Best Portable Espresso Maker in 2020 (plus Buyers’ Guide)

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If you are on the go and miss your espresso, you want to look for a portable espresso maker.

A compact espresso maker is small and affordable and allows you to brew your espresso wherever you are. You can enjoy an espresso while you're camping and you don't have any power. Does that sound good?

There are many portable makers on the market. Some use capsules and some ground coffee, but the important thing is if they can make espresso! We have researched the market for the top espresso makers that provide you the versatility and ease of use along with the best espresso.

Based on our research the portable espresso makers we recommend are:

Name
Wacaco Minipresso - Portable Espresso Machine
Handpresso Wild Hybrid Coffee Machine
Barsetto Portable Espresso Maker
STARESSO Portable Espresso Machine
Litchi Portable Hand Held Espresso Maker
Image
Wacaco Minipresso GR, Portable Espresso Machine, Compatible Ground Coffee, Hand Coffee Maker, Travel Gadgets, Manually Operated, Perfect for Camping, Hiking
Handpresso HPWILDHYBRID Coffee Machine
Portable Espresso Maker - Manual Coffee Machine Brew Rich Coffee with Ground Coffee and Capsule, Lightweight Effortless Compact Size Perfect for Travel, Camping, Hiking, Backpacking
STARESSO Portable Espresso Machine - Manual Espresso with Rich & Thick Crema, Mini Coffee Maker Using Ground Coffee & Nespresso Pods, Handy Espresso Maker for Travel Camping Office Home Use
New Portable Hand Held Espresso Maker, Mini Hand Operated Coffee Machine, No Battery, No Electric Power, Coffee Maker for Outdoor, Camping, Travel … (LitchiA)
$48.90
Price not available
Price not available
$64.99
Price not available
Dimensions
2.4” x 2.8”x 6.9”
11" x 6" x 5"
2.8" x 2.8" x 8.8"
8" x 2.8" x 2.8"
18.4cm x 6cm
Type
Manual
Manual
Manual
Powered by battery / AC power
Manual
Capsule / Ground
Grounds
Grounds - ESE Pods
Both
Both
Grounds
Capacity
1 Shot
50ml
80ml
50ml
1 Shot
Prime
-
-
-
Name
Wacaco Minipresso - Portable Espresso Machine
Image
Wacaco Minipresso GR, Portable Espresso Machine, Compatible Ground Coffee, Hand Coffee Maker, Travel Gadgets, Manually Operated, Perfect for Camping, Hiking
$48.90
Dimensions
2.4” x 2.8”x 6.9”
Type
Manual
Capsule / Ground
Grounds
Capacity
1 Shot
Prime
Name
Handpresso Wild Hybrid Coffee Machine
Image
Handpresso HPWILDHYBRID Coffee Machine
Price not available
Dimensions
11" x 6" x 5"
Type
Manual
Capsule / Ground
Grounds - ESE Pods
Capacity
50ml
Prime
-
Name
Barsetto Portable Espresso Maker
Image
Portable Espresso Maker - Manual Coffee Machine Brew Rich Coffee with Ground Coffee and Capsule, Lightweight Effortless Compact Size Perfect for Travel, Camping, Hiking, Backpacking
Price not available
Dimensions
2.8" x 2.8" x 8.8"
Type
Manual
Capsule / Ground
Both
Capacity
80ml
Prime
-
Name
STARESSO Portable Espresso Machine
Image
STARESSO Portable Espresso Machine - Manual Espresso with Rich & Thick Crema, Mini Coffee Maker Using Ground Coffee & Nespresso Pods, Handy Espresso Maker for Travel Camping Office Home Use
$64.99
Dimensions
8" x 2.8" x 2.8"
Type
Powered by battery / AC power
Capsule / Ground
Both
Capacity
50ml
Prime
Name
Litchi Portable Hand Held Espresso Maker
Image
New Portable Hand Held Espresso Maker, Mini Hand Operated Coffee Machine, No Battery, No Electric Power, Coffee Maker for Outdoor, Camping, Travel … (LitchiA)
Price not available
Dimensions
18.4cm x 6cm
Type
Manual
Capsule / Ground
Grounds
Capacity
1 Shot
Prime
-

Last update on 2020-11-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Portable Espresso Maker Reviews

Wacaco MiniPresso GR

Espresso's quality is about the pressure you can apply. With this Wacaco unit is not driven by electrical power. You can get those flavors extracted because of the pump-action with your hand and the piston inside.

However, with the Wacaco Minipresso GR you can't tamp the ground coffee since it creates too much pressure. This can damage the unit.

Wacaco Minipresso GR, Portable Espresso Machine, Compatible Ground Coffee, Hand Coffee Maker, Travel Gadgets, Manually Operated, Perfect for Camping, Hiking
  • Weight: 10.4oz
  • Dimensions: 2.4” x 2.8”x 6.9
  • Capacity: 1 shot

Maintenance

Cleaning is one of the minor things you may not like about this Wacaco unit because you can never get all the water out. If you're not going to use the unit for a while this may start to mold.

