Craft coffee is an ever-growing industry with new philosophies, varietals, and shops coming into view every single day. However, its portability tends to be a challenge for the consistent traveler. While we do love our aeropress, there are times that all we have room for is a few outfits, a book, and maybe our phone charger, so to add something even as versitally sized as the aeropress can be an undoable task. But, what if I told you there was a mechanism small enough to fit in the water bottle holder on the side of your backpack? Well, there is! And it is called the Wacaco minipresso and it is a must-have for any coffee purist.
In addition to its transportability, the Wacaco minipresso is simple to use. About the size of a small thermos, it comes apart in 6 different parts: the main body, coffee filter basket, water chamber, outlet head, coffee scoop, and lid/cup combo. First, you will have to take apart the minipresso. Unclip the cup from the top, unscrew the outlet head, and remove the filter basket. Unscrew the water tank to remove the coffee scoop, and use it to add ground coffee to the filter basket. Place the filter basket on top of the main body and screw the outlet head onto the main body. We recommend gently tamping the ground coffee into the filter basket with the back of the spoon! Fill the water tank with hot water until it reaches the max level fill line. [Pro-tip: If traveling with coffee is not doable this trip, consider purchasing the pods that Wacaco produces for their people!] Screw the main body onto the water tank and unlock the piston from the travel position by rotating it to the left. Begin to pump to pressurize the container over the cup. It may take 10 – 30 pumps, depending on the amount of use. You’ll feel resistance when it is fully pressurized and starts to extract espresso into the lid/cup combo. Keep pumping until no more espresso comes out of the container.
Pro-Tips for a Perfect Crema
Find or purchase a traditionally sided espresso cup. The rim should be slightly smaller than the nozzle of the minipresso. By resting the machine on the cup’s rim and applying pressure to the button at the same time, the espresso will be able to extend to the bottom of the cup without splattering and causing disruption in the extraction process, and helps it maintain the layers of extraction.
If you have a prefered cup, or are ready to get started right away, the next thing to do dial in your grind. Remember, the finer the grind, the more pressure you will be able to create. [Note: Do not forget that the amount of time coffee grounds and water interact lead to the product being either under or over extraction.] Through the application of this level of pressure, the extraction will result in a finer crema.
As you learn the ways of fine espresso making, you’ll begin to notice, perhaps right away, the nuances of tasting notes and flavorful aromas. However, doing this well can be difficult and sometimes you just want a good cup of coffee without all of the effort. In this case, we recommend choosing a coffee with chocolate and sweeter notes, and then gradually moving towards bright, fruity ones.
We hope you will give this experience a try and that it is the next great addition to your travel accessories!