The Staresso Espresso Maker is a very compact portable “espresso” maker. It makes a surprisingly good shot provided you have your grind and coffee dialed.
It can use Nespresso pods, but there is no substitute for fresh roasted and ground coffee. Here’s a video review and the device in action.
The Short Version
The Staresso is surprisingly good and easy to use for a $60 gadget. However, I have a feeling my results have a lot to do with my accumulated knowledge of coffee and the coffee I used. But, again, for $60, the compact size of the Staresso Espresso maker is pretty hard to beat if you are on the go and want decent coffee.
The Long Version
This is not a true espresso maker. There’s no way that it is generating 9bar of pressure. But, as many people are finding, you can make espresso with far less than 9bar. So, the Staresso is going to be very sensitive to grind size. You will need to play with your grinder quite a bit to dial this in perfectly.
The Staresso is really pretty simple to use. The parts all come apart and re-assemble very easily. Filling the brew head can be a little messy however because it’s small. They recommend 7-10gr of coffee (you aren’t pulling a typical 3rd wave 18-20gr double with this device). In my testing, I found it hard to cleanly get more than 7gr in the little cylinder. I got up to 9gr in there by being very careful.
Once loaded, a quick “tamp” with the back of the included scoop, and you just screw everything together. Add water and start to pump. I have not yet experimented with this, but the pumping builds pressure in such a manner that a pre-infusion style shot is very possible…and will likely produce a very nice result.
The shot itself is as you might expect…decent, but lacking depth and body. You can see in the video above the crema produced is substantial (aided by the valve in the brew head), but since the pressure and heat retention are lacking, the body of the shot suffers. However, there was a surprising clarity to the shot and I was still able to taste the fruit in my blend.
If you are an espresso enthusiast and want to take control of your destiny while traveling, the Staresso is compact, produces a decent shot, and at $60 is hard to pass up.