10 Best Portable Espresso Makers 2022: Brew Espresso On The Go!

Whether you’re heading out on a hiking weekend or a business trip, your favorite cup of espresso has to be there too. It only makes sense.

But getting a good caffeine fix isn’t always easy when you’re heading into unknown places. That’s why we encourage you to bring the fix with you!

Discover our top picks for portable espresso makers; for all needs and preferences. We tested, reviewed, and tried it all for you.

Whether you want to be on the safe side, off-grid, or just save some money, there is a portable gadget below that will help you stay caffeinated wherever you go.

Read on!

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At A Glance: TOP PICKS FOR PORTABLE ESPRESSO MAKERS

What is a Portable Espresso Maker?

A portable espresso maker is a compact, small-sized espresso maker. According to some factual reviews on Reddit, they are often described as handheld and travel pack gadgets for brewing coffee.

You can stick these makers into backpacks, laptop bags, carry-on, purses, glove compartments. They’re study, compact, durable, and designed to help you pull fragrant shots of espresso in the wild and in your office!

Best Portable Espresso Makers

1.      Flair Signature Espresso Maker – Best Overall

  • Works with ground coffee
  • Weight: 2.2 kg
  • External heat source required

The Flair Espresso Maker is a manual espresso maker that produces 10 bars of pressure for your favorite shot. It’s lightweight, portable, and 100% manual, so you can enjoy your espresso whenever and wherever. Just the way you like it.

This model’s selling point is its low price (compared to quality home espresso machines) and so suitable for those on budget and on the road. Camping trips, visiting family, dorm lifestyle- this brewer can satisfy your espresso cravings anywhere.

PROS

  • Easy to use
  • Simple and elegant design
  • Completely manual (no electronics or plugs)
  • Fully portable
  • Easy to clean
  • Stainless steel brewing head
CONS
  • Brew time is longer than with a machine
  • 2.      Wacaco Nanopresso – Best for Camping

    • Works with ground coffee and Nespresso pods
    • Weight: 336 grams
    • External heat source required

    What’s unique about Wacaco Nanopresso is the fact that it’s highly customizable. In fact, it’s the most customizable portable espresso maker on this list!

    Wacaco allows you to brew coffee with both Nescafé Nespresso pods and ground coffee. It’s twice as powerful as its predecessor, the Minipresso, and comes with an integrated espresso cup and a lightweight casing.

    Don’t let its plastic body fool you. It’s lightweight, compact, and sturdy. This little gadget will have you brewing the strongest with less effort than previous models: single shot, double shot, long shot, and much more!

    PROS

    • 18 bars of pressure
    • 80ml water tank
    • 15% less force to pump
    • Lightweight (weighs only 336g)
    • Perfect for travel
    • Sturdy, durable, and compact
    • Easy to clean
    CONS
  • O-ring seal wears off
  • 3.      De’Longhi en85b Nespresso Mini Espresso – Best for Office

    • Works with Nespresso capsules
    • Weight: 2kg
    • Requires electricity

    Delonghi machine is the smallest single-serve espresso maker. But it’s also one of the heaviest portable espresso makers on this list. But, if you’re looking for a travel-friendly option that produces barista-level coffee, think no more.

    This Mini Nespresso works with 19 bars of pressure; a bit more than Wacaco Nanopresso, but you won’t have to physically work for your coffee. It provides you with a fragrant brew in under a minute. I love it because it’s easy to use, quick, and inexpensive.

    Delonghi is compatible with Nespresso capsules and it’s a great option for times when you’re on the road (but not off the grid).

    PROS

    • 19 bars of pressure
    • Single-serve and lungo espresso
    • Suitable for office, holiday, dorm room
    • Uses Nespresso capsules
    • 20.3oz water tank
    • Easy to clean
    • Complimentary gift – Nespresso capsules
    CONS
  • Requires electricity
  • 4.      Conqueco Portable Coffee Maker Auto – Best Self-Heating

    • Works with Nespresso capsules
    • Weight: 880 grams
    • Self-heating (doesn’t require heat source)

    What I love about this little gadget is that Conqueco portable coffee maker comes with a 12V rechargeable lithium battery. That means it can heat up water anywhere, as long as the battery is full.

    Because of the battery, Conqueco weighs a lot compared to many other mini-press brewers. But I’m sure you can easily look past it since it’s self-heating. What’s more, this portable coffee maker saves you one other activity: it does the extraction for you. There’s no need to pump!

