When you don't need a whole novel of drip coffee, a cryptic stanza of espresso will do. Problem is, if you want to make a respectable dose of it in the comfort of your own home, its seems like a catch 22. You have to choose between having burnt tasting coffee from a reasonably priced espresso machine or counting out a few thousand dollars for an industrial model. It may not be that black and white though. There are some way cheaper alternatives.
Hand Espresso Machines
They work sort of like a traditional espresso machine in the sense that they drive hot water though coffee grounds at high pressure. The HandPresso builds pressure with a built in hand pump. The MyPressi includes a built in gas cart of CO2 for a steady stream of pressure. They are both very portable but don't include a heating element. So if you don't want to have lukewarm coffee you need to leave some hot water in them to preheat.
The Aeropress is a very simple coffee maker that has many international fans and even competitions to see who can make the best coffee with it. It is essentially a tube with a filter on one end and a piston to push the water through the coffee by hand. Despite many die-hard fans, it doesn't produce enough pressure to make “true” espresso. Although this is possible with some additional external hardware/modification.
The Moka Pot
The moka pot is commonly used to replace the espresso machine in the home. Your stove heats the water in the bottom of the pot, the vacuum created by escaping steam forces water up a tube, though coarse ground coffee and to the top of the device. It can be modified (at your own risk) to brew at higher pressures but it is gentle compared to an espresso machine. It is richer than regular drip coffee, and is just espresso enough to satisfy some coffee drinkers.
Hand Milk Frother
What if I want a cappuccino or latte? Your foamy milk doesn't necessarily need to be from a steam wand. If work isn't really your jam electric standalone frothers are on the market, but milk can simply be heated and frothed with a manual frother, french press or whisk.
This thing seems laughable next to an expensive espresso machine. It's not even really a coffee “maker”. It's just a pitcher with a filter/whisk plunger, but it's a classic method to make strong coffee. You can leave coffee for a few minutes or six hours. Coffee from this could very (very) loosely be called espresso because it is stronger than normal coffee.
Unlike automatic drip coffee makers or (affordable) espresso machines, you can determine temperature and brew time easily with simple coffee makers. They can be your camp or work coffee maker, take them anywhere. Good coffee doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. It just takes effort. To learn more about good coffee please contact us.