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Portable, robust and gratifyingly hands-on, this is the perfect gift for coffee lovers that have it all
The Wacaco is what you buy a coffee lover who has everything. It’s that rare bit of kit that invokes a sense of play before producing a serious single espresso, complete with thick crema. The process is gratifyingly hands-on.
Combine this with excellent build-quality and an affordable price and you have a portable, practical coffee gadget for under £40. We were struck by the design – its five components stack, screw and slot intelligently together to form the portable, hand-sized machine, light enough to carry in a rucksack and protected by its own carry pouch.
The instructions offer clear diagrams for walking you through the assembly process. Taken apart, there are five core parts; the main body featuring the manual pump, an outlet head into which you slot the espresso filter basket and an espresso cup with a soft-touch gripper.
Then there’s the water ‘tank’, that, when empty, cleverly stores the 8-gram coffee scoop/tamper and a small cleaning brush. You’re dealing with loose coffee grinds so there’s a lot of scope to make a mess, but elements like the scoop slotting neatly into the espresso filter basket help minimise this.
Despite its size, the Wacaco produces an average pressure of 8-bars (116 PSI) and generated one of the best shots of coffee out of all the machines we tested. It’s rich, packed with flavour (without being bitter) and has a great crema, even from the first three pumps.
It’s not a fast or faff-free espresso maker. You’re limited to making a single espresso at a time, it takes around 20 pumps for full extraction and the maker does steal heat from the hot water.
However, it’s supremely portable, robust and a smart solution to making coffee on the go. Plus, it has some nice features to boost its usability, like a soft-touch pump. Most importantly, the espresso is delicious.
Ground capacity: 8g
Average pressure: 8 bar
Tank size: 70ml water tank
Dimensions: 17.5cm x 7cm x 6cm
Product weight: 360g
This review was last updated in May 2021. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.