For people who can’t go without coffee but are always on the move, portable espresso makers are a lifesaver.
These are a lot like regular espresso machines, except they’re much smaller and lightweight. So, you can easily take them with you when you’re traveling.
But size doesn’t compromise their performance or quality. Be it hand-operated or electricity operated, these machines are well equipped to deliver excellent tasting espresso shots.
It’s essential to find the best portable espresso maker that can produce quality coffee, whether you’re interested in one for day tripsor simply because you want a smaller unit at home.
Here, we will provide you with a detailed guide so you can choose the one you like.
How To Pick The Best Portable Espresso Maker?
First, you have to weigh certain important aspects, and based on those, you will have to pick a portable water heater.
Let’s have a look at some of them, shall we?
Weight and Portability
We have only mentioned portable options here. But there is still a significant difference in terms of weight and portability. The large weight gap will contribute significantly later on.
Now, let’s look at the differences in size, then we will tell you which one you should go for.
First, we have the super-light options. These weigh below 340g.
The super-light espresso machines are the most compact choices, fitting into any backpacks and making them suitable for day travels. So, these will make the perfect addition to your outdoor gear when you go camping or hiking with family or friends.
Second, we have the light options that weigh somewhere between 340 g and 500g.
These espresso machines are also relatively lightweight and portable. They’re perfect for multi-day excursions. You can fit them in your luggage and carry them with you. But they are not quite as convenient as the first category.
Last, we have another group that weighs over 500g.
Now, these expresso machines are comparatively much bigger than the others. They are not quite as easy to transport.However, they are still pretty compact and portable but packing them can be challenging. So, they are mostly recommended for at-home use.
If you want a portable espresso machine exclusively for home use, you can choose one from the third category. But if you want an easy-to-carry espresso maker, you should opt for one from the first category.
Compatibility with Coffee Types
One of the key aspects that sets these machines apart is their compatibility. While some can only be used with ground coffee, others only work with pods. However, there are a few thatare suitable for both processes.
Now, which one should you get? It all comes down to your personal preferences.
Espressos made from pods are of somewhat lower quality. They are, however, fairly easy to carry and do not make a mess. On the other hand, espresso made from newly ground coffee is of higher quality. However, they are more difficult to carry and can be a pain to clean up after.
So, you have to decide what you want and pick an espresso machine based on that.
Related article: List of top coffee and espresso maker combo for this year. Click to check.
Convenience and Ease of Use
When it comes to computers, usability is still a top priority. The same is true with espresso machines.
So, you will need to check the shape and pumping mechanism. Some are hand-operated, and some are electric. Hand-operated ones take a little more effort than the electric ones. The latter only needs a press of a button.
But the manual machines included in the review are top grade and don’t cause much trouble.
You should still check out the reviews first before purchasing.
Number of Shots Produced
You must check the number of shots it will deliver simultaneously to select the most convenient alternative.
If you have a big family or a big group of friends,you will need a machine that can deliver lots of shots at a time. Otherwise, you will miss all the fun when you are busy making coffee.
But if you want one for home, the number of shots produced shouldn’t be a big deal. Everyone can make their own shot.
For the most part, espresso consistency does not have to be perfect. However, if you’re a true coffee enthusiast, this is almost certainly the most significant attribute.
Now, if that is the case, go for a system that uses ground coffee instead of pods. As these use the most pressure, they provide the richest cream.
But if you are not an avid coffee drinker, you will most likely not notice the difference.
Now that we have covered how to choose the right portable espresso maker for you, we will review the best choices for espresso makers in detail.
Detailed Comparison Table
Here’s a table that compares the top options for espresso makers. It will provide you with a brief overview of the items.
|Item||Mechanism||Capacity||Maximum Pressure||Heat Source||Price Range|
|WACACO NanopressoNano+BAG FBA||Manual||80 ml||18 bar||External||Moderate|
|STARESSO Portable Espresso||Manual||80 ml||15 to 20 bar||External||Moderate|
|CONQUECO Portable Espresso||Electric||–||15 bar||Internal||High|
|WacacoMinipresso NS FBA||Manual||70 ml||8 bar||External||Low|
|Moocoo Portable Espresso||Manual||–||20 bar||External||Low|
|Flair Signature Espresso||Manual||40 ml||9 bar||External||Very high|
6 Best Portable Espresso Maker Reviews
We’ve narrowed down the top 6 portable espresso makers based on our exhaustive testing. Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
1. WACACO Nanopresso Nano+BAG FBA
The first choice on our list is from Wacaco, and it is unquestionably the most preferred overall espresso maker accessible on the market right now. It achieves the perfect combination between usability, portability, and flavor.
