In a Nutshell:

The Wacaco Nanopresso espresso maker is portable and manual, so you can brew anywhere. It’s ideal for people who travel frequently and people who prioritize convenience and ease of use.

Brew Quality
Customization options
Ease of Use

Overall Rating



  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight & portable
  • Makes espresso in under a minute
  • No electricity or batteries needed
  • 18 bars of pressure for a full-bodied extraction


  • Barista Kit needed for two shots
  • Requires hot water source
  • Cleaning challenging while traveling
Wacaco Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker

Recommended For: People who travel frequently and people who prioritize convenience and ease of use.

Check Latest Price

With so many espresso machines on the market, it’s easier than ever to enjoy a barista-worthy shot at home. But what about when you’re traveling or camping?

Portable coffee is easy, but if you’re an espresso fiend, you might need something more sophisticated than the ol’ French press.

That’s where our Nanopresso review comes in handy—literally. We break down this hand-pumped portable espresso machine to see if it lives up to the hype!

Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker Design Overview

Person holding the Wacaco Nanopresso Espresso Maker with one hand in front of the lake and trees

Wacaco is the brain behind the Nanopresso. This brand has humble roots, born out of the desire of one industrial engineer on a business trip who was dissatisfied with his hotel espresso.

Long story short, the Nanopresso is a passion project turned revolution for coffee lovers on the go. After numerous prototypes, the clever design of this manual espresso maker has made it a must-have for frequent travelers.

At just 6.14” long and weighing less than a pound, it’s small, compact, and fits neatly in your carry-on (although you might have to explain it to airport security).

Best of all, you don’t need any electricity or batteries to operate it. The Nanopresso is operated via a small hand pump, which builds up to an impressive 18 bars of pressure.

The ergonomic body is easy to hold in your hand and comes in many colors and patterns

The parts also come apart for easy cleaning, although it might be a bit more complicated when you’re traveling (more on that later).

Bear in mind that this is not a superautomatic or your favorite barista. The Nanopresso is designed for travel, raising the question of coffee quality.

Are the shots watery? Is the espresso strong enough? The 18 bars of pressure ensure a consistent extraction of the aromas and flavors, but it probably won’t be the best espresso you’ve ever tasted.

Still, we think the espresso is high quality, full-bodied, and delicious, with a rich crema on top for the hardcore traveler or outdoorsman. At least it’s got to be better than a hotel or hostel drip coffee, right?

Wacaco Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker Features

So how does this palm-sized gadget work anyways? Let’s dive into the features to learn more.

Water Reservoir

The water reservoir is located at the bottom of the Wacaco Nanopresso portable espresso maker and is accompanied by a cup that can be unscrewed and removed.

Wacaco Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker and its black protective case made of EVA material

It holds up to 27 oz of water to brew a single shot of espresso.

The Nanopresso Wacaco doesn’t heat the water, so you need access to a water boiler. This might be difficult if you’re traveling! 

You can use a microwave to heat water in a microwave-safe container, but putting the water tank in the microwave is NOT recommended.

After your water is heated, pour it into the water tank, screw it back onto the unit, and you’re ready to go! 

We appreciated that the reservoir is protected with a heatsink pattern, which keeps your espresso toasty while protecting your hands from getting burned.

Brewing Capabilities

The brewing system couldn’t be any easier to use, which is why the Wacaco Nanopresso coffee maker is such a gem for travel.

You must grind your coffee beans, or you can use preground—as long as it’s already ground, that’s all that matters. The coffee filter holds up to 8 grams/0.28 oz of coffee per brewing session.

A small built-in hand pump is all you need to make the magical nectar flow to brew the coffee. It takes around 8-10 quick pumps to build up to the 18 bars of pressure for extraction.

As we said before, this amount of pressure is excellent for producing a high-quality espresso shot with all of the flavor and none of the wateriness. 

Wacaco also designed the pumping process to be as effortless as possible, with less force needed than older models. 

Once the extraction has finished, the espresso automatically dispenses out of the bottom of the Nanopresso and into your waiting cup.

On average, it should take from 3-5 minutes to brew from start to finish, but some Nanopresso reviews say that once you get your groove down, it can be done in under a minute.

This makes the Nanopresso the perfect sidekick not only for travel but also for when you’re in a time crunch at work or need a quick office pick me up before a meeting.

Nanopresso Coffee Maker Accessories

The Espresso Nanopresso comes with a bunch of accessories to help streamline your portable espresso experience. 

Wacaco Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker accessories include a brush, filter basket, espresso cup, and scoop

You get a cup for your espresso, a brush, a filter basket, and a scoop for preground coffee. The scoop can also be used for tamping down the ground coffee.

All of these accessories can be tucked away inside the dedicated pouch for easy organization while traveling.

