01.Handpresso Wild DomePod
Looking somewhat like a bicycle pump, the Handpresso Wild Domepod makes a shot of espresso straight into your cup whether you’re travelling or camping. To operate, first you need to manually pump the gadget until it reaches the green zone in its pressure gauge. You then fill the small water tank with boiling water and put ground coffee into the even smaller filter, which can be messy. Screw on the lid, turn the machine over and press the release button, and pressurised air drives the water through the coffee and into your cup.
The idea behind this on-the-go gadget is great, but unfortunately it fails to deliver good quality coffee. The espresso is very weak, with little crema and large air bubbles released towards the end of the operation. The water in the tank doesn’t maintain the desirable 92°C-93°C long enough. As a result, the temperature of the coffee in the cup is lower than ideal, resulting in under-extracted coffee. However, the Handpresso doesn't require descaling or special cleaning and it's light and compact. This gadget is useful when travelling or camping and wherever you can carry, get or make hot water, you can use this eco-friendly portable machine.
Given the Handpresso’s high price tag along with a lack of coffee quality, CHOICE can’t recommend it.
Please note: this information was current as of December 2009 but is still a useful guide to today's market.
The model CHOICE tested (Wild Domepod) uses ground coffee, however there is also a pod version of the Handpresso called Wild ESE, which uses 7g ESE coffee pods. This makes filling the filter simple and mess free, as all you have to do is insert the pod. And unlike some espresso machines where you have to buy their particular brand of pod, you are not restricted to this with ESE pods.
During testing we found that the Wild Domepod failed to deliver good quality coffee. Since then we have been informed by the manufacturer that coffee extraction is completed before the large air bubbles are released which could consequently improve coffee quality.