One of the best qualities that distinguishes this espresso maker from others is its manual operation. This machine features a proprietary pumping mechanism that reduces the need for batteries and electricity. In essence, you’ll just have to pay once. There are no extra fees for batteries or power.
Now, it can seem difficult to operate by hand. However, that is far from the case. It’s refreshingly quick to use. Usability is, in practice, one of the most essential qualities of this machine.
Compared to former variants, like the 1st generation Minipresso, it needs 15% less strength to use. Cleaning is also easy. If you want to clean the portafilter thoroughly, you can easily detach all of its parts.
As for the quality and taste, this machine will achieve a peak pressure of 18 bars, which is 261 PSI for exceptional coffee processing. So, there’s no reason to be concerned with the coffee’s taste or flavor. Although perfecting an espresso shot is indeed difficult, the Nanopresso makes it surprisingly simple.
Lastly, the machine is compatible with various Nespresso accessories, including the NS Adapter and the Barista Kit. You can comfortably use them for this one, but you’ll have to purchase the accessories separately.
- Doesn’t require an additional battery or power supply
- Can be easily used manually by everyone
- Needs 15% less pressure to work relative to past variants
- Designed in a creative way that makes it both distinctive and dependable
- Compatible with several accessories like adapter and barista kit
- Doesn’t include accessories in this package
2. STARESSO Portable Espresso
If you like foamed milk in your coffee as I do, you’ll love this. This is the most compact choice for espresso and milk foaming.
Another reason that makes this machine so desirable is its built-in cup. If you want coffee on the go, be it on the way to work or while traveling, this built-in cup proves very useful.
Both Nespresso capsules and ground coffee are suitable for this machine. You will be able to get outstanding flavored coffees if you follow the simple directions and make several small holes on the bottom of the capsules.
Now that you know how great the overall coffee-making experience is with this one, you should also know how easy it is to clean up. Most beverages can be treated simply with water. But for drinks with milk, use a diluted alcohol solution to make sure there is no residue.
There’s no denying that the STARESSO Portable Espresso Maker produces exceptional espresso on the go. However, compared to other manually driven devices like the WacacoNanopresso or WacacoMinipresso, this machine’s pumping operation is more challenging.
So, unless you are sure you have enough patience and excellent hand strength, you may want to consider another option.
- Construed with high-quality stainless steel that makes it very sturdy
- Has a rather classy appearance
- Allows for manual operation with minimal effort
- Has a BPA-free material construction, making the coffee extremely dependable
- Has a large capacity of carrying 80 ml of water
- Requires a lot of pressure to make it work
3. CONQUECO Portable Espresso
This is the only electric option we have for you. And, it is the safest choice if you don’t like the idea of manually pressing for espresso extraction. Since it operates on electricity, it costs a little more than traditional hand-operated espresso machines.
Unlike the other choices, this one does not necessitate any manual labor. The mechanism is also exceptionally simple.
If you use hot water, the coffee will begin to generate an aroma after just 5 seconds. The best thing is that you won’t have to use hot water. You can use cold water if you like. Press and hold the switch for 2 seconds after pouring cold water in place. It will begin to heat the water, and you will be able to consume coffee in less than 10 minutes.
The advanced technology of the CONQUECO PortableEspresso Makerallows it to offer a high pressure of 15 par. So, you canbrew professional-quality espresso shots from the comfort of your own home.
Moreover, it has a self-heating option, and it functions for you continuously. As a result, espresso coffee can be served just about everywhere.
It is designed in such a manner that it fits nicely into a cup holder and maybe even a backpack. Basically, you can take it with you on whatever trip you choose, such as fishing, hunting, hiking, and so on.
For your utmost convenience, it has two compatible charges; one for charging inside at home and the other for car charging when you’re out traveling.
- Runs on electricity, so you won’t have to put in any effort
- Doesn’t require external water heating
- Starts brewing espresso shots with a single press of a button
- Includes self-cleaning mechanism, so you will only need to wash the cup
- Ideal for outdoor adventures like camping, hiking, and more
- Works only with specific Nespresso Original capsules
- Has a pretty generic design
- Costs quite a lot
4. Wacaco Minipresso NS FBA
As we mentioned before, we have included only the best options for you. And, this is the best choice for an affordable espresso maker. So, if you are on a budget, this is the one you should go for.
Wacaco makes this particular espresso machine. It’s similar to our first option, but it’s not quite as intricate. But it’s still a tough machine that makes excellent espresso. If you’re on a tight budget but still want good espresso, this machine will suffice.
