Sleek and compact design
Easy to use
Excellent on-the-go espresso
Only compatible with Nespresso capsules
Hand wash only
Potential learning curve
We purchased the Wacaco Minipresso so our reviewer could put it to the test in the kitchen—and elsewhere. Keep reading for our full product review.
Making coffee outside of the house can be quite a challenge, but today there are many options on the market that make it easy to brew your coffee or espresso at the office or even on a camping trip. One example is the Wacaco Minipresso NS, which can make espresso in mere minutes, and it does so in a convenient compact size. I tried it out for several weeks and evaluated its portability, ease of use, espresso quality, setup, cleanup, and price. Read on to see what I found.
Setup Process: Potential learning curve
The setup for the Wacaco Minipresso NS isn’t difficult, but it takes some time to get familiar with the parts and understand the espresso-making process. It’s not your typical espresso machine, which is why I needed to spend extra time reading through the manual. There were plenty of diagrams in the instructions that made it fairly easy to follow. There were no first-time use instructions, so after I rinsed all of the parts, I just assumed it was ready to go. It’s important to note the Wacaco Minipresso NS requires the original Nespresso capsules.
To make espresso, I began boiling about ½ cup of water, and I removed the espresso cup and the outlet from the top of the main body. I placed a Nespresso capsule in the fitted slot inside, and I attached the outlet head back on (without the espresso cup now). I flipped the Wacaco Minipresso over and unscrewed the water tank. Then, I added boiling water to the tank to the max level marker. Next, I screwed the main body back onto the water tank.
At this time, I unlocked the piston by turning it to the left, and the button expanded. I proceeded to pump it over my espresso cup. The first eight strokes didn’t pump any espresso out (as expected), but after the eighth pump, it became harder to stroke and the espresso came out of the spout. I continued to stroke the piston until no more espresso came out. Each capsule makes about 1.5 ounces of espresso.
Design: Portable size, minimal aesthetic
When it comes to manual espresso makers, the Wacaco Minipresso is about as small as they come, measuring 6.89 by 2.75 by 2.36 inches. It’s so easy to fit it inside of a suitcase, a backpack, a water bottle holder, or even a purse—it’s that compact. Overall, I found the compact size and shape to be ideal for traveling. In terms of design, it boasts of a minimalist aesthetic. It’s all-black in color, without any frills, which gives it a sort of elegance, in my opinion.
There’s a compartment on the top that encapsulates the spout (where the espresso comes out), and there is a removable espresso cup that goes over the spout. The water tank is located in the compartment on the bottom. The main body sits between these two compartments and houses the piston. The piston lies flat against the main body until it’s ready to be used, and when turned left, it expands to make the espresso shot.
Performance: Easy to use, excellent on-the-go espresso
The Wacaco Minipresso NS single serve brewer makes high-quality and consistent espresso considering its compact size. What makes the espresso so consistent and tasty is that it uses Nespresso capsules instead of espresso grounds. This reduces the chance of error when it comes to the espresso-making technique and, therefore, produces a consistent and strong espresso shot every time. There was always a crema on top of my espresso shots, and they always tasted strong and very much like espresso you’d get from a typical electric Nespresso machine.
Once I got the hang of it, it probably took me about 3 minutes or less to make a shot of espresso.
With that, the Wacaco Minipresso requires little preparation since it’s only compatible with Nespresso capsules. I merely had to boil some water, put the capsule inside the main body, and give the piston a few strokes. Once I got the hang of it, it probably took me about 3 minutes or less to make a shot of espresso. Also, I found the process to be quite fun to carry out and watch. I enjoyed getting to stroke it myself to get the espresso to come out of the tube. It made the espresso shot that much more satisfying.
Ease of Cleaning: A quick to-do
Since the Wacaco Minipresso is small, there’s very little to clean after each use. All of the pieces in the espresso machine must be washed by hand to remove any remaining coffee. I just ran it under warm running water per the manual’s recommendation. The rest of the body can be wiped with a damp cloth and then left to air dry. This probably took less than 2 minutes, which was no big deal.
Price: More than fair
The Wacaco Minipresso retails for around $49, which is a more than fair price considering the quality espresso it makes and its ease of use. For such convenience and quality, it’s worth the investment.
Wacaco Minipresso vs. AeroPress Coffee Maker
The AeroPress Coffee Maker is a manual portable coffee maker that retails for slightly less at around $30. It’s very similar in size and shape to the Wacaco Minipresso, but differs in the type of coffee it produces. The AeroPress makes espresso-like concentrate, but not true espresso like the Wacaco. In addition, the AeroPress is a little more involved and requires more manual labor than the Wacaco since the user has to grind their coffee beans and measure them out as opposed to the Wacaco in which you would just insert the Nespresso capsule.
Either way, you can’t really lose. Both are great travel companions, but it comes down to what kind of coffee you prefer and the level of convenience you’re looking to get out of a portable coffee maker.
A worthwhile buy.
The Wacaco Minipresso NS is a great purchase for someone who regularly enjoys making espresso on the go. It makes consistent and quality espresso shots, and it’s small enough to bring to work, on vacation, and even on camping trips.
- Product Name Minipresso
- Product Brand Wacaco
- Price $49.90
- Weight .78 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 2.75 x 2.36 x 6.89 in.
- Color Black
- Warranty 1 year, limited
- What's Included Built-in espresso cup, travel case, cleaning brush