In the pre-Starbucks era, hardy baristas plied their trade with hand-pumped espresso machines. You can relive those bygone days with the Handpresso, a handheld espresso maker that looks like a bicycle pump and requires no electricity.
To pull a shot, you pump the Handpresso's piston until a gauge shows you've attained sufficient pressure. (This will call for some vigorous pumping, so let's hope you don't rely on espresso for energy.) Next you insert a prepacked espresso pod (available from such manufacturers as Gaggia and Illy) and pour hot water into the brewing chamber. Press a button and -- voilà! -- the water is forced through the coffee for a surprisingly rich shot with a respectable crema. The only drawback: Because Handpresso won't heat your water, you'll need to bring a thermos too.
The Handpresso Outdoor Set arrived on U.S. shores this spring. It includes a carrying case, a thermal flask and four demitasses. -- Jessica Bruder
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