Presso: A Non-Electric Espresso Maker

The Presso is a manually operated espresso machine — no electricity is required. You make an espresso by adding hot water and ground coffee at the top. When you press down on the levers, the pressure pushes the water through the coffee, and it is deposited in your cup. You can make either a double espresso or two single espressos at one time.

Update: See also this new non-electric espresso maker.

These would go well with the hand crank coffee grinders we featured not long ago.

Presso available at Chef’s Resources.

9 thoughts on “Presso: A Non-Electric Espresso Maker”

  1. To add to Josh’s comment, stovetop mokas do not have the pressure to create the “crema,” the light-colored film at the top of a shot of espresso. You need extra pressure from a pump to create that. That’s where you have to pay the extra money to achieve it, and espresso fanatics will go and spend hundreds or thousands for those commercial cafe espresso makers. I have used commercial grade makers, $1000-range *yuppy* toys, and I have become a fan of the $200 or so Krups Novo series. For $200, I have seen performance from those Krups makers that is essentially equal to the more expensive machines. I think Krups knows it too, b/c they have left that model mostly unchanged for years (1000 watts, 15 bar). Having said that, I’m only commenting on the espresso part, not the milk-foaming capabilities, which are ok. What’s also great is that you can easily find those used Krups machines for about $50 or less.

    I am very curious to try this Presso so see if it can produce the crema. I would be happy to create espresso without a plug-in machine, though I do love my Krups for now. For the foamed milk, I heat a mug of milk and hand pump it with the Ikea hand-foamer. That thing rocks, and I find new members everyday of the “secret society” of Ikea milk foamer fans.

  2. Justin,

    While those stovetop units might be called “espresso” makers in the catalog, they are more accurately called “moka pots”. Good espresso is made under specific temperature and pressure parameters that these units do not address.

    i.e. Coffee and espresso both are best made between 190 deg. F and 200 deg. F, but these steam pots operate at 212 deg. F. This extracts bitter flavours from the bean.

    I am facinated by the original post though. That manual machine has been around for a year or two but I haven’t seen a real performance review of it.

    For further coffee info. please see


  3. No electricity is required to pull the shot, but how about the energy to heat the water? You can get a small stovetop steam-infusion espresso maker for about $20 if you’re going to be heating the water anyway.

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