    While I’m not the most thrilled about using the Nespresso pods (there’s no option for ground coffee here), there are numerous users who are perfectly happy with what this portable Conqueco has to offer.

    PROS

    • 15 bars of pressure
    • 8-10 min brew time with cold water
    • 5 seconds brew time with hot water
    • Suitable for a road trip, holiday, camping, dorm room…
    • Uses Nespresso capsules
    • Built-in lithium battery
    • Easy to clean
    CONS
    • Only works with Nespresso capsules

    5.      Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker – Most Lightweight

    • Works with ground coffee
    • Weight: 184g
    • External heat source required

    Aeropress will fit into any backpack or bag, whether you travel for work or for pleasure. While it isn’t technically a portable espresso maker, it’s on the list because it’s such a classic. And because it’s compact, versatile, and one of the most popular portable coffee makers.

    Aeropress doesn’t make the espresso – such as Nanopresso, Flair, or other brewers on the list. But it can still brew espresso-like coffee. while you’ll require more skills to pull an espresso-style shot (finely ground quality coffee, quick plunge, metal filter), the brewer can produce balanced and fragrant coffee though with less intensity and minimal crema, if any.

    PROS

    • 9 bars of pressure
    • 8-10 min brew time with cold water
    • 5 seconds brew time with hot water
    • Suitable for a road trip, camping, dorm room…
    • Sturdy, durable
    • BPA-free plastic
    • Easy to clean
    CONS
    • Brews one cup at a time

    6.      Wacaco Minipresso GR – Best For Short Trips

    • Works with Nespresso pods and ground coffee
    • Weight: 360g
    • External heat source required

    It’s small, compact, lightweight, and versatile. Wacaco Minipresso works with any type of coffee – if you like it, it can brew it!  It’s very easy to use: add ground coffee, add hot water, pump to extract the perfect cup of hot and creamy espresso.

    Wacaco is perfect for travel, but you can just as easily use it at home, in the office, or in a dorm room. After all, it is one of the smallest espresso coffee machines on the market.

    With a few tricks (don’t tamp the grinds in the cup!) you’ll extract the perfect cup of espresso, making your entire office jealous. No more trips to the Starbucks around the corner. For more tips, go and check out Youtube videos until you perfect your brewing technique.

    PROS

    • 8 bars of pressure
    • 70ml water tank
    • Suitable for road trip, camping, office
    • Sturdy, durable
    • Easy to use and clean
    CONS
    • Learning curve

    7.      Bialetti Moka Pot Venus – Best For Durability

    • Works with ground coffee
    • Weight: 540g
    • Requires external heat source

    Moka pot is a classic in Italian homes. It’s also one of my favorite stovetop brewers and it’s an easy way for you to get a classic Italian experience. If you look after your Moka pot properly, it’ll easily last you decades. Not years, decades.

    What I love about the Moka pot is that it’s durable, sturdy, travel-friendly (I bring mine with me whenever I move), small enough to fit into any room/apartment, and more or less indestructible.  Brewing with it is a breeze, as long as you get quality coffee that’s ground to perfection.

    Technically, Moka isn’t an espresso maker since it doesn’t use high enough pressure. But your cup will taste excellent with a bit of trial and error. Get a stainless steel brewer instead of an aluminum one as it lasts longer.

    PROS

    • 6-cup capacity (demitasse, not the standard US)
    • Built of stainless steel
    • Sturdy, durable, travel-friendly
    • Brew time: about 5 minutes on a gas stove
    • Easy to use and clean
    • Works on all types of stovetops
    CONS
    • Requires heat source

    8.      De’Longhi EMK6 Italian Espresso – Best For Easy Brew

    • Works with ground coffee
    • Weight: 1100g
    • Required electricity

    Delonghi decided to take it one step further with this portable espresso maker business. So, they combined a classic Moka pot design with a convenient electric kettle.

    While this also isn’t technically an espresso maker, it’s similar to Moka pot, so I decided to include it on the list. What I really like about it is that it’s convenient. It requires more space than the small Nanopresso brewers, but it comes with an electric plug and you don’t really need anything else to brew coffee, apart from your cups.

    Keep in mind that it’s made of aluminum and plastic; these materials may not appeal to everyone, but it’s a solid brewer, worthy of your consideration.

