If you are a regular traveler looking for a portable espresso maker to take with you, the Wacaco Nanopresso is one you ought to be aware of.
There’s a good chance it’ll be on your radar as it’s one of the more popular handheld espresso makers on the market. Two big reasons for that are its affordability and availability – indeed, this is one product you can pick up almost worldwide. However, does it also make delicious coffee? Let’s find out.
This review will detail all the ins and outs of the Wacaco Nanopresso and demonstrate how to brew coffee with it to help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. And if you already have a Nanopresso? In that case, the article will offer tricks and tips for getting the best out of the device.
Wacaco Nanopresso is one of our best portable espresso makers, check out the full list here.
Wacaco Nanopresso Review – Everything You Need To Know
No products found.
Aesthetic Design And Build Quality
Wacaco Nanopresso comes with a gorgeous travel suitcase. Meanwhile, the packing is more reminiscent of a cool stereo speaker than a coffee maker, creating an appealing contemporary aesthetic.
The Nanopresso itself is built from polypropylene plastic, which ensures both safety and the ability to withstand high pressure and temperatures while brewing.
The Nanopresso resembles a large capsule, giving it an appealing, no-frills appearance. However, there are plenty of color options, while there are tattooed special editions in stylish designs for those seeking more individuality.
Finally, this coffee gear is lightweight, at only 340 grams, making it one of the lightest portable espresso machines on the market.
The Structure Of The Wacaco Nanopresso Espresso Machine
In keeping with the Nanopresso’s modern aesthetic design, the structure is a model of minimalist simplicity. Take the capsule apart, and these are the items you’ll find inside.
The base of the coffee maker consists of a water tank with an 80ml capacity. However, if that’s on the low side, you can buy the Barista kit, which has extra baskets that raise the water capacity to 160ml – perfect for double espressos.
There is also a cup that’s so well hidden, it took us a while to notice it. The cup attaches to the water tank, and you’ll need to twist it off to use it. This is an excellent space-saving element of the design, adding to the impression that some thought has gone into making the machine as handy for travelers as possible.
Main Body And Piston
The main body holds a piston for pressing down to generate pressure while the machine is brewing. Wacaco makes the bold claim that the Nanopresso produces 18 bars of pressure, far over the necessary nine bars for authentic espresso.
The filter basket has a capacity of between seven and nine grams of coffee, amounting to a single shot.
The final major component is the pressurized portafilter, which is more forgiving than a non-pressurized alternative. This makes the Nanopresso beginner-friendly as you can use a coarser grind from a lower-quality grinder and still brew good coffee.
Finally, a cleaning brush removes any dry or wet coffee and a coffee scoop-cum-tamper that holds eight grams of coffee.
How To Make Espresso With The Nanopresso
Ease of use is a key attraction of the device, and it only requires a few steps to make an espresso shot. This section explains how to use the coffee maker and get the most out of it to make better-tasting espresso.
1.Preheating is important
To ensure good espresso, we require relatively high temperatures. Aim for between 197F and 205F (92C and 96C).
The Nanopresso is non-electric, so it doesn’t have a heating element. Because of this, the water temperature will quickly drop, so you need to get the water and machine interior as hot as you can before brewing. Preheating is the solution. It helps prevent under-extraction, which is a common gripe of people who use portable coffee makers.
Place boiling water in the tank, then pump it with the piston to distribute it so that the temperature of the inner components increases. Ensure you dry everything before you add coffee because the moment the coffee interacts with the water, extraction begins.
Use one scoop (8g) of coffee with the scoop that comes with the Nanopresso.
Because the device has a pressurized portafilter, it is forgiving enough that any grind size finer than regular drip coffee will suffice. Also, if you don’t have a grinder, you can use pre-ground coffee and still get an espresso with a rich crema. However, it is preferable to use a grinder because you can get finer grounds for better flavor.
3.Tamp The Ground Coffee
Add the coffee to the filter basket, then gently shake it to level the coffee bed. Now, tamp the grounds with the scoop. Make sure to leave a small gap between the coffee bed and the filter basket rim so when you attach it to the portafilter, it fits perfectly with the shower screen.
4.Screw The Portafilter To The Body
Prepare your espresso cup, then tightly screw the portafilter to the machine to ensure there is no leakage. Then, pour water to the line of the water chamber (approximately 80ml). Now you’re ready to pull a shot.
