In the manufacture of modern coffee machines, basically, three main materials are used to make the external components and casings: stainless steel, aluminium and plastic. Then, depending on the type of coffee machine we are dealing with, we can also find other materials such as glass or copper, but it is usual to stay within this trilogy.
As far as finishes are concerned, electric coffee machines usually have an ABS plastic “skeleton”, while most manual coffee machines are made of stainless steel (of different qualities) or aluminium. Cast aluminium coffee machines will be the focus of this page, and we will look at their possible advantages, disadvantages and characteristics. We will also find out which coffee machines made of aluminium are most commonly found in shops.
Almost all of these parts are made of traditional aluminium. The use of anodised aluminium, a much more resistant and durable material, is reserved exclusively for catering equipment and high-end Mokas (we would say very high-end). Thus, the best aluminium coffee machines do not have any special properties that distinguish them from the rest. They are simply those that have a higher level of popularity or belong to a prestigious brand.
- 1 Italian aluminium coffee machines
- 2 Aluminium and wood coffee machines
- 3 Old aluminium coffee machines
- 4 Monix aluminium coffee machines
- 5 Orbegozo aluminium coffee machines
- 6 Bialetti aluminium coffee machines
- 7 Aluminium electric coffee machines
- 8 Neapolitan aluminium coffee machines
- 9 Other types of aluminium coffee machines
- 10 Advantages of aluminium coffee pots
- 11 Disadvantages of aluminium coffee pots
- 12 Are aluminium coffee pots suitable for induction?
- 13 Are aluminium coffee pots bad for your health?
- 14 But then… Aluminium or steel coffee pot? Which do I choose?
- 15 How to clean the inside of an aluminium coffee machine?
- 16 Can I put an aluminium coffee machine in the dishwasher?
Italian aluminium coffee machines
When it comes to reviewing all the aluminium coffee machines, we must start with the Italian ones. They are by far the most abundant on the market and the first ones we identify with this material. An aluminium Moka coffee machine is one of the most economical pieces on the market, and practically all the brands that work in this sector have some option in their catalogue.
We won’t go into much more detail about them because we have already dedicated an exclusive guide to them: Italian aluminium coffee machines.
Aluminium and wood coffee machines
This is a subset of the previous ones, but we separate them into another section because many users seek them out on purpose. They are usually aluminium coffee machines with wooden handles, and their design reflects a touch of style and exclusivity. They even have a certain vintage feel to them, don’t they?
Old aluminium coffee machines
Naturally, there are not many old aluminium coffee machines left on the market. They are collector’s items, which can only be found miraculously at flea markets or by chance in vacated houses. But it is possible to find old aluminium Moka coffee machines in terms of design and appearance, even if they are of recent manufacture. Here is an example:
Monix aluminium coffee machines
There are certain brands that, either because of their prestige or because of the breadth of their catalogue, are intrinsically linked to the manufacture of aluminium coffee machines. Monix is undoubtedly one of them. It is one of the manufacturers with the largest number of models on the market, and in almost all of them, it is committed to cost savings and the use of aluminium.
The good news is that at least it does include the steel diffuser base in many of them so that users of induction cookers have no problem when choosing them.
Orbegozo aluminium coffee machines
Orbegozo is a similar story: it is a brand with dozens of models on the market, and almost all of them are aluminium coffee machines with fundamental features. So you are spoilt for choice. Designs, sizes, colours… when it comes to buying an aluminium coffee maker on Amazon, there are few manufacturers with as many alternatives as Orbegozo.
Bialetti aluminium coffee machines
When we talk about cast aluminium coffee machines, we must mainly refer to Italian Moka coffee machines. And when it comes to Moka coffee machines, Bialetti is a must. It is the largest manufacturer in the world, pioneers and absolute market leaders. Of the dozens of models they sell, many are made of steel, but many others are also made of aluminium. These that we present below are just a small sample of the total:
If you are looking for the best aluminium coffee maker for prestige and durability, it is possibly one of the legendary models of this brand.
Aluminium electric coffee machines
When we talk about electric coffee machines, we almost always refer to Italian electric coffee machines. And many of them (not all) are made of aluminium. Those that are not, as you can imagine, are made entirely of stainless steel. Their operation is the same as the normal Moka, with the only exception that they have an electric base that allows them to operate without the need for a fire nearby.
