Upon first discovering the Handpresso Wild Espresso Maker, I was intrigued. A handheld device that could make a single cup of gourmet espresso sounded too good to be true. After making my first cup, I am definitely hooked.
The Handpresso Wild Espresso Maker is a small, portable espresso maker promising "premium quality espresso anywhere." Created by Nielsen Innovation, of France, this cleaver invention doesn't require batteries or need to be plugged into a wall outlet. It is powered entirely by pressure that forces water through an E.S.E (Easy Serving Espresso) pod. Packaged in an attractive black presentation box, I was surprised at the compact size of the device and its sturdiness. At approximately nine inches long and weighing about a pound, the Handpresso Wild can easily be tucked away in your office desk drawer, fit into a briefcase or be stowed away in the tiniest of kitchens. Or if you prefer, you can hang it from a hook, as the Nielson Innovation people thought to include a little hole just for that purpose on this handy little gadget.
From start to finish, the process of making a single espresso takes less than two minutes (not including the heating of water). We used Gaggia Intenso E.S.E. pods – a mild, yet full-flavored choice – to test the Espresso Wild. After pumping the device, you add hot water to the water reservoir (which holds approximately 1-3/4 ounces), place the pod in the E.S.E pod holder, push a button and watch your cup fill with freshly brewed espresso. The Handpresso was tested using both boiled water from a kettle and microwaved water. The instruction booklet suggests using water from a thermos, therefore adding to the on-the-go, anytime availability of your own fresh-brewed cup of espresso.
You might wonder why you would want, or need, a portable espresso maker. Why not just buy a cup of when you are out-and-about or purchase a traditional espresso machine for your home? Cost is definitely a factor. When you are away from home, those $4 espressos add up quickly. As for making espresso at home, why invest in yet another small appliance to rob you of valuable kitchen counter space, especially if you're the only person in the house who drinks espresso? Not that you can't make multiple shots of espresso, which was just as easy. I was a little concerned that I might have to wait for the Handpresso to cool before attempting another shot, but that was not the case. Clean-up is also super easy; you just unscrew the cap, throw away the used pod and rinse your Handpresso with hot water.
As enamored as I am with the concept, it does take a bit of effort to pump the Handpresso to the appropriate operating pressure of 16 bar. Although the pumping action is smooth, it takes over 35 pumps to reach the "green" target zone on the pressure gauge. About halfway through the pumping process, it got a little old. My mind started to wander, and I was reminded of long forgotten exercise equipment that promised toning and quick results. But wait, I was making espresso. This certainly shouldn't dissuade you from purchasing the Handpresso Wild, but it's something to keep in mind.
The Handpresso Wild is a clever, portable invention that makes the perfect shot of espresso every time. It comes in black and there is even a carrying case with a strap available for purchase. At approximately $130.00, the Handpresso Wild is an affordable and practical indulgence for espresso lovers.