A compact unit that makes excellent espresso on the go. Small enough to bring camping or even on hiking day trips. Pulls a shot of espresso that actually tastes like true espresso. The additional “Minipresso Kit” is a must if you plan to use this device for camping and hiking.
I became aware of this unit a few months back when I saw a friend using his on an adventure. I’m always interested in how others make coffee in the mountains. The piston style bump was intriguing, I had to try it out for myself.
I got the Minipresso GR with the Minipresso Kit. The “GR” stands for “grounds” as in coffee grounds. There are two other versions though, one that is compatible with a bunch of different espresso capsules “CA” and another that works with Nescafe Nespresso capsules “NS”.
Once I got it out of the box the initial impression is that the unit is very solid. It feels dense and not flimsy. Weight wise it’s about 360g’s (0.8lbs), so it’s not ultralight but I’d have no issue carrying it in my backpack personally. What you gain in weight of the unit you save in not needing to carry as much water and coffee. It uses very little grounds and water to make an espresso shot that has the same kick, in my opinion, as a full cup of filter coffee.
I also got the “Minipresso Kit” with the GR. If you plan to use this unit for hiking and camping like I do I feel this is a necessary addition. The “Kit” comes with the “Minipresso Tank+” which basically holds enough water to create a double shot of espresso, but more importantly it comes with three extra filter baskets with lids and an extra espresso cup. This means that if I’m hiking with my partner, Spring, we can grind enough coffee for 4 shots of espresso and pre-fill the baskets at home to take with us. It makes for way less hassle when reloading fresh grinds into the Minipresso for subsequent shots. It also allows me to just pop a lid on the used grinds, store them in the basket and then not have to worry about disposing of them until I get back home after my hike. Awesome!
I’d recommend pulling a few shots of coffee at home first before bringing this out into the mountains with you. There is a process to it. Once you understand what all the pieces do and in what order you need to use them you will be pulling amazing shots of espresso with a delicious crema on them in no time.
One piece of advice I would give is to run boiling water through the unit first before you pull your shot of espresso. This warms the unit up and I’ve found doing this definitely adds a richness to the flavour of the coffee and produces a better crema from the pumping action. Don’t ask me why it works, it just does.
Overall I am really impressed with this unit. I feel it’s going to get used mainly on Day Hikes, Road Trips, the occasional overnight trip and at home (I’ve already used it twice today)
But I wouldn’t discount it either for long, multi-month trips either. The weight of the unit is heavier than most other camping or lightweight coffee makers on the market but remember it uses hardly any water, and hardly any grounds to produce a more concentrated shot of coffee which has a higher caffeine content than a similar volume of drip coffee.
Those weight savings might be marginal over a week long trip, but over a few months or more they could be substantial. You will also need less fuel for stoves as you will be boiling much lower volumes of water. If you’re content with sipping a strong espresso instead of gulping a mug of drip coffee then this could be a way to save weight on consumables on a long adventure or expedition.
Compact: The unit is surprisingly small. It also has smooth, rounded edges so it will slide easily into any nook or cranny that you can find in your pack.
Taste: Ok, it’s not exactly the same as an espresso from a fancy city Barista, but it pulls a shot that has that distinctive richness and depth that you will know from an espresso shot. It also produces delicious crema! Hands down this device has made the best tasting coffee that I’ve ever had out in the mountains.
Price: For less than $100 you can have the Minipresso GR and Kit. Like I mentioned above, I use this device at home. Why? Big Espresso makers are expensive and buying espressos from Cafes adds up quickly. With this I can pull shots of espresso as I want, at home or on the road, anywhere I can boil water, which is literally everywhere with my camping stoves.
Weight: 360g’s (0.8lbs). It’s not the lightest, but the weight of the coffee and water that it uses is less than any other coffee maker I’ve used and the shots it produces give me the same “kick” to wake me up that a full cup of coffee does.
Serving Size: Some individuals just like a big ‘ol mug of coffee. If you like sipping a rich espresso with a velvety crema then this unit is for you. But if you like drinking coffee by volume then this might not be for you. But try it! You can always pull a double shot with the Tank+ that comes with the “Minipresso Kit” and add boiling water afterwards to make an Americano!
Durability: So, I did notice the exterior of the unit got scuffed up from being pushed in and out of my pack repeatedly. Consider getting the “Minipresso Case”, which I don’t have, to keep the exterior of the Minipresso looking all shiny and new.
Buy It If:
You always order espresso based coffees at Cafes, like Americanos, Lattes, Espressos, and want to have that same taste of coffee while out hiking, camping or simply at home.
Minipresso GR: $59 USD
Minipresso Kit: $29 USD
Minipresso Website: Wacaco