I’m not sure when the coffee revolution started. Whenever it was, these days in our towns and cities you’re never more than a stone’s throw from a smooth Colombian or a rich Honduran and the list of options like cinnamon twists or soya milk seems to grow weekly.
Many of us have even got used to the home comfort of cafe style coffee thanks to Nespresso machines but as I headed for the beach last weekend I had a dilemma. I needed a portable gagdget that would be able to provide my companion and I with a decent cup of coffee at the end of the day.
I settled on the Wacaco MiniPresso. It’s a small, portable gizmo that lets you bring Nespresso capsules with you on a day out and with the addition of some hot water it lets you produce that creamy, cafe style coffee. Taking it out of the box reveals it’s remarkably neat and very portable. It’s no bigger than a child’s flask at less than seven inches tall and it’s easily packed if you’re walking as it weighs in at just over 12 ounces.
The only accessory that ships with the MiniPresso is a convenient cleaning brush but everything else is part of the all-in-one set-up. There’s a screw-top outer lid, which doubles as an espresso cup. I removed that and put it to one side, then opened the top of the machine. In here, is where you pop in a Nespresso capsule which should fit snugly. I reattached the screw-lid firmly and unscrewed the little water tank on the bottom of the machine.
The water tank has a capacity of 70 milliliters and there is a helpful lip on the reservoir to indicate where you should fill it to to prevent splashes of hot water. I had brought a regular flask of hot water with me, but if you’re camping you always boil up some water on a stove.
With the water tank secured, I turned the machine upside down and released the push handle that it screwed in to the side of the machine. As you unscrew it, you can feel the pressure build up in the handle. With my cup at the ready, I began to slowly pump the machine and almost immediately the air was filled with the delicious aroma of warm coffee.
The machine has an 8 bar capacity, so only slightly less than my machine at home. I discovered if I pumped more slowly, it produced a better tasting coffee than rushing. The lovely crema effect on the coffee was remarkable and it really did look better than much of the coffee I’ve been served in cafes. Looks aside, the coffee was delicious. I used the same Nespresso capsule I usually use at home and it tasted just as good.
The need to bring hot water with you is a little tedious but not a great hardship if you’re heading to the beach or countryside for the day. That said, the machine is so neat and portable, I don’t think the design could be improved.
There are additional accessories available if you think you’ll use the MiniPresoo often. There’s a carry case and an additional water tank that will produce up to 100 millilitre coffees. As well as Nespresso there is a ground coffee version available if you want to use ground coffee.