Nanopresso Barista Kit

While this product has so many cool features, one of the downsides is that you can only brew one shot at a time.

This makes the process time-consuming if you are traveling with a fellow coffee lover or if you like to down a double shot instead of a single.

That’s where the Wacaco Nanopresso Barista Kit comes in handy, but know that it is a separate purchase that will increase the overall price of your new setup.

The kit comes with everything you need to brew a Nanopresso double shot with 16 grams of coffee at once.

This includes two 16g baskets and one 8g basket with three caps. 

While many Nanopresso Barista Kit reviews are happy with the performance, some mention that it will double the amount of bulk you’ll be carrying. Unfortunately, Wacaco doesn’t include a special case to accommodate the extra accessories.

Nanopresso Adapter for Capsules

Another gadget you may want to consider to make the brewing process even easier is the Nanopresso capsule adaptor for brewing with Nespresso pods.

With this neat accessory, you won’t have to carry around a bag of coffee or do any measuring, grinding, or tamping. It’s all done for you, meaning time saved and less mess to clean up.

Of course, this is also a separate purchase that will drive up the overall price, but if you love the convenience of capsules, then this is worth the splurge.

Wacaco Nanopresso Portable Espresso Machine Setup & Operation

Man pulling a shot with two hands from the Nanopresso placed over a big rock in front of the lake and mountain

You already know how easy it is to use the Nanopresso machine, and the initial setup is a breeze if you follow the Wacaco Nanopresso instructions. 

Thankfully, the Wacaco Nanopresso manual is easy to read, so you’ll be a portable espresso brew master in no time.

Below, we give you a quick summary, so you know how the process goes.

1. Prep the unit

Before brewing your espresso, you can preheat the Nanopresso unit by running a cycle with hot water and no coffee first.

2. Prep your coffee 

For the best results, use freshly ground coffee. Scoop the coffee into the coffee filter and tamp it down hard using the back of the coffee scoop. Screw the filter back onto the unit.

3. Fill the Water Tank

After boiling your water, carefully unscrew the reservoir and place it on a flat surface for filling. There are two fill lines—one for 50 ml and another for 80 ml. Pour the hot water up to your preferred line. Screw the water tank back onto the unit.

For the best coffee flavors, use filtered water instead of hard water.

4. Pump, pump, pump

Next comes the manual action! On the front of the unit, you’ll see the pump piston. Turn the piston to unlock it.

Hold the unit at a 180-degree angle and either position it over the espresso cup with both hands, or you can prop it on top of the cup using one hand.

Pump the piston 8-10 times (or until the water tank is empty) to build enough pressure for extraction. The pump will give out when it’s finished, so you won’t have to guess.

5. Enjoy Your Espresso on the Go!

The espresso will dispense out of the bottom of the unit and into the cup. It should have a rich flavor and a thick crema on top and shouldn’t be watery due to the advanced 18-bar pressure system.

Wacaco Nanopresso Espresso Machine Cleaning Process

We have a love/hate relationship with cleaning the Wacaco Nanopresso instant coffee brewer. 

If you’re using it at home, then it’s super easy to clean. However, if you’re camping or backpacking, it might be tricky.

Maintenance should be done manually after each use. All of the parts—including the scoop, brush, portafilter, filter basket, cup, and filter basket chamber of the unit—must be rinsed under running water. Do not put them in the dishwasher!

Bear in mind that there are several small parts to keep track of—one of the reasons why it can be a hassle while traveling.

Some Wacaco Nanopresso reviews recommend laying a towel down first to avoid splashes and drips. You’ll also want to administer a deep clean after about 20 shots.

Nanopresso Portable Espresso Machine Pros vs. Cons


  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight & portable
  • Makes espresso in under a minute
  • No electricity or batteries needed
  • 18 bars of pressure for a full-bodied extraction


  • If you want two shots of espresso at a time, you need to purchase the Barista Kit
  • You need a hot water source
  • Cleaning might be difficult if you’re traveling

We really don’t have anything negative to say about the Nanopresso espresso maker. As you can see, the pros outweigh the cons, and the cons aren’t even that big of a deal.

Person in the office pumping the Nanopresso with one hand and into a white ceramic espresso cup with a saucer

The ergonomic design is slim and light, so you can easily carry it around in your backpack without it taking up too much space.

The advanced pump system works exceptionally to deliver a full-bodied, consistent espresso shot in under a minute. 

And the fact that you don’t need any batteries or power supply is a huge convenience—everything you need comes in one neat package and is ready for immediate use.

You do need a hot water source, or else you can’t brew espresso—simple as that. 

While traveling or camping, hot drinking water isn’t something that’s always readily accessible, meaning you might need to have a kettle on hand or stick to the crummy hotel instant coffee.

