The Best Travel Espresso Makers For Shots On The Go

Written by: Garrett Oden

best travel espresso maker

Want to be able to take your rich, balanced espresso anywhere you go? You can—and you don’t have to lug around your huge home machine.

These travel espresso makers are light, compact, and are perfect for shots on-the-go. Amazingly, they all (with the exception of one) produce enough pressure to rival the standard 8-10 bars of pressure generated by bigger machines.

So, on top of being portable, they’re also simple and affordable options for espresso at home. But that’s not our focus in this blog.

For now, we’re focusing on a few things:

  • Portability - How easy is it to take with you?
  • Usability - How intuitive and easy to use is the device?
  • Affordability - Is it going to break the bank?
  • Results - Is the espresso even good?

Let’s dive in!

Wacaco NanoPresso

Having used this one personally, I’ll start by saying I’m a big fan.

The NanoPresso is a modern espresso marvel. It’s just over 6 inches long, 2 inches wide, and weighs only 12 ounces, making it one of the smallest and lightest brewers on this list. The brewer can generate up to 18 bars of stable pressure (more than enough) via the pump that extends from the side.

Read: What Is Espresso?

best travel espresso maker

The pump is actually very easy to use and is engineered to save you energy. I wouldn’t say it’s as easy as pressing a button, but it’s not tiring either.

Unfortunately, the NanoPresso has a max capacity of 8g of coffee grounds, though the water reservoir can hold 80ml. This means that you’re limited to single shots of coffee, though you do have flexibility with how much yield you produce (which means you have some control over the flavor).

For many of us, 8g of coffee can’t satisfy our need for caffeine.

However, great news!

There’s also a NanoPresso expansion set that extends the portafilter section to hold up to 16g of coffee, which is more along the lines of a normally-sized double shot. The expansion also has a few bean storage containers and an extra portafilter. The expansion is the size of a whole other NanoPresso, so you have to keep that in mind if you’re low on room while packing.

Cleanup is a breeze, just detach the portafilter and give it a good rinse.

Read: The 5 Best Coffee Brewers For Travelers

And how’s the coffee? It’s great! Since you control how much water and coffee you use, you have a strong degree of control over your brew, which allows you to dial in the flavor to your liking. However, I tend to find that the body is lighter than shots from commercial machines.


A; Light + Compact, Expansion Reduces Portability


A+; Pump-Powered, Fast


B+; $75


A; Great Flavor, Lower Body

Cafflano Kompresso

This one is newer to the market, but it’s already become a favorite for many. The Cafflano Kompresso is just 6.6 inches long and 4 inches wide. It weighs just 7.2 pounds, so it’s very light and compact.

The device uses hydraulic water compression to generate a consistent 9 bars of pressure throughout the brewing process, making it capable of producing true espresso shots.

Cafflano Kompresso travel espresso maker

It has an 80ml water reservoir and a 15g coffee ground capacity, so you can use it to make double shots of espresso on the smaller side.

This one doesn’t have a pump. To pull the shot, you grip both sides of of the pulling and pressing handles and force them together to generate the pressure. Since you pull and push at the same time, I believe it spreads out the effort enough to keep your hands from getting too tired.

Read: How To Brew The Coffee You Love When You Travel

Cleaning up is quite simple: just give it all a quick rinse with water.

Published reviews are quite positive, but most espresso enthusiasts agree the shots don’t have that zing or body that they love in espresso shots from bigger machines. A few have described the shots to be more like “strong filter coffee than espresso”, though many pictures in these reviews display a nice layer of golden crema.


A+; Full Double Shots w/ Slim Design


A; Push + Pull, Potentially Tiring


C; $130


B; Good, Some Report More Like “Strong Filter Coffee”


This one is the most recently launched brewer on this list. Coming in at 6.7 by 3.5 inches by 3 inches, it’s not the biggest brewer on this list, but it is the widest. It does weigh 15.5 ounces, making it the heaviest brewer featured here.

However, that extra weight comes for a reason: a stronger build. The other brewers on this list are made of extremely durable plastic. The Leverpresso is made from that same durable plastic, but also stainless steel, Tritan, and aluminum.

Read: What To Look For In A Travel Coffee Grinder

best travel espresso maker leverpresso

This device has the largest brewing capacity so far with a 120ml water reservoir and a 17g coffee basket. This means you can pull full double shots with some room for play.

The pressure mechanism is two arms that raise up and are pushed down. Though it takes considerable pressure, it’s not difficult because you can more easily put the weight of your body into it.

As a result, you get 6-9 bars of consistent pressure, enough to make true espresso as long as your grind setting is espresso-fine.

Cleanup, once again, is just a quick rinse under running water.

Read: How To Pair Your Coffee Brewer With Its Perfect Grind Size

Few reviews are in, but early users seem satisfied with the flavor and mouthfeel quality.


B; Heavy, But Still Compact


A; Lever-Powered, Simple


B; $100


A; Rich Flavor + Full Body

Aerobie Aeropress

No, you’re right, the Aeropress isn’t actually a true espresso maker.

However, it’s still worth mentioning for a few reasons:

  • It’s still small: 4.5 x 5.5 inches
  • It’s light at only 9.6 ounces
  • It can make faux-espresso
  • It can also make up to 8oz of black coffee

It’s certainly the most versatile brewer of the bunch.

Read: Take Your Aeropress Camping For Easy Outdoor Coffee

aeropress travel espresso maker

The act of pressing down isn’t difficult, but I wouldn’t exactly say it’s easy either. So, while it’s not really an espresso maker, it’s still the most beloved travel coffee maker in the world—and it’s still capable of producing espresso-like coffee (eh, it’s close enough for most).

And, of course, cleanup is just a quick rinse away.


A; Light, Fairly Compact


A+; Versatile, Straight-Forward


A+; $30


B; Stellar Black Coffee, Only Faux-Espresso Shots


Taking your beloved coffee on your travels is a great way to stay grounded to your routine and your daily dose of happiness in a cup while you’re away. It keeps you in touch with your lifestyle back home and ensures you don’t have to drink sad hotel coffee.

But, like always, you’re wasting time and money if you’re not using stellar, freshly roasted coffee beans when you brew rich, creamy espresso.

Members of our JavaPresse Coffee Club receive some of the best coffees in the world every other week. We roast each coffee with a unique technique that draws out its best flavors and send them to you on the same day. Then you get to experience the coffee while it’s a peak freshness and flavor.

Want to taste espresso with rich notes of spice, blueberry, honey, or smooth chocolate? Check out the Club - you’ll never go back to low-grade beans again!