As someone who is constantly out of the house, I can never find a good opportunity to make my own espresso. I’m always having to make instant espresso when I go out camping or traveling. While it’s not a big deal. I do miss my espresso maker while I’m away.
That was until I discovered portable espresso makers. If you don’t know what they are, Portable espresso makers take the normal bulky machine and compact it down into a small container to make the perfect cup Combining efficiency with taste and allowing you to get that caffeine boost whenever.
The more important question is which one is the best for your personal needs? To find out. I went to amazon and compiled a list to save you the trouble.
At A Glance: Top 5 Travel Espresso Makers
- Wacaco Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker
- Conqueco Portable Espresso Maker For Travel
- Staresso Portable Espresso Machine
- AeroPress Go Coffee And Espresso Maker
- Mixpresso Espresso Machine
Best Travel Espresso Maker – Wacaco Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker
Wacaco is a very well-known brand for portable espresso makers, so the quality of the product is not really in question. This Nanopresso can hold 80 milliliters and the dimensions are 6.14 x 2.8 x 2.44 inches.
As far as portable goes, this won’t be taking up too much room, and it is incredibly light at only 741 pounds. It has multiple color options, so you don’t have to worry about it not going with your aesthetic. It doesn’t say what temperature the espresso comes, so maybe drink with caution. One of the best things about it is that it requires no batteries or outlet No waking up and digging around for batteries in a hurry.
This thing is 100% manually operated. The product comes with the Nanopresso itself, a protective case, and a warranty card. Now about the espresso itself. This machine provides a maximum of 18 BARs worth of pressure. This is far higher than the standard 7 to 9 BARs I looked into it and because this is not a commercial espresso maker, to create a more consistent flow that will produce a nice crema.
The number of BARs had to go up. If this were commercial, anything above 11 BARs would taste burnt, but you don’t have to worry about that here. The Nanopresso works best with freshly ground but is compatible with NS capsules only if you buy a separately sold adapter.
This might be worthwhile if you have a fluctuating budget or if you don’t have time to grind your own beans. This portable espresso maker is on the expensive side, but I think it is worth the price for the quality and the functionality.
Best Portable Espresso Maker – Conqueco Portable Espresso Maker For Travel
Up next is Conqueco’s portable espresso maker; this bad boy is 12.1 x 6.3 x 4.8 inches and weighs 1 94 pounds. It can hold 200 milliliters in the drinking cup and only 50 milliliters in the water reservoir. The espresso pours at around 160 degrees Fahrenheit, which isn’t too hot. But it might need a little bit to cool.
This one is larger than Wacaco’s. But it still compact and easy to carry. Unfortunately, it is electrical, which means that you have to charge it, and it states you can’t use it while it’s plugged in. If you forgot to charge it one night, you’re out of luck, and if aesthetics matter to you. This only comes in one color – black.
It also requires a lithium-ion battery, which is included, but you might not have one of those just lying around. You should note that this does cost a little more than Wacaco’s. But it does not have separately sold items, so that is a plus. The pressure BARs here go up to 15 BARs which is a little less than Wacaco’s At first. I thought it would have less pressure stabilization,
but we have to remember that this machine is larger, meaning it has room for a more consistent flow, so they don’t need to compensate with a higher BAR. A huge drawback for some is that they only work with capsules and not all of them. It needs either the original Nespresso capsules or L’OR capsules.
This takes convenience down a few notches. I also can’t find anything mentioning crema. So if that’s an essential part of your espresso like it is mine. I would look for something else. I would note the high price of this one before you decided to buy it.
Mobile Espresso Machine – Staresso Portable Espresso Machine
This Staresso machine is 2 75 x 2 75 x 9.64 inches and like before, and it comes in black. This one is really tall, so I don’t think it will fit in most small bags, so you might be carrying this one by hand. It doesn’t seem to be too heavy, but it says it weighs .88 pounds in one place and 97 in another. This isn’t a huge difference, but any form of inconsistency on the same listing is hard to ignore. It can hold 80 milliliters of water and .53 ounces of ground espresso.
It is compatible with Nespresso pods to have the best of both worlds without additional purchases like the Wacaco. There is no mention of espresso temperature. But it does mention how thick their crema is. So if you like a heavy side of crema, this might be for you. If, on the other hand, that’s not your thing, you might want to think twice. This portable espresso maker does not require batteries or any form of electricity.
It’s manual, so there will be less of a waiting time than the Conqueco. This machine goes up to 15 BARs which isn’t bad for the size. It is also part milk frother, so if you want really creamy, you can do so Price-wise, it is a lot less than the Wacaco. If you’re looking for cheaper options that still make good espresso, Staresso might be for you.
This is the best portable nespresso and the best portable espresso, and the overall best espresso on the go.
Mini Espresso Machine – AeroPress Go Coffee And Espresso maker
The AeroPress Go portable espresso maker is 37x37x53 inches in dimension and weighs 7 pounds. This one is the lightest of the group. It comes in gray with a mug and lid that can be used as a case. One stand-out feature is it makes 1 -3 cups peruse.
I think this is really beneficial if you’re traveling with family or close friends or maybe just a quicker way to make some extra espresso for yourself. It does only work with ground espresso, and there is no way to make this capsule compatible. I do have good news for those with acid reflux. The AeroPress does remove a lot of the bitterness and high-levels of acidity from your espresso. If that’s the opposite of what you want, this one is not for you.
A huge red flag with this product is I cannot find the number of BARs they are using. This could be an oversight, but it could also change the quality of espresso negatively. It also doesn’t mention anything about their crema.
