Portable Espresso Maker Delivers a Shot of Caffeine with a Few Quick Pumps

You're sitting in your office, your car, a hotel room or the middle of nowhere, or you’re on a biking or camping trip — or heck, you’re just lounging around at home — and you crave an espresso, bigtime, but you’re too far from a fancy machine to make you one. What do you do?

A startup industrial design firm in Hong Kong, Wacaco, is now offering a new way to answer that question: a small, hand-powered portable espresso machine that allows people to “pull their own drink on the go,” the Minipresso.

According to the Minipresso website, the cleverly designed DIY machine extracts at 116 psi, which, the site  says, “is exactly the pressure produced by traditional piston-driven espresso machines.” Temperature has also been carefully considered. “Minipresso produces at ambient condition (75 degrees F), an espresso at perfect temperature (152 degrees F in cup) with a nice compact and persistent crema on top,” the machine's makers maintain.

As for the process, you just measure out the coffee and tamp it (the included measuring scoop doubles as a coffee tamper), pour hot water into another section of the machine, put the sections together, pump and — voila! (There’s also a version that uses a Caffitaly capsule instead of ground coffee.)

“The whole process is much easier and faster than to inflate a bicycle tire with a hand pump,” Wacaco insists. Although a video displaying the process shows a serving of espresso being pumped with just one hand, two-handed pumping is recommended.

The product, which measures a little less than 7 inches in height and weighs less than a pound, also promises to be easy to clean and made only with health-safe materials. Shipping is expected to begin in early 2015, but $39 preorders (a discount off the usual price of $49), which does not include shipping fees, are now being taken via the Minipresso website.

The proof will ultimately be in the pumping, but the Minipresso really looks like a caffeine-addicted camper’s dream come true.

Photo courtesy Minipresso
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