The glorious caffeine reality we live in today means those of us who reside in urban areas are rarely more than a five-minute walk from a coffee shop, whether it's a Starbucks or a locally owned indie cafe. Us coffee lovers know if we are ever out of range of a coffee shop, though, there's always packs of instant we can make on the go. But now there's a seriously delicious piece of tech on the market that will give you much more than instant: Wacaco's Nanopresso, which is handheld and brews espresso literally anywhere. And, by the way, it's currently on sale for a cool $55, down from $65 (just in time for Father's Day, perhaps?).
A representative for Wacaco tells Bustle that once you've got a Nanopresso, you can use any espresso you want to brew coffee anywhere in the world. (You can also use a coffee pod, but that does require purchasing an adaptor.) On the Nanopresso's website, the company advises using finely ground espresso that can be tamped down hard. It fits in the palm of your hand — and it's hand-powered, too, with the aid of a unique pumping system.
It's clearly a good option for folks who go camping or backpacking and are resigned to instant out in the wilderness, but honestly, a handheld espresso maker has a benefit for all sorts of people, from folks who have hourlong commutes in the morning to people who just plain prefer to make their own coffee at home, while using as little electricity as possible. And even if you're not someone planning to make espresso on the go, currently at $55, the Nanopresso is definitely not as heavy on the wallet as a big at-home espresso maker.
The Nanopresso (as well as some other espresso-producing handheld devices) also offers coffee with a tiny footprint, as coffee enthusiast site I Need Coffee pointed out, since it doesn't use electricity or cartridges for power. I Need Coffee reviewed what appears to be a previous model of the Nanopresso, and said it came with six parts that combined into a "svelte" shape. The model also had pre-portioned places to put espresso and hot water, so you don't over-add either.
If the idea of having portable espresso is opening up a whole new world to you, you're not alone, friend. Even if you're a super coffee fan, it may be intimidating to head into brewing your own espresso, especially since you're going to be doing it with the power of your hand alone, instead of with all the machines coffee shops have at their disposal.
Fear not, though: Like with coffee, brewing an espresso you love is all about having the right blend and roast. Since you can use anything in the Nanopresso, your best bet to find something you're sure to like is to look at the brand that makes your favorite coffee and see if they produce espresso beans you can purchase — though you probably will have to grind them yourself.
According to Coffee Review, you should be prepared to do some trial and error before you settle on your perfect espresso blend: "Only by tasting a variety of dark-roasted blends from a variety of coffee roasters can you determine whether you prefer your espresso coffee roasted in a style that leans toward the lighter end of the espresso spectrum, with some of the acidy notes still discernible, or toward the darker end, where the bittersweet tones completely dominate."
You should also be prepared to try beans from different locales, and be prepared to blend them to nail your ideal shot, Coffee Review said. For example, "[e]spresso blends in the classic northern Italian style, like the famous Illy Caffe, combine coffees from Brazil that are naturally sweet, low-acid, and full-bodied." If you're a West Coaster, you've likely become accustomed to blends that "are heavy with powerful, high-grown, brightly acidy beans from Central America," according to Coffee Review.
But let's be honest: Getting to experiment with your own handheld espresso maker to create your very own custom-tailored espresso blend isn't exactly a hardship. And with this super mini maker letting users have espresso everywhere, it sounds like one of the biggest hardships for espresso lovers may finally be at an end.