Wacaco Cuppamoka Portable Pour Over Coffee Maker Review
Do you love pour-over coffee? What about travelling? Do you love a compact and efficient design?
If you answered yes to any of the above, Wacaco’s Cuppamoka is for you!
Let’s take a deep dive into this Wacaco Cuppamoka review. You’ll find out if it’s the travel coffee brewer you’ve been waiting for.
Wacaco Cuppamoka Portable Pour Over Coffee Maker
- Ultra-compact pour-over coffee maker with a pop-up cone filter
- Includes a double-walled 10 fl oz isothermal stainless steel mug
- Easy-to-use and thoughtful design
Wacaco’s Cuppamoka is a compact pour-over system that has everything you need to make a single cup of coffee using this method.– Jacob Haas, customer
The Full Wacaco Cuppamoka Review
Most pour-over drippers are already pretty portable, so what makes the Cuppamoka stand out from the crowd?
Keep reading to find out.
Aesthetic Appeal – 4/5
At first glance, the Cuppamoka looks like nothing more than a sleek travel mug. Even better, a travel mug with a classy feel. A pop of color from a lime green stripe under the lid is a nice aesthetic touch that keeps it from looking utilitarian.
The stainless steel mug has double-wall construction to ensure your coffee stays hot while the outside remains cool to the touch (1). Inside, you’ll find the cleverly designed pour-over cone. They make it from BPA-free plastic. BPA-free plastic not only keeps this little brewer light and inexpensive but promises high-quality coffee.
Plastic drippers provide a more stable temperature with less effort.
This is because plastic has the ideal combination of low thermal mass and good thermal insulation, so it doesn’t rob your coffee of heat (2).
Ease of Use – 4/5
As with any pour-over brewer, you can get as picky and complicated as you want with your Cuppamoka. Go ahead and pull out the gooseneck kettle, kitchen scale, burr grinder, and third-wave light roast specialty beans, and you’ll be able to make an exceptional cup of coffee.
But if you want a simple and tasty brew, whether you’re halfway through a hike or halfway through a day at the office, the Cuppamoka is very easy to use. Twist out the pour-over cone, add a filter and ground coffee, pour over hot water.
I really like the little plastic insert, a stand for the coffee dripper after brewing.
It catches any drips, so you don’t make a mess of your counter or desk.
This thoughtful inclusion makes it clear that whoever designed this product makes pour-overs regularly.
The only part of the whole system that seemed a bit non-intuitive to me is that the recipe suggests using “two and a half scoops” of ground coffee, using the included scoop. It’s a bit of a mystery why they didn’t make a slightly larger or smaller scoop so you could measure even two or three scoops.
Custom Brewing Features – 4/5
Like most pour-over brewers, this is a straightforward brewing system. That’s not a critique; it’s part of the appeal. There are no fancy or custom features here. It’s just a basic way to make good coffee, and there’s nothing wrong with that!
The way you assemble the whole thing is quite brilliant. You need just a simple twist to extract the travel pour over cone from the stainless steel mug. It feels sturdy and well made, with everything slotting into place in a pleasantly tactile way.
The Cuppamoka comes with ten small unbleached filters that feel relatively thick. Wacaco sells replacements, but you can also use any #1 size cone filters available at your local shop. The resulting brew resembles a Hario V60 pour-over in character.
Watch Steven’s video review if you don’t trust me:
Coffee Flavor – 4.5/5
Cuppamoka was clearly designed for portability rather than coffee quality, which makes it all the more impressive that it brews completely delicious coffee. As with any pour over brewer, the resulting coffee is largely a result of the quality of the beans and the skill of the user. But assuming you’ve got those two things locked down, Cuppamoka makes coffee as good as any dripper. It’s very reminiscent of a V60 brew – clean and complex with a medium body.
The suggested recipe, which uses measured scoops of pre-ground coffee, is clearly designed for practicality while camping or otherwise brewing on the go. But for the best coffee flavor, I’d suggest using a scale to weigh the beans and grinding the coffee just before brewing.
Portability – 5/5
Portability is clearly the selling feature of this brewer, and Wacaco has nailed it. The whole set-up fits inside the 10 fl oz travel mug and weighs just 0.7 lb.
I was incredibly excited to find that the mug is spill-proof, a design feature that a surprising number of manufactures struggle to perfect. Once brewed, the double-wall mug keeps your coffee hot for upwards of 2 hours, perfect for a long hike or a long meeting.
The Cuppamoka includes everything you need to brew a coffee and take it with you except for a way to boil water.
It takes about 10 minutes to brew a cup.
This is a bit longer than something like an Aeropress but still plenty efficient in most contexts.
Value for Money – 3.5/5
The Cuppamoka is not expensive, but it does run slightly pricier than comparable travel coffee brewers, like the Aeropress Go or the Bodum Travel Press, and other pour-over drippers like the Hario V60 or the Kalita Wave. Its main selling point is that it includes a vacuum-insulated travel mug, so you’ll save money versus buying a separate brewer and mug.
It doesn’t come with a carrying case, which I think is an obvious addition to a portable coffee maker system. Wacaco does make a case that’s sold separately, but it’s nearly half the cost of the brewer itself.
Likewise, it would be great to see the inclusion of a metal mesh filter, especially for use in the backcountry, where every scrap of waste adds up (3). Again, this is something Wacaco sells separately.
One thing to note is that if you already own the Pipamoka, the two brewers are the same diameter. This allows you to mix and match their lids, which is quite handy and adds value to both.
Things we liked:
- Very light and portable compact design
- Produces an excllent pour over brew
- Simple twist design is easy to use
Things we didn’t like:
- No reusable filter
- Carrying case is sold separately
Don’t Buy The Cuppamoka If….
You prefer an immersion brewer. The Cuppamoka is relatively unique as an all-in-one travel pour-over coffee brewer. If you prefer an immersion brew, you have plenty of options. There are the original Aeropress and the newer Go model, or Bodums’s travel French press.
You don’t need to travel. If you don’t need your coffee on the go, many pour-over brewers will meet your needs. Two popular and inexpensive options are the V60 and the Kalita Wave.
You prefer having espresso on your travels – If you like espresso more than pour-over coffee, then consider the Wacaco Picopresso instead. Sure, it’s small but it is capable of making true double espresso shots.
Wacaco’s Cuppamoka has a particular target audience, and it serves that audience correctly. If you want an ultra-portable pour over brewer with a built-in travel mug, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for. However, if your needs are more flexible, you may find better value elsewhere.
- Brennan, J. (2017, July 21). How Does Vacuum Insulation Work? Retrieved from https://homeguides.sfgate.com/how-does-vacuum-insulation-work-13408054.html
- Rosas, A. P. (2020, November 3). How Does Dripper Material Affect Your Pour Over Coffee? Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2020/11/how-does-your-dripper-material-affect-your-pour-over-coffee/
- Stumptown Coffee. (2015, Marce 8). The Facts About Filters. Retrieved from https://www.stumptowncoffee.com/blogs/news/the-facts-about-filters