Espresso To Go – Handpresso Outdoor Portable Coffee Machine Set Reviewed

Superb quality kit, Handpresso makes great espresso possible anywhere.

Flask doesn’t keep water hot for as long as we’d like.

Three pictures showing the Handpresso Outdoor in its case and the contents.

Shop for the Handpresso Outdoor

The official description

Taken from the Handpresso website: ‘Discover Handpresso! The World’s first eco-friendly, non-electrical coffee machine designed to offer you outstanding espresso wherever you go, whenever you want. With Handpresso, coffee breaks are shared and enjoyed together. Make premium quality espresso anywhere! Perfect for holidays, camping, fishing, travelling, in the office at home or wherever else you prefer. Light, stylish, easy to use, clean and store the Handpresso is a trendy, practical and fun gadget every coffee lover must have.’

Four photos showing the HandPresso outdoor accessories: cups, flask, napkins and embossing mark on the bag.

Design and build quality

We were sent the Handpresso Outdoor Set, which uses the E.S.E espresso pods, rather than ground coffee. A Hybrid version is available, which uses both pods and ground coffee. The kit itself is nicely presented in a quality carrying case, which has thick, padding walls to not only prevent damage to the items but also to keep the water in the flask warmer for longer. In the kit is the Handpresso unit itself, 4 ‘unbreakable’ espresso cups, 2 good-quality napkins, a small 300ml flask and pockets for your pods and the instructions.

We couldn’t fault the quality of the kit overall. The Handpresso espresso maker is made solidly and feels nicely weighted. The  little espresso cups and flask are equally decent in looks and build too.

Test time…

For the testing period, we gave the Handpresso kit to our resident coffee geek Nathan. Here are his thoughts; For espresso purist’s (shot glass and timer at the ready, you know who you are!), pods of any kind are second-rate. Having said that the Handpresso has some features we really liked, and the espresso from the pods is easily good enough for coffee enthusiasts.

Four photos showing details of the handpresso machine

Build quality is excellent and pumping it up and watching the pressure build on the gauge is fun, though reaching the required 16 Bar pressure takes some effort, at around 40 strokes of the handle. The most difficult part is keeping the water hot enough to get a ‘proper’ espresso shot. Water for espresso needs to be in the 90 – 95˚C range. Pouring ‘off the boil’ water into the Handpresso and then loading the coffee pod takes a few seconds, by which time the temperature is well down, leading to pale crema/sour shot.

Water stored in the included 300ml flask will be far too cold (ed; for the purists)! We got the best results by pre-heating the bowl part and screw-on cap with boiling water, and by using the same to brew. Also, pumping the Handpresso up to pressure before putting in the pod and water will save quite a bit of time.

Using the espresso shots from the Handpresso, we made a couple of other drinks including a macchiato and a latte, both of which came out well and tasted great considering we were just using the e.s.e pods.

Plus Points

Machines like the Elektra Micro Casa a Leva are esteemed for their smooth, lever-delivered pressure, as opposed to a loud vibrating electronic pump – and the Handpresso is just that! A minute lever machine! Very cool.

Many high end coffee machines pre-infuse the coffee with water before pressure is applied (E61 Grouphead), and the Handpresso has this too. As it is inverted read-to-go, water contacts the coffee for as long or short a period as you like.

Handpresso’s official vid was better than ours so we went with theirs.

Overall

We really like the Handpresso Outdoor Set for its high quality items, attractive presentation and all-round handiness. We found the kit to be a little too pricy though at £135.00 for the pod version, and up to £164.00 for the Hybrid set (which can be used with E.S.E pods or ground coffee). Personally, we’d just buy the single Handpresso Hybrid unit.

Having said that, if you’ve got the money or want to make a gift of the kit, go for it – you won’t be disappointed.

Regarding the water not staying very hot for very long in the flask (60 minutes), it’s down to your preference as a person. A real coffee geek (Nathan) will definitely prefer the water used from boiling, but as a coffee lover you will be perfectly happy with the results (Ed: I was!).

Finished coffee from a Handpresso machine

Need-To-Know Info:

In the Box Handpresso unit, 300ml flask, carry case, 4 cups, 2 napkins,
Dimensions 27 x 21 x 9cm 1.4Kg – 10 x 5 x 3.8 inches 3 pounds
Website Handpresso.com
Shop Shop for the Handpresso Wild Outdoor Set Now
Price £135 $199US €179
Hybrid Price £164

Huge thanks to Fairfax Coffee  for supplying the Handpresso Outdoor Set!

Words: Nathan Fielder/Chris Davies | Photography/Movie: Chris Davies, Matthew Davies

9 responses to “Espresso To Go – Handpresso Outdoor Portable Coffee Machine Set Reviewed”

  1. neil @ car locksmiths

    this is very informative blog, great place to come if i wanted to try out a new car gadget. I quite like the sound of this kit, even if it is for the little cup that comes with it

  2. Lane Lamoreaux

    this is by far the coolest product ever. if only americans were as serious about there coffee as the europeans. if only there were some Brits we knew that could bring us one of these amazing contraptions. lol

  3. mdavies

    Haha. It is a very cool product, yes. I’d bring it across, but I’m afraid that an over-zealous border security will think it’s a makeshift explosive device and shoot me lol.
    Ta dude.
    Chris.

  4. Wes Presso

    In the last 12 months I have been on 20 commercial flights and take my Handpresso everywhere with me in my carry-on. Flight attendants love it when you make them an Americano, recently on a flight to Nicaragua even the captain came into the cabin so I could make him an espresso!

  5. duane

    very interested in a handpresso auto review…There is not one anywhere…?

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