WACACO Nanopresso Review 2022: I Love This Thing!

After working as a professional barista for many years, Arne Preuss founded Coffeeness.

Lately, I don't seem to be able to look at my phone without an ad for a new portable coffee gadget showing up. That's why I've decided to bite the bullet and embark on a WACACO Nanopresso review

Lately, I don’t seem to be able to look at my phone without an ad for a new portable coffee gadget showing up. That’s why I’ve decided to bite the bullet and embark on a WACACO Nanopresso review

This intriguing portable espresso maker has a lot of people talking and I want to know whether it lives up to the hype. I’ve ordered the WACACO Nanopresso to test out, so I’ll be sure to update this initial review with my firsthand experiences once the Amazon box arrives.

In the meantime, let’s take a closer look at what this compact device can do.

BEST PORTABLE ESPRESSO CONCEPT

Convenient for travel.

Lots of convenience packed into a small package!

Compact and portable

Easy to use

Durable

Enough pressure for true espresso

Fantastic design

Lots of small parts

Difficult to dry

WACACO Nanopresso Overview

Everyone has different needs when they’re out on the road. For some people, leaving home without a good book is unthinkable, while others can’t get a good night’s sleep without their favorite pillow. 

In my case, the top items on my packing list include coffee beans, a manual grinder and a way to prepare good coffee. After all, I don’t always know what the coffee shop scene is going to be like where I’m going, and I’m just not prepared to roll the dice and hope for the best. 

Until now, I’ve been happy to travel with my Hario V60 and an Aeropress. However, the WACACO Nanopresso claims to make authentic espresso, which could change my road coffee game entirely. I’m pretty excited about that prospect, because the last time I tried to fit an espresso machine in my backpack things didn’t turn out well at all.

WACACO Nanopresso portable espresso maker.

Costing just $69.90 on Amazon, the Nanopresso is hardly going to break the bank. It won’t add much weight to your luggage, either – clocking in at just 0.74 pounds (336 grams), this nifty little coffee maker is about as lightweight as you could hope for. 

However, what really gets me pumped (pun fully intended) is the fact that the Nanopresso is capable of reaching up to 18 bars of pressure without the need for batteries or electricity. That far exceeds the pressure requirements for “true” espresso, and I’m really interested to taste the results. Okay, okay I’m edge-of-my-seat excited to taste the results!

WACACO Nanopresso First Impressions

WACACO Nanopresso espresso maker first impressions.

I have to hand it to the manufacturer: the Nanopresso is an awesome example of modern, minimalist design. I love the way this palm sized coffee maker looks – kind of like a cross between a mini thermos and a portable speaker – and the sturdy polypropylene plastic housing means it’ll take a few bumps and knocks without breaking. I’m talking to you, rock climbers and mountain bikers!

The beauty of the Nanopresso’s capsule-like design lies in the fact that all of the components for preparing espresso are contained neatly within. Open the thing up and you’ll find a water tank, espresso cup, portafilter and filter basket. There’s even a little brush and a coffee scoop that doubles as an espresso tamper.

It almost goes without saying that the WACACO Nanopresso comes with instructions. Still, from what I can see you don’t have to be a brain surgeon to figure out how to use the thing. I’ll go into more detail about how to make espresso with the Nanopresso later. Suffice to say, if you’ve ever used a moka pot or an Aeropress, it should be fairly self evident. 

At this point, you’re probably wondering how the Nanopresso makes espresso. Actually, it’s really quite simple – hot water under pressure is forced through a compacted bed of ground coffee. Sound familiar? It’s how all espresso machines work! 

Colors

WACACO Nanopresso espresso maker colors.

The WACACO Nanopresso is available in a wide range of colors, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding one that’ll match your suitcase, backpack or tent. As far as I can tell, the basic Nanopresso comes in the following colors, all costing $69.90:

Things get a little more descriptive when you buy a Nanopresso bundled with a protective hard case. By spending an extra $15 or so, you’ll have the privilege of choosing from exotic colors like: 

If you really want to take it to the limit there are Nanopresso special editions, designed by French artist SteF, with names like Winter Ride and Spring Run. I find them to be a bit too flashy and over the top, but then again, I like to keep things simple.

Size

WACACO Nanopresso on a bike.

I wasn’t kidding earlier when I referred to the Nanopresso as “palm sized.” Measuring just over six inches (15 centimeters) in length, the Nanopresso isn’t going to take up much room in your backpack or camping box. Heck, you could even pop this thing in your pocket before setting out for a day hike. 

The only thing that worries me slightly is the fact that there are quite a few small parts to keep track of once you’ve opened up the Nanopresso capsule. I could definitely see myself losing that tiny cleaning brush!

Pressure

WACACO Nanopresso pressure.

What’s so unique and innovative about the Nanopresso is how you create sufficient pressure for espresso by continuously pumping a pop-out piston. From what I can gather, you’ll run into some resistance when you’re using the pump piston, but you’re not going to dislocate your shoulder, or anything.

Of course, pressure is just one of many parameters involved in espresso preparation. Grind size, water temperature and tamping are equally important. One thing I did notice is that the Nanopresso features a pressurized portafilter, which means that you won’t have to worry as much about grind size. 

