Last Updated on October 4, 2021 by John Moretti
Coffee. Café. Latte. Macchiato. Americano. Espresso. For coffee lovers, these words are poetry and not merely terms to describe their favorite hot beverage. No. Coffee is more than just a beverage. It is the lifeblood of the day! It is the savior when all seems lost and a reason to gather with friends and celebrate life.
When you can’t take your beloved espresso machine with you, it can seem that the light at the end of the tunnel is fading! But, have no fear! All is not lost. You can travel and still have your espresso every day; all you need is a portable espresso maker!
Here are 16 of the best portable espresso makers available.
1. Flair Signature Espresso Maker With Pressure Kit
If you want high-quality espresso on the go, then this is a great place to start! Complete with the customized carry case, the Flair brings natural Flair to portable espresso making. Capable of taking an 18g shot with 60ml of water to deliver a 40ml shot of espresso with superb crema.
The Flair is durably made from stainless steel and cast aluminum; while the stand and the brewing head have a three-year warranty with an upgraded and more substantial base, lever, and post, this portable espresso maker ticks all the right boxes.
The custom pressure gauge is another intelligent feature on this machine, allowing the barista to measure the pump pressure for optimum extraction. The Flair operates between 6-9bar, which is an ideal extraction pressure level.
The Pressure Kit includes a stainless steel tamper and a 2-in-1 bottomless portafilter for spouted or even naked brewing.
The detachable brewing head makes this machine easy to clean, as you can separate the parts and simply clean and rinse under cold water. Then re-assemble, and you’re ready to go for the next day’s premium espresso.
There are no electronics or cables here as this is a human-powered espresso press from the ground up. The Flair will be equally majestic in a kitchen or a campsite to brew and deliver professional espresso wherever you need it!
2. The Uniterra Nomad
This portable espresso machine stands out from the crowd in more ways than one. At the outset, it looks more like a piece of steel art than an espresso machine. Made from solid steel, the Nomad is available in green and the new Rose-red of Paris.
Born from a Kickstarter campaign, this hefty but potent espresso maker uses its weight well, and it’s lighter than the Flair. While many other portable systems are made from high-quality food-grade plastic, the Nomad is all steel, which in retrospect, is a preferable option considering the types of pressures involved.
More important is the quality of the espresso, and with their ‘True-Crema Valve’ technology, Uniterra has solved one of the nagging issues with portable espresso machines – compensation for either poor grind or tamping.
In the past, this would have lead to an undesirable result for the coffee, and you should always seek to have the best beans and proper grind to match.
If for any reason you can’t, won’t, or don’t do this, the Valve can save you some embarrassment, and you can still enjoy a barista-quality espresso with excellent crema and depth of flavor.
The heavy tamper ensures that coffee is seated correctly before brewing and is another well-thought-out accessory to this unique machine. It’s evident that the goal is to provide the very best all-around portable espresso maker, and they have left no bean unground to achieve this.
The see-saw-type lever action on the pump is a more efficient mechanical system allowing you to get up to 10bar, so proper extraction pressure will never be an issue with the Nomad.
The built-in pressure valve gives you fingertip control until your reach the desired pressure, and you can build up pressure in just a few strokes of the lever.
3. The Wacaco Minipresso
Lightweight, compact and powerful, the Minipresso is an impressive portable espresso maker designed to give you a 50ml shot of espresso wherever and whenever you need it.
Using the Minipresso is easy. Add the coffee grounds to the filter basket using the integrated scoop, then apply light pressure to tamp it down. Add hot water and then pressurize the system utilizing the piston and pump a few times and voila! A barista-quality espresso!
The Minipresso can also use the Nespresso pods and ground coffee, which adds good versatility to this portable espresso maker. Compact and cost-effective, this is undoubtedly a contender for consideration.
4. Wacaco Nanopresso
Another offering from Wacaco, this portable espresso maker, is the upgrade to the Minipresso. One of the critical aspects of a mobile espresso maker is the amount of pressure it can generate to deliver a quality espresso.
The Nanopresso has taken that to the next level with an impressive 18 bar pump pressure. To achieve this pressure does need a little help from the barista, but its’ not a massive physical exertion thanks to their newly patented pump system.
Needing 15% less pump power than its predecessor, this little powerhouse produces Barista level espresso, especially with hard tamped ground coffee. The Nanopresso consistently rates as one of the best portable espresso makers available. It is easy to clean as the portafilter components disassemble.
5. Cafflano Kompresso
This is one of the lightest portable espresso makers available. Weighing in at a featherweight 200g, this is the epitome of mobile espresso makers. Cafflano launched in 2013 and has been growing as an influence in the espresso maker market ever since.
Able to produce good extraction using the chamber and piston to create hydraulic pressure to power the water through the filter. This little lightweight punches well into the heavyweight division with good crema.
The one consideration here is that you need to have the right grind dialed in, which could take some time to perfect. However, once you have it, the taste is smooth and rich like a Barista quality espresso should be.
