10 Best Portable Espresso Makers: Enjoy Fresh Espresso Anywhere & Anytime

True espresso lovers need their caffeine fix even while on the road. Most of the time you can stop at a nearby coffee shop, but what happens when you go hiking or camping in remote locations?

If you want the possibility of enjoying a full-flavored, rich espresso brew with a delicious crema anywhere you are, a portable espresso maker is just what you need.

The Rundown

AeroPress Espresso Maker RundownAeroPress Espresso Maker
OVERALL RATING: ★★★★★
Due to its size and design, this espresso brewer can easily provide you with about 1 to 3 espresso cups at once.
Jump To Review

Wacaco Minipresso GR Espresso Machine RundownWacaco Minipresso GR Espresso Machine
OVERALL RATING: ★★★★☆
Since this is a completely manually operated brewer, you can use it while you are away hiking in remote locations.
Jump To Review

Flair Signature Espresso Maker RundownFlair Signature Espresso Maker
OVERALL RATING: ★★★★☆
Even though it comes in a bit larger size, you can easily fit this espresso machine in its case and carry it around as you go.
Jump To Review

What Is A Portable Espresso Maker?

It’s a basic espresso maker designed for use in outdoor places as well as in vehicles. What makes them so suitable for travel is their convenient size and lightweight design. Depending on the type, these models may require or not electricity which conditions the way of heating water.

Are There Different Types You Can Choose From?

Yes, when deciding which portable brewer is the right choice for you, you will notice that you have a choice between:

  • manual models require more manual effort but are much more convenient for travel and are generally more affordable. No electric power is needed.
  • battery-operated models are more convenient for use since they do most of the job for you but not for travel as you do need to recharge the batteries at some point.
  • electric models are the best option when you are traveling in a camper or an RV as they require a constant power connection.

How Do They Work?

Portable models in general are fairly easy to use and provide a simple performance:

Manual Espresso Makers
They require you to add coffee, hot water, and create the needed extraction pressure to pull a perfect espresso shot. To heat the water you need to use an external source such as a kettle. If you don’t have the option of warming the water up, you can still make a cold brew.

Manual Espresso Machine

Battery-Operated Espresso Makers
They require you to add coffee but they use self-heating system for water and create the needed extraction pressure. They need to be recharged when the batteries run out. You can usually charge them on 5V, 12V, or 24V output you have in your car or RV.

Charging An Espresso Maker Using A Car Charger

How Are They Different From Home Espresso Machines?

Apart from their size, design, and weight, these machines are different from models made for home use in many ways:

  • they do not require a power supply (apart from battery-operated ones when need charging)
  • they do not come with their heating systems (apart from the electric and battery-operated ones)
  • most models do not have the option of frothing milk
  • you have to grind coffee beans or use pre-ground coffee as they do not come with a grinder

How Hot Will Espresso Be?

If you use a manual model, the brewed espresso will be as hot as the water you heat up. You shouldn’t make it boil, the water shouldn’t be too hot. The battery-operated models, on the other hand, heat the water to around 176°F. Once the brewing process is done, your espresso should stay hot for about 30 minutes. Unfortunately, this also depends on the weather conditions around you.

Why Do You Need To Have One?

The benefits of having these machines are:

  • they take up very little space, meaning you can carry them inside your backpack, bag, or even in your hand
  • they are very easy to use so you don’t have to be a professional barista to achieve the desired brewing results
  • you are in control over how much pressure you create during the process
  • they provide great results in a very short time
  • their simple design makes them easy to clean so you can always have them ready for the next use

On the other hand, some downsides of these machines are:

  • they don’t offer that big of a brewing capacity, meaning, you can make about 1 to 3 cups at once depending on a model
  • if you opt for a manual model you need to have another heating source available for the water
  • you can not brew beverages such as lattes and cappuccinos, or other espresso/milk-based beverages

What Do You Need To Know To Make The Right Call?

Here are some additional things you might want to keep in mind when choosing the model you want to buy:

Size & Capacity

All portable models are fairly small and range from 4.22 x 4.22 x 5.26-inch size (the smallest) to 13.39 x 10.35 x 3.98-inch size (the largest). While you might find models that can brew up to 3 cups at once, in general, portable machines are designed to provide a single espresso shot at a time.

