If you’re a sucker for good quality coffee and hate to miss your morning brew then join the club! I love great coffee and I hate it when you’re on holiday or staying somewhere unfamiliar and they just don’t have the necessary equipment to make a decent cup of joe.
Enter portable espresso makers.
These little devices are lightweight and compact and can join you on any journey. They make bold and rich coffee that’s bound to get you up and moving for the day, no matter where in the world you are.
To help you out we have a selection of ten of the finest portable espresso makers. Some options are perfect for holiday use, others you can take hiking or camping way out in the wilderness. There’s a device for every need and we have them all here ready for you to discover.
The top five fits will whet your appetite but after these, we have a handy buyers guide, some FAQs, and this is shortly followed by five more tempting offers. Sit back, relax and let’s go on an espresso-making journey.
Top 5 Best Portable Espresso Makers
- Top Choice – Wacaco Minipresso GR, Portable Espresso Machine
- Runner Up – STARESSO Portable Espresso Machine
- Low Maintenance Option – CONQUECO Portable Espresso Maker
- Budget Option – KFLOW Portable Espresso Maker
- Best for Travel – Wacaco Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker
1. Top Choice – Wacaco Minipresso GR, Portable Espresso Machine
- No Power Required
- Single or Double Shot
- Takes Ground Coffee
- Not Durable
Our top choice today for the best portable espresso maker is Wacaco with this manual espresso maker. It’s the smallest and lightest travel coffee maker at 175mm long and weighing only 360g. Despite its small size, it is capable of producing very good espresso with 8 bars of pressure.
All you need to do is add your favorite coffee and some hot water that has cooled a little. Pump the device to create pressure and you’re rewarded with a delicious espresso with thick crema.
This little device is perfect for hiking, a camping trip, or to keep with you on the road if you travel a lot. Not every hotel serves good coffee so this device can help you out when you need it most.
The downside is, it’s not designed for heavy use so isn’t ideal for your home coffee station. It’s the perfect portable coffee maker to use as a travel companion as it’s so compact, versatile, and easy to use.
2. Runner Up – STARESSO Portable Espresso Machine
- Takes Ground Coffee AND Capsules
- No Power Required
- Stainless Steel Water Chamber
- Tricky Clean-Up
The runner-up will have you brewing coffee like a barista from any location. This is a high-quality coffee machine that will leave you amazed by how much it can do despite being such a small device.
The walls are insulated to protect your hands from boiling water and this helps keep the coffee as hot as possible right up to serving. This model comes with a glass cup which has a far superior and quality feel. The water chamber is stainless steel so is hygienic, odor, and stain-resistant so always produces a clean cup of coffee.
The pressure produced is 15-20 bars which are high pressure enough to make excellent quality espresso with a very thick crema. As well as ground coffee beans, you can use Nespresso pods which are easy to transport and quick to clean up. The only issue I could find with this option is it can be tricky to clean coffee grounds out of the brew basket with the easiest way being scooping them out with a spoon.
Despite this minor hiccup, this device is outstanding overall and makes a really delicious espresso anytime, anywhere.
3. Low Maintenance Option – CONQUECO Portable Espresso Maker
- 15 Bar High Pressure Pump
- Self Heating
- Car and Home Charger
- Only Nespresso Capsules
This little espresso maker by Conqueco is perfect for those who love a simple and hands off, coffee making experience. All you need to do is press and hold the button and the coffee will be ready in 12 minutes or less. If you add pre-heated water then the wait is reduced to only 5 seconds.
The device is self heating and automatically pumps the water so requires no hard work from you. It can be charged in the car or from a regular home outlet so is perfect for making espresso anywhere.
It has an internal, self cleaning function so is really easy to keep it hygienic. It only accepts Nespresso capsules or L’OR capsules and it brews 40-45ml of coffee per cup. This is a bit limiting if you like to use fresh coffee beans but on the plus side makes clean up a breeze!
4. Budget Option – KFLOW Portable Espresso Maker
- 18 Bars of Pressure
- Large (5Oz) Capacity
- Takes Coffee Grounds and Capsules
- Takes Some Effort
This product is a budget option but without any of the usual sacrifices you have to make. This device takes no power so you can use it anywhere you need to. It can produce an impressive 18 bars of pressure so brew true espresso with only manual action.
