Top positive review
Recommended, but DO NOT TAMP
November 3, 2015
DO NOT TAMP! The manual states this, but the instructional video shows the filter basket being tamped using the back of the scoop. This is a very impressive device, and I really enjoy it. But if you tamp the espresso in the filter basket, you will blow out a seal in the pump. I was able to disassemble mine and fix it, but not without nearly breaking it.
All that being said, if you use the scoop to dump the grounds into the filter without tamping, you will have a great experience. The espresso has decent body and crema for a totally manual brewing method. Its very easy to travel with, and you can brew a shot in only a few seconds longer than it takes to boil the water. Sure, it only really brews 1 to 1.5 shots, but it is easy enough to repeat the process. I would buy this product again.
Operation is simple, and works as follows:
1) Disassemble entire device
2) Fill scoop, place filter basket on top, and turn over. Tap a few times to drop all grounds.
3) Remove scoop. Tap filter basket on counter to level the contents.
4) Place filter basket in grooves on housing, and screw on the nozzle-end of the minipresso.
5) Fill the water reservoir up to the line with boiling water. Carefully screw onto the bottom of the pump housing.
6) Invert minipresso, place over pre-heated espresso cup, and pump slowly.
7) Pressure will build. As the very first spurt of espresso is dispensed, I wait about 10 seconds and then continue pumping at a steady pace until pressure releases and espresso stops dispensing.
Standard clean-up involves carefully disassembling the device and rinsing each component with fresh water. There is no way to disassemble the nozzle end, so it will retain some amount of water. The best way I have found to flush this out is by pumping fresh water through. The minipresso does not like to pump if it cannot build pressure, so I stuff the filter basket with paper towels to provide resistance and then follow the directions above as if you were brewing. It is also useful to occasionally follow this process with vinegar (and then a few cycles of water) to descale the pump and nozzle.
-Quick, easy shot of espresso
-Impressive body/taste/crema for an inexpensive device
-Can be damaged if espresso is tamped
-It would be nice if the nozzle could be disassembled to allow for a more thorough cleaning
-Only makes about 1-1.5 shots at a time
If you are looking for an inexpensive way to make a quick shot of espresso, this is a great way to get it done. Small enough to fit in any bag, easy enough to operate and clean, and very consistent results. If you generally need more than 1-2 shots at a time or are interested in an increased level of control, you would probably find it easier to just invest in an entry-level pump-driven machine.