Versatile Size Espresso Brewers

Brewer’s Weight

Since this is something you will carry around as you go out or travel, you want to brew to be as light as possible:

  • ultralight models weigh less than 340 grams. They are perfect for hiking or backpacking trips
  • light models range from 340 to 500 grams. You can easily pop them inside your bag without even noticing you are carrying an additional appliance with you.
  • portable models weigh more than 500 grams. They are more suitable for use on camping trips when you have enough room to put the brewer atop a firm surface.

Heat Source

Keep in mind that most portable models, except for the battery-operated ones, don’t come with their heating source. This means that you need to have another heat source available to use to heat the brewing water. If you are in touch with an electric source, the best option might be a kettle. If you’re outside with no electricity, then a small propane burner that you can take with you on travel will provide you with enough heat to boil water. If you don’t want to carry any of these things, then a natural fire is the option.

heat sources for outdoor

Water Source

This is another thing to keep in mind as these machines do not come with a water reservoir. You get to fill them up with the amount of water that is used during the brewing cycle. If you are traveling away to some remote locations, always keep a water bottle nearby to ensure that you can get your caffeine fix anytime you need it.

Material

If they are so lightweight, these products must be made of plastic, you surely think. Yes, it’s true. Most of them are made of plastic but it’s nothing to worry about. In most cases, it’s BPA-free plastic and even more often the parts that come in touch with coffee are metal and steel.

Convenient Design

When it comes to convenience, make sure that you can easily hold the brewer inside your hands without it slipping away. Look for those that feature a coated firm grip design as they are much safer for use.
Carrying A Manual Espresso Maker In Hands

Ease Of Use

It is always important that you find a machine you know how to use. If you find pulling the shot manually to be a too complicated job, opt for one with a battery-operated system.

Coffee Compatibility

You can find models that are made for use with ground coffee, coffee capsules, and ones that provide you with both options. These are the best choice for those who want to enjoy the brewing versatility that the espresso maker allows for.

Filter Basket Type

In the filter baskets, you can find models that either come with a pressurized or a non-pressurized basket. The former comes with an internal filtering screen and a holding area with a small hole on its bottom. The latter is somewhat sensitive to the grind size of your coffee so they do require some experience.

Pressurized Vs Non-Pressurized Filter Basket

The difference between the two is that pressurized create a better crema atop the brew while the unpressurized create better flavor (assuming you use high-quality grinds.

Extraction Quality

These machines use an extraction pressure from 9 to 19 bars, depending on the model you choose. While a 9 bar pressure is good enough to pull a quality espresso shot, a 19 bar one will allow you to enjoy all the robust coffee flavors you usually get from professional brewers.

10 Best Portable Espresso Makers

AeroPress Espresso Maker

AeroPress Espresso Maker

SPECIFICATION:

Dimensions: 4.22 x 4.22 x 5.26 In
Weight: 1 Pound
Material: Polypropylene
Type: Manual
Capacity: 0.35 Liters
Compatibility: Ground Coffee

While this model seems to be the absolute favorite in this category, keep in mind that it does not make espresso, rather an espresso-style coffee. Instead of pump pressure, it uses a patented AeroPress system to extract a delicious brew. For it to work properly, you need to use additional paper coffee filters.

This brewer comes equipped with everything you need to take it on the go. Except for the press itself, the package includes a funnel, coffee scoop, a stirrer, filter holder and a pack of 350 paper filters, and a convenient tote bag that easily fits all listed accessories all for the price of less than $50.

OUR RATINGS

Overall: ★★★★★
Quality: ★★★★★
Size: ★★★★★
Functionality: ★★★★☆
Weight: ★★★★★
Safety: ★★★★☆

PRICE RANGE

from $45 to $55
depending on eCommerce offer (Amazon, Walmart, eBay) and discounts

REASONS TO BUY:

  • It creates a rich and smooth brew without bitterness and acidity.
  • Brews up to 3 cups with every use.

REASONS TO AVOID:

  • It requires the use of paper coffee filters.

