If you are an espresso lover you will know that it is difficult to survive a day without it. The short sharp shot of golden nectar to get you through the day. So what do you do when you are camping or travelling and espresso isn’t readily available? Enter the Wacaco Nanopresso.
This hand-powered espresso machine claims it can brew the perfect shot of espresso while you are on-the-go. So how does it live up to claims?
What is the Nanopresso?
The Nanopresso is designed to cater to the espresso lover that is looking for a portable coffee maker. It is a hand powered machine that is capable of producing up to 18 bars of pressure (although espresso only requires 9 bars). The Nanopresso is in the shape of a capsule and consists of three main parts: the portafilter, the main body and the water tank. Brewing is as simple as filling the portafilter with ground coffee and adding hot water. You then build pressure by pumping the piston and a single shot of espresso is slowly released.
The Nanopresso has several add ons you can get:
Quality of the Nanopresso
The Nanopresso has been thoughtfully designed. It is compact (although somewhat heavy) and packs conveniently into a travel case. It is made of plastic and is very robust, standing up to the knocks and bumps of everyday use. It has an ergonomic shape making it easy to hold when pumping. Wacaco have included several nice touches such as a built in cup, a lightweight travel case and a coffee scoop that doubles as a tamper. The Nanopresso is also available in a number of sleek colors.
Ease of Use
At first glance, the Nanopresso can seem very complicated to use, but after a few runs through you will find the process is fairly straightforward. One of the good things about it is that there is very little technical skill required to brew a good shot of coffee. On the negative side it is a rather fiddly process to go through to produce a shot of espresso and rather time consuming. As such we would only recommend this espresso maker for single use.
The Nanopresso is also a bit of a hassle to clean, with so many parts to take apart to clean and then dry, it may not be the best option if you are looking for a coffee maker for the great outdoors.
How to use the Nanopresso
Tips for Using
Quality of Espresso
So now the all important question- how does the espresso actually taste? The Nanopresso has received mixed reviews. On the positive, it is one of the few portable espresso makers that produces a reliable shot of espresso with a decent layer of crema. However the espresso itself lacks the thicky, syrupy body of an espresso you would get in a shop.
While the Nanopresso can reach the 9 bars of pressure required for espresso, it struggles with finely ground coffee as is needed for espresso. It really is designed to be used with pre-ground coffee (which is often ground slightly coarser). Because of this it is very finicky to dial in if you are wanting to use freshly ground coffee, as your typical espresso grind will clog the unit while a coarser grind will be under extracted and sour.
Because of this you may find you get better tasting results if you use the NS adaptor and a pod. This is also more convenient if you are travelling.
So if the Nanopresso has been designed to be taken on that adventure, how portable is it? While the Nanopresso has lots of small parts that could easily be lost, the handy storage bag makes up for it, making it easy to store and transport the coffee maker. It does weigh a decent amount (12.35 oz) and the need for hot water means you are going to have to take along a flask or heating device. However if you are an espresso lover these will not be insurmountable.
Who is the Nanopresso for?
So this all begs the question, who is the Nanopresso for? It is clearly not designed for home use. With the effort required to boil water, load the espresso maker, pump out a shot and then clean up after, many will find it is simply not worth it for the small shot you get out. However if you are a devoted espresso lover this may all be inconsequential. Alternatively if you love brewing with pods and want the ability to take this with you on the road, the Nanopresso may be just for you.
Alternative to the Nanopresso
If you are looking for a coffee maker for travel, we would highly recommend the Aeropress. While it doesn’t make espresso, it is a superb single-serve coffee maker ideal for the coffee lover. It is easy and fun to use, portable and best of all can make some superb tasting coffee! See our full review here.
Nanopresso – The Final Verdict
The Nanopresso fills a niche for those looking for a portable espresso maker. It is able to produce a reliable shot of espresso with good crema. While it can be fiddly to use, if you love espresso and don’t mind using pre ground coffee or pods this could be a great option to take with you on your travels.
Is the Nanopresso dishwasher safe?
No – the Nanopresso is not able to be put through the dishwasher. It needs to be cleaned by running the parts under hot water and letting them dry separately.
Does the Nanopresso Use a Pressurized Filter?
Yes the Nanopresso has a pressurized filter. This helps to improve the extraction and crema of your espresso shot (particularly if you are using pre ground coffee). However this is able to be disconnected if you are wanting to try using freshly ground coffee.