    PROS

    • 2 bars of pressure
    • 6-cup capacity (demitasse, not standard US)
    • Built-in heat
    • Portable, effective, convenient
    • Can keep coffee warm up to 30 minutes
    • Easy to use and clean
    CONS
    • On the heavier side
    • Made of aluminum and plastic

    9.      Handpresso Wild Hybrid – Best For Espresso Snobs

    • Works with ground coffee and ESE pods
    • Weight: 480g
    • Requires external heat source

    Wild Hybrid looks more like a bicycle pump than a portable espresso maker. But it’ll pump the coffee you need quickly and effectively, no matter where you are. While this brewer is on the pricier side, it’s well built and promises to last you a long time with regular care.

    What’s special about it is that it generates 16 bars of pressure. The espresso coming from this gadget is uniquely exceptional. Handpresso Hybrid is compatible with both ground coffee and ESE coffee pods. No matter what type of coffee you use, you’re in for a treat: barista-style coffee with every brew.

    PROS

    • 16 bars of pressure
    • Portable, sturdy, well-built
    • 2-year warranty
    • Suitable for road trip, work trips, hiking
    • Easy to use and clean
    CONS
    • On the heavier side

    10.    Staresso Portable Espresso Maker – Best For Milky Beverages

    • Works with ground coffee and Nespresso pods
    • Weight: 440g
    • Requires external heat source

    There’s only one reason why you should consider Staresso Portable Espresso Maker. Because it’s the only one on the list that can foam milk. If you’re into espresso-based drinks, like macchiato, latte, or cappuccino, Staresso can become your portable brewer of choice. Unless you decide to get a portable milk frother instead.

    Anyway, Staresso is easy to clean and use, though pumping coffee may be slightly more difficult than with Nanopresso and Minipresso. If you’re limited for strength (and can only press so much), I’d recommend skipping this model, since the challenging pumping increases over time.

    PROS

    • 16 bars of pressure
    • Portable, sturdy, well-built
    • 2-year manufacturer warranty
    • Suitable for road trip, work trips, hiking
    • Easy to use and clean
    CONS
    • More challenging pumping action
    • Users have to poke holes into Nespresso pods manually

    Coffee VS Espresso

    There are a couple of differences between espresso and drip coffee:

    • Grind size of the beans
    • Brewing method
    • Taste
    • Caffeine content

    Espresso uses pressure to brew coffee, with finely ground coffee; normally a dark roast. When it comes to taste, espresso has a richer crema and a more concentrated flavor.

    Drip coffee uses gravity to brew coffee, medium grind beans, and any roast you prefer. One cup of drip coffee contains more caffeine than one shot of espresso.

    Types of Portable Espresso Makers

    Manual

    Manual espresso makers are the most traditional method of brewing espresso. The machine is driven by a piston, and the operator must pump a valve to provide the necessary pressure to extract a shot.

    Most of the coffee makers listed above are manual portable espresso makers.

    Automatic

    There are many different types of automatic espresso machines:

    • semi- automatic (such as Delonghi ….)
    • super-automatic (such as Gaggia Anima Prestige)
    • pod espresso machines

    How does a Portable Espresso Maker Work?

    Benefits of Portable Espresso Makers

    Portable espresso makers are a great option for those who like to stay caffeinated on the go even when they’re on the road.

    • Portability and convenience – Small and lightweight enough to fit into a backpack or a laptop bag
    • Energy-saving – When it comes to saving power, the manual version is the way to go
    • Easy to use – If you’re looking for an espresso maker that’s easy to use, portable espresso brewers are the thing. Add water, coffee/k-cup, and pump pressure. That’s it!
    • Affordability – While portable espresso makers come in a variety of pricing points, they are all quite affordable.

    How to Choose the Best Portable Espresso Maker?

    Before you decide on anything, think carefully about what you really need. We listed the following features to help you decide.

    Portability

    All of the portable espresso makers are, well, portable. But, if you’re looking for the most portable espresso machine, you want one that weighs just enough for your needs and not too much.

    There are a few different weight categories:

    • Under 340g (fit these into any backpack or overnight bag; they work for day trips, hiking, and work trips)
    • 340g-500g (light enough to make travel with these gadgets friendly. Great for overnight stays, checked luggage, and weekend getaway)
    • Over 500g (these are the largest but still portable if you have enough space and don’t plan on moving around too much)

    Coffee Compatibility

    Some brewers are compatible with ground coffee, some with ESE pods, and others use only Nespresso pods. Knowing this can help you decide whether a brewer fits your needs or not.

