Talk about brilliant. The My Pressi is a portable espresso machine that can pull a credible shot—once you know how to finesse the machine—and can go anywhere.
Imagine finishing off a fine picnic lunch with a double, or perhaps offering a credible espresso to your friends at a concert. This little jewel can make it happen.
The My Pressi is merely a water reservoir that sits atop a group head. The coffee container in the group head can take pods, or a stainless steel basket that yields a single shot or a double. Power comes from a CO2 cartridge in the handle and the whole thing is brought to life by a trigger beneath the handle. It’s an elegant piece of design and fits the hand well, for the most part.
Right out of the box, we got our test model up and running in short order. The My Pressi comes with everything needed to do the job; especially welcome is the plastic tamp that fits the group head perfectly. We started with a Yrgacheffe that we ground a bit finer than we might have otherwise, and we quickly discovered that the My Pressi tends to like finer grinds than other, bigger machines might. The tamp is critical, too. A firm plunge finished by a smooth twist to the left paved the basket. It’s important to wipe away any loose grounds that ride atop the basket lip to ensure a good fit between the halves of the machine, and as we quickly found, the machine is much more dependable when using the double basket rather than the single. Though it has an optional pod case, we think of espresso pods the way we think of tea bags—strictly for amateurs.
Assemble the group head into the frame, place the water chamber on top–and pre-heat the chamber to 200 degrees. Pour out the water, replenish with water at boiling point and let go with the trigger. Don’t miss the cups. That’s all there is to it. After a few seconds, a gentle hiss is heard, followed by a trickle of thick, syrupy espresso into the cups. A 20 or 21 second shot yields a double or two singles with generous crema and fine form that taste like an espresso. We were impressed.
Like any micro maker, the My Pressi demands patience and finesse from its operator. For flawless function, it has to be kept thoroughly clean between shots since the slightest grounds left lurking anywhere will spoil the next shot or at least rob the cartridge of pressure. It comes with six CO2 cartridges and we think CO2 is the best to use, though nitrous oxide can be substituted, who wants espresso to taste like laughing gas? It has to be carefully manipulated so as not to damage the threads holding the halves of the brew head onto the frame or the rear screw onto the handle, and to do this properly for repeated use, the operator will need an oven mitt, since the metal water chamber stays hot once it gets that way. And you have to watch how tightly you twist the screw onto the handle, too. Too much pressure will needlessly strain the CO2 cartridge. Also, there is the trigger–the one serious weakness of this design. The trigger is not only permanently exposed, but its incredibly easy to touch it off when you don’t want to; this can be messy or at least embarrassing and once the brew head is loaded and the water reservoir is filled, you’re committed, since without a safety of any kind, you can’ t put the machine down without risk of discharge. Like handling a gun, it’s best to keep the trigger finger extended alongside the grip right up to the moment of discharging the shot.
We think the My Pressi needs some accessories to make it completely portable, it ought to have a kettle, heating element, grinder, stand and coffee bean bin and plenty of rags to clean it with. These things can be put together on one’s own of course, but a matched set of all the needed components in a carrying case would add to the machine’s cache even as it bumps up the price. Ours retails for around $170, give or take a few bucks and with reasonable care it should last a long time.
Overall, the My Pressi is perhaps the best of its class we’ve seen. It actually does what it is supposed to do and it does it with reasonable ease of effort, too. Once accessorized, it’s just the thing for home, home office or travel, and the price point is reasonable. Find it at MyPressi.com.