Wacaco Minipresso GR, Portable Espresso Machine, Compatible Ground Coffee, Hand Coffee Maker, Travel Gadgets, Manually Operated, Perfect for Camping, Hiking

You need to unscrew all components to clean them. You can add vinegar water to the cleaning process to ensure there's no build-up.

Who is This For?

You can use it anywhere as long as you can boil some water. It's small to take it camping and stylish enough to keep on your desk at the office.

Note that this espresso maker makes one shot at a time.

PROS

  • Pressure extracts much flavour
  • No electricity needed
  • Easy to use

CONS

  • Can’t tamp
  • Only makes one shot

Summary

This is an excellent and super small portable espresso maker. Just realize its limitations in terms of tamping and capacity. If you're looking for a unit just for yourself this is ideal.


Handpresso Wild Hybrid

Thanks to the powerful handpump action you can get up to 232psi with this portable unit. This is higher than some tabletop machines.

A unique feature of this espresso maker is that you're not limited to using ground coffee. You can insert an ESE pod small bag filled with grounds and get a quality brew. These are handy to take with you when traveling since there's less chance of grounds spilling in your luggage.

Handpresso HPWILDHYBRID Coffee Machine
  • Weight: 1.6lb
  • Dimensions: 11”x 6” x 5”
  • Capacity: 50ml water reservoir

Maintenance

The pods are easy to clean as you remove them and rinse the other components with water. This makes this unit easy to make multiple cups.

Handpresso HPWILDHYBRID Coffee Machine

Who is This For?

The Handpresso Wild Hybrid can be your best choice for traveling because it is light and you can store water in the reservoir and even the pods or grounds can be kept in one of the compartments.

PROS

  • Can use ESE pods or grounds
  • Water reservoir
  • Light

CONS

  • ESE pods may not be easily available

Summary

This is an excellent idea but it may need some improvements. It's handy to take your coffee wherever you want it but note that the water won't stay hot for long.


Portable Coffee Maker by Barsetto

Wow! So much style in the innovative design of this compact portable espresso maker.

Don't worry it's not only about aesthetics because this small gadget can generate up to 15bar which is what you want for quality espresso.

You can either use capsules or your favorite ground coffee. Your brew will be deposited into a stylish travel mug with a lid. This means you can take your espresso maker without spillage.

  • Weight: 1.28lb
  • Dimensions: 2.8” x 2.8” x 8.8”
  • Capacity: 80ml water reservoir; 7g filter

Maintenance

You can unscrew the components and wash them after use. Note that it's not the most durable compact espresso maker on this list so be cautious when using and cleaning so that the parts don't break.

Who is This For?

In terms of application, it's the best espresso maker for travelers if you have access to hot water. But think twice about taking it camping as it's more prone to breakage after rough handling.

PROS

  • Double insulated cup keeps your brew warm
  • High pressure
  • Cup won’t burn your hands

CONS

  • Doesn’t always work with capsules

Summary

This is such an impressive travel espresso maker - we love the stylish cup you get to drink from.


STARESSO Espresso Coffee Maker

With this portable espresso maker, you'll be supplying the pressure but if you look at the awards this has won you know it delivers a good brew. Some would say it rivals countertop machines.

You do need to have boiling water at hand. Make yourself familiar with this so you can work fast and improve your brew.

STARESSO Portable Espresso Machine - Manual Espresso with Rich & Thick Crema, Mini Coffee Maker Using Ground Coffee & Nespresso Pods, Handy Espresso Maker for Travel Camping Office Home Use
  • Weight: 460g    
  • Dimensions: 8.03” x 2.8” x 2.8”
  • Capacity: 3.38oz; 1 shot / hot water capacity: 2.7oz

Maintenance

This portable coffee unit is not the easiest one to clean as the ground coffee tend to spill all over instead of coming out as one puck.

STARESSO Portable Espresso Machine - Manual Espresso with Rich & Thick Crema, Mini Coffee Maker Using Ground Coffee & Nespresso Pods, Handy Espresso Maker for Travel Camping Office Home Use

Who is This For?

Because you need hot water on hand this is ideal for office espressos when you don't have time to go out for coffee.

PROS

  • High-quality brew
  • No power needed
  • Espresso glass included

CONS

  • The learning curve required for optimum usage

Summary

This is a good all-rounder known for quality brews but remember you're producing all the power. If you take long the water will go cold and this will affect the flavor you get. The good news: a good crema is possible.


Litchi Portable Hand Held Espresso Maker

This espresso maker has a two-filter basket component. You have to refill the water tank after the first cup and you're ready to get another shot. It saves some time so you can enjoy your brews.

