three travel espresso makers

The 7 Best Portable Espresso Makers

We have compiled a list of the best portable espresso makers that you should purchase before your next vacation or camping trip.

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Asser Christensen

Licensed Q Arabica Grader, M.A. Journalism

A few years ago, the idea of a portable espresso maker seemed like an oxymoron.

However, we live in a time of unprecendented coffee innovation, and for that reason there are actually quite a few travel-friendly espresso machines on the market today.

Here’s a quick overview of some our favorite models. Read on, for the full overview.

The 7 Best Portable Espresso Makers in 2021

1. Wacaco Picopresso

WACACO Picopresso Portable...

The Picopresso is a small, handheld espresso machine made by the Hong Kong-based manufacturer Wacaco, who’s also behind the Nanopresso mentioned in this article)

The new Picopresso is superior to the Nanopresso in most ways though. The basket is a standard, non-pressurized model that can hold up to 18 grams of ground coffee. It means that you can pull an excellent 50 ml double shot.

This espresso maker is about the same size as a mug, but it’s a potent device.

In fact, it’s my current favorite among all the portable devices on this list.

If you want to know more about this cool gadget, then check out my review/video here.

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2. Flair Signature Espresso Maker

Flair Signature Espresso Maker...

If you are looking for a way to handcraft your own espresso while at home or during travel, the Flair Signature Espresso Maker is one of the best options.

Sure, it’s a lot bigger than the other contenders on this list, but it’s also extremely capable. The Flair can pull legit, professional shots.

Despite weighing in at 7 pounds, this machine is easy to carry due to its foldable design and carry case.

All you need is your favorite espresso beans, a grinder, and some boiling water, and you’re good to go. 

I have previously tested the Flair Espresso Maker and I was quite impressed.

It’s a great tool once you get your head around the slightly unusual workflow of a manual lever espresso machine.

Bonus Tip: Check out the new & upgraded “Pro 2” model here.

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3. Cafflano Kompresso (Hand Carry Coffee Maker)

Cafflano Kompresso (Hand Carry...

The Cafflano Kompresso is a cheap espresso maker that is also extremely portable, weighing in at less than 200 grams.

This is one of the most compact espresso maker in the world that produces authentic espresso, so it should definitely be on your radar.

The Cafflano Kompresso uses a naked basket and that means that it’s best for advanced users, who already have a good espresso grinder and some knowledge about the brewing process. However, if you know what you’re doing, you can get great shots!

I have previously reviewed the Cafflano Kompresso and my impression was overall excellent.

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4: 1Zpresso Y3 Portable Coffee Maker

1Zpresso Y3 Portable Coffee...

1Zpresso mostly makes manual coffee grinders, which they are very good at.

However, they also make this interesting portable espresso maker. It’s very light, weighing in at 600 grams — that’s about the same weight as a big coke at McDonald’s. It produces a cup within 4 minutes of starting, making it easy and efficient as well as portable. 

The shots, I have had from this espresso maker have been quite delicious, almost like a real cafe quality shot. I’m surprised that this model is not more widespread in the Western world.

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5: STARESSO Portable Espresso Maker

STARESSO (Upgrade Portable...

The Staresso SP-200 is a small but capable espresso maker.

Like many other travel espresso machines, it also uses a pressurized basket, but you can still get pretty high extractions and nice shots with crema.

At just 0.88 pounds its lightweight and portable, and perfect for every vacation.

Another great thing about the Staresso, is that it also works with Nespresso capsules. This is a very convenient way to get rather good coffee if you’re travelling and don’t want to carry a grinder.

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6: Wacaco Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker

WACACO Nanopresso Portable...

Weighing in at 336 grams (less than 1 pound), this is one of the smallest portable espresso machines that you will come across.

The Wacaco is a cute little gadget available in a wide range of colors.

This device will make shots with a nice and bubbly crema. However, this espresso maker uses a pressurized basket, so even though the crema is nice looking, the extraction is not quite as high as some of its rivals.

The main downside to the Nanopresso, is that shots are very small at only 8 grams. However, can buy an add-on that let’s you brew bigger shots.

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7: Bialetti 06800 Express Moka Pot

Bialetti Express Moka Pot, 6...

This is not technically a true espresso maker, however, most Italians use it at home, and they invented espresso.

So they must now a thing or two, right?

The flavor is still strong and potent, but usually a bit thinner than the standard espresso. But of course, this also depends on your brewing ratio. Just put in less water and more coffee, if you want it concentrated.

A thing to keep in mind if you plan to travel with the Bialetti Stovetop Espresso Maker is that you need a stove or gas burner for this device to work. Some portable espresso makers just need access to boiling water, but this device will need sustained heat in order to work.

The thing about a Bialetti is that they are both affordable and more or less indestructible,

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Asser Christensen

Hello, and welcome! I'm the editor & founder of this site.
I have been a coffee geek since I started home roasting more than a decade ago. Since then, coffee has taken me on countless adventures: From ancient coffee ceremonies in Ethiopia to the volcanos of Sumatra.
My background is in journalism, and today I'm also a licensed Q Grader under the Coffee Quality Institute.