The Handpresso Review – Is it perfect or just portable?
What will you do if after a long day in the outdoors the coffee runs dry? Will all hope be lost?
Worry not adventurer, the Handpresso Wild Hybrid is here, and it just might fulfill your desire for reasonably priced, portable espresso.
By the end of this Handpresso review, you’ll be a bonafide, portable espresso machine know-it-all.
So strap on those boots my friend, and let’s see if this machine is right for you!
The Handpresso Wild Hybrid 'In A Nutshell'
The Wild Hybrid is a portable espresso maker endowed with one of the most lightweight and compact designs on the market, thus living up to its name in portability.
This device looks and acts much like a bicycle pump – simply pump to 16 bars of pressure (this will be indicated by the “green zone” on the attached gauge) to generate pressure, and press the infusion button to force hot water through the espresso grounds.
Be aware that it produces a smaller shot than traditional espresso makers, so it would be best suited for personal use.
The quality of the shot contends with more expensive products in its category, but there are cheaper (and consequently less reliable) alternatives for more frugal folk.
What holds this machine back is its low flexibility in brew strength and the additional cost of buying gear to heat up your water.
Hypnotized by Handpresso? Here are a few things to consider before buying
It’s pretty safe to say that anyone reading this review has portability on their mind. Well, check that off the list, because this machine delivers.
The Handpresso does most of the work for espresso on-the-go, and when your espresso is ready, you’re only a quick clean-up away from being back in business.
Portable espresso machines generally use either grounds or pods to make your espresso.
However, the Wild Hybrid allows the use of both pre-ground coffee and ESE pods in its Handpresso domepod, giving you some versatility in how you want to make your drink.
It should be noted that the Handpresso Wild Hybrid does not produce high-strength espresso shots, which is especially the case when using pre-ground beans.
This is often the case when using a portable machine. As convenient as it is to make espresso wherever you go, the quality of the shot will undoubtedly take a hit.
So while the Handpresso Wild Hybrid can dish out a decent shot, a coffee snob will definitely be able to taste a difference.
Don’t expect espresso from a portable maker to compare to these top-of-the-line espresso machines.
Also, make sure you’re ready for a change to your brewing routine.
Especially with the Handpresso pump, you will need to use some elbow grease to pump enough pressure in order to brew, and you will have to boil your water separately. This process is not for everyone.
Those who love brewing shots on a traditional espresso machine as much as they love drinking them should keep in mind that they may be missing out on some of that satisfaction with this Handpresso.
Pro Tip: If you’re looking for something more traditional, we suggest browsing this guide to find the best budget espresso machine.
By now you may be wanting to see the Wild Hybrid in action. Here’s a Handpresso how-to-use video covering the whole process.
Is the buzz real, or is that just the caffeine talking? - The Handpresso Wild Hybrid Review
Let’s see what really makes the Wild Hybrid worth your time.
This is an innovative machine with extreme portability, and the brewing process can be a breeze once you get the hang of it.
There’s also a cheap price tag, so anticipate some bang for your buck.
But, nothing's perfect, and the Handpresso does have its flaws. So if you decide you’re looking for something else, don't worry.
We’ll include alternate portable espresso maker reviews; after all, you’re here to become an expert and make the right choice for you!
(Don’t worry Handpresso, we’ll try and be gentle)
- Easy clean-up
- Espresso anywhere
- Boiling water can be inconvenient
- Incapable of commercial-quality espresso shots
- Missing that traditional feel
- Rare design malfunction
Extreme portability opens up a whole new realm of possibilities
Imagine your favorite place in the world.
Now, imagine it with a travel mug of fresh espresso in your hand.
Whatever you're envisioning, it can probably become a reality with the Wild Hybrid.
This is a mini espresso maker weighing in at 1.6 pounds with dimensions of 11 x 6 x 5 inches.
Yes, you read that right. It’s an incredibly lightweight design that can fit in a purse or handbag with no problem.
If only I had known this was a way to make coffee on my camping trips back in the day, I’d have finished those hikes a lot faster.
Easy-to-learn brewing process provides an accessible product for Handpresso first-timers
My first time handling an espresso maker was a disaster.
My boss just handed me a cup, sat back, and laughed as the steamer made me a fool.
With the Wild Hybrid this won’t be a concern, as the most dangerous part is simply pouring the hot water in (I hope we can all handle that).
Pro Tip: If you want a similar result to what you get out of an electrically-powered machine, grind your coffee beans slightly finer than you normally would.
I do have to mention an infrequent design flaw has been reported, which causes hot water to leak out of the bottom. Youch!
Thankfully, this is a very rare occurrence.
Quick clean up - this machine is a great way to save time
Anyone who has spent time on a traditional espresso machine knows this: they’re a pain to clean.
A lot of us espresso addicts have very busy schedules and need to save every extra minute we can.
With the Wild Hybrid, after your espresso is ready, the only waste to deal with will be your ground coffee or ESE pod.
Just toss that in the trash, give the pod attachment a quick rinse, and be on your way. Voila!
A cheap price tag makes this portable espresso maker a good option when you’re pinching pennies
With a lot of other portable espresso options reaching over $200, it’s a relief to see a cheaper price tag on the Wild Hybrid.
For travelers living on a budget, this could be the optimal way to bring espresso to your fingertips without having to break the bank.
Remember though (especially campers): you will need to purchase gear to heat up your water on the go.
If you’re a true camping connoisseur, I’d suggest buying a camping kettle and heating up your water over a fire. This option can be limiting, however.
Anyone looking to invest some extra moolah can head over to the Cauldryn Fyre Boiling Battery Mug.
Equip this with your Handpresso gear and there’s almost no limit to where you can make a fresh shot.
Not impressed with the Handpresso? Check out these travelling espresso maker alternatives
#1 - Handpresso vs. Minipresso GR Espresso Maker
The Minipresso GR espresso maker sports a cylindrical design, for those who don’t like the feel of the Handpresso.
It is quiet, easy to clean and use, and makes an all-round decent shot for a portable machine.
On the other hand, the GR espresso offers less versatility in brewing.
It only accepts coffee grounds, and it is recommended that you do not tamp these grounds, no matter how much you want to.
The machine simply cannot handle the pressure of trying to force the water through the packed grounds, which may cause it to break.
Here’s a link if you’re looking to learn more about this Minipresso espresso maker.
#2 - Handpresso vs. AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker
The Aerobie AeroPress is even cheaper than the Handpresso, and its design may be more appealing to some.
It can also provide you with a good, strong shot of espresso – which is rare when it comes to portable machines.
However, the Handpresso may have a longer lifespan, as the glass receiver of the AeroPress is known to crack over time.
Also, be prepared for some extra maintenance with the AeroPress – cleaning can be a hassle with all of the components to keep track of.
If you’re sold on Aerobie, go ahead and purchase the Aerobie AeroPress.
#3 - Handpresso vs. Staresso Espresso Coffee Maker
With a sturdy design and a similar price range, the Staresso is a strong contender. It’s most noteworthy function is the option to make cold brew – which is always a plus on a hot day.
Unfortunately, like most machines in this category, the Staresso takes more effort to clean than the Wild Hybrid.
The Staresso also requires more effort in pumping to make an average-sized espresso shot, so don’t expect to be producing shots for the whole building.
If you’ve decided this is the perfect machine for you, go ahead and click over to this portable espresso machine contender.
It’s The Final Countdown!
The Wild Hybrid’s appeal lies in mobility and design.
It’s a low maintenance machine that gets the job done quickly while dishing out an acceptable espresso shot.
This would be a great option for a frugal traveller, an over-scheduled worker, and especially those who want to save some counter space.