Travelling light can often mean a compromise in both home comforts and luxuries. The idea of supping an espresso at the top of a mountain may sound pretty far fetched it is now, a rather convenient reality thanks to the Wacaco Minipresso GR. The Minipresso a lightweight, handheld espresso maker that simply needs coffee grounds, hot water and a little manual labour, excited about the idea of drinking espresso in the hills the minipresso was a gadget we knew we had to explore.
The Minipresso GR measures approximately 16.5cm x 7cm x 6cm (6.49? x 2.75? x 2.36?) and weighs 360g (0.8lbs). It is a rather solid piece of kit but light and portable enough to pack and carry on walking and camping trips.
The number of parts in the Minipresso GR system can seem a little baffling at first but once you know how the Minipresso GR functions the pieces all make perfect sense.
We decided the best way to properly test the Minipresso GR was over lunch at the top of a mountain, we packed a flask of hot water, a little tub of coffee grounds and even went as far as packing some of our espresso cups for added luxury.
Using the Minipresso
The process is really rathe simple, use the supplied scoop to fill the coffee hopper, the base of the scoop fits inside the hopper so it is perfect for tampering down the coffee grounds. Place the hopper into the filter end-piece and screw on the main barrel. Now fill the water container to the maximum fill level and attach the main minipresso body. This is where the physical work begins, unlock the pump and commence with pumping, the Minipresso requires a few pumps to build up the pressure but by pump thirteen we had a rather nice cup of espresso.
It is a relatively simple and efficient process, pumping was easy and although we found we were able to consistently pump with just one hand using two was obviously much easier.
The Minipresso works at approximately 8 Bar which is slightly less than a powered domestic unit, that said we were rather surprised just how good the Minipresso espresso turned out, it might not have been machine quality but it was actually remarkably close, which was pleasantly surprising.
When comparing the Minipresso with a domestic unit you should also note the price, size and practicality differences, these key differences may be massive but the separation between the quality of the espresso isn’t quite as large.
Like all espresso systems it is worth pre-heating the minipresso before adding coffee especially if you are using hot water from a flask. We found the best results were achieved by preheating and using as close to boiling water as possible.
The Minipresso is relatively easy to clean, flush the system with hot water and dry with a clean cloth, probably the sooner after making the coffee this happens the better. We washed out our unit on the hills rather than wait until returning home but the system is a pretty clean and easy way to make espresso with the sealed unit design meaning the Minipresso won’t make a mess of the interior of your rucksack after use.
The only (very slight) concern we had was the little cup attachment felt lose on the main Minipresso GR body, that said it didn’t any point detach from the device while we were travelling. In terms of it’s practical use in the outdoors the Minipresso delivered pretty impressive results and offered the luxury of espresso in the least likely of locations. Pre-heating the system definitely improved the quality of the espresso but obviously wastes more of your hot water if you are using a flask.
In short, the Minipresso GR is an impressive piece of innovation that produces an equally impressive cup of coffee. The device is small, compact and lightweight and will be a welcome companion on all our future hiking trips.