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Coffee - Tea
March 22, 2011
Presso EspressoThere are numerous "simplified' yet trendy coffee makers on the market right now (see article in our recent print magazine Pg 19), in all price points, but the Presso seems to be trying to bridge the gap in terms of portability, function, and stylish design. The non-electric model is brand new in Canada, and right now, it's only available through one dealer in Vancouver -- Wayne Taylor, the owner of the Blenz Coffee franchise at 767 Seymour.
Taylor gave us an in-store demo, similar to this company-produced video. (Warning. Slow loader.)
Should you buy one? While the final cup of espresso looked and smelled good, we can't talk about the taste from our own experience. After Wayne finished his demo he didn't offer us a sip, but drank the coffee himself. Which was an unusual sales ploy, but then coffee geeks can be unpredictable at times. Blame it on the caffeine.
On first impression, we'd say the Presso offers the following pros and cons ...
* Portability: The item is entirely hand-operated, so no need to set it up near plumbing or even electricity. It would be handy for the cabin, camper - basically anywhere where you still have some way of heating water.
* Eco-sensibility: You provide the juice, so again, aside from the amount of electricity needed to heat a kettle of water, you're saving on power and carbon points. The entire machine is recyclable, and that's a bonus too.
* Good Looks: Okay, maybe not the next Alessi Juicy Salif lemon squeezer, but it's a chrome sleek and compact little number that won't embarrass your designer kitchen counter all the same.
* Function: From what we could see, it produced a nice foamy crema at the end of the pull.
* Flexibility: No need to purchase coffee pods, so you can use the beans of your own choice - just grind them extra fine.
* Operation: There was a fair amount of spray escaping in all directions as the coffee stream hit the cup. That may have indicated the cup being used was too small for the job, or not positioned properly, but at any rate, you won't want to stand too close if you're wearing a clean, white shirt. Cleaning up the machine itself however is easy, as you can rinse out the whole apparatus under the tap.
* Grip: You do have to exert a fair amount of pressure on the handles and hold them down while the machine is extracting. This isn't difficult, but anyone with arthritis or carpal tunnel problems might want to think twice before purchasing.
* Price: At $160 it's in the luxury range. Even if you are buying for asthetics, at that price you could buy several arty-looking Chemex pots.