6. Handpresso HPWildHybrid Coffee Machine
Looking more like a bicycle pump than one of the best portable espresso makers around, the Handpresso delivers an impressive extraction pressure of 16 bar. This, in turn, provides excellent taste and cream on the espresso shot.
It is heavier than some of its competitors at 480g and can use both ground and ESE pod coffee, eliminating the possible mess of working with loose grounds.
This is a more pricey product than the others listed here.
7. Staresso Portable Espresso Machine
Weighing in at a very acceptable 1.1lbs, the Staresso adds an additional dimension to portable espresso makers, as this one can produce frothed milk while making espresso! That means that cappuccino on the go is now a reality, and that’s exciting!
With a built-in pressure valve for perfect extraction and a pump pressure of 15-18 bar, the Staresso can deliver 100ml of espresso from its basket capacity of 11g. It has six coffee style variations and is compatible with Nespresso capsules.
Its tank can hold 80ml of water and is easy to clean and rinse. Each machine comes with two coffee shot glasses. The only drawback with this is that making the foam can be a bit messy and noisy.
Other than that, the Staresso is indeed one of the stars of portable espresso makers.
8. AeroPress Coffee And Espresso Maker
The AeroPress is a new kind of portable coffee maker that brings innovation to the coffee brewing process. Unlike the other machines, this one uses a rapid and total immersion process that produces smooth coffee with full flavor, low acidity, and zero bitterness.
With the microfilter eliminating the fine grit, the Aeropress has the convenience of the French Press, but without the long steep time and resulting acidity. This filter system is also easy to clean.
This unique system can provide 1-3 cups of American-style coffee in about a minute and with only a single press. It can also brew cold brew coffee or espresso shots for use in Cappucino or Latte-style coffees.
The included tote back makes the Aeropress a great travel companion for backpacking, boating, and camping.
9. Litchi Handheld Portable Espresso Maker
With an additional filter basket and good robust construction, the Litchi certainly raises its hand high when it comes to a well-priced portable espresso maker. Weighing in at less than 13 oz, the Litchi uses the piston pump to generate extraction pressure.
Easy to strip down and clean, the Litchi also comes with a pre-measured scoop and espresso cup.
10. Wacoca Pipamoka Portable Coffee Maker
If you have a nomadic lifestyle, then this portable espresso maker is the one for you! This is a vacuum pressure design that pulls hot water downwards through the coffee grounds.
The patented design and twist mechanism generates enough brewing pressure to deliver a cup of coffee in just two minutes. Another innovation is the stainless steel microfilter is reusable, so say goodbye to the one-use paper filters.
Another innovation is that all the parts fit inside the mug, so you never have to worry about leaving pieces behind, and the stainless steel insulated mug keeps coffee hot for up to 4 hours.
Lightweight and compact at just 0.94lb, it comes complete with stainless steel Thermo cup and single-serve coffee brewer; the Pikamoka could just be the ideal portable espresso maker.
11. Simpresso Portable Espresso & Coffee Maker
The Simpresso carries an impressive pressure of up to 19bar, more than enough to generate a great pull of espresso. Made from lightweight aluminum, this compact espresso maker is also compatible with Nespresso pods for convenient coffee anytime.
At a skinny 0.78lb and 1.43lb with all the accessories, it can hold 120ml of water enough for a decent cup of coffee. It comes with a Nespresso adapter kit, scoop, travel bag, and a four-piece reusable smart capsule set.
Stripping and cleaning is a simple process with the unit quick to disassemble and then rinsed with water and a mild cleanser if required. A truly compact and complete system, the Simpresso certainly ranks as a top pick.
12. Homgeek Portable Espresso Maker
Another highly portable and lightweight espresso maker, the Homgeek, ticks many of the boxes, especially on price and weight. At just under 13oz and with an 80ml water tank, this little dynamo will deliver on your espresso and coffee needs wherever you find yourself.
As a cheaper product on the market, it doesn’t have the pump pressure of some of the other products we’ve looked at. With just 8bar on the pump, it’s about half of the pressure, which may mean that it doesn’t quite produce the extraction pressure.
Also, it is prone to leaks and is a bit odd-shaped, making packing a little challenging. But, simple operation and sufficient pressure make this an attractive option if you need a quick, easy, and cheap portable espresso maker.
13. Wacaco Picopresso Portable Espresso Maker
The Wacaco Picopress was rated as the best portable espresso maker by wired.com for the overall performance, design, and quality of coffee produced. Designed to fit into your hand and weighing in at 0.77lb, the Picopress provides barista-quality espresso at your fingertips.
It does require some force to pump the water to pressure, so if you have strength issues in your hand, you may ask your better half to do this, or perhaps consider another maker is easier to pump.
With the 18g coffee capacity and stainless steel brew basket, and naked portafilter, you can easily brew a double shot of espresso with full flavor and superb crema. The robust design and tough material used in construction justify the two-year warranty.
14. Oomph 2.0 2-in-1 Coffee Maker
The Oomph 2.0 is certainly bringing a lot of ‘oomph’ to portable coffee makers that deliver barista-quality espresso in minutes. With more than 50 000 units sold in 17 countries, the 2.0 is raising eyebrows worldwide.
A simple and effective design and patented Easy-Press Piston produces high pressure while brewing and separates the grounds from the coffee to reduced bitterness and acidity.
Compact and lightweight, the Oomph also has thermal insulation to keep coffee hot for up to an hour after brewing, and a watertight lid means no spilling. The metal microfilter is entirely reusable, and the cup means never having to find a cup to enjoy your coffee.
One more interesting fact is that the makers tested the Oomph in 100 cars to check for fitment and achieved this in 96% of vehicles tested, which means that your coffee maker should fit in your car cup holders with no trouble.
Oomph has also worked on decreasing the size of their coffee maker while retaining the internal volume, and the Oomph 2.0 is a staggering 30% smaller than the Oomph 1.
From a cleaning perspective, keeping this unit clean is as easy as emptying the coffee cake into the bin and then pumping water through it to rinse. The clear parts are all dishwasher safe, so you can do a more thorough clean if need be.
The Oomph was featured on Dragon’s Den and in GQ and would be available on order through Amazon.
15. Bialetti Moka Express – Stovetop Espresso Maker
No discussion around portable espresso makers could be complete without including the traditional stovetop coffee makers. These pots were the ancestors of the modern coffee machines, and so they are included here.
For absolute back-to-basics coffee, these stovetop pots have a definite place and, with some modern improvements, also deliver barista-quality coffee more traditionally.
Styled along the traditional Moka pot lines, this modern version is made from aluminum and still sports the original creator’s logo with his characteristic mustache. Alfonso Bialetti created the design in 1933 .
With a weight of slightly over 1lb and a capacity of 130ml, this all-steel coffee pot is suitable for use on gas and electricity. It even has an induction adapter kit for use on induction appliances.
A patented safety valve and ergonomic handle make this pot easy to use and easy to clean, and it adds a bit of panache not found in the modern piston pump makers.
Bialetti has a good range available. With costs lower than most of the other portable makers, it’s a tempting consideration to go back to a more traditional method of brewing one of the world’s most loved beverages.
Of course, plenty of other brands offer stovetop-style pots like Grosche, and other brands all have well-made and robust products in the same vein in varying colors and sizes.
Then, there are other products like Delonghi’s EMK6, a powered but cordless system including an auto shut of option on the warmer also very mobile and portable by relying on power as its heat source.
So if there is a part of you who wants to experience this traditional way of brewing your espresso, you’ll find them anywhere from $15 upwards.
But, we’ve left the best for last.
16. The 9Barista Espresso Machine
It’s called the 9Barista because, in the world of espresso, 9 bars is the benchmark and the holy grail of perfect pressure for extracting the perfect espresso. This innovative stovetop coffee machine was designed not by a barista but by a jet engineer!
The internals look like a jet engine featuring a coiled heat exchanger, a finned heat sink, a high-pressure boiler, and a water cooling boiler!
It is made from brass which is then nickel plated using high phosphorous food-grade electroless nickel plating. It has high resistance to acidity and is a common material in the food industry.
Other components are made from PTFE, PEI, and silicone rubber, and all the materials used in its construction are FDA approved.
Using the heavier material contributes to its weight which is considerable at 3lbs! Compared to the 1lb and less than 1lb weights of Wacaco machines, this one is a beast! Not only is it heavier, but it looks like a 23rd-century coffer maker.
This machine can be used on any stove from induction, and the boiling and extraction processes involved are a bit more complex than the other products in this review.
Once the pressure reaches the magical 9bar mark, a release valve opens and allows the water to travel along with a coil which cools it slightly before being pushed through the ground espresso and then into the cup.
One drawback with this machine is that it needs to cool down before you can reload for the next shot, but this can be sped up using a little cold water.
One last point. The price. This product is much more expensive than the Flair and would, by many standards, take some justification on that kind of spend.
However, we are looking for the one portable maker that excels in its true purpose: to produce the perfect espresso, and the 9Barista achieves that. Once you have fine-tuned your grind, this jet-propelled espresso maverick will leave you in awe of its espresso perfection.
There can be no more incredible experience for the true espresso aficionado than that first sip of the perfect cup of coffee.
The Final Word
Here are 16 of the world’s best portable espresso makers that all deliver barista-quality espresso; now, it’s in your hands to decide which would best suit your mobile espresso requirements.
Consider your packing and storage limitations, how many cups you’d need to produce, and the cleaning and maintenance elements, so you are clear and then match those for the ideal portable espresso partner.
One thing is for sure, regardless of which of these you choose, your mobile espresso experience will live up to and even exceed your greatest expectations.