You may think that you can’t get a great espresso without building up a lot of pressure, and you’d be right. But did you realize that you can now get great espresso out of a portable device, saving you time and money when you’re on the go?
We all know that shopping online can feel like a high-pressure situation. It’s not always clear which models are great, and which will break down soon after you buy them.
We want you to be able to shop with confidence, which is why we’ve compiled these reviews of the best portable espresso makers of 2021. We’ve also included a buyers’ guide designed to help you find the model that’s right for you, whether you’re a novice or looking for the best crema on the market.
Which portable espresso maker is right for you?
Different people have different coffee needs, and different models excel in different areas, so the right model is going to vary from person to person. If you want to get great value out of your buy, you’ll need to approach this problem strategically.
The first thing you should do is figure out what all of your needs are. Where do you envision yourself drinking espresso? Will it be easy to work with loose espresso grounds or not? Will you need something durable that can stand up to abuse, or is your espresso maker unlikely to leave the hotel room?
Once you have the answers to those questions, it’s a good idea to make a list of the models that best fit those criteria. Once you’ve done that, it’s safe to choose the cheapest model on that list. And since it’s the cheapest remaining model, it provides great value for your money.
5 Best Portable Espresso Makers – Reviews 2021
1. Flair Manual-Press Portable Espresso Maker – Top Pick
The Flair Espresso Maker combines a portable frame with an elegant design to deliver the best overall portable espresso experience. This is a manual press, which means you provide all the power needed to turn hot water and ground coffee into the perfect shot of espresso. It comes with a detachable brewing head, so it’s easy to heat up and to clean. Most parts in this portable espresso maker are made from either stainless steel or aluminum, meaning it’s a great mix of lightweight and sturdy materials that should be long-lasting and easy to transport.
It also includes a carrying case, which makes it easy to hit the road with this machine and not have to worry about accidental damage while in transit. The only real downside to this model is that it takes some time to learn. And it’s not the quickest model to use even once you understand it. If you’re willing to take the time to learn to use this model though, it’s easily the best on the market for portable espressos.
2. Wacaco MPGR100 Minipresso Espresso Maker – The Runner-Up
The Wacaco Minipresso MPGR100 is the best model for anyone who needs a simple, easy-to-use portable espresso maker. This model is ideal for a camping trip or any other situation where you might find yourself far from the nearest coffee shop. It’s one of the most compact and lightest portable espresso makers you’ll find on the market. You can add it to any trip without it adding too much weight or taking up an inconvenient amount of space. It’s also really easy to learn how to use this model. Add coffee grounds and hot water, pump a few times, and you’re done. Since it’s so easy to use, it’s also one of the quicker models on the market, getting you from start to finish in a very short amount of time.
It’s also easy to clean up after use since it disassembles into multiple pieces, all of which are safe to clean. The only real gripe we have with this model is that it seems designed to drive you toward upgrades. It only produces one shot of espresso at a time, so if you want more, you’ll have to upgrade the water tank, which ultimately keeps this model out of first place.
3. Litchi Handheld & Portable Espresso Maker – Best for the Money
The Litchi Portable Hand Held Espresso Maker is the “best for the money” on our list. You can get it for less than half of what you’d pay for the first two models, which means you’re getting incredible value for your money. And, unlike the first two models on our list, it includes a second filter basket, making it an even better value. It also includes a carrying bag, which isn’t as protective as the cases that come with other models, but it gives you a way to keep all the parts together while you travel.
It does have a few negatives that you should be aware of before you buy. It’s oddly-shaped, which makes it a bit difficult to travel with. While it’s not easy to damage, you’ll want to be careful where you leave it inside a bag or backpack. It also works best if you tamp down the grounds, which isn’t always easy to do when you’re on the go. Without those issues, this model would be even higher on our list. Despite these flaws, it still provides the best value for the money.
The Handpresso Wild Hybrid gives you the ability to avoid working with loose espresso grounds, which can be a lifesaver if you’re far from home and cleaning up a spill would be a logistical disaster. While you can use loose espresso grounds with this model, you also have the option of using E.S.E pods, which are reminiscent of K-cups but designed for the express purpose of making espresso. That means you can throw pods in your bag for a trip and not have to worry about grinding or spilling espresso. It also produces up to 232 PSI, which is far more than needed for making espresso. So you can make a great cup every time.
It’s available in both black and silver, so you can opt for a more elegant or a more scratch-resistant design. Unfortunately, this model is a bit on the expensive side, and while it’s not outrageous, it doesn’t compete well in that area with other models on our list. The E.S.E. pods are also hard to find offline, which can be a pain. Unfortunately, the value doesn’t justify the price, even though this is a good overall best portable espresso maker.
The Homgeek Mini Espresso Maker is a decent choice for someone looking for a portable espresso maker. Since it’s doesn’t cost a lot, you can always replace it when it breaks. But in most cases, it will be better to choose a different model. The best thing this espresso maker has going for it is that it’s very cheap. If it breaks, or you lose it while out on an adventure, it’s not going to be a big deal. It also operates very simply, which means you won’t have to spend a lot of time learning how to use it.
It is, however, oddly-shaped, so packing can become problematic. It also doesn’t last as long as other models on this list, and it often develops leaks after a few months of use. It’s not that you can’t get good espresso out of this machine, but you might want to buy something that lasts a bit longer. In most circumstances, it makes sense to spend a bit more money to get a model that comes with better features and that will last longer.
I love to drink coffee and also love to write about it. Other than drinking coffee I love the machine that produced it. I am always curious to know more about the coffee industry from the inside and from the outside that reflects on my blog.
I am the current owner of coffeemakerguy.com and I love all forms of coffee. Love cooking and cleaning my kitchen after that.