Great espresso anywhere is a noble cause to chase. Well, it is for those of us who enjoy espresso and also often find ourselves away from our home or favorite coffee shop. Wacaco was started to create an espresso maker that would ensure you’d always be able to get a decent coffee.
The Wacaco Nanopresso makes good espresso with ease. Built for the casual espresso drinker, the pressurized basket helps to even out any issues so you almost always get a good shot. Add-ons such as the NS adapter for Nespresso pods make it even more convenient to use. A compact, affordable portable espresso maker that delivers.
There’s a lot going on with this great little device as we discovered while using it for our Wacaco Nanopresso review.
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At a Glance: Wacaco Nanopresso Review
The Wacaco Nanopresso is a superb handheld espresso maker for your on-the-go coffee needs.
Being able to create 18 bar of pressure with the hand pump means you get a superb espresso. Plus, the ability to use both prepacked espresso pods or ground coffee is a massive bonus.
It won’t compare to seriously high-end espresso machines in terms of quality, and you have to heat the water separately. But for the price, size, and ease of use, it’s a very impressive espresso maker.
This pocket-sized machine should be seriously considered by anyone who loves espresso.
- Makes great espresso
- Easy to use and clean
- Can make cold espresso
- Built-in coffee cup
- 18 bar pressure
- Nespresso pod adapter available
- Needs heat source for water
- Time consuming to make multiple espressos
- Pumping manually can be tiring
- Allan key needed for deep cleaning
1. 18 Bar of Pressure
18 Bar of pressure is the maximum that you are able to create at the pump. High pressure pumps are more likely to be able to create the consistent 7-9 bar needed to pull espresso shots.
2. Lightweight Portable Espresso Maker
In terms of portability, the Nanopresso really can’t be beaten. It weighs in at less than 12 oz. That’s the whole device, including a handy espresso cup, in a convenient travel case weighing less than 1lb.
3. Very Easy to Use
Easy-to-follow instructions mean its very simple to operate the Nanopresso. The pressurized filter basket also means you won’t spend ages trying to dial in your espresso shots.
4. Excellent Accessories
To take your espresso-making game up another notch, there are great add-ons to the Nanopresso. You can get an NS Adapter which will allow you to use Nespresso pods. You can also purchase a “Barista Kit” which allows you to brew 2 espressos at once for double the fun.
- Pre-Heat Your Nanopresso: Extremely important step. You have to run boiling water through your Nanopresso before brewing. This heats up the plastic and stops it stealing all the heat from the hot water you want to brew with.
- Add Your Ground Coffee: Take out the filter basket and add your ground coffee using the scoop. You can use the back of the scoop to tamp down your grounds too. Then put the filter back in the Nanopresso. This is the trickiest bit and nearly impossible to do without spilling some ground coffee.
- Add Hot Water: Add your hot water to the water tank. There are two fill lines, 50 ml and 80 ml. Fill to the line of your preference.
- Screw Nanopresso Together: Once your coffee and water are in their separate chambers. Screw the Nanopresso back together and turn it upside down.
- Pull Your Espresso: Use the hand pump to first build pressure then extract your espresso. Start pumping in a steady rhythm. The first 8 or so will build the pressure, then keep pumping until all the water is gone. This should take 20-30 pumps in total.
It’s so simple to use and the espresso quality really is excellent. If you have the NS Adapter, it’s even easier. You simply pop a Nespresso capsule in instead of adding and tamping the ground coffee. A total game-changer.
The Nanopresso is designed to work with ground coffee. But pod fans fear not. You can buy an attachment that will allow the Nanopresso to work with Nespresso Original capsules: The Wacaco Nanopresso N-S Adapter. Or, if you’re a Nescafe Dolce Gusto fan you can get the DG Kit to use those capsules with your Nanopresso.
Whilst prepacked espresso pods don’t produce as good quality coffee as freshly ground, it does make life a lot easier on the road. Or if you don’t want to deal with the mess of espresso grounds. But, if you choose not to buy the adapter, you’ll either need to buy a grinder or use pre-ground coffee beans.
The pressurized basket means you need far less precision with your grind and tamp than other espresso makers. This means a budget burr grinder or pre-ground coffee will both work absolutely fine.
The tastiest espresso starts with the best espresso beans. Check out our top picks from global coffee experts.
I feel like the Nanopresso is very much function over form. It’s not that it’s an ugly machine, its just not particularly aesthetically pleasing. It does come in a few colors if you’re not dull like us and have everything in black or grey. They periodically release special editions with designs done by French designer/artist SteF if you’re after a really unique style.
Although the espresso maker is made from plastic, it feels very sturdy. And the build quality on the pump is exceptional. It’s so smooth to operate, making almost no noise at all.
