Nanopresso Espresso Machine
A review and demonstration of the Nanopresso, a portable espresso maker from Wacaco.
Lighter, smaller, easier to pump and yet twice as powerful as its predecessor (the Minipresso). The Nanopresso is set to take outdoor espresso coffee making to the next level.
- Massive 261 PSI / 18 Bar Pressure
- Weighs just 336 grams
- Built-in espresso coffee cup
- Very quiet pump action
- Easy to use and easy to clean
- Hard carry case included
- Nespresso Pod adapter (not inc.)
Where to Buy?
I’m a huge fan of manual espresso machines. I’d say 80% of all the coffee I drink is extracted from a portable coffee maker. My passion started with the Aeropress which isn’t actually an espresso machine, but it still makes a damn fine coffee. Up until getting my hands on the Nanopresso, I’ve been switching back and forth between the Handpresso and the Staresso.
My experience with these other devices has given me a strong understanding of the intricacies of dialling in a perfect coffee extraction. Armed with this knowledge, I’m confident I can get the best out of the Nanopresso and I hope you find this review and demonstration helpful.
The Nanopresso comes in a good quality retail box. Inside you’ll find a detailed user guide, a warranty card, and a couple of stickers.
The user manual is extremely well-illustrated. It includes a detailed step-by-step guide, tips for getting the best results, a troubleshooting section along with details on the cleaning process.
It’s very simple to follow and printed in a total of nine languages.
Unlike most portable coffee machines, the Nanopresso comes with a top quality hard carry case as standard. The Handpresso has its own similar case, but it’s actually an extra $25.00 on top of the cost of the product.
If you intend to use the Nanopresso on your travels, this case will come in super handy. It’s lightweight and moulded perfectly to house the device without taking up hardly any additional space.
3The Design and Build Quality
I’m struggling to describe just how impressed I was handling the Nanopresso for the first time. I don’t want this to sound like a sales pitch, but trust me when I say it’s practically flawless in its design and build quality.
Its capsule shape is a delight to hold and the deep knurled top and bottom provide the perfect grip when tightening and loosening the components. With your thumb and forefinger comfortably resting against the raised edge of the pump it really could not be easier, even with wet hands.
Despite the Nanopresso’s body and components being made from plastic, it somehow feels very robust and solid. That being said, it still comes in at just 333 grams (11.7oz) on my scales.
Weight may not be a huge factor for most people, but if you’re into hiking as I am, every gram counts. In comparison, the Handresso’s weight comes in at almost 500 grams.
The Nanopresso Components
When you disassemble the Nanopresso for the first time, you’ll find seven individual components. Only four of these are essential to the device. Those being the Portafilter, coffee basket, the main body and the water tank. Additionally, there’s also a coffee scoop and cleaning brush, they both fit neatly inside the water tank. The Nanopresso also cleverly comes with an Espresso cup that clips securely to the underside.
Each item fits together with absolute precision. As hard as I try, I simply cannot find fault in any individual part. Components that require durability, such as the filter basket, are thick and robust.
I have absolutely no doubt that you could bash coffee pucks out of the basket all day long without damaging it.
There has clearly been a substantial amount of thought given to the Nanopresso’s design. The water tank requires less than a quarter of a turn to tighten and is impossible to cross thread. As for the portafilter, it screws on so cleanly, it almost causes ASMR tingles up the back of my neck, I kid you not!
Anyway, all of this design and build goodness is irrelevant if the extraction is not up to scratch, so let’s take a look, shall we?
4Using the Nanopresso
I’ll briefly explain the process here, as I’ve already demonstrated it on my Youtube video.
- Measure 8 grams of coffee and add it to the filter basket. If you’re using the scoop, it’s pretty much level with the top.
- Use the scoop to tamp the coffee into the basket and make sure it’s nice and tidy. The manual suggests a hard tamp, this will be dependant on how fine your grind is.
- (optional) Preheat all components with boiling water.
- Drop the basket inside the Nanopresso and tighten on the portafilter.
- Discard the water (assuming you didn’t skip the preheating phase) and add fresh water to the tank. Make sure it’s no higher than the maximum line (80ml). Now carefully tighten it to the base.
- Twist the pump anti-clockwise to release it from the chamber.
- Turn the Nanopresso upside down and begin pumping the piston once every second. Continue pumping until you’ve extracted your preferred quantity of espresso.
5My experience with the Nanopresso
I started with the exact same setting on my Hario Mill that I use for my other portable espresso machines and made my first Nanopresso coffee. In front of me was a delicious espresso. It was full of flavour and detail, with a good temperature and an impressive looking crema.
Over the last few days, I’ve been experimenting with the grind and I’ve taken it from one extreme to the other. Too fine and the Nanopresso will slow drip during the extraction, too coarse and the flow will be excessive.
There is a fairly large window for adjustment, so you should have no trouble finding your own sweet spot.
In a perfect scenario, you’ll have a freshly roasted bag of beans at hand along with a suitable grinder. This is not always the case. I have tried three different pre-ground coffees and they all have worked well with the Nanoresso.
6The Versatility of the Nanopresso
For those that need an even easier preparation method, Wacaco will shortly be releasing an NS Adapter. This will allow you to drop a Nespresso capsule inside the portafilter instead of using the filter basket. There’s also a Barista kit to give you a double shot of 16 grams and a larger water capacity of 120ml.
I have absolutely no doubt that the Nanopresso will be my portable espresso machine of choice. It’s lighter, smaller, yet more powerful than my others devices. The piston is as quiet as a mouse and a pleasure to use. The build quality is precise and all elements of the design seem spot on. The integrated espresso cup and the hard carry case make it ideal for travel or for using outdoors. Most importantly, it makes an amazing espresso coffee.