Wacaco Minipresso GR Espresso Machine

Wacaco Minipresso GR Espresso Machine

SPECIFICATION:

Dimensions: 6.89 x 2.76 x 2.36 In
Weight: 12.7 Ounces
Material: Plastic
Type: Manual
Capacity: 70 Milliliters
Compatibility: Ground Coffee

This machine is very easy to use. Simply add ground coffee to the filter basket using the integrated coffee scoop and level the grounds by applying slight pressure. Fill up the water reservoir with hot water, unlock the piston pump from the travel position and press it a few times to create the needed extraction pressure.

Keep in mind that this personal model does not come with a self-heating system. For that reason, you need to add hot water to brew coffee. If you don’t have another heating source available, you can still make a delicious cold brew.

OUR RATINGS

Overall: ★★★★☆
Quality: ★★★★☆
Size: ★★★★★
Functionality: ★★★★☆
Weight: ★★★★★
Safety: ★★★★☆

PRICE RANGE

from $55 to $75
depending on eCommerce offer (Amazon, Walmart, eBay) and discounts

REASONS TO BUY:

  • It features a stylish appearance.
  • Comes in a compact and lightweight size.

REASONS TO AVOID:

  • It provides a somewhat smaller brewing capacity.

Flair Signature Espresso Maker

Flair Signature Espresso Maker

SPECIFICATION:

Dimensions: 13.39 x 10.35 x 3.98 In
Weight: 6.09 Pounds
Material: Stainless Steel
Type: Manual
Capacity: 40 Milliliters
Compatibility: Ground Coffee

This is another model that is completely manually operated. To make a delicious espresso shot you need to add about 60 ml of hot, boiled water and about 18 grams of freshly ground coffee to the brewer. Since you are manually creating the extraction pressure you will need to use the machine a few times to get the hang of its performance.

Even though this machine for under $500 does come in a bit bulkier size, you can still take it on the road. It comes with a custom-made carrying case which is specially designed to ensure that all parts fit perfectly inside and that you can carry them around safely.

OUR RATINGS

Overall: ★★★★☆
Quality: ★★★★★
Size: ★★★★☆
Functionality: ★★★★☆
Weight: ★★★★☆
Safety: ★★★★☆

PRICE RANGE

from $220 to $340
depending on eCommerce offer (Amazon, Walmart, eBay) and discounts

REASONS TO BUY:

  • It features high-quality aluminum and stainless steel parts.
  • Comes with a convenient carrying case.

REASONS TO AVOID:

  • You will need some time to get the hang of its performance.

Wacaco Picopresso Espresso Maker

Wacaco Picopresso Espresso Maker

SPECIFICATION:

Dimensions: 4.17 x 3.07 x 2.8 In
Weight: 0.77 lbs
Material: Stainless Steel, Plastic
Type: Manual
Capacity: 80 Mililiters
Compatibility: Ground Coffee

The great thing about this model for under 200 dollars is that its performance parallels those of a manual lever machine. This means that you will get rich, authentic quality espresso brew with every use. Its commercial, 58mm wide filter allows you to brew both a single and a double shot.

Keep in mind that this machine does not work well with commercial, pre-gound coffee. As a result, you will need to grind beans yourself prior to use. It comes equipped with a naked filter basket, meaning, you can observe as espresso pours out straight from the filter.

OUR RATINGS

Overall: ★★★★☆
Quality: ★★★★☆
Size: ★★★★★
Functionality: ★★★★☆
Weight: ★★★★★
Safety: ★★★★☆

PRICE RANGE

from $130 to $170
depending on eCommerce offer (Amazon, Walmart, eBay) and discounts

REASONS TO BUY:

  • Its robust design makes it highly reliable for use.
  • Provides the maximum extraction pressure of up tp 18 bars.

REASONS TO AVOID:

  • it is designed for those who know their way around brewing espresso.

Staresso Portable Espresso Machine

Staresso Portable Espresso Machine

SPECIFICATION:

Dimensions: 2.75 x 2.75 x 9.64 In
Weight: 0.88 Lbs
Material: Metal, Plastic
Type: Manual
Capacity: 0.08 Liters
Compatibility: Ground, Capsules

This small brewer offers exceptional quality. It is constructed out of double-layer stainless steel material and coated in a silicone rubber material thanks to which you can have a much better grip on it. Most importantly, it is heat insulated to ensure that you don’t suffer an accidental heat burn.

