Coffee is a big part of our team. Not one race happens without a proper cup of coffee to start the drive to the venue - and that’s why we started the Racing Roastery. Great coffee on-the-go is critical to us. So when we discovered Wacaco’s Mini Presso, a portable pack-size espresso maker, we were all in.
The Mini Presso (and the new Nano Presso) is a small cylinder shaped machine that uses a manual hand pump to pressurize the device and brew a shot of espresso. And it works great - it pulls a rich shot with nice crema (of course, your beans play a part here. We like to brew with our own Motorway roast). However, it does rely on a source for hot water - it doesn’t have an internal heater.
It’s made up of five parts: the main pump, the water tank, the cup, the outlet head, and the filter basket. Each piece is well made, durable, and easy to clean.
THE WACACO MINI PRESSO works like this:
Get some water boiling. We’ve found that HOT water works well since the water will cool a bit as it passes through the device. We’ve boiled water with a portable burner, as well as heated at home and carried water in a separate thermos. Both worked well.
Grind you beans. While traditional espressos take a fine grind, the Mini Presso uses a slightly courser grind. Too fine and you'll run the risk clogging the filter. Experiment here to find what works best with your bean.
Put the beans in the basket. The basket holds about 8g of ground coffee. The grind scoop doubles as a tamper (cool!) but don’t pack it too tightly. Just a little pressure works well since the pressure of the water will also pack it as it passes through.
Place the basket in the body and screw the outlet together. Add water to the tank (not too full) and attach that to the main pump. Now you’re ready for the magic to happen.
The pump action starts out pretty easy and gets a little firmer as the device is pressurized. It makes a nice little “pop” sounds as you squeeze, and suddenly espresso starts coming out. Keep pumping until the water tank is empty. Crema rises to the surface right away, and rich espresso is ready to drink.
One note: The Mini Presso doesn’t brew a Starbucks Venti sized drink. It’s a traditional espresso. The process to make one is quick, but it’s not a commercial device. It’s meant for personal or small group use (like a group of bike racers). It’s not uncommon for us to have 2 or 3 of these going at once, pulling shots for the team.
Who doesn’t want to be a mobile barista???