Travel forces you to shake things up and alter your routine in life. It’s a good way to challenge your thinking and makes each day something which you look forward to. However, some things are just part of your daily routine and necessary to keep some semblance of a normal life. For me, that something is coffee, which is not just part of my routine; it’s a necessity. Without it, I can’t fully function and my brain and body are still asleep. There are many ways to infuse my body with coffee while I’m on the road or camping or even at home. Instant is always there, but never really satisfies. I can always brew a cup in my drip filter, but that’s just so pedestrian. A French press pot is too bulky and fragile. It’s too bad I can’t bring an espresso machine with me. But wait, I can.
The Minipresso portable espresso machine makes some great espresso from a device about the size of a tall beer can, 7″ long and 2.25″ in diameter. It weighs about 12.8 oz. (362 g.) without the ground coffee and is so easy to use. The cup is included as part of the cover over the outlet end of the machine and just pops off. Unscrew the opposite end and you’ll find the water reservoir for the hot water, along with the measuring scoop for the ground coffee.
I found that boiling water works best to get a full extraction from the coffee. If you prefer to not mess with your own ground coffee, there’s a version that works with a specific brand of prepackaged coffee cups.
Unscrew the outlet end and you’ll find the filter basket. Scoop the coffee, place the filter basket over the measuring scoop—it fits right on the scoop—flip it over to dump the coffee into the filter basket, tamp it down lightly with the back of the scoop, place it back into the machine and screw on the outlet end until it stops. Pour boiling water into the reservoir, screw it back onto the piston body, unlock the piston and start pumping. After 6 or 7 pumps, the coffee is primed and saturated. I usually wait a couple of seconds to allow the water to saturate the ground coffee and then I resume pumping. I usually hold the machine with both hands tilted back at a slight angle over the cup and use both thumbs to pump the piston. Pump at a pace of one pump per second. The espresso comes out of the spout and into the cup. It usually takes about 20 to 25 pumps to get all the water through the machine. You’ll notice it also makes a perfect crema on top of the espresso.
I have great success using Lavazza espresso ground coffee with this machine. The resulting espresso is flavorful and rich. The nice thing is that if you’re camping, you only have to boil about 6 oz of water to get two cups of espresso from this machine. You save fuel and time over making a whole cup of coffee. Cleanup is fairly easy too. I just dump the grounds and rinse out the basket and outlet end. I then add some clean water to the reservoir and pump some through the machine to clean it. For a device that’s made in China and sells for $50, I’m impressed. Of course, since it’s so new, I have no idea about the longevity and durability of this machine. We shall see.
I haven’t decided if I want to carry this with me on our RTW trip. It’s bulky and a bit heavy too. And then there’s the problem of carrying enough coffee, and with that, the suspicion that the coffee is to mask something else. I think this is great for road trips or camping, but for our big RTW trip, it may be a luxury I’ll just have to do without. Too bad, because good coffee outside of the U.S. and Europe is hard to find.
Get your own Minipresso here. I get nothing for directing you to this link. I just think it’s a cool little device that coffee addicts will love.