Top 5 Portable Espresso Coffee Makers (2021)
The Flair is the least portable of the devices discussed here. It does combine with a case about the size of a laptop about 2 inches thick, but it’s heavy. However, it looks great on the kitchen counter between trips. What you lose in portability is more than offset by the quality of the espresso.
Flair Signature is easy to use. You can see the process in a very useful video guide to the brewing company. It’s also built as a tank, and cleaning is just a matter of dumping the espresso and rinsing the port filter.
Experimenting with different grindings is necessary to get the perfect extraction. Of course, the fresher the coffee, the better the results. However, you can even get great results with pre-ground espresso, such as Medaglia D’Oro.
Flair offers two more models: Classic and Signature Pro. The main differences are in the size and materials of the heads. If you’re willing to give up stainless steel, classics work the same way and should lead to the same results. The Amazon’s classic price is $ 165. The Signature Pro costs $ 325 and this is a step towards improving build quality.
Best for Stovetop
9Barista ($ 385)
I’ve reviewed a lot of gadgets over the years, but few, if any, have been as surprisingly ingenious as 9Barista. This is the only espresso I know of, and reaches 9 bars, the amount of pressure needed for a real espresso.
The designer is a jet engineer, and his background information is shown in the interior. The two-chamber design holds the boiling water until the pressure increases to 9 bar. At this point, the outlet valve opens, and water is fed up the coil, which cools it slightly before pushing into the ground espresso and finally into the cup. The results, once you work, get great. It produces a clean, smooth extraction with a little cream.
The portable here stretches – the 9Barista is very well made, but it weighs over three pounds. For a small apartment with a limited kitchen counter or for those car trips you have envisioned, this is perfect.
The main disadvantage, apart from the cost, is that you have to wait until it cools down before opening it to brew a second shot. At the very least, you can grind and make coffee while you wait, saving time. I found that with a little cool water to speed up the work, I could take pictures in just a couple of minutes in between. Yes, it is expensive, but given the quality of construction and materials it is not outrageous.
The most unusual
Uniterra Nomad ($ 300)