As opposed to the previously reviewed models, this one is compatible for use with both ground coffee and Nespresso coffee capsules. Since it creates about 15 to 20 bars of pressure during the extraction process, you can acg+hieve amazing results using both.

OUR RATINGS

Overall: ★★★★☆
Quality: ★★★★☆
Size: ★★★★★
Functionality: ★★★★☆
Weight: ★★★★★
Safety: ★★★★☆

PRICE RANGE

from $45 to $85
depending on eCommerce offer (Amazon, Walmart, eBay) and discounts

REASONS TO BUY:

  • You can brew espresso using both cold and hot water.
  • Creates the extraction pressure of up to 20 bars.

REASONS TO AVOID:

  • Since it comes with a pressurized basket you have less control over its performance.

Moocoo Manual Espresso Maker

Moocoo Manual Espresso Maker

SPECIFICATION:

Dimensions: 10.75 x 3.5 x 3.5 In
Weight: 1.4 Pounds
Material: Plastic
Type: Manual
Capacity: 9 Grams
Compatibility: Ground, Capsules

This is another brewer made with safety in mind. It features an anti-slip design thanks to which it fits much more comfortably into the palm of your hand. Its bottom cup is made out of durable Tritan material that is safe and impact resistant.

The amazing thing about this model is that you can use it to froth milk as well. Everything you need to do is add the desired amount of mil into the cup, place the pressure rod atop it, and then press the pump repeatedly. In a few seconds, you will have a delicious froth for lattes.

OUR RATINGS

Overall: ★★★★☆
Quality: ★★★★☆
Size: ★★★★★
Functionality: ★★★★☆
Weight: ★★★★★
Safety: ★★★★☆

PRICE RANGE

from $55 to $100
depending on eCommerce offer (Amazon, Walmart, eBay) and discounts

REASONS TO BUY:

  • It features a user-safe design.
  • Made out of FDA-approved materials.
  • Creates the extraction pressure of up to 20 bars.

REASONS TO AVOID:

  • You need another heating system to boil water for the brewing process.

Wacaco Nanopresso Espresso Maker

Wacaco Nanopresso Espresso Maker

SPECIFICATION:

Dimensions: 2.8 x 2.44 x 6.14 In
Weight: 0.74 lbs
Material: Plastic
Type: Manual
Capacity: 80 mililiters
Compatibility: Ground, Pods

Due to its super small size and powerful performance, this is the perfect camping machine. With the help of your hands, it creates an extraction pressure of up to 18 bars. To make a perfect shot, make sure that you add fine coffee grounds into the filter and that you tamp them down with enough pressure.

Keep in mind that this machine is suitable for use with both ground coffee and coffee pods. However, to use pods, you need to have the additional NS Adapter. It does not come included so you will need to purchase it seperately.

OUR RATINGS

Overall: ★★★★☆
Quality: ★★★★☆
Size: ★★★★★
Functionality: ★★★★☆
Weight: ★★★★★
Safety: ★★★★☆

PRICE RANGE

from $85 to $135
depending on eCommerce offer (Amazon, Walmart, eBay) and discounts

REASONS TO BUY:

  • Its plastic components are 100% BPA-free and food-safe.
  • It takes only a few seconds to clean it thoroughly.

REASONS TO AVOID:

  • If you want to use coffee pods you need to buy an additional kit seperately.

Cafflano Kompresso Espresso Maker

Cafflano Kompresso Espresso Maker

SPECIFICATION:

Dimensions: 7.3 x 3.1 x 4.1 In
Weight: 0.50 Lbs
Material: Plastic
Type: Manual
Capacity: 0.08 Liters
Compatibility: Ground Coffee

This espresso machine uses a hydraulic water compression system instead of a more common pneumatic air compression one. It is specially designed to maximize the extracting force efficiency during the brewing process. It pulls espresso at a 9 bar pressure level.

Since this affordable model features such a simple design, you won’t have any trouble keeping it clean. Once you are done using it simply disassemble it into separate pieces and give everything a thorough clean using only water. Its simple maintenance level makes it very convenient for outdoor use.

