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Hang out with RVers long enough and the topic of coffee in the RV inevitably comes up. And I must admit (coffee snobs DO NOT READ THIS SENTENCE), we do a lot of instant coffee in the RV (warned ya) and that seems to work out fine for us. But one thing I really REALLY start to miss on road trips is espresso. Not sure why, but I’ve always preferred the taste of espresso to coffee. And! I love how espresso can be easily doctored up and made to taste a bazillion different ways depending on what flavors you add. Can’t do that with coffee. Well, you can, but yuck.
So! We recently got our mitts on two different portable espresso makers from the folks at Handpresso, a French company, and gave them a spin. Full disclosure, I’ve had my eye on Handpresso for quite a while now and finally couldn’t stand it any longer, so I reached out to them. We ended up getting them for free (I’m sure it was my witty charm) but made no deals with them beyond that to do a favorable review or try to sell them in any way shape or form. So, this is all us and our honest thoughts. We simply liked them and thought you might too.
Here are the two espresso makers you’ll see in action in our video.
Handpresso Wild Hybrid:
This fantastic little gadget (emphasis on little!) requires no electricity or battery whatsoever and can make you a delicious shot of espresso literally anywhere. You simply pump it up to get it pressurized (like a bike pump), add hot water & espresso, and press the button. Easy peasy! Just like that, you’re sipping espresso on the road. Or at the campsite. Or, while we’re at it, how about on top of Mt. Rainier…how cool would THAT be? The only thing you’ve got to bring to the party is some hot water. For RVers, obviously that’s not a problem. And did you SEE the color of our Handpresso Wild?! YELLOW! Like our RV! Was that meant to be or what?!?
This espresso maker goes a step further and heats the water for you. It plugs into a 12-volt outlet and conveniently fits inside a cup holder. So, this becomes a brilliant option when you’re driving along and you’ve got a co-pilot to run the show. The co-pilot simply sets it in the cupholder, unwraps the cord, plugs it in to your cigarette lighter, adds some water and espresso, and BAM! Best tasting cup of espresso you’ve ever had driving cross-country going 70mph (I mean 65mph honey, of course I never speed when you’re napping in the passenger seat).
You’ve got two options with these, either ESE pods or loose espresso grinds. We used pods for convenience and bought them in bulk on Amazon so we’re committed now! Can’t imagine ever wanting to bother with grinds because the pods rock. But that’s just me, I’m lazy.
Watch the video, go grab a coffee (or espresso?), and then leave us some comments below!
I have to get one now!
As a side note on coffee. I was at Safari Condo’s open house and plant tour last weekend and was discussing with the company owner (and head designer) the choices for our eventual solar and electrical system. He mentioned that more and more people are opting for the pure sine wave inverters because the new generation electronic coffee makers (and induction hot plates) don’t go well with modified sine wave inverters.
So one more thing to check before deciding on a new coffee maker.
Oops…the first line should have read it’s a proper cup…not until you put in a jigger or two of Jamison…Ha! I guess the HA is on me as I must have lost count of the jiggers I added…oh my, seeing lions tigers and bears oh dear!!!
It’s a proper cup..not tis you put in a jigger or two of Jamison…ha! When that is added and you have 2 or 3 no matter how it turns out…who cares…ha! Just a wee bit to keep loose! Nice clip as I was not aware that such tools existed, and for all these years the press has been used around here. Time to perhaps make the switch (but not forgetting the dram or two of Jamison)!
I’m not into espresso, but after reading this I figured there must be something like it for k-cups. I love my Keurig and was wondering how to conveniently take it with me in the RV. No problem! There are 2 models I found that use a French press style of brewing with k-cups! CafeJo My French Press and Presto My Jo Single Cup Coffee Maker. And both also have reusable filters for ground coffee.
Do you think you could use the pods in a French press? I love French Press coffee but hate the cleaning up mess!
hmmm.. now there’s an idea…
The reason I ask is I love Cappuccinos and I have my little $2.67 milk frother from IKEA but I need strong coffee to go in the frothed milk and I assume espresso would fit the bill. I dont’ drink espresso normally expect in milky drinks…
Wait. Hold the phone. Did you just say there’s a $2.67 milk frother out there?!?!? JAMES! We’re going to IKEA tomorrow!!!!
Interesting thought, Barbara, it sure would make it simpler! But thinking about it, I’m skeptical using ESE pods would work. French press requires a more coarse ground coffee and espresso is ground much finer. Not sure the pod could hold up to being “pressed.” But honestly I don’t know for sure, if anyone else reading has more knowledge on this, please reply!
I think it’s probably a different roast on the beans as well.
As an unrepentant coffee snob, I can say unequivocally that pods in a French Press would NOT make a proper cup. That said, if you’re not a connoisseur, try it once. If you like the result, then it works.
BTW it is a testament to how much I like James and Stefany that I didn’t shake my head and tsk tsk them while watching the video.The products you were testing are pretty cool. The thing is though, if your beans were roasted more than 96 hours previously, no machine can save that coffee.
LOL GARY!!!! I figured I’d take some slack from a snob or two. Okay, okay, so you’re anti-pod. Just for you Gary, I’m going to go pick up some fresh roasted beans from a popular local roaster joint and will give the real stuff a go using the Handpresso. But UGH! The work (and mess) of dealing with fresh grounds! I’m hoping I won’t love it and will forever remain a coffee ignoramous happily sipping my instant coffee and pod espresso. (I also love Trader Joe’s 3-buck Chuck bottles of wine. There’s very little hope for me…)
You could try using paper filters, that are made for loose tea (also messy) I use them when I make a pot of tea and the clean up is so easy! I use these from Adagio https://www.adagio.com/teaware/paper_filters.html though I’m sure you can get something similar from Amazon.
Thanks for the demo. They’re pretty expensive, so how good do you think the coffee is?
And Stefany – the way you order at Starbucks is just like my wife does it! Too funny!
Well, Ed, knowing your wife knows how to order at coffee houses, I instantly like her. James on the other hand, orders in 3 words. Medium Coffee Black. As for the taste. Once the camera was off we started doing more involved taste tests. Honestly, the quality was decent and indistinguishable between the 2 espresso makers. I wanted to pick a favorite, but in the end, couldn’t tell which espresso was made in which machine. As with any espresso machine, the quality of your finished product primarily depends on the quality of the espresso beans used. Luckily, we’re loving the Illy espresso pods and were left completely satisfied with the quality and taste.