    Freshly ground coffee can easily elevate the quality of your espresso, but coffee pods may be more practical and less messy to travel with.

    What’s more, if you’re severely fussy about your espresso, then you may want to consider getting brewers that use only ground coffee. That way your espresso will always be the freshest. No matter where you are.

    Water

    Most portable espresso makers require an external heat source – you have to heat the water separately (apart from the Conqueco, which is self-healing). That means you have to factor this into your travel plans. Do you also need a kettle? Or a coffee thermos?

    Convenience

    Ease of use is a major element in selecting the right espresso maker for you: its shape, how many shots it can brew, and how much physical force you need for the pumping process.

    Price

    What’s your budget? These espresso makers cover a wide price range. Are you looking for a small investment or a more expensive option?

    After all, if you plan on using your brewer weekly, getting a durable gadget with a higher price tag makes much more sense. If you’re only using it a couple of times a year, getting a cheaper portable espresso maker seems completely reasonable.

    FAQ

    Handpresso vs Nanopresso

    The Handpresso is powered by a hand pump that looks like the cylindrical tire pumps of a bicycle you attach to your bike’s frame. It can withstand pressures of up to 16 bars.

    The Nanopresso, which is based on a newly patented pumping technology, is capable of attaining a maximum of 18 bars of steady pressure during extraction for unsurpassed coffee quality, all with the aid of your hands.

    Simpresso vs Nanopresso

    Simpresso makes use of efficient smart capsules, which are both reusable and eco-friendly, enabling simple preparation in advance. Conversely,  Nanopresso makes use of filter baskets to fill ground coffee. This makes it not possible to pack and prepare coffee capsules in advance. Simpresso’s water tank is completely transparent, but Nanopresso’s is not.

    Staresso vs Aeropress

    The Aeropress is an automatic design that enables you to fine-tune the brewing process by allowing you to control all of the variables in the process. It doesn’t make espresso though. If you’re into good-quality coffee (and don’t mind a bit of a learning curve), Aeropress can be awesome. If you prefer espresso-based beverages (with milk), Staresso is your brewer of choice.

    Minipresso vs Staresso

    The Staresso is somewhat larger than the Minipresso, but the main difference is in the fact that you can foam milk with it. With Minipresso, that’s not possible. Apart from that, we’d say that Minipresso is better than Staresso if you’re limited for strength (Staresso requires more pumping than Minipresso).

    Are Nespresso capsules recyclable?

    Yes, but only if you return them to Nespresso. You can return them in a couple of different ways around the world: capsule collection points, Espresso stores, or by post. In some countries in Europe, you can simply throw them in household recycling bins.

    What’s the best coffee thermos?

    If you find yourself off the grid, making an espresso with the portable brewer can be challenging at times. There are a couple of coffee travel mugs that can keep beverages hot for hours- including hot water. That way, you can use the portable espresso maker more easily – if you don’t have an option to heat water.

    A Recap: Which Portable Espresso Maker Is Best For You?

    Here’s the thing: portable espresso makers may not be the best espresso machines from your local coffee shop or your home. But these little gadgets do an amazing job at keeping espresso lovers happy on the road.

    There are many factors to consider before getting a portable espresso maker for your needs. Think about how portable you want your brewer to be. All the options listed above are very good; I’m not too fond of the electric Moka pot (but it boasts impressive reviews) and the Staresso, since the physical work of pumping is too demanding.

    If I had to make a choice, I’d probably go with Flair Signature Espresso Maker – while the brewer is on the heavier side, it’s also perfectly suitable for office or dorm use, camping trips, and holidays you spend in mostly one place. The espresso it brews is outstanding – there are zero sacrifices to the quality as the brewer easily competes with full-sized espresso machines.

    On the other hand, if you prefer to wander and travel more than stay put, Wacaco Nanopresso would be my next choice. It’s lightweight, compact, can work with Nespresso pods and ground coffee (so pick your poison). If you’re into milky drinks, get a hand milk frother. Nanopresso is powerful, durable, and it can help you brew single shot, double shot, and long shot!

    Recommended Reading

    Steph

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