STARESSO Review – Award Winning Portable Espresso and Cappuccino Coffee Maker

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UPDATE: After using this product for 9 months now on a daily basis, I’ve finally got around to making a new YouTube video. It demonstrates using the Staresso with Nespresso Pods as well as my new method to get the best out of the product. Here’s a link, I hope it helps if it does, please leave a thumbs-up or subscribe to the channel – Thanks!

Staresso SP-200 Coffee Maker

An award winning portable espresso and cappuccino maker designed to work manually without the need for a power source.

The Staresso can generate between 15 to 20 bar of pressure to ensure an authentic espresso with a full crema perfect for Americano’s, Cappuccinos and Latte’s

Highlights

  • 15-20 Bar of pressure for crema
  • Can also be used to froth milk
  • Six variations of coffee styles
  • Easy to clean/rinse
  • Comes with two coffee shot glasses
  • Takes up to 10 grams of ground coffee
  • Works with Nespresso capsules
  • Available in a range of colours

Pros and Cons

Where to Buy?

STARESSO SP-200 Latest Price Shipping Product Page
Amazon Marketplace
$59.99* Free delivery view

Price updated – 1st of Septemeber 2017 at 10:00 GMT
*Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change.
more »

Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Could the Staresso be the next step on my quest to find the ultimate outdoor coffee maker?

Intro

Before I get into the bones of this review, I’d like to emphasize the importance of a good coffee in my life. It’s almost like I’m on a journey towards the holy grail of coffee making solutions. Some might say the answer is to head to a decent coffee house or buy an expensive machine. But neither of those two methods are going to satisfy me when I’m off on a trip somewhere.

The true holy grail has to be a coffee maker that’s portable and doesn’t require a power source. One that’s good enough to be used at home daily while being just as effective when used outdoors.

Up until now, I’ve been convinced that the AeroPress is my best option. There is no doubt it makes a staggeringly good coffee. However, you’re never going to get the crema without the all important high pressure of an Espresso machine. Although some would rightly argue that the crema doesn’t actually contribute to the taste of the coffee, in my mind, it’s like being served a Guinness without a head – unthinkable!

So let’s take a closer look at the Staresso and see if this manual espresso maker gets me any closer to my goal of the perfect all-round coffee making solution…

Staresso – Full Review

A detailed review and demonstration of the Staresso portable expresso coffee maker

The Staresso is made from a combination of Stainless Steel and ABS plastic and weighs 330 grams (not including the glass). It comes with a measuring cup, a detailed user guide, cleaning brush, spare sealing ring and two Espresso shot glasses.

On the top of the Staresso is a stainless steel plunger that nests neatly inside the recessed lid. It’s retained by pushing it down and twisting it slightly clockwise to lock it in place.

When you are ready to begin building the pressure, a slight twist anti-clockwise will allow the plunger to spring back into position.

The Staresso manual pump lever

The main water chamber holds 2.7oz (80ml) of water, just the right amount for a single Espresso shot.  By unscrewing the top, water can be added up to the max level (just below the silicone rubber sleeve).

A view of the pressure pump and water container on the Staresso Coffee maker

On the underside of the hot water chamber is a bottom cap that houses a coffee basket. Using the measuring cup provided, coffee can be easily added to the basket. Once the cap is screwed back in place and the water is added, the Staresso is ready to go.

The components that make up the Staresso espresso maker

Pumping is relatively easy considering the amount of pressure the Staresso manages to generate. It takes a fair number of pumps to complete the process and there is some noise involved.

It’s not too loud, but I’d say it’s enough to potentially disturb nearby sleeping campers if you’re an early riser looking for a morning coffee.

Manually pumping the Staresso portable Espresso maker

Once complete, the Espresso is then ready to continue on its journey. Personally, I favour either adding a splash more hot water for a black Americano or some frothed milk for a Cappuccino.

The Espresso manually pumped from the Staresso portable coffee maker

The Staresso plunger can be used to pump air through hot milk to provide a froth. I found this a bit of an uphill task. I also don’t like the idea of sucking milk into the pump and having to clean it out.

If you’ve watched my demo video at the top of this page, you’ll see I have my own milk frother for when I’m at home. If I’m out hiking or on a camping trip, I always drink my coffee black (Americano) so I have no need to use this method.

Maintenance and Cleaning

When you first use the Staresso, you may feel like there’s a lot of components to maintain. I really haven’t found this to be the case. A simple rinse under a tap and it’s almost spotless. There’s a little brush included that allows you to pop out the grill from inside the coffee basket to clean underneath, should you wish to be more thorough.

