Wacaco Minipresso GR Review
The Wacaco Minipresso GR is a 5-star espresso maker in its category. There are not many portable gadgets that allow you to make a shot of espresso on demand. The Minipresso will never compare to a solid semi-automatic espresso machine. But, it is a great product nevertheless.
- Sturdy design
- Very compact
- Completely manual
- Does not heat water
- Easy to spill
|Weight||0.8 lbs or 360 gr|
|Water capacity||2.35 oz or 70 ml|
|Ground capacity||8 gr|
|Average pressure||8 bar or 116 psi|
My trusty portable espresso maker finally broke down a few months ago and after weeks of searching for a replacement, I finally settled on the Wacaco MiniPresso GR. My first impression was skeptical, to say the least. The actual product is smaller than most of my water bottles (more about this below) and seemed like an over-priced gimmicky gadget: the kind you hate getting at Christmas.
Yet, a month and a half later and I’m surprised to say that this tiny, portable espresso maker has totally won me over! Sure, it’s not perfect – the size and capacity were major problems for me at first – but the great tasting coffee it makes manages to hit the spot every time.
It turns out more is less. Read my full review below to see if the MiniPresso is right for you.
NOTE: The MiniPresso GR is featured on our list of most effective espresso makers!
I won’t lie, the first thing I look at when shopping for ANYTHING is the price. MiniPresso was immediately on my radar as it’s one of the cheaper portable espresso makers on the market. I am pleased to say that rather than compromising on the materials and mechanisms, Wacaco have simply reduced the functions to create a well-priced espresso maker that makes a very good coffee.
You can’t adjust a million and one settings to create different espressos. It has one function to make one fantastic shot of coffee, but that’s all you really need!
The MiniPresso is made up of 6 plastic pieces that all interlock together to make a large pill shaped object. It’s a little larger than an energy drink can, and the shape makes it perfect for fitting in bottle holders and on the sides of backpacks. If you’re going to store it in your backpack or briefcase, make sure it’s done up tightly after using – I learned that the hard way.
There’s a little scooper so you can get just the right amount of coffee in there, and the water chamber has an easy to see line, so you don’t overfill it. Some pieces like the scooper click into place, while other parts like the water chamber are twisted into place. I recommend getting used to taking it apart over the sink before venturing outside!
Fill the coffee and water, screw into place and flip upside down. There’s a cup that actually forms part of the MiniPresso (super convenient) that you’ll use to catch the coffee. The hand pump is easy to deploy and then you’re just a few pumps away from a fresh cup. Using the pump to get just the right pressure and crema isn’t difficult, but it can take a few goes to get right. Check the manual!
To use the MiniPresso you will also need: finely ground coffee as there’s no grinding option and boiling water as it can’t heat the water itself.
Making Coffee with the MiniPresso
What first attracted me to the portable espresso maker was the idea that I could spend another 10 minutes in bed each morning! Rather than setting up my espresso maker at home I can quickly grab it on my way out the door and have a cup of great coffee on my way to work instead. That was the dream, at least.
But you do need to have boiling water with you, and seeing as the cup attachment has no lid, sloshing around on the train or going over bumps in the road suddenly becomes a challenge to not spill any on your trousers.
Ideally, making coffee with the MiniPresso is best designed for when you’re out and about… but have time to stop for a few minutes and use both hands to set it up. You’ll also find it difficult to do without a flat surface to work on. So, it is portable, but it’s not that portable.
As for the design, I found this to be very sturdy. It’s made entirely of plastic but don’t let that fool you. The rounded edges mean that it’s forever rolling under seats and falling over when I nudge it, yet it doesn’t break. Kudos to the manufacturers, they’ve really used high-quality materials.
The Taste Test
When researching the Wacaco MiniPresso GR I read several reviews that said the coffee produced had a watery taste. Honestly, I couldn’t detect any watery-ness. The coffee produced by this little espresso maker easy matched my previous, permanent espresso maker.
Of course, it will depend on the quality of coffee that you put into the machine, but I’ve never been let down by the MiniPresso yet. You use your scoopful of finely ground coffee and 70ml of boiling water – a few minutes later and your handy portable cup is full. Smell that familiar scent and sip… oh. Is that all?
The cup is small. It’s perfect for a simple shot of espresso, but if you want a double or you want to make an extra cup for a friend you’re hiking with, you need to bring an extra cup and go through the process of making the coffee again. Not convenient.
Nope! This MiniPresso is easy to clean. Take it all apart and give it a quick rinse. Advice from Wacaco themselves states that you can use a toothpick or toothbrush to dislodge and clean the filters further, but it’s not been necessary for me.
Do a quick rinse between uses when you’re about and about, then leave it for a slightly longer soak when you’re back home, just to keep it fresh.
Pros and Cons
Here’s a quick overview of the main pros and cons of the espresso machine. As you can see, sturdiness is firmly in the Pros section, but I was very happy to discover that Wacaco have a 12-month warranty on every MiniPresso from the day purchased too.
- Completely manual – it’s not going to run out of charge. Ever.
- Very sturdy.
- Easy to clean.
- Simple to use – even beginners will struggle to go wrong.
- GREAT for camping, hiking, and outdoor activities.
- Doesn’t heat water for you, so no temperature control.
- Finely ground coffee only.
- 1 cup at a time – only 70ml with no programmable volumetrics.
- Easy to spill coffee.
- 2 hands to operate.
Overall, the MiniPresso is ideal for camping and hiking, but not ideal as a replacement for your favorite espresso machine at home.
Did I Love The MiniPresso?
Yes, I have grown to love my MiniPresso. The bottom line is that it provides me with a fantastic shot of espresso no matter where I am. It is definitely worth the price.
If you’re not sure about dealing with finely ground coffee (you definitely should be as the taste is far superior) you can try the MiniPresso GR’s brother, called the MiniPresso NS which uses Nespresso capsules for convenience.
I am very satisfied with my MiniPresso now I’ve got used to it. It’s a gadget that’s certainly worth having if you’re into camping and hiking and can’t bear to be without fresh coffee.
Anthony is a professional barista in the city of Chicago. He has written for many online publications on various topics related to coffee.