A Guide to Portable Espresso Makers

Do you love coffee so much that you wish you could carry around an espresso machine with you and enjoy a delicious-tasting shot with an elegant layer of crema in a matter of seconds? 

In this article, you will find everything you need to know about Portable Espresso Makers. 

The biggest brand for the portable espresso maker currently on the market is ‘Wacaco’. 

They supply portable espresso makers varying from a range of different prices and sizes to fulfil your needs. 

What is a portable espresso maker?

A portable espresso maker is a small handheld device which brews espresso in a short amount of time. These portable espresso makers are the ideal device for someone who loves espresso wherever they may be.

How do you use a portable espresso maker?

A portable espresso maker is straightforward to use, with step-to-step instructions included with the device. Their brewing concept is simple and requires little effort. 

Different espresso makers use various techniques to function. However, many are now used by piston action.

I have created below a step-by-step guide to show how easy they often are to use:

  1. Unscrew your portable espresso maker (this will be stated on the instruction leaflet).

    You may then find that you have to use boiling water. Fill this to the maximum fill line, which you will find in the water chamber. Do not allow the water to go past the maximum fill line, as this may result in scolding your skin and spillage. 
  1. Then place a compatible pod in the pod chamber, which you will find at the top of the maker. This section is labelled and also has a warning due to there being sharp edges inside to allow the pod to be cut open.

    However, this could be different depending on the style of portable espresso maker you are using, as some of these devices use ground coffee which you just place in the chamber rather than pods. 
  1. Screw the tanks back into the main chamber. Make sure it’s tight! You don’t want boiling water spilling out.
  1. It is now time to create your espresso!

    Flip the piston open by gently twisting it following the unlock arrows. Build pressure by steadily and consistently pumping the piston.

    You need to be doing this for approximately 30 seconds until there is no espresso left. This brewing process does not take long, and you will be left to enjoy a delicious-tasting espresso in a matter of minutes. 

Pros of portable espresso makers

  • Easy to use.
  • Convenient when in need of an extra energy boost. 
  • Easy-to-follow instruction manuals.
  • Small and efficient. 
  • The majority of portable espresso makers now include carrying cases or small hold bags to make portability easier. 
  • Comes with a portable cup.

Cons of portable espresso makers

  • Requires boiling water.
  • The majority of portable espresso makers only produce one shot of espresso. 
  • Possibility of leakage. 
  • Many people like using espresso shots to create different styles of coffee, such as cappuccinos, mochas and lattes.

What to look for in a portable espresso maker

Choosing the best portable espresso for you relies on a few main deciding factors:

  • Access to hot water: Most portable espresso makers require you to heat the water separately. However, not everyone always has access to hot water, especially if you’re in the hills or wild camping.
  • Price: Choose the portable espresso maker that fits in your price range. Many of these portable espresso makers vary from around £50 – £80. 
  • Espresso quality: You need to ensure that the portable espresso maker provides the delicious-tasting espresso you crave, whether that is using branded pods like Nespresso or ground coffee.
  • Compatibility: Compatibility is one of the things that differentiates portable espresso machines.
  • Portability. Even though all of these makers are classified as portable, some are more portable than others. This can all vary from what environment you are using your portable espresso device in, as they come with different carry bags. 

Portable Espresso Makers vs Pod Coffee Machines

What is the difference between portable espresso makers and pod coffee machines?

First of all, portable espresso makers do not require electricity, whereas pod coffee machines do. This makes the portable espresso makers the more eco-friendly buy. 

If you are someone who likes a variety of hot drinks, then the pod coffee machine is the one for you.

These machines offer more than just coffee as you can use your favourite pods for a delicious tasting coffee, a cup of tea or espresso shots. However, portable espresso makers only have the option to create espressos.

BOSCH has recently brought out a range of different pod coffee machines, which have all recently been capturing the eyes of buyers. DeLonghi also provides a range of different pod machines.

These pod coffee machines vary in price from around £80 to £130, or more. In comparison, portable espresso makers cost approximately £50 to £80. 

One of the new pod coffee machines currently on the market is the Tassimo My Way 2. This is designed and created by BOSCH and features a personalisation setting and holds 1.3L of water. However, with the Portable Coffee Machines, you do not get these features. 

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05/17/2024 06:52 pm GMT

Top portable espresso makers

I’ve picked out below a few personal favourites of mine, which are great value for money and extremely easy to use, with some great functionalities:

Wacaco Minipresso portable espresso makers

The Wacaco Minipresso is great value for money and easy to use. You can check our review on this Minipresso machine to see why we’d recommend it, or watch our video review on the Simply Electricals Youtube channel!

Great for the outdoors
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05/17/2024 07:06 pm GMT

Outin Nano portable espresso machine

The Outin Nano is a great machine that comes in a wide variety of colours. It allows you to use the ground coffee of your choice and create delicious espresso in a matter of minutes.

Great for the outdoors
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05/17/2024 07:06 pm GMT
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Liv Vining

Liv is a part-time barista with a passion for coffee and writing with an in-depth knowledge of commercial machinery and quality coffee. She's also an English and Maths tutor for home-educated children who are excited about learning and exploring, hence the passion for writing quality content!