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Review

Wacaco Picopresso is a Tiny, Big Surprise

Can you make great espresso with a gadget that is smaller than a smart phone? Apparently.

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Asser Christensen

Licensed Q Arabica Grader, M.A. Journalism

The Wacaco Picopresso is a small, portable espresso maker.

It’s the follow-up to the relatively successful (but in my opinion, lackluster) Nanopresso, and it has many of the same features but with some interesting upgrades.

It’s also smaller than its predecessor, so it’s still excellent for travel.

But the real question is, how is the coffee? Read on for my full review.

Wacaco Picopresso
Don't underestimate the Picopresso. It produces great espresso shots and is a plesure to use.

What Is The Wacaco Picopresso?

The Wacaco Picopresso is a tiny, manual espresso maker from the Hong Kong-based company Wacaco.

Wacaco’s previous version, the Nanopresso, used a small pressurized basket that could only fit about 8-12 grams inside. 

In my opinion, it wasn’t worth it to go through all the trouble of preparing a shot only to get a tiny underextracted cup of coffee. 

But with the new Picopresso, the basket can take around 18 grams of coffee.

This means that you can pull a potent 50 ml double espresso that is well-extracted. 

If you want to know more about the design of this device, then check out our video review below. 

As far as portability goes, it’s straightforward to carry around. It fits into most suitcases easily, and it’s light enough to throw in any backpack or purse. It weighs less than 350 g/0.77 lbs.

A bit of weight is added when you factor in the tamper, however. 

The standout feature is that it has an actual espresso basket inside, which can be used “bottomless,” meaning that your shots will look like they came out of a proper espresso machine in a hipster coffee shop. 

Wacaco Picopresso Accessories

Another significant upgrade with the Picopresso is all the cool accessories you get as part of the package. 

You have:

  • a sturdy travel pouch 
  • A palm tamper that is way better than the tampers that usually accompany cheap machines
  • A funnel for the basket (avoid the mess on your kitchen counter)
  • A tiny WDT tool 
  • An optional splash guard that can be clicked outside the basket. 

Overall, no corners have been cut with all these accessories. It feels like quality all the way through. 

picopresso accessories
It looks a bit messy when all the accessories are spread out like that, but they everything fits neatly inside the case.

Espresso quality

The shots from the Picopresso taste (I must say) surprisingly great. They’re remarkably smooth and rich with a good amount of texture.

Before trying this espresso maker, I had yet to try outstanding shots from devices using this type of pump. But somehow, Wacaco can pull it off this time around. 

The shots are not quite as good as the best espresso I’ve had at cafes (obviously), but they’re up there when you compare to home espresso makers under $500.

I think they compare favorably to one of my previous favorites, the Cafflano Kompresso.

It’s also easy to be consistent with the Picopresso. It’s a bit more forgiving when it comes to grind size and the pressure you need to exert due to its pump design. On a good day, I will even say that the shots can be compared to the Flair Classic

I’m impressed that the Wacaco Picopresso can produce such high-quality espresso even though it’s so tiny and innocent looking.  

It goes without saying that this is an entirely different league than AeroPress Espresso.  

wacaco picopress and nanopresso upside down
Nanopresso (left) vs Picopresso (right). It’s an easy K.O. win for the Picopresso.

Who is it for?

The Picopresso is aimed at espresso purists looking for a portable espresso maker. 

You need a solid grinder and some extraction knowledge to get the best out of this device. 

However, if you have a small kitchen or want to dip your toes into the espresso world, it could also be worth considering. 

Overall, the Flair Classic is still the better choice as a daily driver due to its more stationary design. Still, if you want some added travel flexibility, you should consider the Picopresso. 

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Great espresso
  • Good value for money
  • Small footprint
  • It comes with all accessories that you need

Cons:

  • Requires steady hands 
  • You need a good grinder and espresso knowledge to get the best results
  • It gets a bit hot and uncomfortable to hold
  • A bit pricey for what is essentially a gadget 

Final Thoughts

Overall, I am incredibly pleased with the Wacaco Picopresso. 

Wacaco has done a great job updating a slightly mediocre product into a first-class gadget. 

It’s one of the few affordable espresso makers that makes me feel like I’m drinking a legit shot. 

I love the fact that it’s portable and compact. It’s ideal for traveling and pretty easy to use anywhere with a manual grinder. 

The price tag might be a bit too much for some. However, I think it’s justified for a product with this level of finesse.

➡️  Check the current price on Amazon

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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.