Fresh Espresso On The Road

It's a well-known fact that most put-ins, trailheads, campsites, crags, breaks and slopes are miles from a decent espresso (cyclists and runners, you are excused from this conversation). And even where there is a good local joe shop, it's never open in the wee hours, when all the diehards set out to reach the day's big adventure.

Handpresso, the same French company who brought you hand-pumped portable espresso makers, has come up with an even easier way to "pull" barista-quality espresso shots on the go. The pint-sized Handpresso Auto is stupid-simple to use: Just plug it into your car's 12V lighter, fill it with water from your Nalgene or Sigg, add a coffee pod, press the button, wait until you hear three beeps and, as its makers would say, voila!

Unlike past models, the Auto uses, well, your "auto" to heat the water to 204ºF and build up the pressure to pour a well-rounded shot—not too bitter and with a good crema (that velvety foam that makes a good shot resemble a tiny Guinness). It sure beats out laborious hand-pumping and independently heating water, as is required by manual makers.

The unit is ready to go every two minutes, so you can make enough to share with a carload of dirtbags, or, hypothetically, adventure for days on end without, at all. The Handpresso Auto uses standard  E.S.E. (Easy Serving Espresso) pods, which are made by more than a hundred coffee merchants and can be found in most grocery stores, so it should be no sweat to fuel your next adventure.

The Auto retails for €149 ($195 USD) in Europe, and should soon be available to North American coffee snobs connoisseurs via Amazon. The dawn patrol is about to get a whole lot livelier.


Here's a demo video of the machine at work. This guy is embarking on his own kind of adventure—making espresso in a suit while driving: