Young and Hungry

Mark Furstenberg Defends the Portable Espresso Machine


Mark Furstenberg, the master baker who apparently can't rise in the morning without a strong shot of espresso, wrote me shortly after I posted this video about the future of kitchen gadgets. He wanted to take me to task for mocking the portable espresso machine.

Wrote Furstenberg:

I have one and took it with me when I went to Germany to work in a bakery near Munich.  Indeed, I take it with me to California. Easy to use and very nice to have in a hotel.

So there!

I wasn't sure if we were talking about the same machines. So then he sent me the glamor shot above, which is when I asked him to publicly defend the device. Here's what he wrote back:

No, it doesn't make my best shot. I put in a standard pod and heat water to the boil, pump the little machine that resembled a bicycle pump, and pour water into the little reservoir. A little switch pushes the water through the pod and a decent shot of espresso dribbles out. It has a crema, not great, and because the reservoir is plastic, the espresso isn't as hot as I would like.

But I can make it in the bathroom of my hotel room — and it's a lot better than nothing at all.

In Napa Valley, when I am there for Greystone, I can buy some unpasteurized milk, heat it in a microwave and have a faux cappuccino. No foam.

Mark, maybe this is impudent of me. But don't they have a Starbucks in Napa?

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  • greg

    It's a pod machine, for crying out loud. Pre-ground coffee sitting on shelves and shipping trucks for weeks. Sure, it's vacuum sealed. But so is a can of Folger's...

    That killed it for me right there. I never got a decent espresso out of one of these.

  • nick cho

    Can't vouch for the Handpresso, but I've got friends out there who say the Mypressi Twist (in the original video) is the real deal. A well-trained barista could probably make better espresso on that thing than 9/10 of the coffeeshops in this city. There. I seddit.