Photo via Amazon

This portable espresso maker left us both caffeinated and impressed

Perfectly pulled shots, no electricity needed.


Jaime Carrillo

Dot Recs

Ever find yourself in the wild with a massive need for a hit of caffeine only a shot of espresso can deliver? Tripresso is your wish come true.

Tripresso is one of many portable espresso machines available on the market that can produce a perfect shot, any place in the world. Your kitchen? Sure. Griffith Park in Los Angeles? Totally, dude. The peak of Mt. Everest? It’s light enough that you won’t have to convince any sherpas to carry it for you. Tripresso’s biggest selling point is its portability, and it fits easily in any travel pack or purses.

I was skeptical to say the least when I found out about Tripresso and portable machines in general. I’ve never come across an espresso machine less than a hundred bucks that wasn’t almost entirely useless. The calling card of great espresso is a brew made with pressure. It’s not simply a strong cup of joe. An excellent shot has a thick head of crema, that almost looks like a mini glass of Guinness from afar.

But I was more than willing to be wrong about my cheap espresso machine prejudice.

Tripresso works with ground espresso coffee and espresso coffee pods. I made shots with both to see if one stood out as far as quality was concerned. So long as you have hot water nearby (in say, a Thermos) you’ll have espresso in a minute or two. Actually, you really don’t need hot water. You can pull a pretty good shot with cold water too, which seems almost like witchcraft.

Which brings us to pulling a shot. After inserting a pod or a little ground espresso into your machine, you decide how strong you want your shot to be. It makes a standard two-ounce shot or a four-ounce “Lungo.” The coffee dispenses straight into an included carafe which doubles as a glass. Pulling your espresso requires a little elbow grease, but nothing too crazy. Simply push down on Tripresso’s pump for about thirty seconds and watch it brew a perfect shot of espresso.

And I do mean perfect. I didn’t want to believe a cheaper tool could make great espresso. Not only is it good espresso, but it’s also the best espresso I’ve ever made in a home kitchen. A few years back, I broke down and splurged on a superautomatic machine that pulls shots with the press of a button. It’s convenient to be sure, but the shots it pulls are paltry when put against what Tripresso brews.

Everything about the brew is divine. The coffee is strong without being bitter. The crema is so thick you could stand on it. And whether you’re using ground coffee or a pod, hot water or cold, the results are always the same. And because it’s so easy to use and clean, it’s one of those appliances that you’ll be happy to keep on the counter.

So yes, I am eating a fresh serving of crow with my demitasse. Great espresso can be had in a machine that costs less than $100, and without the need to plug in, no less. Tripresso doesn’t simply make espresso anywhere, it makes excellent espresso anywhere.

Barsetto’s little espresso machine that could is available in black and white for $58.95. Grab one and get your caffeine fix whether you’re on or off the grid.



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