It has a large, 5 oz capacity so can brew a decent amount of coffee and it can take your favorite fresh coffee of coffee pods if you prefer. It’s lined with stainless steel to ensure it stays clean and odor-free no matter how often you use it.
You have to pump the handle ten times with two-second intervals between presses to make espresso that has a thick crema. The only downside is it does take some time and effort to make the coffee but for the price you pay and the quality shot of espresso you can brew, it’s fully worth it.
5. Best for Travel – Wacaco Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker
- 18 Bars of Pressure
- Easy to Use
- Makes Quality Espresso
- Messy and Tricky to Clean
Wacaco has updated its espresso maker to include a few features that coffee lovers will certainly appreciate. This coffee maker has an extremely compact design and it’s hand-operated but the push force you need is less than earlier models. Despite less force, this little device can create 18 bars of pressure so that’s comparable to Italian engineered pumps in high-end espresso machines.
The device is pretty easy to use but you do need to get good at tamping to get a good quality espresso out of it. Make sure you set the coffee grinder to a fine setting or buy coffee that’s ground for espresso brewing.
The downside with this option is it can be a bit messy and difficult to get clean due to all the moving parts. That being said, this is typically the case with most of these kinds of coffee makers so isn’t a major deal-breaker.
Portable Espresso Maker Buyers Guide
The Heating Element
Some portable espresso makers come with an internal heating element and some require you to add hot water to brew the coffee. Although the heating elements require less equipment overall they give you less control over the brew temperature. They also require either a power source or batteries that need charging so can make the device less portable. The correct choice here is the one that best fits your needs.
The Clean Up
Espresso machines are notoriously difficult to get clean as coffee grounds like to sneak into all the gaps and crevices. The clean up process can really affect how portable your coffee maker actually is and is definitely worth consideration.
Power Source Required
Does the device need an external power source? To heat water, you do need some form of power or a heat source like a gas hob. Make sure you choose a device that fits in with your plans. So, for example, if it’s for camping, is it compatible with a camping stove etc?
Coffee Vs Pods
Fresh coffee is more versatile and gives you a wide range of options to choose from. The downside is you will need a coffee grinder. It’s also more messy to clean up.
Pods are quick, easy, and make less mess compared to fresh coffee. They don’t give you as much variety and you can’t adjust the dose of coffee to suit your taste preferences. You can’t really brew ‘true espresso’ without using fresh coffee but pods can be handier for on-the-go use.
Lots of these devices come with various extras to help smooth out the coffee brewing procedure. Things like tamper, pressure gauge, coffee grinder, carry case and more can help enhance your coffee brewing experience. Look out for any extras you may need and whether or not they’re included in the purchase.
What’s the best portable espresso maker?
Wacaco makes really user friendly portable espresso makers like the Minipresso and the Nanopresso. Both are compact, lightweight, and easy to use. Perfect for bold coffee when you’re on the go.
Is Nanopresso real espresso?
Although the Nanopresso produces 18 bars of pressure you can’t really get coffee shop results without the heavy-duty, steel constructed machines. The coffee is high quality but lacks the same texture and depth of flavor that comes with true espresso.
Are Nanopresso machines good?
Yes, they are. These little devices are the most compact, lightweight, and user-friendly option when it comes to portable espresso makers. They make a bold and rich cup of coffee with just a few pumps of the button.
More Portable Espresso Makers Reviewed
Nespresso Vertuo Next Coffee and Espresso Maker
- Automatic Brewing
- Removable Water Tank
- Slim Fit Design
- Needs Power Source
This Nespresso coffee maker is the perfect espresso maker to accompany you to work, on holiday, or to stay at a friend’s house. It’s slimline in design so fits well into any space but it does need a power source so isn’t suitable for camping.
One-touch brewing makes espresso making easier than ever and the machine reads the barcode of the capsule you add to it and automatically adjusts the brewing parameters to suit. The water tank is removable for easy re-filling and cleaning.
It takes Nespresso Vertuo capsules which come in over 30 blends and the sealed aluminum keeps the coffee fresh. The capsules can all be recycled using the Nespresso recycling program.