Probably the biggest drawback is that if you want to brew double shots in one session, you’ll need to purchase the Barista Kit Nanopresso separately, which means more spending.

Overall, the Waco Nanopresso is a useful product to have if you’re a traveler, especially since it costs under $100. 

We recommend the Wacaco Nanopresso portable espresso maker for…

  • People who frequently travel for business or leisure
  • Backpacking trips
  • Camping
  • Motorhomes/RVs
  • Small kitchen with limited space
  • Those who want a budget-friendly espresso maker
Man putting the Wacaco Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker inside a tawny brown canvas bag

Wacaco Nanopresso Portable Espresso Warranty

Wacaco offers a one-year warranty from the date of purchase, covering defects due to materials or workmanship. You can read the fine print here.

Comparable Products

You might be interested to know that Wacaco has other portable espresso makers with varying features. We included a comparison below so you can see how the Nanopresso stacks up.

Nanopresso vs Minipresso

Wacaco Minipresso GR

Recommended For: Anyone looking for something even more compact than the Nanopresso and wouldn’t mind getting a downgraded version.

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The Nanopresso is an upgrade of the Minipresso, and honestly, it gives you more bang for your buck in terms of experience and convenience.

For one, the Nanopresso is more compact with a simplified cleaning process. It’s also compatible with capsules (although you have to purchase the Nanospresso pod adapter separately), while the Minipresso is not.

Probably the main difference between Wacaco Nanopresso and Minipresso is the pressure system. The Nanopresso is much more advanced with its 18-bar capability, while the Minipresso can only pull 8 bars. 

Still, the Minipresso is a quality product, and 8 bars is just a bar short of the industry standard 9 bars of pressure.

But if we had to choose between the two, we’d go with the Nanopresso, because of the technological improvements that make it more reliable.

Staresso vs Nanopresso

Staresso Portable Espresso Maker

Recommended For: Nespresso capsule users and milk-based coffee drinkers.

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The Staresso is a worthy rival for the Nanopresso, with a larger capacity and pressure output to deliver a fine shot of espresso. 

It’s also sleek and compact, although it weighs a bit more than the Nanopresso at around 14 oz. 

We like that the pump is located on top of the cylinder instead of on the side like the Nanopresso. This makes it easier to apply power while pumping downward.

The Staresso can build between 15-20 bars of pressure, which is slightly more than the Nanopresso’s 18 bars. This isn’t enough to make a huge difference in the quality of the espresso, though.

One area where the Staresso pulls ahead of the Nanopresso is that it is compatible with Nespresso capsules without the user having to purchase any separate parts. 

You just have to poke a few holes in the bottom of the capsule and operate the Staresso the same way as you would with ground coffee.

You can even use the pump plunger to froth milk if you can’t live without your lattes.

Between these two products, we’d have to go with the Staresso. They both cost around the same price, except you get better quality features with Staresso

Nanopresso vs Pipamoka

Wacaco Pipamoka Portable Coffee Maker

Recommended For: Travelers who just want a compact and portable coffee brewer.

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Perhaps you don’t want to invest in the Wacaco Nanopresso adapter, or you don’t care about espresso—coffee is your jam. 

Either way, Wacaco’s Pipamoka is an ideal choice for effortless coffee without the mess.

It shares the same compact, ergonomic design as the Nanopresso, making it perfect for travelers. 

Its highlight feature is the patented twisting mechanism that creates a negative suction inside the mug, drawing hot water through the coffee and into the dedicated cup. The thermal insulation ensures your coffee stays piping hot for hours.

If you don’t mind coffee and welcome a slightly cheaper alternative to the Nanopresso, the Pipamoka is a convenient way to brew.

Nanopresso vs Aeropress

Aeropress Manual Coffee Maker

Recommended For: People who enjoy strong coffee and convenience.

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Another budget-friendly option is the Aeropress, which also utilizes a plunger design to dispense strong coffee into a mug. It doesn’t require batteries or a power outlet and can be stored anywhere.

And yes, you read right—the Aeropress only brews coffee, although the quality has been compared to espresso, so you can rest assured that this unit can perform to your expectations.

Also, the Aeropress is easier to clean than the Nanopresso. It has fewer parts to wash, and it’s dishwasher-friendly.

Still, you either love coffee or espresso, so that is probably the biggest deciding factor here. 

Nanopresso Review Conclusion

The Nanopresso makes one thing clear: it’s a reliable coffee companion if you travel a lot. A fervent traveler designed it, so you can see how the innovative design overcomes many obstacles to brewing coffee on the go.

It’s compact, easy to use, and produces a full shot of espresso complete with a rich crema, thanks to the 18-bar pressure pump system.

To conclude this Nanopresso review, this manual espresso maker gives you plenty of bang for your buck, especially if you’re constantly on the road or live on your own and want a budget-friendly way to brew espresso.

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