Start pumping gradually, around one press per second. Any faster and you may block the coffee. We aim for approximately 15 to 16 pushes for a (roughly) 1:2.5 ratio. So, for eight grams of coffee, you can expect between 18 and 20 grams of liquid. The finished coffee should resemble an espresso. If you want to make a double shot, you’ll need the barista kit.
6.Enjoy Your Coffee
With neither a heat source nor electricity, you can see that pulling a shot with the Nanopresso is simple. Even better, it produces a decent cup of espresso wherever you are.
How Does The Coffee Taste?
If you’ve gone over the steps correctly, you should have a rich crema on your espresso. However, because of the pressurized portafilter, the crema will be paler than what you’d expect of a standard home machine.
Many Nanopresso users find that the coffee it produces has a softer mouthfeel, lighter body, and higher acidity. The cause? Under-extraction. You can resolve this by going over the steps outlined earlier, including preheating the Nanopresso and using finer grounds. We also recommend using a 1:2.5 ratio (an appropriate ratio for espresso).
Can You Use A Non-Pressurized Portafilter?
Some people have turned the pressurized portafilter into a non-pressurized alternative.
You can do this by removing the shower screen from the portafilter and unscrewing the bottom section, which is plastic and blocks the espresso flow. This is the part the pressurized portafilter needs to produce artificial crema. Remove the small orange plastic part, screw it back together and pull your shot.
But does it improve the taste and produce more authentic crema? In our opinion, no. Shorn of the pressurized system, the machine can’t create crema akin to a standard espresso machine.
From our testing, we think the flavor and aromatics are more complex. However, without the fluffiness and body, the drink is lighter – even watery.
The bottom line is that the Nanopresso uses a pressurized portafilter for a creamier coffee. Therefore, attempting to modify it for a non-pressurized alternative isn’t recommended. If you really need to top-notch espresso quality, check out our Wacaco Picopresso Review, which is designed for espresso purists.
How To Clean The Nanopresso
When cleaning the device, remember there may be hot water in the tank, so unscrew it carefully, Then, remove the portafilter with the spent grounds.
For a quick clean, just give it a rinse with water and it will be ready for making another cup of great coffee. To remove unpalatable coffee oils, use a small amount of soap as well.
Overall, the Nanopresso is easy to clean, which makes it ideal for outdoor use.
One of the most distracting things about the Nanopresso is that there is a squeaking sound when you push the piston. Another drawback is that the Nanopresso is only compatible with coffee grounds or ese pods, meaning to use Nespresso capsules, you’ll need to purchase a separate adapter.
Cafflano Kompresso – this is an even more lightweight machine that makes better-quality espresso using a naked portafilter. However, there is a steeper learning curve. Still, it is a good option if you’re not a beginner and want to combine portability with quality espresso. Read our Cafflano Kompresso hands-on review.
Staresso – The Staresso is a portable manual espresso maker compatible with coffee grounds and nespresso capsules out of the box. The Staresso pumps vertically (think a bicycle pump) which is easier than the Nanopresso’s side pump. It also makes beautiful crema. Read our Staresso hands-on review.
- Lightweight and compact
- Easy to clean and use
- Compatible with ground coffee or Nespresso pods
- Produces espresso that’s tasty with a rich crema
- You can brew coffee with either hot or cold water
- Adding coffee to the filter basket is tricky, so it’s easy to make a mess
One of the biggest advantages of the Nanopresso portable espresso maker is its ease of use. You neither need lots of experience nor plenty of accessories, meaning even a coffee-brewing novice can make a good cup of coffee with it.
The machine will brew better espresso with fresher coffee beans, a fine enough grind size, and a quality grinder. However, it offers plenty of leeway if you don’t have those to hand.
Another advantage is the availability of upgrades. For example, a Nespresso adapter allows you to use capsules, while there is a separate Barista kit that has both a larger water tank and filter basket for pulling double shots of espresso.
Finally, the Nanopresso is compact, lightweight, and solid. Therefore, it is perfect for taking with you outdoors, such as on a camping trip. If you prefer drip style coffee, try Wacaco Pippamoka, I tested and reviewed it before. I have to say, Wacaco is very innovative in developing portable coffee makers.
Despite its limitations, the Nanopresso is an affordable option for any espresso lover wanting a decent espresso on the move that’s easy to use. If this applies to you, you could do a lot worse than opt for this popular and effective espresso maker.