AeroPress Go Portable Travel Coffee Press
- Extremely Lightweight
- Brews Delicious Coffee
- Mug and Lid Included
- Doesn’t Brew ‘True Espresso’
The Aeropress is a unique and low-cost way to make espresso-like coffee. It’s a syringe-like device that brews fresh coffee in an immersion method before you press the plunger to finalize the process. Pressing the plunger creates a small amount of pressure that forces the coffee through a paper filter and extracts the last of the flavor notes.
This method creates a strong, bold, cup of coffee that’s smooth and sweet in flavor. Whilst it’s not ‘true’ espresso it is a similar coffee experience. The benefit of the Aeropress is you can brew different volumes of coffee to suit your needs and even make cold brew coffee if you add cold water and leave it for some hours.
The Aeropress Go is a travel-adapted option. It comes with a coffee cup and lid, perfect for serving your coffee, and they combine to create a travel case. The only downside with this option is it doesn’t make ‘true’ espresso, due to the low-pressure it generates, and it does require a bit of practice to really get the hang of it.
Overall, it’s a really cheap and really effective way to brew delicious coffee and is perfect for the nomad lifestyle.
Bialetti Moka Express: Iconic Stovetop Espresso Maker
- Different Size Options
- Italian Classic Design
- Easy To Use
- Needs an External Heat Source
The Moka Pot is an Italian classic coffee maker that will add tonnes of class to your coffee-making station. It works using steam pressure to brew coffee when the water in the lower chamber boils. To brew coffee simply add fresh ground coffee to the filter basket, fill the lower chamber with water (up to the safety valve), and assemble the device.
Place it on a stovetop and heat it until hot coffee starts spurting through the spout and into the upper chamber. This brew method can create 1-2 bars of pressure and brews a bold, dark coffee that’s similar to espresso. You can enjoy this as is or add steamed milk to make a cappuccino or a latte.
It’s a really easy and cost effective way to make delicious coffee and is extremely portable. The only downside is that you need an external heat source like a stovetop but it will work well on a camping stove or even over an open flame, just make sure the handle is protected!
Flair Signature Espresso Maker
- Handcrafted Espresso
- Pressure Guage
- Padded Carrying Case
- Takes Practice
The Flair espresso maker will elevate your espresso game to such heights you’ll never need to visit a coffee shop again. The manual, lever espresso maker gives you complete control over every aspect of your coffee brewing from the temperature of water used, pressure profiling, and exact timing.
The Flair Signature comes with its own padded carry case so you can take it anywhere with you. The downside is that to really customize your coffee you will also need a grinder and some way to heat up the water but this is the case with a lot of these portable espresso makers.
It does take a lot of practice to get really good at consistently producing a high quality espresso with a rich crema. This is not an easy option but once you take the time to get the hang of it you’ll be rewarded with the best quality coffee you’ve ever tasted.
HiBREW Portable 3-in-1 Multi-Function Electric Espresso Maker
- USB cable, Car Adapter, and AC Adapter
- 15 Bars of Pressure
- Doesn’t Make Scalding Hot Coffee
Last but not least we have HiBrew with this electric espresso maker. It’s very portable with three charging options. You can use a USB plug, DC from your car, or plug it into a regular outlet. It’s worth noting that if you’re using the USB option, due to the lower power draw, you have to use pre-heated water to brew hot coffee.
It’s a multi-function brewer that accepts Nespresso capsules, dolce gusto capsules, as well as fresh ground coffee. Simply add your coffee and cold water and press the button. It takes around 5 minutes to brew your coffee and can achieve 15 bars of pressure, which is impressive for such a small device.
This is an effective and lightweight device that works really well and the only downside is that it doesn’t produce coffee that’s as hot as some people like. That set aside, it’s a great option for coffee on the go and won’t set you back by much.
Portable espresso makers are a great way to enjoy bold and rich coffee anytime, anywhere. There is a huge range of options out there and they cover all levels of skills and needs. From one-touch brewing to full barista control, there’s an option out there to suit you, you just need to find it. Best of luck with your espresso brewing, stay full of caffeine!
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