  • Weight: 1.12lb
  • Dimensions: 18.4cm x 6cm
  • Capacity: Water reservoir: 1 shot

Maintenance

The components can be taken off for easy cleaning.

Who is This For?

This unit can work for the office, home, or outdoors as long as you have hot water on hand. It's also ideal for couples thanks to the two-filter basket. The very small design makes it ideal for hiking.

PROS

  • Carry bag included
  • Quality brew

CONS

  • Plastic, not metal

Summary

This maker fits in the palm of your hand so it's handy to take to the office or outdoors. It has some style thanks to the colored parts. This helps you discern which one belongs to who so why not get one for each member of the family?


Buyer’s Guide

These gadgets probably look very nifty. Yes, simply their aesthetics will make the shopaholics order them immediately. But make sure it complements your lifestyle by matching it to your preferences. We'll help you.

Who should look for the Best Portable Espresso Machine?

This market is strongly driven by coffee lovers for who quality brews are essential to everyday living. (Are you one of them?).

Travelers

Just because you're leaving home for a business trip or holiday doesn't mean you can't enjoy your strong morning brew as if you had your favorite espresso machine at hand. And you don't even have to trust your hotel or the café next to the road.

You probably know what you get there is often far removed from what coffee should taste like.

With one of the best portable espresso makers your coffee is next to you on the seat and you can have it whenever the craving hits. And it's not a luxury as many would deem it. That strong brew's caffeine content could be what keeps you awake while driving.

When you reach your destination it's also the perfect way to unwind since you don't have to go in search of coffee. Simply pour.

If these circumstances apply to your lifestyle it's important to consider details when shopping for your portable unit. Do you need a compact espresso maker that will store your water hot for an extended period or will you easily get access to some boiled H2O?

Health Reasons

Coffee can easily become an addiction but don't feel too bad about it. Your brew's antioxidants can help your body fight off diseases if you drink it in moderation. Some experts even believe it has psychological benefits such as preventing bouts of depression.

These benefits are determined by the quality of the coffee you consume and if it's unfiltered or it comes from low-quality beans it won't help your body cope.

This turns a simple compact coffee maker into a vital tool to keep in your car, briefcase, or travel bag.

Coffee Critics

Of course, your desire for good espresso may purely be fuelled by your high standards. If you've been disappointed by purchased coffee too many times and you wish you can take your countertop brewer everywhere, an easy-to-carry espresso maker could be what you've been praying for all along.

When You’re Managing a Budget

In many of the above scenarios, it could be expensive to meet your daily coffee requirements if you were to purchase it from hotels, shops, or restaurants. Of course, it works out more budget-friendly when you buy beans in bulk and do it yourself.

The capital investment you make by purchasing one of these travel espresso makers above will save you a lot of money in the long run.

Things to Consider

So how do you determine which one's ideal buy? Let's summarize it for you.

Size

Where will you need to transport this? Do you really need to fit it into your handbag or do you simply want one you can keep stored in your car? Or perhaps you just want an espresso maker to store in the house for those times you won't have time to stop at your favorite coffee shop on your way to work.

Not all these circumstances require the smallest unit on the market so don't spend too much if the size doesn't matter.

Weight

Most portable units will require carrying around so don't weigh yourself down. When going camping its weight doesn't matter unless you want to take it in your backpack during a hike where a light unit is preferred.

Can you see how your unique application determines what will be a smart buy in the end? So make your list of requirements before you start shopping.

Manual vs Electric

This is a very important matter on that list of yours since you'll hate having a portable unit if your environment doesn't allow you to use it. Your first instinct may be to get a manual unit so you'll have access to quality brews whether you're in the middle of nowhere or at the office.

The handiest units don't even require power and do some of the work thanks to:

  • Pistons
  • Compressed air
  • N2O cartridges

Note of caution: Manual units will require some force and effort from you to push all those aromas out of the grounds. If you're going to use this every day this may become cumbersome. And let's be realistic: In today's technologically driven society it's rare to find yourself far away from power sources. If you can power your mobile phone you can make coffee.

Easy to Clean?

Don't purchase the unit that will be more trouble than it's worth. Whether you're brewing at an airport, the office, or the campsite you want as little effort as possible. Review the cleaning and maintenance so you're not put off from brewing by what comes after.

Insulation

Cold coffee is never tasty. If you know you're not going to have access to piping hot water your travel espresso maker must keep it warm until you're ready for that drink.

Read up about insulation, seals, and potential timelines before the temperature will start dropping. Remember the temperature of your water determines how much of the flavor you'll extract from the grounds.

So how is that list coming along?