OUR RATINGS

Overall: ★★★★☆
Quality: ★★★★☆
Size: ★★★★★
Functionality: ★★★★☆
Weight: ★★★★★
Safety: ★★★★☆

PRICE RANGE

from $80 to $90
depending on eCommerce offer (Amazon, eBay) and discounts

REASONS TO BUY:

  • Its design is both eco-friendly and sustainable.
  • Creates a stable 9 bar extraction pressure.

REASONS TO AVOID:

  • You might have a hard time fitting a tamper into the filter basket.

Cera+ Espresso Maker

Cera+ Espresso Maker

SPECIFICATION:

Dimensions: 2.72 x 2.72 x 7.99 In
Weight: 1.41 Pounds
Material: Plastic, Stainless Steel
Type: Battery Operated
Capacity: 80 Milliliters
Compatibility: Ground, Capsules

The main difference between this beginner brewer and the rest of the listed models is that this one is battery-operated. It comes with a built-in heating system so you are required to add cold water to the reservoir. With its patented ceramic heating technology, it provides a perfect brew in about 3 to 4 minutes.

The great thing is that it provides you with versatile universal charging options including a 12/24 V car charger, a USB-C cable, a power bank, a laptop, or a USB wall charger. Keep in mind that it can create about 4 to 5 brews on a full charge.

OUR RATINGS

Overall: ★★★★☆
Quality: ★★★★☆
Size: ★★★★★
Functionality: ★★★★☆
Weight: ★★★★★
Safety: ★★★★☆

PRICE RANGE

from $120 to $150
depending on eCommerce offer (Amazon) and discounts

REASONS TO BUY:

  • Provides a very simple performance.
  • Comes with a heating system that heats the water for the brewing process.

REASONS TO AVOID:

  • You do need to recharge its batteries after 4 to 5 brews.

Simpresso Espresso Maker

Simpresso Espresso Maker

SPECIFICATION:

Dimensions: 9.17 x 8.23 x 3.7
Weight: 1.46 Pounds
Material: Aluminum
Type: Manual
Capacity: 1 Cup
Compatibility: Ground, Capsules

This is another model that provides a high 19 bar extraction pressure. As a result, you can count on delicious brewing results in a very short time. You can use it both with ground coffee and coffee capsules to ensure that you get the desired brewing results.

Even though its cup is transparent and looks fragile, it is made out of a double-wall heat insulating material. It keeps the brewer safe from exterior damages and protects your hands from the possibility of heat burns.

OUR RATINGS

Overall: ★★★★☆
Quality: ★★★★☆
Size: ★★★★☆
Functionality: ★★★★☆
Weight: ★★★★★
Safety: ★★★★☆

PRICE RANGE

from $60 to $70
depending on eCommerce offer (Amazon, Walmart, eBay) and discounts

REASONS TO BUY:

  • Comes with all accessories you need to use the brewer safely.
  • Works great with both ground coffee and Nespresso coffee capsules.

REASONS TO AVOID:

  • You need to put in a bit more force to manually create the needed pressure.

How To Use Portable Machines?

Although you may think that, since they are made for manual use, portable brewers are complicated, they are very easy to use both for beginners and professionals. Here are some steps you need to complete to make a perfect brew:

  1. Grind your coffee beans freshly before you start the brewing process. That way your brew will have the richest flavor. Keep in mind that you should use a conical burr grinder to grind beans into a fine coffee powder as it provides the optimal grinding results.
  2. Add the ground beans into the filter basket or insert a coffee capsule if you prefer (in that case skip the first step).
  3. backet full of coffee

  4. Now, if you have a manual model use a heat source to warm the water and add it to the water reservoir. If you have a battery-operated or an electric model, fill up the water reservoir with cold water as the machine will heat it to the needed temperature by itself.
  5. The next step you need to complete is to create the extraction pressure. With a manual model, you need to unlock the pump from its travel-safe position and create a few manual presses. With a battery-operated or an electric model you only need to press a designated button that activates the internal pumping system on its own.
  6. Once you complete these steps the extracted espresso will drip out into the included cup.
  7. pressing a pump to make epresso drip

  8. Once the cup is full, unscrew it from the rest of the unit and enjoy your espresso.

Do Portable Models Provide Good Espresso?