I imagine it’ll take a little experimenting to really dial in the Nanopresso, but that’s half the fun. I can’t wait to give it a go!

Water Reservoir

Camping with the WACACO Nanopresso espresso maker.

The Nanopresso water reservoir has a 2.7 ounce (80 milliliter) capacity, which is more than enough for making espresso. I really like the fact that the included espresso cup seamlessly fits onto the water tank – it’s a great example of efficient, space saving design. 

How to Use the WACACO Nanopresso

Freshly ground coffee is always best.

As I mentioned earlier, using the Nanopresso isn’t exactly rocket science. I do think it’ll take a few tries to really dial in the espresso from this device, and I’ll be sure to update this WACACO Nanopresso review with my findings once I’ve spent a little time using it.

Preheating the Wacaco Nanopresso

I’ll give you one piece of valuable advice right off the bat: you’re going to want to preheat the Nanopresso before using it to make espresso. Maintaining a high enough temperature is essential for an even espresso extraction, and the Nanopresso’s plastic body won’t retain enough heat unless you pump hot water through it first.

Making Coffee in the Wacaco Nanopresso

Once you’ve preheated the device, dry all the parts and you’re ready to go. Here’s how to make espresso in the WACACO Nanopresso:

  1. Remove the filter basket and add around 8 grams of freshly ground coffee, before shaking gently to create a level bed. It’s unlikely you’ll be bringing a coffee scale on your camping trip, so you’ll just have to eyeball it!
  2. Using the bottom of the scoop, tamp down the grounds, making sure there’s a small gap between the bed of ground coffee and the rim of the filter basket. This way, there’ll be enough room for the portafilter’s shower screen.
  3. Place the filter basket back into the Nanopresso then screw on the portafilter. Keyword: tight!
  4. Add boiling water to the water tank – you’ll see handy level markers inside – then screw it onto the Nanopresso. 
  5. Unlock the piston by turning it counterclockwise, flip the Nanopresso upside down then start pumping slowly and steadily. At this point I should gently remind you that if there isn’t a cup underneath, all you’ll be doing is making a big mess.
  6. The first few pumps will build up pressure inside the Nanopresso, but you’ll soon see coffee starting to make its way into your cup. After around 20 to 30 pumps, you should have a perfectly extracted espresso.

WACACO Nanopresso Cleaning

WACACO Nanopresso espresso maker cleaning.

Cleaning the WACACO Nanopresso should be a fairly straightforward affair, especially if you take care of it after every use. All the parts can be rinsed off, so you can just use the leftover water in your camping kettle if there’s no running water at hand.

I do wonder how easy it would be to dry all the Nanopresso’s parts, especially on a backpacking trip; I feel like things could get pretty nasty in the main chamber after a few days. Still, there’s only one way to find out, I guess – it looks like I’ll be heading into the hills with a Nanopresso in my backpack this summer!

WACACO Nanopresso Accessories

WACACO produces a range of accessories for the Nanopresso. Let’s take a look at what’s on offer.

Nanopresso Barista Kit

WACACO Barista Kit

If you feel like the basic Nanopresso is a little too limiting and wish you could prepare a double shot, the Barita Kit will be right up your alley. 

This awesome kit costs $32.90 on Amazon and includes a pair of larger 16 gram brew baskets, a larger cup and an additional 4.7 ounce (140 milliliter) water tank. The Nanopresso Barista Kit also comes with a dedicated tamper, meaning you’ll have more even control over your espresso extraction.

Nanopresso NS Adapter

WACACO NS Adapter

If you’re a regular Coffeeness reader, you’ll know how I feel about coffee capsules. I won’t rant and rave here, suffice to say there’s quite enough plastic waste clogging up our planet, thank you. Everyone can stop using k-pods now.

Anyway, the Nanopresso NS Adapter allows you to use Nespresso capsules with this portable espresso maker and costs $32.90 on Amazon. 

Nanopresso DG Kit

WACACO DG Kit

The Nanopresso DG Kit costs $32.90 on Amazon and adapts the Nanopresso for use with Nescafe Dolce Gusto capsules. Of course, this means nothing to you, because you wouldn’t dream of using disposable coffee pods!

WACACO Nanopresso Espresso Maker Specifications

 Wacaco Nanopresso
TypePortable espresso maker
Housing materialPlastic
Water tank capacity2.7 oz / 80 ml
Ground coffee capacity0.3 oz / 8 g
Maximum pressure18 bar / 261 psi
Filter Pressurized portafilter
Weight0.74 lbs / 336 g
Dimensions (L x W x D)6.14 x 2.8 x 2.44 in / 15.6 x 7.1 x 6.2 cm
MiscellaneousEspresso cup, scoop, brush, pouch, stickers, instruction manual
Current price on Amazon$69.90

WACACO Nanopresso vs Other Portable Espresso Makers

As much as I already love the WACACO Nanopresso, it’d probably be a good idea to see how it fares in comparison to some other portable espresso makers.

WACACO Nanopresso vs Minipresso

WACACO Minipresso vs Nanopresso fully automatic espresso machine.

