Review Portable espresso machine for $29.97 at Amazon

The times when people went camping to face the merciless face of the wilderness are long gone. With throwing tents, self-inflating sleeping mats and LED lighting, camping is closer to a wellness experience than many hotels. Of course you don’t want to do without your freshly brewed espresso in the morning. Perfect opportunity for the portable espresso machine.

Portable espresso machine vs. strainer

The Homgeek espresso maker for on the way is an interesting possibility to prepare an espresso with the necessary pressure even on the way. The principle is relatively simple: one fills coffee powder into a chamber, fills the water tank with hot water and then uses the hand pump to press a delicious caffeine infusion into the cup. But how well does it work? And what about processing?

Design & Processing

The dimensions of the gadget are just like an outdoor gadget: 10 x 7.5 x 23 cm are handy dimensions, so the gadget should still have room in your trekking backpack. This makes the espresso maker about the size of a 0.5 l PET bottle. The coffee machine for the road comes in a plain black. Two pink rubber bands are included, which find their place at the water tank of the device. However, the meaning of this has not made itself clear to me.

Portable espresso machine Scope of delivery

At first glance, the espresso machine looks as if it is made of one piece. In fact, it consists of several elements, some of which are screwed in by means of threads or simply plugged in. The heart of this is also the middle piece, affectionately referred to as the machine. This is where the pump mechanism is located. There is also a water tank, a drinking cup, the filter, the strainer and the coffee spoon.

Portable espresso machine strainer
Here, for example, is the sieve into which the espresso powder is filled.

The workmanship really surprised me, Homgeek actually delivers quite well here. The texture is pleasantly matt and thus ensures good handling. The threads could be a little bigger for my taste, so that the individual parts hold together better and more precisely. But: nothing wobbles, no water escapes when used and everything fits into each other.

Operating principle

Pressure is a decisive factor for an espresso to succeed. In a real espresso machine, such as a filter holder machine, at least nine bars are used to push the water through the ground coffee powder. An espresso maker for the cooker, also called Moka Express, only works at 1.5 bar. According to the manufacturer, this portable coffee machine can generate up to 8 bar pressure and would theoretically come close to a professional coffee machine.

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To make an espresso, you first have to boil hot water. Fill it into the water tank up to the mark and place the middle part on the water tank. Then take the small coffee spoon and fill it with the espresso powder. The easiest way is simply to place the filter on the spoon, hold it in place and then turn it 180°. Then the powder lands in the sieve. It is then recommended that the powder be stamped, i.e. tamped. You can conveniently use the underside of the coffee spoon – well thought through! The sieve is then placed on the top of the middle piece, the water filter is screwed on and the whole gadget is turned by 180°. Finally, one opens the pressure cap and then has to start pumping. It takes approx. 6 pumping processes until the first espresso drops flow into the cup.

Portable espresso machine coffee powder

The whole process takes less than five minutes. Perhaps not the first time, but at the latest after the second or third time one masters the preparation. The machine assumes, of course, that you have previously boiled hot water and that the coffee powder has been ground. This means that the functions are not fulfilled by the coffee machine. For an espresso you need 80 ml water and 7 g espresso powder.

Result

Especially when camping, the integrated drinking cup is of course very practical. I tried the final result in the same style. I made an espresso at the same time as my filter holder machine (not a professional machine) and compared the two espressos. Visually, you can see that a better crema was naturally achieved with the screen holder. Nevertheless, the espresso from the portable machine also has a crema, but not as foamy.

Portable Espresso Machine Espresso Comparison

As was to be expected, the coffee from my private filter holder machine naturally tastes better and somewhat milder. However, the other test espresso tasted good to me too. It was definitely drinkable and I’ve had worse espressos. I’m gonna keep trying, though, because coffee’s a science to you. Of course, it all depends on the degree of grinding, the quantity and the stamping. I have also made bad espressos with my screen carrier machine.

Cleaning

A big advantage of the portable espresso machine is the easy cleaning, because the gadget consists of several parts and it can be easily rinsed off with water. Especially when camping, you only need some running water and can quickly rinse out the drinking cup, strainer and filter.

Portable Espresso Machine Manual
The individual parts are easy to unscrew and therefore easy to clean.

Conclusion

Can the portable espresso machine replace a filter holder machine or a Moka pot? No! She’s not supposed to. The product focuses on portability, and it does a lot of things right for that. With a little fine-tuning you can certainly optimise the taste experience even further. And to be honest: that’s what true lovers of coffee love, isn’t it? For the price, I find the gadget really successful. However, I see the biggest problem in the competition. For example the Aeropress, which I also wanted to buy privately. It may cost a little more, but it is just as suitable for on the road.

What do you think of that? I find the portable espresso machine quite cool, especially as a present for coffee lovers. If it were to become even cheaper, this would of course be a clearer advantage over the Aeropress.

To the gadget
Profile picture from Thorben

Thorben

My special interests are smartphones from China and I am always keen to discover new smartphone accessories like smartwatches and headphones. 

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