Verdict

I have probably made more than 25 coffee’s using the Staresso since I began testing it. So far it’s been very consistent and a total pleasure to use. I’ve done side by side taste tests against my Aeropress and I simply cannot fault it.

The Staresso is extremely well designed and makes a genuinely good espresso without any need for a power source. If I had to pick holes, it would be its weight (especially with the espresso glass). Any hiker will tell you the importance of light kit.  For short hikes or car camping, the Staresso is definitely coming along. For long through hikes, however, I’d struggle to justify the weight.

With my testing over and the review complete, tomorrow morning I will either be reaching for the Staresso, or for my trusty AeroPress, I’ll let you know which one I choose.

STARESSO SP-200 Latest Price Shipping Product Page
Amazon Marketplace
$59.99* Free delivery view

Price updated – 1st of Septemeber 2017 at 10:00 GMT
*Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change.
more »

Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

I hope you found this review useful, if you did, please leave a comment below or share it socially. A sub on the YouTube channel would be nice too!

15 COMMENTS

  1. I recently owned a staresso machine, and the espresso result is much better than i expected. it has a good crema, no solid deposit at all/as clean as if we use paper filter.
    pos: true espresso result with a great crema, small enough, pumping is very easy, no solid deposit at all, no need paper filter+just need max 10g coffee (more economical), compatible with NESPRESSO capsule (wooow…!), cheaper than others portable machine.
    cons: noisy while pumping, difficult to brew second cup instantly. manual book is very simple, no detailed trick for making a good shot of espresso.

  2. For your search of reviews for minipresso and staresso, did you conclude which one might be better in terms of making a nice cup of espresso and ease of use? Thanks!

    • I’m yet to try the Minipresso, but I’ve watched some videos and I think I prefer the design and functionality of the Staresso. The housing for the shot glass and the pump on the top seem like a better design to me.

    • Hi Lillian, I haven’t yet, I have a friend with a Nespresso machine, so I’ll grab a pod off him the next time I see him and try it. I’m guessing the basket inside the Staresso is just the right size to accommodate a Nespresso pod.

      • Hi, have you managed to try a capsule in the Staresso? Saw your YouTube review on this and I’m contemplating buying one. If the capsules work, it would be great as I’m a Counter Terrorism specialist and advisor and I’m forever in transit with the need of a clean coffee fix haha.

        Thanks.

        Max.

        • Hi Max,

          The Nespresso pods work perfectly in the Staresso, I’m planning on making a demo video of it soon on the YouTube channel. I use them all the time. You just need to make sure you buy the ones with a thin foil top that can be pierced easily. Starbucks Nespresso pods are perfect (I favour the Columbian ones) I’ve been using the Handpresso for my fresh grinds lately but when ever I want a really fast hassle free quality coffee I grab the Staresso and use a Nespresso pod.

          • Hi Patti, Yes, I put three small holes in the top. This means the Nespresso pods you buy need to have a foil rather than a plastic surface. I’m currently using the StarBucks Nespresso capsules and they work great.

  3. Hi Simon,

    You should review a new portable at late 2017 (if the kickstarter project sucessfully funded).
    I find it when I am searching reviews for minipresso and staresso. TheSimpresso really showed the pressure they made 15-20 bars, that impressed me to back it.
    Thanks
    Chris

  4. hi I am hesitating whether I have to choose staresso over aeropress…. It is very attracting and I wonder whether it would be good for cold brew as well… Secondly, do you think this thing would be reliable over the time ?Thank you for your review. It was really helpful.

    • Hi David, Glad you found the review useful, the user manual does state that it can be used to make a cold brew, although it’s not really my thing, perhaps I’ll try it out.

      As for the reliability, I’ve been using it daily at least 2-3 times since the review ( I never returned to the AreoPress) It seems to be very durable, the ABS plastic is solid and I think it will last out well.

      The only thing I miss about the AreoPress when compared to the Staresso is the ability to load up more than the 10-11grams of coffee into the vessel. If I wanted a huge coffee, I’d probably need to do two loads in the Staresso. I often placed over 20 grams in the AreoPress, although I do think the Staresso is more efficient, so if the Staresso did hold 20grams it would probably be waaaay too strong.

      Hope that helps.

      Simon

  5. I read your review and bought one… and WOW! It’s the first han- pump espresso machines I’ve owned, and it really does work! The best thing is I can take it with me on trips! – Thanks for the detailed review!

    • Thanks, Lizzy, I love it too. I never thought I’d find a non-electrical coffee maker better than the AeroPress, but I have to say, the Staresso has taken its place.

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