Nespresso capsules are compliant with it. The coffee in these capsules is finely ground, weighed, and compressed, leaving almost no room for mistake.
Furthermore, after-use washing is a breeze. It’s a lot more comfortable and easy to pick up afterward.
Since they are mainly built for beginners, these machines are very easy to operate. You must first insert a compatible capsule inside the outlet head. Then, fill the water tank with heated water.
After that, you’ll need to release the pump from its position and press a couple of times to build pressure and produce tasty espresso with ample cream.
It is the perfect choice for enjoying tasty espresso easily and reliably, no matter where you are. So, if you’re on the move, this is the only machine you’ll need!
- Comes in a very compact and lightweight form, which makes it easy to carry around
- Has a rather durable construction despite its weight
- Compatible with a bunch of Nespresso Original accessories
- Comes at a very cheap price point
- Perfect addition for beginners and home users
- Only compatible with a specific type of brew, which makes it less versatile
- Requires extra care while using
5. Moocoo Portable Espresso
Here, we have another reasonably priced handheld espresso machine.
Despite the low price, this system is quite comprehensive. It’s terrific not only in terms of visuals but also in terms of speed and performance.
The first thing you’ll notice about this device is its stylish appearance. However, you should be aware that it is made of solid, BPA-free material. And, the cup attached at the bottom is made by Tritan.
Besides, this device has a bunch of features that make it highly efficient. For instance, it is very durableand impact-resistant, even though it’s a lot thinner than glass. It also has an anti-scalding mechanism as well as an insulation feature.
Moreover, it has advanced pumping technologies, allowing the system to attain a steady pressure of 20 bar while processing. As a result, you can achieve a great outcome with a flawless cream in any brewing operation.
Most significantly, this unit consumes only half as much energy. As a result, you will be able to use the machine with ease.That is why it is often suggested for the elderly.
In addition to specialized pumping technologies, it has slightly elevated micro-filter holes built into the device that avoids grounds leakage. As a result, you’ll be able to make espresso that’s both fresh and particle-free.
- Has an ergonomic design with BPA free construction materials, and includes advanced pumping technology & leak prevention technology
- Makes the perfect portable option
- Uses relatively50% less force
- Has an anti-scalding system and an insulation feature
- Most suitable for older, less tech-savvy users
- Comes in a relatively low price
- Requires frequent maintenance
6. Flair Signature Espresso
We saved the best for the last. This would’ve been much higher in the list had it not been for the price. If you’re a coffee addict with no budget constraints, this one is well worth the investment.
Let’s have a look at what makes the Flair Signature Espresso Maker so unique. To begin with, it will provide you with coffee of unrivaled quality and flavor. Without a doubt, it delivers superior extraction of espresso for any system mentioned here.
As for its operation mechanism, this is a manually-operated espresso makeroperated entirely by human effort. So, you get a perfect hand-operated device that you can use at home to make highly qualified espresso shots.
This espresso machine may seem sophisticated and tricky to use, but it is neither. You’ll need 60ml of hot water to get the right proportion. Then, for a 40 ml shot with frothy cream, you’ll need to pump up to 18 grams of coffee.
However, this unit is not exactly the most portable device out there. It’s big and heavy and takes up a lot of space. But it is the perfect addition to a steady home. If you have it on the kitchen counter, it can be used by anyone in the house throughout the day. So, if you have enough space, this is just a minor inconvenience.
You’ll be up and alert all day if you resume your mornings with espresso from this product. So, if you think you can afford it and have the spare room for it, go ahead and grab it now!
- Looks very sleek
- Has heavy-duty aluminum and stainless steel construction that makes it highly sturdy
- Has a pretty simple mechanism that anyone can operate
- Provides the best quality of coffee
- Has a totally retractable brewing head, making cleanup easy and convenient
- Most suitable for avid coffee drinkers
- Takes up a lot of room
- Costs a lot more than its alternatives
Benefits of Portable Espresso Maker
Portable Espresso Makers are a lifesaver for those of us who are coffee lovers. For us, the benefits of these machines are limitless.
If you’re just like me, you’ve already heard of most of them. But if you’re just a casual coffee drinker, here’s a rundown of the advantages of these technological marvels.
Most of these machines were designed specifically for portability. So, they weigh very little.
Easy to Carry Around
Another undeniable benefit is the matter of transportability. As these machines were designed with the intention of transportation, you will be able to carry them around easily.
Now, there are multiple options. Among which, some weigh as light as 300 g. You can take them on your day excursions or weekend trips with your friends and family.
Small and Compact
In order to make these things lightweight for smoother transportation, most of these machines were designed to be compact. That means they take up very little space.
