If you’re a coffee geek who wants to enjoy espresso anywhere, the Nanopresso is an excellent human-powered shot-pulling solution.
As geeks, we tend to get passionate (read: finicky) about the things we love. If we’re tabletop gamers, we need a fancy gaming table. If we love beer, we need to learn the ins-and-outs of homebrewing. And if we love coffee drinks, we get a home espresso maker. But that last passion can be hard to take on the road.
The folks at Wacaco have solved that problem with ingenuity and a bit of elbow-grease, and have created the Nanopresso, a portable, human-powered espresso maker that delivers the right amount of pressure to pull a real shot of espresso, without needing to be plugged into electricity to run a pump. Having tried other human-powered methods that don’t deliver true espresso shots—often they just give you somewhat thicker coffee—I was interested when they offered me one for review.
What’s really handy, first of all, is that the whole thing screws together into one small, and very portable package that can fit in your pack or luggage easily (they also sell a travel case). Obviously you have to carry your coffee beans/grinder separately, but there are many portable solutions for those available as well. Even more important, everything feels solidly-built, and well-engineered, with durable materials that will last.
The task is pretty simple: put your grounds in the portafilter, and screw that into the pump. Pour hot water into the tank, screw that onto the pump as well, and then hold it over your cup, and start pumping!
Now, two key points: this takes a bit of elbow grease, as you might expect. And because you’re putting some effort into the pull, you might get a little messy. No picture-perfect pulls like the PR materials show, but you’re going to drink it anyways, so who cares? It’s real espresso!
Overall, I’m very impressed with the Nanopresso. It delivers on the promise of portable espresso with a functional design and excellent performance. If your work doesn’t have a coffee shop nearby, and you want to enjoy an espresso drink during the day, this is a great way to make that happen. And if you want to save a bit of money when you’re on the road, or take your favorite beans with you, Nanopresso is the solution.
Wacaco provided a unit for this review; all opinions are my own.