Best Portable Espresso Makers in 2020 – Coffeeology’s Picks
You might think that it’s impossible to prepare a good espresso without having to build up some pressure, and you would technically be right. However, do you realize that now, you can easily get an energizing shot of espresso out of a compact machine, which can save you both time and cash, especially when you’re in the wild? Yes, it is possible, and all you have to do is to find the Best Portable Espresso Maker!
We are well aware of how risky online shopping can feel, since most of the times, you can’t tell which of the models are worth buying, and which aren’t. But to help you shop with ease, we have done our share of research and testing and came up with a list of what we consider to be the best espresso machines of the current year. We have also come up with a quick buyers’ guide, designed solely to help you choose the right model for your personal needs.
Table of Contents
Best Portable Espresso Makers – Our Picks
#1 – Flair Portable Portable Espresso Maker
- HANDCRAFT SHOTS OF ESPRESSO - With the Flair Espresso Maker, you have a complete manual espresso machine that can produce professional quality shots of espresso from your home, or wherever you are. Add 60ml of boiled water and a dose of up to 18 grams to yield a 40 ml shot with beautiful crema. A burr grinder is essential for use with this product.
- FULLY MANUAL & COMPLETELY BEAUTIFUL - The Flair is a 100% human-powered, manual espresso press. There are no plugs or electronics, meaning the Flair, which was designed from the ground up, will look beautiful in any coffee station or kitchen.
- EASY TO CLEAN - The Flair Espresso Maker is the only manual espresso maker with a completely detachable brewing head. This patented design allows for users to completely remove the brewing head, separate the parts, and rinse under cool water.
Our top pick of the best portable espresso makers is the Flair Espresso maker, which combines a well-constructed compact frame with a beautiful, modern design to deliver the best cup of espresso you can get your hands on, while on the move. As the name already suggests, this espresso maker is a manual press, in other words, you need to provide all the power that’s necessary to mix the hot water and ground beans into a perfect cup of espresso.
The unit features a brewing head that’s detachable, which is a great addition since it makes it easier to heat up and clean. Many of the parts in this espresso maker are either made from aluminum or stainless steel, a great mixture of sturdy yet lightweight materials, making it a very long-lasting unit that’s super easy to move around.
Additionally, this coffee maker comes with a carrying case straight out of the box, making it easy to carry around without the worry of damaging it while on the move.
The only niggle with this model is the fact that it might require you a little bit of time to learn how to use it properly. And even when you think you fully understand how this maker functions, you still might face some problems when trying to use it. However, if the learning curve of this machine doesn’t bother you, then you should probably grab one as soon as possible as it is easily one of the best portable espresso makers in the market right now, if not the best.
- Most parts are made of stainless steel and aluminum
- Comes with a carrying case
- Removable brewing head
- Manual press
- Has a steep learning curve
#2 – Wacaco MPGR100 Portable Espresso Maker
- Manual operation only! No battery/electricity need. Compact, lightweight and versatile, you may use any variety of coffee bean/roast, which will give you more flexibility in trying new flavors.
- Need to add the boiling water. It can not heat up water. Minipresso GR is your best choice to enjoy up to 50 ml of authentic espresso at home, in the office and on the go.
- Simple to operate! Add ground coffee to the filter basket with the help of the integrated scoop. Apply slight pressure to level the grind. Add hot water into the water tank. Finally unlock from its travel position the piston and pump a few strokes to pressurize and extract perfect espresso with generous crema.
Next up is our Runner-up for the title of the best portable espresso maker and it is Wacaco’s Minipresso MPGR100, an excellent machine for anyone who’s seeking an easy to use espresso maker. We highly recommend this model for all of you campers out there, it is a great unit for basically anyone who’s going on an adventure to places where he wouldn’t find a coffee shop within proximity. It is also one of the lightest and most compact units that you can get your hands on right now. This makes it very easy to carry around, without having to deal with so much extra weight or having to find a convenient space for it.
Additionally, this espresso maker is one of the easiest models to use right now, just add hot water and coffee grounds, pump a few times, and that’s it, you just got yourself a delicious & hot shot of espresso.
This unit is also one of the fastest models on the market, providing you with a nice cup of espresso in a concise amount of time. Moreover, you can disassemble this unit into multiple pieces, making it easier to clean it up in no time.
The only issue that we have with this unit is the fact that it seems to be designed to push you to buy upgrades for it. For example, you can only get one shot of espresso at a time. If it weren’t for this, the Wacaco MPGR100 would’ve held our number one spot for the best portable espresso maker of 2020.
- Lightweight & Compact Build
- Very easy to use
- Easy to clean up
- Requires some upgrades to reach its full potential
#3 – Litchi Portable Handheld Espresso Maker
The Litchi Espresso Maker wins our award of the “best portable espresso maker for the money.” You can get your hands on one for less than half of the price of the first two models that we’ve reviewed above. In other words, you are going to get some incredible value for your money. It also comes with a feature that’s missing in both models above, and it is an extra filter basket.
Additionally, this model comes with a carrying bag but unfortunately, it isn’t as protective as the carrying bags or cases that come with other units, but it allows you to carry all the different parts together while on the move or traveling.
Despite all of its advantages, this model does have a few drawbacks. For one, it is somewhat oddly-shaped, making it hard to travel with. And while the construction of the maker is quite a rigid and durable one, you still got to be careful about where you leave it inside a bag or a backpack of yours due to its odd shape.