Based on the Specialty Coffee Association, for the espresso to be declared good it needs to be:

  • brewed with a temperature between 195 and 205 ℉
  • pulled with the extraction of at least 9 to 10 bars
  • made using about 7 to 9 grams of coffee per a shot

Keep in mind that some portable models might not meet all the listed criteria. However, they can still pull a decent espresso shot you can enjoy while you are away from home.

Do They Have A Lasting Lifespan?

If you choose a plastic model you can’t expect it to work for a long time as it will get damaged due to the use of boiling water. However, if you opt for a stainless steel one or a model that is made out of thermostable materials, you can be sure that it will last you more than a year.

How To Ensure That Your Brewer Lasts As Long As Possible?

Here are some things you should keep in mind if you want your machine to have a lasting lifespan:

  • make sure that you clean it after every use – even if you are not able to wash it with warm water and soap, simply rinse it out with clean water to avoid coffee sediment
  • be careful not to damage it – although some models are shock-resistant you should still be careful not to drop it while you are hiking
  • carry it safely in a bag – the best way to carry a brewer on a trip is in its carrying case, that way all its parts will be safely tucked away

Minipresso, Nanopresso, And Picopresso – Differences Explained

You might have noticed there are three very similar models: Minipresso, Nanopresso, And Picopresso. So, let us help you understand the difference:

Difference Between Minipresso, Nanopresso, And Picopresso

Due to its size and weight, the Picopresso is the most convenient choice for on-the-road use. However, the difference between the three is so small that you can go with either one. The difference you will be able to tell is in their extraction process. While the Minipresso uses an 8 bar pressure the other two provide a much more powerful, 18 bar pressure. As a result, they provide you with a rich espresso crema you would otherwise get only from professional brewers.

Is Nanopresso Machine Worth It?

While it is the most expensive one out of the three, it is worth the money. It works perfectly for those who often travel and spend their time camping outdoors or simply enjoy espresso occasionally. Its only downside is that it is made for personal use, i.e. it provides only one espresso shot at a time. So, if you are looking for a model that can multiple brews at once, consider buying a Moka pot.

Is Picopresso Better Than Nanopresso?

Picopresso is a superior model to Nanopresso. It comes equipped with a non-pressurized, standard filter basket, that can hold up to 18 grams of coffee grounds. As a result, you can easily pull a double espresso shot (something you can not do with Nanopresso).

What Is The Difference Between Nanopresso And Minipresso?

Just like Picopresso is an upgrade from a Nanopresso, a Nanopresso is an upgrade from a Minipresso. It features a bit more compact design and is more lightweight which is very important for a portable model. It is also much simpler to clean.

Camping Espresso Maker

If you are planning to use your espresso maker while camping, make sure:

  • to buy a small-enough model you can fit in your backpack
  • that it is fairly easy both to use and clean
  • consider wheter you have to add hot water yourself or if it has a heating system (the former require you to have an external heating source while the latter use batteries that need to be powered

Tips For Brewing Perfect Espresso While Camping

Since most portable machines are made for camping and outdoor use, to brew a perfect espresso using a camping model simply follow the same steps we explained above for a portable machine.

What If You Do Not Have The Machine?

While you can only make a true espresso using an espresso machine, if you do not have one, you can use either a Moka pot or a french press brewer. If you are only stuck with a regular pot, you can not actually make an espresso (since there is no pressure), but you can brew a regular cup of coffee.

To Wrap It Up

Out of all reviewed models, we recommend going with AeroPress Espresso Maker. It allows you to make up to 3 servings with every single use, is very lightweight, and features a user-friendly design that makes it safe for traveling. It’s a manual type so you will not need electricity on travel but you will need to take a heating source, too. You can also choose electric models that require electric power but nothing for heating water separately.

Patricia
Patricia has a Bachelor’s in Economics and experience in the restaurant. She finished her education in 2015. and joined a cooking team as a restaurant manager. Her work with chefs helped her to become a successful freelance writer. She writes about kitchen appliances by chefs’ recommendations but in accordance with the interests of ordinary people. Except for appliances, she writes about receipts she has collected through her work before she joined the Kithentoast team in 2020.