So it makes me wonder if the manufacturer wasn’t entirely sure what made an espresso different from coffee. Either way, it’s not a very good sign, and it leads me to believe that this would make a better coffee maker than an espresso maker. It is significantly cheaper than the other portable espresso makers coming in at about half of the cost of the Staresso.
Normally this would be a good thing but in this case. I’d say you get what you pay for. This is the best traveling espresso machine, and the best hand espresso on the market!
Best Handheld Espresso Maker – Mixpresso Espresso Machine
The last portable espresso maker we will be discussing is the Mixpresso. This product is the cheapest of the group and, like most of the others, comes in black. The dimensions are 2 83 x 8.66 x 2 83 inches, and it weighs 1.35 pounds.
It holds 50 milliliters with no indicator of temperature. You can use any capsule of your choosing. So far, This is the only one that doesn’t specify what types of capsules you use, which is a plus if you have a capsule preference. You cannot use this one with ground espresso, so if you don’t like capsules.
I would look for a different machine. Just like before, they don’t mention how many BARs they use. But they do mention that it will produce a thick crema. That seems to be very common with the cheaper ones, so keep that in mind as you shop When it comes to espresso, paying a higher price seems to be worth it if you’re looking for good quality.
Unlike the others, you can buy this one to try and then return it as it has a 1 -year warranty policy. So if you want to try it and see if you can get a good espresso maker for cheap, it might be worth the time.
How do I choose the best portable espresso maker?
There are many things to factor into account when looking into a portable espresso maker, and a lot of it is a personal preference Before even looking into buying an espresso maker. I would make sure you know what you like an espresso along with what parts of a portable espresso maker you value the most. I will separate this into different categories of what questions you might want to ask yourself before purchasing.
Do I know the difference between coffee and espresso?
Suppose you’re not a huge coffee nut. You might not know the difference between coffee and espresso. If that is the case, then you might want to be sure that it’s espresso you want and not just normal coffee.
To make it clear, espresso is not a different type of coffee bean, though ground espresso tends to be finer than ground coffee. You can use ground coffee if you grind it down further. The main difference comes in the production process.
Espressos use a lot less water at a higher temperature and are slowly pressed through finely-ground coffee. It is significantly thicker than normal coffee and produces a crema on the top.
The other major difference is that espresso has a large amount of caffeine in it compared to coffee. It is not a beverage you want too much of. Now that you know the difference, you can decide if you would prefer a normal coffee maker over this.
Is it compatible?
As I mentioned in the individual reviews, some of the makers can only work with ground espresso, and others can only work with espresso capsules. Some of them can work with both, but it is not the common denominator.
It is also imperative to make sure that the compatibility isn’t something you have to buy separately, like the Wacaco espresso maker. This is a big purchase; always double-check! This is also a good time to see if you need batteries to operate or if you have to charge them.
If you don’t have the right batteries or need a USB plug-in and don’t have one, this would be something to keep an eye on. Another thing to keep in mind is what conditions you will be using it in. If you’re going camping and you bought a portable espresso maker that needed to be charged before use, then you need to know how long one charge lasts you.
If it needs to be plugged in, then that could be really great for road trips if you have a charger in the car but not so great on a plane. Remember that this isn’t about what you have at home but rather what you have where you’re going.
Is It convenient?
What is convenient for you can really vary from person to person. You need to think about what you need this for and just how portable it needs to be. How large the portable espresso maker should completely depend on where you are going and what you’re carrying it in.
Some might be too large to carry in a purse but would probably fit in a carry-on bag for a flight. As for weight, they really shouldn’t be over a pound, but a little over shouldn’t be a big problem for most people.
This would depend on what else you’re carrying. Keep in mind that you’re adding liquid to it. So it’s only going to get heavier.
How important is the flavor?
If you are someone who drinks espresso for a large amount of caffeine, this shouldn’t really matter. But if you really enjoy the taste of espresso, you need to remember that the machine will change the flavor.
Some of them will make the espresso more bitter, and others might completely remove it. If you have a strong opinion about crema, this something you also want to keep an eye out for. Some crema’s are thicker than others, and some of them might have little to no crema at all. This is all personal preference, of course, But if you cant enjoy a shot of espresso without thick crema.
Then you need to make this a priority. Keep in mind that espresso is all about pressure, and if the machine is automatic, then you have less control. If you have the control, you can learn how to make the best press for your taste. If you like having that control and you’re willing to get over the learning curve, then a manual espresso maker might be the better choice.
How much money am I willing to spend?
This is probably one of the most important questions to ask. If you want a very high-quality espresso maker, then you need to make sure you’re willing to drop some money on it. While there are cheaper options like the Mixpresso, you need to evaluate if the drawbacks of a cheaper product are worth not spending more.
After all, if the product breaks in a year, then you’ll have to buy another when instead you could just buy a more expensive one only once. This really depends on how much you’re going to use a portable espresso maker. This leads me to the next question to consider
Would it be better to buy a normal espresso maker?
If you don’t travel very often or you work from home or nearby, you might just be better off buying a normal espresso maker. A normal espresso maker will produce a higher quality result every time. If you’re already sinking a bunch of money on a portable espresso maker, then you might as well just buy a normal one. Of course, if you are traveling a lot, this is clearly a better purchase.
Remember that all of this is a matter of personal preference. If something on this list works for you, then awesome! But don’t be discouraged if none of them meet your needs. There is a lot to consider. Being picky is not a bad thing here.
These can get pretty expensive, and if you are willing to spend, then there is no shame in taking your time! There are literally hundreds of portable espresso makers out there, and one of them is sure to be perfect for you. Either way, I hope this has been helpful for you in narrowing down your list. Thank you so much for reading, and have fun espresso hunting!