorporation of electric bases is a timer that includes some Italian coffee machines such as the Bialetti Easy Timer. It will enable us to leave everything ready beforehand and program the coffee maker to start the electric base, and therefore start preparing the coffee at the time that suits us best.
The best 5 electric Italian coffee machines of 2023
What is the best electric coffee machine on the market? In all honesty, we have to say that this is a fairly homogeneous product segment and that there are no major differences between the models of each brand. If anything, one or two may stand out above the rest, but little else. We will see which ones later.
The post would not be complete without a list of the most interesting Italian electric coffee machines on the market today to finish our review. We have not ordered them by any particular criteria, as some stand out for their performance, others for their price or design.
Read the reviews of each one carefully and choose the one that best suits your needs. Attached is a brief review, with a link to our more extensive analysis in case you want to dive into the features of each one.
Delonghi Alicia Plus electric italian coffee machine
We start with what many consider the best electric coffee maker: Delonghi Alicia Plus. A top-of-the-range model that, apart from the timer so that we can set the heating time to our liking (and forget about the risk of overpressure), includes exclusive and surprising functions for the public, such as the particular programme for orzo coffee. It is much more expensive than usual, but the quality has to be paid for. Delonghi’s superb electric coffee maker is available in 2, 4 and 9 cup sizes.
Cilio is not one of the best-known brands on the market, but this Italian firm enjoys high prestige in Europe, and much of the blame lies with its renowned electric coffee maker: the Cilio Classico. Classic and timeless design, right quality materials, and all the advantages of an excellent electric coffee machine at a very reasonable price. Who can ask for more?
Electric italian coffee machine Orbegozo KFE660
This KFE660 is one of the cheapest electric coffee machines we can find on the market right now, and that’s why we’ve decided to highlight it in our top 5. It has 480 watts of power, and it shows all the qualities that add to this brand, Orbegozo: an efficient machine without boasting and an excellent quality-price ratio. It has an automatic switch-off and allows you to keep the coffee hot for about 30 minutes.
An excellent electric coffee machine for ground coffee must have several essential features: reliability, sturdy materials, ergonomics and a reasonable price. All this, among other virtues, can be found in the Cloer 5928 electric coffee maker, a real icon in this sector still selling even though it has been on the market for a long time. Why? Because it does not fail. The Germans know a lot about it.
In short: if you want to take an electric stainless steel coffee maker home and have a product for life, this is a good option. It is only available in two sizes: small and medium (3 and 6 cups).
Bialetti Elektrika electric italian coffee machine
When you buy an Italian electric coffee maker, it is logical to go as your first choice to an Italian brand.
One of the leading brands in Italy in terms of espresso coffee is Bialetti, and its catalogue includes several references for electric mochas. We wanted to highlight the Bialetti Elektrika coffee maker, which has the typical octagonal plant design of traditional mochas and is very small in size (barely enough to make two cups), designed to be used as an electric coffee maker for travel. Not in vain; it has 110 and 230-volt inputs.
If we had to choose, we would keep the Cloer 5928, as we understand that it has a better quality-price ratio than the others. The Delonghi Alicia and the TV Das Original Coffeemaxx are usually cheaper. At the same time, Bialetti’s Easy Timer stands out for its timer function, and the other options come from more prestigious firms (which also pay, of course).
The German brand Cilio also stands out for its variety, with up to three different electric coffee makers’ varying characteristics in its catalogue.
The smallest electric italian coffee machines
The standard size for an electric coffee maker is usually about 5 or 6 cups of espresso (this translates into 3 or 4 cups of larger size, but to understand us, we will always use the standard size).
However, there are smaller models and less power that barely have a capacity of 0.25 or 0.30 litres. That is 1 or 2 cups of coffee at the most. We could talk about electric coffee makers of 1 cup or individual ones in these cases.
- Ariete Moka Aroma Coffee Machine Mokina-1358, Plastic, 480 W, White
- DOMOCLIP DOD117 Cafetiere italienne – Rouge
One advantage of buying a small electric coffee machine is that it is significantly lower than larger ones. These are usually in the range of 30 or 40 pounds.
Electric italian coffee machines with timer
Electric coffee machines with a timer are the ultimate in convenience and automation. The electric appliance’s inclusion allows them to add the timer function so that you can program in advance how long the water will be heated.
It avoids the main risk of a Moka pot: the water gets too hot, too high, and the coffee spills over the top due to excess pressure.
The best electric coffee makers with a timer on the market are Bialetti and the Delonghi Alicia Plus (the advanced version of the legendary Alicia). As you can see, their price is one step higher than that of standard Italian electric coffee makers.
- Easy Timer Electric Coffee Maker for 6 Cups – Aluminium in Black/Grey
- De longhi mocha electr. emkp21. b-timer function adapter barley-half
Delonghi electric moka pots
If we talk about Italian electric coffee machines, the Delonghi firm is a real reference in the sector. They have successfully marketed the prestigious Alicia model, which currently has several versions on the market.
The most advanced and best-selling is the Delonghi Alicia, which can be purchased with or without a timer (we have already seen it in the previous section).
The Alicia electric coffee machines without timers are the EMK, and those with timers are called EMKP. All are accompanied by a number describing the size or number of cups prepared with it. The sizes range from 2 (the smallest) to 9 cups (the largest).
- Delonghi Alicia EMK 9: electric coffee maker without a timer, for 9 cups
- Delonghi Alicia EMKP 4: electric coffee maker with timer, for 4 cups.
Which are the cheapest electric Italian coffee machines? Offers
If we talk about buying a cheap electric coffee maker, we would be moving in the range of 30-40 pounds. It is not easy to find anything below that figure. However, we must remember that this is a very homogeneous segment of items, and the differences between most models are few. It includes both performance and price.
- Ariete Moka Aroma Coffee Machine Mokina-1358, Plastic, 480 W, White
- Ariete 480 Watt Moka Aroma, White/Black
You always have the option of buying a second-hand electric coffee machine, but it is not so expensive that the savings in these cases are significant.
Electric coffee machines for travel
This type of machine is not connected to the standard electrical network but has a 12v (cars) or 24v (trucks) output to connect to the cigarette lighter socket of your vehicle. We talk about them in more detail in our guide on travel coffee machines.
How to clean electric coffee machines
The cleanliness of your electric Moka depends mainly on whether you can separate the electric base or not.
If the base is independent, then it is effortless. As we advise you in our Italian coffee machine maintenance and cleaning guide, you have to unplug the Moka and clean it traditionally. You can even wash it in the dishwasher (although it is always better to do it by hand to guarantee the longevity of the mocha).
If it is a single-piece electric coffee maker (cannot be separated from the base), you must clean it very carefully not to wet the bottom of the electric connections.
Buying an electric coffee maker: Prices – How much are the cost?
If you are buying an electric coffee maker from Amazon, you may be wondering how much you should save or what difference in price they are compared to normal mochas. This list summarises the costs of some of the most popular electric coffee makers on the market:
- Orbegozo KFE 660 Italian Coffee Maker, 3–6 Cups (300 ml)
- Jocca Italian Espresso Coffee Maker with UK Plug, Aluminium/Crystal/Plastic
- Italian Type (Percolator) Electric Coffee Maker ELDOM KA40, for 6 Cups
As you can see, the prices of electric coffee machines range from 30 to 50 pounds in most cases. It is still affordable but far from the 10 or 12 pounds cheaper non-electric coffee machines can cost. Of course, the decision on whether or not to compensate for this difference must ultimately be made by you.
What did you think of the report? Remember to see the complete list of Italian coffee machines here.