Wacaco Picopresso Review - Ultimate travel espresso maker Basic Barista Australia Melbourne

Best Travel Espresso Maker - Picopresso Review

It has been exactly 1 month since we first unboxed and used the Wacaco Picopresso

Picopresso First Impressions and Unboxing

The Picopresso comes in a sturdy outer hard case with a large, easy-to-use zipper. Inside, the case is lined with a felt material, a small detail that shows the level of care and attention Wacaco has put into designing this product. The Picopresso itself is incredibly compact, fitting comfortably in the palm of my hand. From the very first espresso, we were blown away by the quality of espresso and overall performance that the picopresso is capable of.

If you're interested in watching the unboxing, we've linked our unboxing video below.

Operating the Picopresso

Components and Setup

To operate the Picopresso, you first have to take it apart. The lid houses the dosing ring and tamper. Unscrewing the bottom reveals the 18g portafilter basket, holder, and the shower screen that disperses your hot water over the grounds. The bottom also has a plastic cover that protects the naked portafilter basket and a funnel that can channel your espresso shot instead of having the naked basket exposed. 

Importance of the Naked Portafilter

The naked portafilter is a crucial feature, allowing you to see how your espresso is extracting and identify any channeling / other problems that may arrise when brewing espresso. 

Activating the Pump

To activate the pump, you simply twist it open, which extends the pump mechanism. Pumping is what builds up pressure and pushes your hot water from the chamber down into the espresso puck. It’s an overall fairly straightforward and user-friendly design.

Accessories

While the Picopresso comes with several accessories, such as the WDT needle and a brush, we found ourselves not using them. The cover that transforms the naked basket into a single shot configuration also felt unnecessary, so we opted to not use it. That being said, the coffee grounds funnel, tamper and the Hard case are essentials and I love using them when making espressos on this brewer.

Performance and Usage

Espresso Quality

The Picopresso produces real espresso, comparable to what I can achieve with more traditional espresso makers like the Stone Coffee Machine or the Aram Espresso Maker. The quality is next-level, with rich flavours and a satisfying thick overall texture.

Convenience

Despite having other espresso-making options at home, I find myself using for the Picopresso due to its convenience. Heating up a kettle is much quicker than waiting for a domestic espresso machine to warm up. This is particularly beneficial for a quick espresso fix before a run, swim, or bike ride. 

Forgiveness and Flexibility

Entry-level espresso machines often lack pressure profiling and temperature control, making them less forgiving with unfamiliar coffee beans. The Picopresso, on the other hand, offers more flexibility. If the resistance is too high, indicating a too fine grind, you can easily adjust the pressure and still get a decent shot.

Daily Routine and Travel

At Home

The Picopresso has become a staple in my daily routine. It’s quick and easy to use, making it perfect for a pre exercise espresso. Simply disassemble, add hot water and coffee grounds, reassemble, and pump.

On the Go

Traveling with the Picopresso can be a bit more complicated. For an Airbnb stay with basic amenities like a kettle and cleaning supplies, it’s convenient. However, camping with it requires additional gear, like a way to boil water and a cup, making it less ideal for outdoor espresso enthusiasts.

This being said, I believe that making espresso in general is a lot harder to do out doors but using something like the Wacaco Picopresso is probably going to be your best bet if this is what you want to do.

Final Thoughts

The Picopresso is a fantastic manual espresso maker, especially for those who appreciate quality and convenience. It excels in home use and travel settings with basic amenities.

If you have any questions about the Picopresso or have any suggestions on other similar espresso makers drop a comment at the bottom of this page. We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences!

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