Travelling light can mean a compromise in home comforts and luxuries. The idea of supping an espresso at the top of a mountain may sound pretty far-fetched but it is a convenient reality thanks to the Wacaco Minipresso GR.
The Minipresso is a lightweight, handheld espresso maker. All it needs is coffee grounds, hot water and a little manual labour. The Minipresso is a gadget we knew we had to explore.
Measures approximately 16.5cm x 7cm x 6cm (6.49 x 2.75 x 2.36) and weighs 360g (0.8lbs) The Minipress is ultra portable. It is a solid piece of kit but light enough to carry-on walking and camping trips.
The number of parts in the Minipresso GR system can seem a little baffling at first. The many layers may appear a challenge, however once you know how it functions it all becomes very simple.
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 tub of coffee grounds and we even went as far as packing some espresso cups for added luxury.
The process is really 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 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 efficient process; pumping was easy and although we found we were able to consistently pump with just one hand using two was considerably easier.
The Minipresso works at approximately 8 Bar, slightly less than a powered domestic unit. We were rather surprised just how good the espresso maker turned out, it is remarkably close to machine quality.
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 device is relatively easy to clean. Flush the system with hot water and dry with a clean cloth, the sooner after making the coffee the better. We washed out our unit on the hills rather than wait until returning home. 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 practical use the outdoors the Minipresso delivered impressive results offering luxury 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.
The Minipresso GR is an impressive piece of innovation that produces an equally impressive cup of coffee. The lightweight device will be a welcome companion on all our future hiking trips.