The 21st century, the age of fast food chains, quick cook meals, and ready to drink coffee. Truth to be told, life has quintessentially become a round-the-clock roller-coaster ride of deadlines, monthly tabs, and familial responsibilities.
Consequently, people in the 21st century had compensated for such a demanding and fast-paced life that they pretty much rely on the world's favorite kick-starter, coffee. Back in the day, you can get a cup of joe from a conventional coffee maker (which was as big as a small refrigerator) or from the traditional Moka top.
For the purpose of convenience, each decade of innovation has led to smaller, and smarter coffee makers. Eventually, the modern day man needed a portable machine that can be stowed in a regular bag and be used from the get-go.
It wasn't until the late 2000's that a new type of espresso maker would hit the market by surprise. By combining practicality and ingenuity the first-hand pump espresso makers were born.
Fast forward today, these super portable devices have become so handy that it even fits in a medium-sized purse. That's exactly what the Staresso Portable Coffee Maker is; a manual, portable espresso maker that exemplifies what on-the-go coffee means, but does it live up to its hype? Let's find out.
About the Product
The Staresso Portable Coffee Maker takes its inspiration from both pump type and manual espresso machines that were popularized in the 1960's. But instead of a mechanized system to brew espresso, it uses a hand pump to extract coffee directly from the prepared grounds.
It takes its form from the famous portable espresso makers made and popularized by Handpresso and Aeropress in the late 2000's. In a nutshell, the Staresso works by adding hot or cold water in a reservoir and pumping it to pass through coffee grounds in a separate chamber.To achieve this, the unit must achieve 15 to 20 bars of pressure.
Usually, it takes as much as 10 to 15 pumps for the water to completely pass through the prepared grounds and honestly, it's not as hard as it looks.
According to its manual, it can accommodate 10 grams of grounds but in reality, it can actually take as much as 11 grams. Additionally, the water reservoir has a max capacity of 3.38 fluid ounces, but for safety reasons, the allowed operating volume per procedure is limited to 2.7 fl oz.
In terms of its design, The Staresso Portable Coffee Maker looks like a typical vacuum flask accentuated by two-tone colors. There's a glass cup on the bottom to catch the coffee and a hand pump that is attached to the top that pops out with a little nudge.
Portability wise, it only weighs 460 grams and judging by its 8.3” x 2.8” x 2.8-inch dimensions, it can easily be stowed on an average backpack or a medium-sized purse.
Out of the box, you get the unit, an easy to understand instruction manual, an extra glass cup, and a spoon that can be used as a measuring cup or a coffee tamper.
What We Like
Portability is one Staresso's strongest selling points, especially for something that you can buy for $60. It's easy to use and its perfect for backpacking excursions, family camping trips, and long interstate hauls.
Another thing we like about the portable espresso maker is that it can accommodate both specialized pods and coffee grounds. As the situation permits, the unit is perfect for quick caffeine fixes and although it does not match up to bigger espresso makers taste wise, the ability to stow it on-the-go is one of its best selling points.
Staresso's portable coffee maker is fairly easy to clean, and having detachable parts makes it less of a chore. It also doesn't need an external power source like batteries and electricity to operate, making it the perfect companion activities that devoid you of an external power source.
What Could Be Better
Certainly, the Staresso is an awesome product but you just can't help that it's not really a good milk frother. Aside from that, its a solid machine punctuated by a very economical price tag.
Honestly, there are other portable coffee makers available in the market, but they're quite expensive and may cost as much as $150. To be frank, there's no definite guide in which one to choose, but at $60 the Staresso Portable Coffee Maker is such as bargain that you can't miss.
Although it does not make the best espresso, being a portable alternative to larger home espresso makers does have its advantages. If you're an avid traveler that needs a cup of coffee now and then, the Staresso Portable Coffee Maker fits perfectly in the picture.
It's easy to use and it delivers when its needed the most. If you're a fan of on-the-go coffee, the Staresso is highly recommended.