Are you the kind of person who can’t live without great coffee? Have you ever had to settle for the low-quality drip coffee that you can make in your hotel room? When you have the Cafflano Kompresso, you can make a delicious cup of espresso wherever you are.
The Kompresso is the lightest portable espresso maker in the world. It extracts the espresso using 9 BARs of pressure, which is suitable for an authentic brew.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Portable Espresso Maker
A travel-friendly espresso maker needs to be small enough to carry with you. But it’s not going to come in handy if it doesn’t make excellent coffee.
How Will You Heat Your Water?
Even if the portable espresso maker is compact, you have to think about having a container to heat water. If you’re in a hotel room, you might be able to microwave water in a paper cup. If you’re camping, you’ll need an extra container to place over the fire.
Some portable coffee makers produce delicious cold brew. But most espresso makers require hot water to deliver decent results. That’s not always the case, though. A product that allows you to make a cold brew or hot brew is extremely versatile. You won’t need a separate container to heat your water if you prefer iced espresso.
How Much Coffee Do You Want to Make at Once?
If you travel with friends, you might need something that pushes out more than one shot of espresso at once. Plus, not everyone prefers espresso for coffee.
Travelers who want to brew a few strong cups of Joe at once might benefit from a French press. A shatter-proof option is versatile and can go just about anywhere.
If you buy a single-serve espresso maker but will need to make multiple cups within quick succession, look for a product that’s easy to use and clean. If you have to wait for it to cool down before making another cup, your friends might get impatient.
How Portable Is It?
There are two primary factors for determining the portability of the product. It must be compact and lightweight enough to fit in a suitable bag. It should also be resilient enough to be tossed around a bit without breaking.
When you’re jamming a carry-on into an overhead bin or stuffing your suitcase with all of your essentials, you don’t want to worry about breaking the espresso maker. Even if you’re gentle with your luggage, baggage handlers at the airport may not be.
Traditional espresso makers with plastic parts aren’t as desirable as those with glass or stainless steel parts. However, plastic comes in handy when you’re traveling because it’s durable and shatter-proof.
Glass espresso makers are probably not ideal for travel. Look for contraptions with plastic, metal, and silicone parts instead. If the espresso maker contains plastic, you might want to choose an option that is BPA-free.
About the Cafflano Kompresso
The Cafflano Kompresso takes the physics that go into making espresso and transforms them into a lightweight, trim espresso machine. It comes with the espresso maker, tamping scoop, and a cup that nest together when they’re not in use.
Essentially, this product has all of the same parts that a regular espresso machine uses. They’re just deconstructed a bit and made out of resilient plastic.
It contains a hydraulic compressor, which keeps a consistent 9-BAR force as you extract the espresso. The product has a push/pull handle to produce sufficient force without exerting yourself too much.
This portable espresso maker works without filters. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about buying any extra parts. Just bring along a grinder, some coffee, and a container to heat your water, and you’ll be all set to go.
Things We Like:
- Weighs less than 0.5 pounds
- Durable and difficult to break
- No filters to replace
- Can make hot or cold brew espresso
Room for Improvement:
- Can only use up to 2.7 ounces of water at a time
- Has a learning curve
- Need to preheat the Kompresso for a perfect brew
- Takes up to 8 minutes to produce a single shot
Features and Benefits
The Kompresso is the most lightweight portable espresso maker on the market. It’s also tiny, at just over 6 inches long and 4 inches wide.
When you first use it, you might think that it feels flimsy. Don’t let its lack of heft fool you. You can exert as much pressure as you want as you’re using the piston to push water through the coffee puck. This little machine is not known to break.
Instead of the conventional portafilter, the Kompresso has a basket filter. Instead of funneling the espresso through a narrow nozzle at the bottom of the filter, the product allows the black gold to flow freely through the bottom surface of the basket.
The Kompresso comes with a scoop that doubles as a tamper. The scoop is the perfect size to fill the basket with coffee. When it’s filled with ground coffee that’s evened off at the top, the tamper holds about 10 grams of fine espresso. The maximum dose is 15 grams.
The tamping scoop clicks together for the basket for easy filling. After you fill it, you can press down with the bottom of the scoop to compress the grounds.
The scoop does have an embossed logo on it. Espresso aficionados will say that it doesn’t create a perfectly flat surface and is therefore not ideal. But it’ll do for a portable espresso maker.
Also, some users like the fact that the tamper contains an embossed logo. You’ll know that you compressed your puck enough when you can read the logo on the coffee grounds.
The chamber that you fill with water is marked so that you know how much liquid to add. Because the chamber is relatively small, you’ll probably want to use the full amount of water every time.
You should also preheat the product by running plain water through it with no coffee before you pull your shot.