You also need to tamp the grounds if you want a perfect shot of espresso, and sadly, tamping the beans can’t be easy, especially when you’re on the movie. But despite these issues, this model still provides an excellent value for your money, gaining it a spot on our list of the best portable espresso makers of the current year.
- Excellent pricing
- Comes with a second filter basket
- Includes a carrying bag
- Oddly shaped
- Requires you to tamp down the grounds
#4 – Handpresso Wild Hybrid Portable Espresso Maker
- Uses Ground and E.S.E Pods
- Pressure: 16 Bar
- Water Reservoir 1.5 Oz
The main feature that granted the Handpresso Wild Hybrid a spot on our list of the best portable espresso coffee makers is the fact that it allows you to avoid using loose espresso grounds. This might not sound like much but can be a lifesaver, especially if you’re far from home and unable to clean up a spill.
While you can still use loose espresso beans with this machine, the ability to use E.S.E pods instead is a great option. These pods are reminiscent of the design of K-cups, but they are made for the sole purpose of making espresso.
Additionally, the model is available in both silver and black; one is more elegant looking, the other is more resistant to scratches, and the choice is yours. The only downside to this model is the fact that it is a bit on the pricey side of the spectrum.
There is also the fact that E.S.E. pods are super hard to find offline, which can be an issue for many people. Long story short, the value you are getting out of the espresso maker doesn’t really justify its price, but it is still a great piece of machinery anyway, and that’s why it made it to our list of the best portable espresso makers.
- Excellent PSI
- Supports both loose grounds and pods
- Comes in two colors
- Quite Expensive
- Pods are not that available offline
#5 – Homgeek Portable Espresso Maker
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Finally on our list of the best portable espresso makers is the Homgeek Mini Espresso Maker Tool, a pretty inexpensive coffee maker, to the point where if it breaks, you could easily replace it with another one without any issue. That’s the main feature of this model, how cheap it is, if you happen to break it on an adventure or lose it, it won’t be that big of a problem. It’s also effortless to operate and doesn’t require any time to learn how to use it. Similar to the Litchi model, this coffee maker is oddly shaped, which might prove problematic when trying to pack it. And in case you didn’t realize it yet, this model won’t last you that long, as it often develops leaks after using it for a few months. But all of this doesn’t mean that you can’t get a good espresso out of this little machine, it’s just that if you’re seeking a unit that will last you long, then you probably shouldn’t go with this model.
- Pretty simple to operate
- Has an odd shape
- Tends to develop leaks over time
Choosing the Best Portable Espresso Maker – Our Buying Guide
First off, we hope that our reviews have already given you an idea about which model might best suit your needs. But if you are still unsure about which model might be the right one for you, we’ve put together this buying guide to help you with that. We designed it to highlight every essential feature that you’ll need to know before considering buying a portable espresso maker.
Whether you like a shot of espresso to start your adventure in the wild, or you prefer drinking multiple cups of espresso every day, this guide is for you.
You are looking for a portable espresso maker if you’re here, but how portable is a mobile espresso maker differs from a model to another. The first thing that you should look for is whether or not the model comes with a case. Its main goal is to keep your unit safe while you travel, it’ll also prevent the loss of any of your machine’s small & vital parts.
Another thing that you should look for in a model is how easy it is to disassemble it and the way it’s shaped. If it comes in a shape that features hard knobs or symmetrical angles, then it’s probably bound to be damaged eventually.
The final point is the weight equation, and in simple terms, the heavier your portable espresso maker is, the less motivated you’ll feel when going out with it. So it’s good to look for a model that’s lighter than others, and it so happens that the best portable espresso makers are usually the lightest among the competition.
As we have already demonstrated with the five models that we reviewed, not all models have equal ease of use, but there are a few things that you can look for in a model which usually indicate that it is easier to use than other coffee makers. For one, models that have a larger water capacity are capable of producing some shots each time, but most models in the market, the good ones at least, usually only have a single water tank, thus can only produce a single shot at a time.
As we’ve shown before with some of the models reviewed above, some brands offer an additional filter basket as an upgrade. Additionally, portable espresso makers differ when it comes to the amount of pumping they can do, which is necessary to make enough pressure to make a shot of espresso.
All in all, the best way to tell which model is worthy of being the best portable espresso maker for you is by reading user reviews, as they usually provide information about the clients’ experience and the characteristics of the model itself.
The Quality of the Espresso
You can’t regard a coffee maker as one of the best portable espresso makers out there if it doesn’t get you a good cup of coffee. And while getting a shot of espresso on the move is quite easy, getting a good one isn’t. And while some might claim that it mainly depends on the quality of the grounds that you put into your machine, we’re here to tell you that the espresso maker matters too.
For one, many of the portable models work best with an extra-fine grind, so you’ll probably end up having to get a grinder too. And while you can always use espresso pods, it is somewhat agreed upon that the quality of the espresso that’s produced by espresso pods isn’t as good as using ground beans.
Moreover, you should always make sure that the water you’re using is as hot as possible since using water that’s way below the boiling point might result in a bad flavor and less crema.
Each person has their own needs and preferences, and each model has its ups and downs in different areas, what we’re trying to say is that the ‘’right” model varies from a person to another. The first thing that you, as a client, should do is to figure out what your needs are exactly. Then you can use them as criteria when looking for the best portable espresso maker for you.
We do hope that our quick buyer’s guide and our list of what we think are the best portable espresso makers out here helped you learn a thing or two about portable espresso makers and which one you should get, both in a case of getting a new one or just upgrading.