Nanopresso review

A good idea, but way too finicky to actually be usable

I bought Wacaco Nanopresso few months back, along with the Barista Kit for double shots. We just moved into a new flat and longish term plan was to acquire a proper espresso machine accompanied with quality grinder. It’s not the most pressing thing you need to buy for a new home thus in the meantime I bought this little thing to make do.

Belgrade is full of quality coffee shops where I could get 100–200g of fresh ground coffee wherever I needed it so I figured it should be fine.

Nanopresso in general works fine and is able to extract a pretty good espresso. The devil is in the details though: it’s extremely picky regarding the grind granulation. I tried at least 3 coffee shops using whatever they use as espresso grind size. None worked correctly.

If it’s a tad too coarse then water will likely just run through and coffee would be weak. If it’s a tad more finer than what Nanopresso can handle, extraction is fairly impossible. No coffee goes out and the safety valve in the Nanopresso opens up and all pressure is gone. You can throw away that coffee and try again in few minutes.

Another variant of this problem is that water will not run through the coffee in the basket but will instead spill out through the seams of the body, around the basket. In both case the basket holder will be full of water which should have gone through the coffee. The upper part of the coffee puck is all watery and soggy (ideally it should be wet but not drenched).

The problem here is the basic construction of Nanopresso. For each coffee you make you disassemble and reassemble the whole thing. Trust me – I tighten up the parts as much as possible. If the pressure can’t push the water through the coffee and instead it’s easier to go around the seam curves than it will never work correctly.

What I resolved to do is go to my favorite coffee shop and ask them to let me set the grind size each time, changing the chosen measure up by one until I found one good size. Which is only valid for that one kind of coffee beans and roast. If bean or roast changes I likely need a different grind level.

All in all — pretty frustrating as you are never sure will the extraction go through as it should. I don’t know what Wacaco can do to lessen this issue but as it is I can’t really recommend this thing.

I ordered Mahlkonig Vario Home grinder which should arrive next week when I would at least be able to fine tune the grind in smaller doses than 100g. By end of July my chosen espresso machine should also arrive and I can forget about the Nanopresso.