Neapolitan aluminium coffee machines
Something similar happens with Neapolitan coffee makers to what we have seen with Italian ones. On this occasion, as is natural, there are not so many brands that manufacture and distribute them, but almost all of them allow you to choose between more basic and cheaper models (aluminium Neapolitan coffee makers) or other more expensive but higher quality ones (steel ones).
Other types of aluminium coffee machines
In addition to the Moka type, there are also other types of coffee machines that are in the minority but can also be found, in some cases, made of aluminium. This is the case with some models of Vietnamese coffee machines, gooseneck coffee pots or some drip cones.
Advantages of aluminium coffee pots
- They are much cheaper than stainless steel ones.
- They resist corrosion well.
- They are lighter.
Disadvantages of aluminium coffee pots
- They are less resistant to hard knocks, falls, or damage due to wear and tear.
- They do not work on induction cookers.
Are aluminium coffee pots suitable for induction?
No, an aluminium coffee maker cannot work on an induction hob because this material is not capable of transmitting induction heat. If somewhere you see a piece advertised as an aluminium coffee maker suitable for induction, it is simply because the main body is made of aluminium, but the bottom (which is what transmits the heat) is made of stainless steel.
We discuss this in more detail in our guide to induction coffee makers.
If you have several aluminium coffee pots at home from your previous cooker and you install a new induction cooker, you can always reuse them using one of the classic induction adapters. However, you will have to make sure that the diameters match.
Are aluminium coffee pots bad for your health?
This is a question that has been hotly debated throughout history, but the reality is that there is no study that proves that aluminium coffee pots are bad for you. In our view, and as we have repeated in this article, steel coffee machines are preferable, but this does not mean that aluminium coffee machines are bad for your health.
All doubts stem from the same point: the risk of ingesting a (tiny) amount of aluminium, which is still metal, by subjecting it to high temperatures and thus causing it to pass some particles into the coffee. There are two arguments against this:
- Aluminium is an element that is already naturally present in the earth and in many of the foods we eat. For example, if you take an aspirin or certain pills, you are already ingesting aluminium. Or when we drink water from an aluminium thermos bottle.
- Almost all coffee machines made of aluminium have a protective coating on the inside (the part that comes into contact with the water) precisely to minimise the risk even further.
But then… Aluminium or steel coffee pot? Which do I choose?
Unless you have a compelling reason for choosing to buy an aluminium coffee machine, such as budgetary constraints, you should always look for a stainless steel equivalent. It is true that there is a wider choice of aluminium models on the market, but steel models are also plentiful, and you should have no problem finding them.
The advantages of steel (especially 18/10 stainless steel) outweigh the advantages of even the best aluminium coffee machines.
How to clean the inside of an aluminium coffee machine?
Time required: 5 minutes.
In this section, we are going to learn how to clean an aluminium coffee maker, especially the inside, which is the most delicate -contrary to what many people think- and always sticking to the Moka or Italian types. Remember that you can learn more about this in our guide to cleaning Italian coffee machines.
1. Use the right products
If you don’t want to damage the protective layer, avoid cleaning products containing chlorine, such as bleach and most detergents. Soap and low-limescale water are best.
2. Carefully scrub the two bodies of the coffee machine with a non-abrasive instrument
The use of abrasive cleaning tools, such as a lullaby, will have a similar effect to putting it in the dishwasher. You will end up destroying the protective layer that covers the inside of the aluminium Mokas.
3. The filter and funnel should also be cleaned
If you leave them dirty, debris will eventually accumulate in them, and it will do you no good to take care of the larger parts of the Moka.
4. Dry the coffee machine immediately after washing it
Never leave it to air dry.
5. Store the two parts of the coffee machine separately
You should screw the boiler with the upper body only when you are going to make coffee, but not during storage. This will prolong the life of the seals (one of the elements that tend to deteriorate first).
Can I put an aluminium coffee machine in the dishwasher?
You can, but it is not recommended, mainly for two reasons:
- Aluminium is not the most resistant material to knocks and possible scratches during the (long) process of washing in the machine.
- The inner layer that covers and protects aluminium Moka coffee machines can be invisibly damaged or worn away by aggressive dishwashing methods.
If you can afford it, it is preferable to spend a few minutes gently wash your aluminium coffee machine following the advice given in the previous point.