(photo: very good crema and taste profile, including notes of chocolate and hazelnut with very little bitterness)
When it comes to making great food at home you have two options in my view; namely, 1. try and replicate the same process that takes place in great restaurant kitchens irregardless of time, money, ingredients, and skill and 2. buy the best, and most available, ingredients you can afford, work efficiently and quickly, and improve your recipe every time you prepare it.
I’ve chosen the later philosophy in terms of cooking at home; that is to say, I don’t go out of my way to learn fancy techniques, spend no more than 30-40 minutes preparing ordinary meals, or purchase exotic and pricey ingredients
/ equipment. Like most home cooks there’s a pragmatism that informs my food selection and preparation and it’s also the same view shared by millions of Italian home cooks
You can apply the same thinking above to coffee preparation. For example, in order to make truly great espresso at home, as a top cafe would, you would need to purchase the best raw beans available, roast the beans, grind the beans to an exact measurement in an expensive burr grind, and use a $600+ semi automatic machine to pull your shot. And that’s the simple view of replicating cafe espresso at home – see my full guide to making espresso at home
Enter the MyPressi Twist, a portable espresso machine designed to make the best possible shot of espresso at home without a massive time, equipment, and ingredients investment. Using the $149.00 MyPressi Twist for the second time (see my first review here, including full specifications on the unit) I came to realize, despite it’s imperfections, it’s the perfect semi automatic espresso machine because it:
1. Pulls consistently “good” shots with little to no learning curve
2. Doesn’t require a burr grinder
3. Doesn’t require a heat up period
4. Takes up no counter space (you can store it in a drawer)
5. Is relatively easy to clean
6. Is cheap compared to purchasing a semi automatic or fully automatic machine
7. Can be used with ESE pods, pre-ground espresso designed for stove top espresso makers, (e.g., Cafe’ Kimbo, illy, etc), or fresh ground, fine espresso.
(photo: Mypressi also makes a milk frother that is super easy to use for drinks like cafe latte)
Now, don’t get me wrong you will not get European cafe type results/shots with the MyPressi Twist, but you will get better results than the standard shots being pulled at places like Starbucks and other coffee joints in the United States. And unless you’re willing to get an advanced degree in pulling the correct espresso shot, then the MyPress is an ideal espresso maker. The unit is not perfect, of course, and it does require a little work to get good results, specifically:
1. The espresso temperature can be inadequate unless you pre-heat both the water chamber and espresso cup before pulling your shots.
2. Dumping the espresso grounds from the coffee basket requires you use a small spoon to dig the coffee out.
3. You’ll need lots of N20 cartridges as they produce the pressure needed to pull shots. I got about 4 double shots from each cartridge.
4. There’s a little bit of leaking that occurs consistently with my unit when pre-heating the water chamber (specifically, water slowly leaks from the group head)
5. The water chamber opening has a rubber gasket that can become loose; the gasket provide an airtight seal when the screw on top is applied (if the gasket is not set perfectly in place the unit will not pull a shot). My first unit was defective given the gasket and had to be sent back to MyPressi (but they quickly sent another unit; customer service is top notch!).
There are, of course, other handheld espresso makers on the market, but the MyPressi Twist is the only unit that produces cafe-like results and outside my large stove-top espresso maker (used for large parties) it’s my standard day-to-day espresso brewer and the best option on the market outside of becoming a full time barista. Go out and buy the MyPressi if you’re an espresso freak, I promise you, or any other coffee snob, will not be disappointed.