As long as you get the ground right, you can exert 9 BARs of pressure fairly easily. You might need to experiment before you produce the perfect shot, though.
If the grind is too fine, the water can’t get through it, and you’ll have a hard time getting any liquid out. If the grind is too coarse, the water won’t soak up enough of the flavor and aroma. You’ll end up with a watery cup of coffee with no real body.
Once you’ve fine-tuned the texture of the grounds, though, you can produce a first-rate espresso with a rich crema. It’s not easy to get an admirable head of crema with this product, but it’s doable with some practice. Some tips include using freshly roasted beans, grinding the beans just before brewing, and using a medium-dark roast.
The push-pull mechanism of this espresso maker lets you maintain the pressure for a significant amount of time. You’ll press the piston until you feel some push back. At that time, you can place your fingers on the pull handle, squeezing it toward the piston.
Soon, you should see the coffee dripping out. Maintain the pressure for about 30 to 35 seconds for a perfect shot.
Hydraulic Water Compression
The manufacturer explains that one of the key features of the Cafflano Kompresso is its hydraulic water compression. Many other portable espresso makers use pneumatic air compression.
But the hydraulic pressure provides more force and extracts the water from the espresso more efficiently than other types of compressors. It allows the water to saturate the grounds completely and evenly for a full-flavored shot.
Easy to Clean
With the Kompresso, what you see is what you get. This product doesn’t have fancy accouterments. It works well because it’s based on the science of making espresso.
It’s easy to dismantle for cleaning. As long as you wash and rinse the parts every time you use it, you won’t be relegated to drinking a stale cup of coffee.
If you have trouble getting the used coffee puck out in one piece, lift and depress the piston after you’ve pulled your shot. It will force the excess water out of the coffee so that you can tap out the puck.
If you’re going to take another shot immediately after the first, you don’t have to rinse the other components. Simply knock out the puck and wipe the filter clean with a soft cloth or paper towel. Doing this will prevent the other parts from getting cold while you’re waiting to brew another beverage.
Makes Hot or Cold Brew
If you don’t have a way of making hot coffee while you’re on the road, no problem. You can make cold espresso using the Kompresso.
To do so, you need to know a few things:
- Use fine espresso grounds
- Tamp the coffee grounds extra firmly in the basket
- Let the water sit for one minute before compressing it for a pre-infusion
- Use cold water instead of heating it to the usual 200 degrees
The Kompresso produces rich, cold-brew coffee. It has plenty of acidities but little bitterness. Unlike many cold-brew coffees, the liquid that you’ll make with this gadget is robust and well-rounded.
Even if you’re not using the Kompresso outside of the house, it can come in handy for making quick iced coffee drinks at home. You won’t have to wait for the cold coffee to brew or hot coffee to come to room temperature. You’ll get a fresh brew that won’t melt your ice cubes and is ready to be whirled in the blender.
Alternatives and Conclusion
There’s a lot to love about this tiny espresso maker. If you’re on the go, you’ll find its size and weight to be a benefit. If you only makeespresso at home, you might not need such a small, portable option. In that case, you might prefer a manual or an automatic countertop model.
One of the best portable countertop espresso makers is the Flair espresso maker. It is a manual product that works in much the same way as the Kompresso. However, it’s designed to sit on your counter, and it looks great doing so. You can dismantle it and pack it into the included carrying case when you travel. It just takes up more space than the Kompresso.
If you want to make hot drinks that are blended with milk, you might want a countertop contraption with a frother. You probably won’t want to bring afull espresso maker on the road, but you can use it at home to make a variety of beverages.
The Breville Bambino Plus espresso machine serves up rich espresso and includes a milk frothing wand so that you can play with different types of drinks. It has plenty of features that make it a decent mid-range home espresso machine. But you probably won’t want to travel with it.
If you’re looking for other options for portable espresso makers, you might want to consider the Handpresso Auto Hybrid. It’s not ideal for camping or hiking because it requires 12V of electricity to operate. But it’s perfect for car trips. You can plug it into your vehicle’s power source.
You can also use ESE pods or regular ground coffee in the Handpresso Auto Hybrid. This unit heats its own water so that you don’t have to worry about bringing an extra container along with you.
The Nanopresso is another portable espresso maker that might be a bit more budget-friendly than the Kompresso. It exerts 18 BARs of pressure and comes with a carrying case. It also holds up to 80 ml of water, which is more than the Kompresso uses for one shot.
Still, if you’re looking for the smallest, lightest portable espresso maker, the Kompresso is probably right up your alley. It doesn’t require batteries or electricity. All you need are water and coffee to get your caffeine fix on the go.
Cafflano Kompresso Review: Make Great Coffee Anywhere
Getting the day started without coffee is tough enough. Check out our full review of the Cafflano Kompresso to help make your day easier.
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