The design is very ergonomic:
It fits nicely in your hand and the pump has smooth edges for your thumb and forefinger to rest on whilst using. This makes it comfortable and easy to use, even with wet hands.
Having all the components, including cup, fit into the carry case is really helpful when on the go. The cleaning brush is small and easy to lose but its hardly a disaster if you do.
Now, you do have to fiddle with the grind and water temperature. Doing so ensures you get exactly what you want. However, you can get a great espresso, no matter your choice of roast.
Pre-ground coffee also produces an excellent espresso. Honestly, it performs closer to a high-end espresso machine in taste than a budget portable one. The NS adapter means your espresso will be just as good as it is from your machine at home.
Firstly, you can buy an extra attachment for using Nespresso pods. The Nanopresso N-S adapter is super simple to use, it just screws in, and makes this handy device even easier. It doesn’t work with K-Cup capsules though – just Nespresso.
There is also a “Barista Kit” you can purchase. This allows you to brew 2 espressos simultaneously for either more coffee for yourself, or to share with your travel buddy. It does, however, require you to carry two separate cases with your espresso maker. So, a little extra room in your travel bag is needed for this added convenience.
Straight out the box, the Nanopresso comes with a handy carry bag. However, if you want something a little more robust, Wacaco also sells a Nanopresso S-Case. This is a hard carry case offering more protection to your device.
Shop the Nanopresso’s Accessories
Everyday cleaning is simple. You don’t need to worry about expensive cleaning products – simple soap and water will get the job done.
There are, however, lots of parts compared to competitors like the small Cafflano espresso maker. So, you will need to take care not to lose them when you take everything apart.
There is a small brush included with the Nanopresso that is perfect for cleaning out the portafilter. It’s important to keep on top of cleaning as any grinds left inside can prevent the nozzle from creating a perfect seal. Without a vacuum seal, the right amount of pressure won’t be created for extraction.
Cleaning the Nanopresso is especially easy in a fixed location like at home or in the office. But it can get a touch messy when on the go:
You need to find a way to dispose of your espresso grounds. Now, if you’re out camping or hiking in the wilds, this is fine. Coffee grounds are pretty good for the soil and absolutely fine to tip into the wilderness. But you also need access to water.
However, cleaning can be less convenient if you’re in a hotel room. Most hotels are less appreciative of coffee grounds being thrown on the floor or down the bathroom sink (they can cause blockages). So you may want to have a ziplock bag handy to put the machine in, then clean it later.
Every 20 shots or so, you’ll need to take the whole thing apart to deep-clean. This is pretty quick and easy, but does require access to a sink.
Wacaco recommends that once or twice a year, you clean the metal mesh. This is slightly more involved and requires an Allen Wrench. But it’s not exactly difficult – simply remove the 3 screws and rinse the mesh. Just keep track of the screws as you don’t want to misplace them.
To kick off, the Nanopresso is smaller but has a larger water tank and grounds basket. So you can make more espresso. It can also generate 18 bars of pressure, compared to just 8 bars on the Minipresso.
With the Minipresso, you can choose from 2 versions: GR and NS. The GR works only with ground coffee, and the NS works only with pods. This differs from the Nanopresso which is a modular machine, meaning you can buy attachments that screw together. So, whilst it works with grounds only, you can purchase the NS Adapter, allowing it to work with pods too.
Read next: Wacaco Minipresso Review
For a full breakdown of the differences, watch Wacaco’s helpful video here:
Wacaco has released a newer and bigger sibling to both the Mini and Nanopresso – the Picopresso. As we loved our Nanopresso so much, we had to get our hands on it too. You can read our full review here (spoiler alert, it’s phenomenal!):
Firstly, the AeroPress makes good quality strong black coffee – not espresso. Compared to the Nanopresso which makes good espresso with crema. Whilst you might not get true espresso from the AeroPress, you won’t be disappointed by the smooth flavor of the coffee.
You also have total flexibility with the AeroPress. You can control coffee quantity, brew time, and water temperature, giving you more opportunity to have your coffee just how you like it.
The AeroPress is simple to use, to make a basic coffee. But it does take a lot more fiddling around with to get your perfect brew. On the other hand, the Nanopresso is easy to use straight out of the box.
Which is Your Winner?
If you don’t mind heating the water separately, you can have an espresso comparable to a serious coffee shop for a fraction of the price.
With the built-in espresso cup, the Nanopresso is ideal for you if you want quality espresso wherever are. There’s a reason it’s taking the portable espresso world by storm: it’s a clear top choice.
So, whilst the Nanopresso couldn’t look less like a traditional espresso machine in design, price tag, or experience; it’s a seriously top-range espresso maker in terms of quality. Every interaction we have had for this Wacaco Nanopresso review has left us blown away by this high-pressure, hand-pumped device.
Don’t forget to Buy Your Wacaco Nanopresso Today
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