The WACACO Minipresso was the manufacturer’s first portable espresso maker, supposedly invented after the company founder suffered through one disappointing espresso too many while traveling. 

The Minipresso is similar in design to the Nanopresso, but it’s a little smaller and only averages around 8 bars of pressure. The Minipresso costs $54.90 on Amazon, which is only $15 less than the Nanopresso. Personally, I’d spend a little more and get the upgraded version.

WACACO Nanopresso vs Picopresso

WACACO Picopresso vs Nanopresso.

Okay, now we’re talking. With the WACACO Picopresso the manufacturer has seriously raised its game by producing a device that’ll appeal to coffee professionals. I should know – I really want one of these. 

The Picopresso has a 52 millimeter stainless steel brewing basket with a capacity of 18 grams. Not only that, there’s a naked portafilter. Made from premium materials, the Picopresso can handle a much finer grind than most portable coffee makers, meaning you’ll get exceptional espresso for this thing. You’ll have to pay for it, though; the Picopresso costs $129.90 on Amazon, which isn’t exactly small potatoes.

WACACO Nanopresso vs Staresso

Staresso Basic vs WACACO Nanopresso.

The Staresso Portable Espresso Machine is a little heavier and bulkier than the Nanopresso, but it’s still very portable and easy to use. Plus, the Staresso comes with a pretty little espresso glass which is always going to win points from me. 

The Staresso pumps vertically – rather like an Aeropress – and, from everything I’ve heard, you’ll get pretty impressive crema from this device. The Staresso costs $55.24, making it even more affordable than the Nanopresso.

WACACO Nanopresso vs Others Comparison Chart

 Wacaco NanopressoWacaco Minipresso GRWacaco PicopressoStaresso Portable Espresso Machine
TypePortable espresso makerPortable espresso makerPortable espresso makerPortable espresso maker
Housing materialPlasticPlasticStainless steel, plasticStainless steel, plastic
Water tank capacity2.7 oz / 80 ml2.35 oz / 70 ml2.7 oz / 80 ml3.72 oz / 110 ml
Ground coffee capacity0.3 oz / 8 g0.3 oz / 8 g0.63 oz / 18 g0.4 oz / 11 g
Maximum pressure18 bar / 261 psi8 bar / 116 psi18 bar / 261 psi20 bar / 290 psi
Filter Pressurized portafilterPressurized portafilterAluminum portafilterMetal portafilter
Weight0.74 lbs / 336 g0.8 lbs / 360 g0.77 lbs / 350 g0.88 lbs / 399 g
Dimensions (L x W x D)6.14 x 2.8 x 2.44 in / 15.6 x 7.1 x 6.2 cm6.89 x 2.75 x 2.36 in / 17.5 x 7 x 6 cm4.17 × 3.07 x 2.8 in / 10.6 x 7.8 x 7.1 cm9.64 x 2.75 x 2.75 in / 24.4 x 7 x 7 cm
MiscellaneousEspresso cup, scoop, brush, pouch, stickers, instruction manualEspresso cup, scoopTamper, scoop, brush, distribution tool, protective case, instruction manual, stickerGlass, scoop, brush
Current price on Amazon$69.90$54.90$129.90$55.24

Verdict: WACACO Nanopresso

BEST PORTABLE ESPRESSO CONCEPT

Convenient for travel.

Compact and portable

Easy to use

Durable

Enough pressure for true espresso

Fantastic design

Lots of small parts

Difficult to dry

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of toys, gadgets and gizmos, especially if they’re coffee-related. However, every once in a while something comes along that really gets me weak in the knees. 

The WACACO Nanopresso isn’t just a superb example of flawless design and innovation; it’s also something I could see myself using on a regular basis. Whether or not the Nanopresso can really produce good espresso remains to be seen. 

As I already mentioned, I’ll update this review as soon as I have more information for you. In the meantime, I’ll be pacing the floor waiting for the Amazon box to arrive!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my initial WACACO Nanopresso review. Leave a comment if there’s anything you’d like me to focus on during my hands-on test!

WACACO Nanopresso FAQ

Using the WACACO Nanopresso is easy. Simply add finely ground coffee to the brewing basket, tamp it down, then place the basket in the Nanopresso. After screwing on the portafilter, add boiling water to the water tank, screw it to the main body and turn the Nanopresso upside down over the built-in espresso cup. Unlock the piston and start pumping until espresso extraction begins. Keep pumping until you feel no more resistance from the piston.

To clean the WACACO Nanopresso coffee maker, remove all parts and dump used coffee grounds from the brewing basket. Rinse everything under warm water, then allow all parts to dry.

Thanks to its compact dimensions, lightweight design and ease of use, the WACACO Nanopresso is ideal for making quality espresso while backpacking.

Backpacking with the WACACO Nanopresso espresso maker.

The WACACO Nanopresso doesn’t grind coffee, so you’ll need to use a grinder. Thanks to its pressurized portafilter, you should be able to produce espresso by using pre ground coffee, too.

Pretty much any quality hand grinder would go well with the WACACO Nanopresso. Check out my coffee grinder guide 2022 for some great options.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments