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Wacaco Minipresso NS Review

Our Rating: 4.8/5

Wacaco Minipresso NS


  • Uses Nespresso Original capsules
  • Produces true espresso
  • Hand-operated
  • Up to 1.5 ounces of espresso in each shot
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

Our Rating: 4.8/5

Wacaco Minipresso NS


  • Uses Nespresso Original capsules
  • Produces true espresso
  • Hand-operated
  • Up to 1.5 ounces of espresso in each shot
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

Wacaco Minipresso NS Review Summary

Many portable espresso makers don’t actually make real espresso, but the Wacaco Minipresso Portable Espresso Maker is the real deal in every way. It’s compact and portable, and it brews true espresso.

This compact device creates eight bars of pressure, enough to craft proper espresso that’s complete with a layer of crema. Because it uses Nespresso Original capsules, there’s no guessing game of measuring and tamping the ground coffee. You don’t have to have barista skills or lug a huge espresso machine around to enjoy your cup of espresso on the go.

Additionally, this hand-operated espresso machine doesn’t need electricity, just some arm strength to operate its semi-automatic piston, and, of course, hot water. There are also optional accessories, like a larger water tank and storage case.

Wacaco, based in Hong Kong, is a fairly new company that has been in business since 2013. The company’s products are manufactured in China, and it offers a variety of portable coffee makers including espresso, pour-over, and pressure brew machines.


  • Lightweight and easy to store
  • Built-in espresso cup
  • Creates real espresso with crema


    • Definite arm strength needed
    • Espresso is not hot unless you use very hot water

    Features and Benefits of the Wacaco Minipresso NS

    Wacaco’s focus is portable coffee makers that brew great java or espresso. To see if the Wacaco Minipresso Portable Espresso Machine delivers on that promise, we’ll look at some of this innovative device’s features.

    True Espresso

    While many portable coffee makers promise they can brew espresso-like beverages, the Wacaco Minipresso NS is the real thing. This device produces about eight bars of pressure — enough to create authentic espresso. 

    Yes, some portable coffee machines can generate pressure, but it’s usually not enough to properly extract the flavor and richness that characterizes espresso. However, this device succeeds, and the result is rich, strong espresso with a crema layer on top. There’s no false advertising here.

    Manual Operation

    The Wacaco Minipresso NS is manually operated and requires no power source. Its secret is a semi-automatic piston that is unlocked from its position then pumped, which creates espresso. When pumped, small amounts of water are forced into the coffee adapter, and it only takes a few pushes to reach the optimal pressure needed to extract flavor from the grounds. When you’re not using it, the piston can be locked back into its carrying position.

    It does take some arm power and most people would say it’s not particularly easy, so if you have difficulties with manual tasks involving your arms or hands, this might not be the coffee maker for you. The instructions suggest holding the device with both arms so you can more easily pump. Single-handedly pumping is not recommended for beginners!

    Compact Size

    When I say the Wacaco Minipresso Portable Espresso Maker is small, I mean it. It’s actually one of the smallest, most lightweight espresso machines on the market. It weighs in at less than one pound, and with dimensions of 2.75 x 6.89 x 2.36 inches, it’s small enough to fit almost anywhere. Certainly, it’s easy to stash in your hiking backpack or inside your suitcase for a hotel stay.

    Everything that comes with this device can be stored together. The standard water tank holds just over 2 ounces and the included plastic espresso cup fits onto the device’s end when not in use. There is also a cleaning brush that can be stored inside the device when not in use.

    Optional Accessories

    There are a few optional accessories that can be purchased specifically for use with the Wacaco Minipresso Portable Espresso Machine. For example, purchase a larger water tank if you want more than a single espresso shot. There’s also an optional storage case, which may be helpful for transporting your portable coffee maker and protecting it from dust or scratches.

    What Do Users Say About the Wacaco Minipresso NS Portable Espresso Machine?

    I’m impressed with the Wacaco Minipresso NS so far, but I obviously don’t speak for everyone. To provide a balanced review, I’ve looked at how buyers view this appliance.

    This seems to be a love or hate thing. People who love this device really love it! They’re thrilled with its size and portability, plus they describe the quality of its espresso as excellent. It’s easy to take the device on your hike or trip, with capsules making it even easier. Yes, you need considerable arm strength to properly pump enough pressure to pull a shot, but this is a manual espresso machine.

    On the flip side, there are some unhappy customers. There have been complaints that the water isn’t hot enough, but as this device doesn’t heat water, the coffee’s temperature is down to the user, who should use near boiling water. Even so, some users complain that even at that temperature the water cools too quickly and the espresso is lukewarm.

    Another complaint is that the espresso cup doesn’t fit snugly on the device and can fall off. Regular users suggest purchasing the optional storage case to ensure all parts stay together. 

    Overall, it’s not a perfect appliance, but you might be willing to overlook some minor flaws for espresso on your next tramp or climbing adventure.

    Alternatives To The Wacaco Minipresso NS

    Like the sound of the Wacao Minipresso but dislike the manual labor element? If so, here are a few travel-ready alternatives to keep you perky in the morning.

    If you need a virtually indestructible coffee cup, the Coffee Gator Pour Over Coffee Brewer is for you. This sturdy all-in-one travel mug is crafted from stainless steel and features a copper lining to keep your beverage hot. This model can hold 20 ounces, far more than the Wacaco Minipresso espresso.

    Leak-proof lid that locks

    Insulated to keep hot beverages hot and cold beverages cold for hours

    Brews pour-over coffee, rather than espresso

    The Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker sits atop your mug so it brews directly into your cup. This total immersion process resembles that of French press coffee and creates a rich beverage, but is not quite true espresso as brewed by the Wacaco Minipresso NS.

    Uses paper microfilters to keep grit from slipping into your beverage

    Brews one to three cups of coffee

    Lower price point than the Wacaco Minipresso Portable Espresso Machine

    The STARESSO Portable Espresso Machine brews true espresso, just like the Wacaco Minipresso NS. However, this coffee machine creates 15 to 20 bars of pressure, much more pressure than the Wacaco version. It’s also significantly more expensive and includes a glass espresso cup.

    The design uses your own body weight for pumping and creating pressure

    Like a Wacaco Minipresso Portable Espresso Maker, it can use Nespresso pods

    Holds up to 3.3 ounces of water


    The Wacaco Minipresso NS delivers delicious, travel-ready  espresso without the need for a large espresso machine or even electricity. A little elbow grease, hot water, and grings are all you need to make espresso wherever you are.

    One of the few portable machines tho brew authentic espresso, this device is manually operated and requires more effort than other portable coffee makers, but it’s worth it. A semi-automatic piston generates eight bars of pressure for rich espresso, complete with crema.

    Less than seven inches long, this device can be tucked into a corner of your backpack or suitcase. Whether you’re camping in the woods or on a business trip, you’ll appreciate espresso that’s far superior to instant or whatever’s available in your hotel room.

    This espresso maker isn’t perfect, but its relatively minor flaws are outweighed by its portability and the quality of joe it produces.

    Wacaco Minipresso Portable Espresso Maker FAQs

    What Is the Difference Between Nanopresso and Minipresso?

    One difference is size. The Nanopresso is smaller and lighter than the Minipresso. The Nanopresso also creates 18 bars of pressure, more than twice that produced by a Minipresso.

    Where Is Wacaco Manufactured?

    The Wacaco Minipresso NS is made in China.

    How Do I Clean My Wacaco Minipresso?

    Usually, a thorough rinse is all you need to clean your coffee machine. There’s a cleaning brush included to help you reach any trouble spots.

    What Is a Minipresso?

    The Wacaco Minipresso NS is a portable espresso machine. It’s intended to make it easy to brew espresso when you don’t have a full-size machine.

    How Does a Minipresso Work?

    It’s simple and straightforward. Place a coffee capsule into the device and add hot water to the tank. Then, unlock the semi-automatic piston and pump it a few times to create enough pressure to pull an espresso shot.