There are a ton of espresso machines on the market at all different price points. I have reviewed some of them. But I have yet to write a review of a good portable espresso machine. In my opinion for it to work it has to be consistent, easy to use, and safe. Making espresso means a lot of pressure being put in a small place to properly extract the espresso. I have read somewhere that you need 10 bars of pressure to properly create the crema on the top of espresso. That’s a lot of pressure in something handheld. I think I finally found a winner in the portable espresso market.
I was sent the Staresso Portable Espresso machine to review. When I opened the box I was impressed with the build quality. It seems sturdy and compact. Both pluses in the portable game. I would feel comfortable throwing this in my bag to take to work. The pump locks in place at the top of the unit with a simple twist and the whole thing screws together and is easy to disassemble to clean.
You can use this unit with hot or cold water. I’ve tried both. And both seem to work well. Although the hot water works better. The machine is capable of producing a single or a double shot of espresso depending on the amount of water you put into the top. the hopper can hold up to around 100ml of water.
The only thing I found a little off was the extra accessories I need to keep on hand to use it. the scoop and the cleaning brush don’t have a home if I throw it in my bag. But that was a very small detail. The scoop doubles as a tamper to flatten out the coffee after it portions it. Very neatly designed.
The pressure chamber is metal encased in heavy duty plastic. You can remove the spot where the coffee goes and complexly disassemble it. The demitasse glass at the bottom is thick glass and fits into the chamber to hold it. steady while you pump the machine.
The one feature I did not test was the attachment for Nespresso pods since I don’t have any and prefer fresher beans. But if that’s your jam there is a way to use them in this machine. I imagine it would make cleanup a little easier.
To use the machine you load and tamp the coffee, screw the pieces together and set it into the housing. The top unscrews and you put your water in it. After pumping the handle 10 times to prime the system you wait ten seconds for the grounds to soak in the water and then you pump until the pressure is relieved, usually another 10 – 20 times or until you are out of water.
The espresso produced has a nice thick cream and a great mouthfeel. I was pleasantly surprised by just how thick the espresso was. For comparison i pulled a shot from my superautomatic espresso machine to compare. These two machine could not be more different, one is handheld and sells for a very reasonable 69.99, the other takes up a good deal of real estate on my counter, grinds the beans and costs over 800 dollars. The espresso out of the portable was thicker and the crema was more enjoyable. I can see this machine most certainly moving into the rotation at my home coffee bar. I love the espresso that this little guy was able to produce. The expensive machine made watery espresso by comparison. I wholeheartedly endorse the Staresso Portable espresso machine. Seriously if you want something that produces quality espresso without taking up a metric ton of real estate this is the way to go.
If you are interested in picking up one of your very own, visit this link and use code CAFFINATION10 for a cool 10$ off your order. It’s honestly a great pickup for any coffee lover
*I was provided the review unit of this product at no charge. It did not effect the outcome of my review and no promises were made about the type of coverage I would produce.