The Handpresso Wild Hybrid makes a decent espresso and with the Outdoor Set Hybrid you have just about everything you need to make espresso in one handy case on the road or outdoors.
Ease of Use/Performance: 3/5
How much I enjoy 3/5
I love espresso but don’t have the money or a good enough website to get the more expensive machines that coffee centric websites get for reviewing. I love checking out those oddities in every product area and the Handpresso Wild Hybrid does qualify as one of those non main stream espresso makers.
The Handpresso Wild Hybrid is the latest hand pump espresso maker where you only need a way to heat up water to get espresso wherever you happen to be. The Outdoor Set Hybrid does come with a way to store that hot water in a convenient thermos so you’re all set to hit the road and enjoy a fresh espresso.
The Handpresso Outdoor Set Hybrid contains the Handpresso Wild Hybrid, the single-hand thermos-flask, four unbreakable cups, a small napkin and the instructions for the Handpresso Wild Hybrid. I also received an extra rubber gasket for the Handpresso Wild Hybrid but I am not sure if this is in every package as it does not state this on the website at handpresso.com.
The Outdoor Set Hybrid is very handy and would makes a great set to take on camping and other outdoor trips as well as hotel use or on the road for business trips. The Handpresso Wild Hybrid is the heart of the set and makes some pretty decent espresso for the hand pump espresso maker that it is.
I have made “espresso” in Moka pots and using the Aeropress but would not really categorize their results as real espresso as it does not have the same flavors and richness that pressure extracting gives. Real espresso needs pressure and heat to process the coffee beans or the flavor is just not there so the Handpresso does have at least what it takes to be considered espresso.
The Handpresso hybrid works by adding hot water to the cup and uses either an espresso pod or ground espresso in a basket to extract the shot of espresso. You do need to use very hot water and preheating the Handpresso bowl and cap does help to make better espresso as well as using fresh espresso that is also freshly ground.
The body of the Handpresso Wild Hybrid uses a hand pump to pump to get 16 bars of pressure and the push button on the side of the filter basket releases the air through the filter. To use the Handpresso Wild Hybrid for either fresh ground espresso they have a small basket while the E.S.E. pod uses the adapter that holds the E.S.E. pod above the water.
The Wild Hybrid does a great job of extracting a decent shot of espresso but it does lack the crema that indicates at least some of the CO2 necessary in its formation. CO2 is important to forming crema and getting the oils out of the grounds as it passes through but it does not indicate good flavor, only that gasses have been trapped.
The taste we get from espresso grounds come from the oils and the soluble liquids that have passed through the grounds and not the gasses trapped in the liquid as it drops into the cup. I have had good shots of espresso from a relatively cheap machine and some great shots from slightly more expensive ones.
I have also sampled coffee shops for shots of espresso straight from the machine to make sure I knew what I was missing at home in my search for inexpensive home espresso and reviewing the machines I was getting. I can say that the Handpresso Wild Hybrid does make a good enough shot and is worth your money as a portable espresso machine.
The Outdoor Set does give you everything you need for on the go espresso in a handy and very stylish case but the thermos does not keep the water hot enough for very long. At home I used water just below boiling and did rinse out the bowl and cap of the Handpresso to preheat it but using the thermos it does not stay hot enough to preheat the bowl and have hot enough water for great espresso.
The thermos is a great addition and without any other options out in the woods or on the road where coffee shops are just not to be found the thermos along with the Handpresso does work well. Checking out other people’s opinions about the Handpresso Wild Hybrid I did come across several video reviews but the overwhelming opinion about the quality of the espresso shot can be summed up in a quote. “It’s like really strong coffee”
I just think that the Handpresso Wild Hybrid misses the mark for great espresso even after using the device through two boxes of Lavazza and Illy E.S.E. pods and at least the same amount of shots from ground espresso. I was just not that impressed with the shots of espresso from the Wild Hybrid and felt for the price you should be getting a bit better shots.
The Handpresso Outdoor Set Hybrid does make it convenient to make espresso when you’re outdoors or without the convenience of a better machine which does give me pause in my recommendation. In the end the Handpresso does make a good enough espresso and if you need a handy all in one kit for making espresso on the go or outdoors the Handpresso Outdoor Kit Hybrid is worth a look.