Handpresso Wild

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 February, 2008, 12:00am

What is it? A portable hand-operated espresso machine. The sleek but robust black handle contains a built-in pressure gauge and pump and attaches to a clear pod-like container, all weighing 476 grams.

How does it work? The key to a good espresso is pressure and Handpresso Wild's patented pump delivers the right level of high-pressure extraction for one cup. Pump the machine (in much the same way as a bicycle pump) to 16 bars and add 50ml of hot water to the pod container. Place one Easy Serving Espresso coffee sachet (these are readily available) on the pod, screw the pump back on, invert the machine and push the button. Watch the demonstration video at www.handpresso.fr.

What's so good about it? Cleverly designed and measuring 22cm by 10cm by 7cm, the gadget is compact and delivers an excellent cup of espresso, or if you prefer a stronger short risteretto coffee, attach an optional portafilter (Euro15/HK$170). It is robust enough to withstand life on the road, although adventurers can invest in the hard carrying case (90 grams; Euro20).

Tell us more. When travelling to locations where hot water isn't available, Handpresso's stainless-steel thermo-insulated flask (Euro25) will keep water for about five espressos piping hot for three hours. All the parts are easy to clean and the machine requires no maintenance.

Who needs one? Those who enjoy the great outdoors but secretly yearn for a Starbucks halfway up a mountain.

What's the downside? Having to endure the strange looks you'll encounter from hikers while setting up your coffee counter mid-trek.

Where can I find one? The Handpresso Wild costs Euro99 and is available from the above website.

The company delivers to Hong Kong.