How to Brew with a Portable Espresso Maker

To help you make your final decision we'll show you how these gadgets work. Although each unit is unique these are general steps that apply to most of them:

  • What will you brew with? Grind your beans, get your capsule or take out your grounds.
  • Your espresso maker will have compartments where these ingredients go:
  • Pour in the water. You can only use cold water if your espresso maker can heat it up.
  • Place your grounds or capsule in the allocated chamber.
  • Tamp down the grounds. Note: Only do this if advised because some of these gadgets can’t handle the pressure that builds up if the puck is packed extremely tight.
  • Now it’s time to add some pressure because this is how flavors are extracted:
  • Turn on the unit if it’s powered by batteries
  • Start pumping your manual unit so pressure builds up inside
  • Hold the espresso maker over your glass—if the design doesn’t include a glass or cup—and enjoy your brew.

Tip: Work as quickly as possible so your brew doesn’t lose a lot of heat in the process. You want optimum heat to enjoy your drink but also to extract enough flavour.

And just to recap, check out this video on how easy it is to brew an espresso on the go with one the machines we have picked for you in this article.

The Best Portable Espresso Makers Compared

Name
Wacaco Minipresso - Portable Espresso Machine
Handpresso Wild Hybrid Coffee Machine
Barsetto Portable Espresso Maker
STARESSO Portable Espresso Machine
Litchi Portable Hand Held Espresso Maker
Image
Wacaco Minipresso GR, Portable Espresso Machine, Compatible Ground Coffee, Hand Coffee Maker, Travel Gadgets, Manually Operated, Perfect for Camping, Hiking
Handpresso HPWILDHYBRID Coffee Machine
Portable Espresso Maker - Manual Coffee Machine Brew Rich Coffee with Ground Coffee and Capsule, Lightweight Effortless Compact Size Perfect for Travel, Camping, Hiking, Backpacking
STARESSO Portable Espresso Machine - Manual Espresso with Rich & Thick Crema, Mini Coffee Maker Using Ground Coffee & Nespresso Pods, Handy Espresso Maker for Travel Camping Office Home Use
New Portable Hand Held Espresso Maker, Mini Hand Operated Coffee Machine, No Battery, No Electric Power, Coffee Maker for Outdoor, Camping, Travel … (LitchiA)
$48.90
Price not available
Price not available
$64.99
Price not available
Dimensions
2.4” x 2.8”x 6.9”
11" x 6" x 5"
2.8" x 2.8" x 8.8"
8" x 2.8" x 2.8"
18.4cm x 6cm
Type
Manual
Manual
Manual
Powered by battery / AC power
Manual
Capsule / Ground
Grounds
Grounds - ESE Pods
Both
Both
Grounds
Capacity
1 Shot
50ml
80ml
50ml
1 Shot
Prime
-
-
-
Name
Wacaco Minipresso - Portable Espresso Machine
Image
Wacaco Minipresso GR, Portable Espresso Machine, Compatible Ground Coffee, Hand Coffee Maker, Travel Gadgets, Manually Operated, Perfect for Camping, Hiking
$48.90
Dimensions
2.4” x 2.8”x 6.9”
Type
Manual
Capsule / Ground
Grounds
Capacity
1 Shot
Prime
Name
Handpresso Wild Hybrid Coffee Machine
Image
Handpresso HPWILDHYBRID Coffee Machine
Price not available
Dimensions
11" x 6" x 5"
Type
Manual
Capsule / Ground
Grounds - ESE Pods
Capacity
50ml
Prime
-
Name
Barsetto Portable Espresso Maker
Image
Portable Espresso Maker - Manual Coffee Machine Brew Rich Coffee with Ground Coffee and Capsule, Lightweight Effortless Compact Size Perfect for Travel, Camping, Hiking, Backpacking
Price not available
Dimensions
2.8" x 2.8" x 8.8"
Type
Manual
Capsule / Ground
Both
Capacity
80ml
Prime
-
Name
STARESSO Portable Espresso Machine
Image
STARESSO Portable Espresso Machine - Manual Espresso with Rich & Thick Crema, Mini Coffee Maker Using Ground Coffee & Nespresso Pods, Handy Espresso Maker for Travel Camping Office Home Use
$64.99
Dimensions
8" x 2.8" x 2.8"
Type
Powered by battery / AC power
Capsule / Ground
Both
Capacity
50ml
Prime
Name
Litchi Portable Hand Held Espresso Maker
Image
New Portable Hand Held Espresso Maker, Mini Hand Operated Coffee Machine, No Battery, No Electric Power, Coffee Maker for Outdoor, Camping, Travel … (LitchiA)
Price not available
Dimensions
18.4cm x 6cm
Type
Manual
Capsule / Ground
Grounds
Capacity
1 Shot
Prime
-

Last update on 2020-11-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Conclusion

And now it's possible to enjoy your favorite drink wherever you go. We hope this review of the best portable espresso machines was useful to help you make an educated choice.

Fuelled by others like you who love quality coffee this market will continue expanding and we'll be here to tell you about the developments.