So, you can pack them up in your backpack and forget about them during the day. But when you feel the need for coffee, you will always have these espresso makers with you.
Excellent Quality Espresso
Despite what most people believe, portable espresso makers can provide professional quality coffee. You will just have to find the right one.
And if you want the best quality, always go for options that use freshly ground coffee instead of capsules and pods.
Quick and Reliable
Now, these machines are designed to provide faster results. Some of these are built with advanced mechanismsto get your coffee done in a matter of minutes.
With the manual ones, if you pump fast a few times, you will be presented with aromatic and flavorful espresso very quickly.
Available for Both Ground Coffee and Coffee Capsules
Whether freshly ground coffee is better than coffee capsules depends on an individual’s taste. Whichever you happen to enjoy, you can find the right portable option for you. Also, here you find quality espresso powder for your coffee maker.
Difference Between Nanopresso And Minipresso
As you have seen earlier, we recommended two options from Wacaco. One of them, our very first recommendation, is the Nanopresso Espresso Machine. And the other one is the MinipressoEspresso Machine.
Let’s start with the individual specifications. Then we’ll get into the specific differences between the two, which might be a determining factor for you.
This is, in essence, the very first version of a portable espresso machine from the brand. And it has been highly regarded as one of the best options for a while now. It includes a cup that is positioned on the top of the machine.
Now, there are two versions of the MinipressoEspresso Machine.
1. Wacaco Minipresso NS
The first one is used just for coffee capsules. So, if you prefer freshly ground coffee, this is not the one for you
2. Wacaco Minipresso GR
And this one is only for freshly ground coffee. So, you can’t use coffee pods with it.
This is a relatively newer version of espresso machine. And, from our research, we believe this is the best on the market right now. It includes an 8 g filter basket for ground coffee. So, you can use freshly ground coffee beans with it.
Besides, it has additional accessories that you can purchase. The most defining addition is the NS adaptor. It allows you to switch between ground coffee and pods. So, you can make both types of espresso with this one.
Now, these are the fundamental differences between the two options.
|Ground Coffee Capacity||8 g||8 g|
|Average Pressure||8 bar||18 bar|
|Water Capacity||70 ml||80 ml|
|Weight||12.8 pounds||11.8 pounds|
|Compatible Coffee Type||Either ground coffee or capsules||Both|
The key distinction that has a significant impact on your choice is the simultaneous use of coffee varieties. Briefly speaking, you can use both ground coffee or coffee capsules with a Nanopresso, but the Minipresso works with only one type.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the right price for portable espresso maker?
Prices for portable espresso makers vary depending on different features. There is no one “right” price for an espresso maker.
That being said, there is a range of prices. And, you can go for the average price range if you want to enjoy quality espresso shots from the comfort of your own house. That would be somewhere between $60 and $100.
We have included a few options in this range, which are well worth investing in. Furthermore, we also included ones priced below that range, which are just as exceptional.
So, you should read the detailed descriptions before making a decision.
2. Is Nanopresso worth it?
Nespresso is the ideal blend between convenience and quality. And that combination, by itself, outperforms all other alternatives.
With these espresso makers, you will be able to prepare high-quality espresso within a few minutes.
These machines are highly dependable and long-lasting. They’re well-made and need little to no upkeep. In fact, Nespresso is widely regarded as the most dependable single-pod espresso machine on the market.
3. How long will a Portable Espresso maker last?
Longevity, like price, is a highly unpredictable element. While some are vulnerable to cracking, others can survive for over a decade.
Basically, an espresso machine can last from five to fifteen years at least.
However, the brand, form, difficulty, rate of use, and a few more aspects affect the machine’s lifetime.
4. Can I make espresso without an espresso machine?
Even after all the extended reviews, if you feel like you don’t want to purchase an espresso machine, that is understandable. If you are an occasional coffee drinker, you might not get the most usage out of one of these machines.
You have little to be concerned about in that situation. And if you don’t have an espresso machine, you can produce espresso-like drinks. There are quite a lot of options for you. You can choose between an Aeropress, a French press, or a Moka.
We’ve provided choices to fit your preferences, whether you prefer professional quality coffee, anelectricespresso maker, or simply a low-cost option.
Since all espresso machines havetheir own sets of benefits and setbacks, you should decide based on what considerations are most important to you.
For thebest portable espresso maker, we have picked the WACACO Nanopresso Nano+BAG FBA. With this, you can make excellent espresso shots, that too, quite conveniently. As for a budget option, we recommend you get the Wacaco Minipresso NS FBA. It is almost as great as the other Wacaco option.