How to Master the Wacaco Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker

Have Nanopresso, will travel! Learn how to make espresso with the Nanopresso brewer in this step-by-step guide. No electricity required.

There’s nothing quite like a perfectly brewed cup of coffee to kickstart your day, but what do you do when you’re out in the middle of nowhere with no café in sight? Fear not, for Nanopresso is here to save the day!

This nifty little device allows you to make café-quality coffee anywhere, anytime.

Whether you’re camping, hiking, or just enjoying a lazy day in the park, it is an awesome brewer for all your espresso needs.

In this guide, I’m going to show you how to master Nanopresso espresso-making no matter where you are. By the end, you’ll have a clear idea of how fast and worth it is to add this on-the-move espresso maker to your repertoire!

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But First: What is the Wacaco Nanopresso?

In the portable espresso machine genre, the Nanopresso raises the bar. It is beautiful, innovative, and easy to use. That means espresso lovers like me can enjoy their favorite drink wherever they may be without sacrificing quality. It’s the brainchild of co-workers Jessie Wang and Hugo Cailleton who’ve been crafting creative and groundbreaking products for coffee enthusiasts since 2013 via their Hong Kong-based startup, Wacaco.

Nanopresso’s powerful pumping system matches its elegance, too. It’s capable of reaching a maximum of 18 bars (261 PSI) of stable pressure during extraction for insanely good quality. (This is more than what most home espresso machines can deliver).

For me, Nanopresso is simply a great espresso-making experience because it produces a very clear taste and a special creaminess. I would say that it stands out due to these features in a normal stationary place. But it is particularly rare to find in most travel espresso machines.

Usually, pulling a balanced (AKA not bitter) espresso shot is challenging. Consistency is even more challenging. 

Nanopresso overcomes these challenges with its innovative construction and effortless operation, enabling you to brew a consistent dense crema layer every time. 

Plus it’s light and compact, and you can use it without electricity, which is a game changer if you love good espresso and travel. 

All that said, I am stoked to jump into this guide and show you how to use the Nanopresso to do everything I just talked about! 😉

What You Need

  1. Nanopresso
  2. Fresh coffee beans
  3. A grinder (I’m using the Comandante C40 MK3 Nitro Blade – my favorite when I’m traveling)
  4. Coffee scale (I’m using an Acaia Black Pearl)
  5. Kettle 
  6. Cup

Brewing With Nanopresso – Step By Step

  1. Weigh 8 grams of coffee.
  2. Grind the coffee.
  3. Put the coffee in the basket.
  4. Distribute the coffee grinds evenly in the basket.
  5. Tamp the coffee bed.
  6. Place the “showerhead” into the bottom cap.
  7. Place the basket on top of the “showerhead.”
  8. Screw the basket inside the bottom part.
  9. Pour 70 ml water into the upper cup.
  10. Screw the cup on.
  11. Pull your espresso shot by unlocking the piston. (Turn the knob til the pump comes out). Then press it once per second over a cup until you’ve extracted all the espresso.
  12. Enjoy your perfect espresso shot!

Nanopresso’s Components

  1. Scoop
  2. Single filter basket
  3. The main body
  4. Shower screen 
  5. The group part (where you put the shower screen and the filter basket)
  6. Built-in espresso cup 
1 nanopresso components

How to Use the Nanopresso – Step by Step

A quick word on things to keep in mind before brewing with your Nanopresso: If you want a double shot, you need extra accessories. There is also a high risk of channeling if you use a finer grind. We are going to make a single shot here and do our best to get the grind size and timing right. 

Now for the fun part – making coffee with your Nanopresso! Follow these steps for a perfect shot every time:

Step 1: Weigh 8 grams of coffee.

Step 2: Grind the coffee.

grinding coffee for nanopresso

Grind fresh coffee beans to a fine size for espresso. Remember: The finer the grind, the more intense the flavor will be but don’t go overboard and grind to a powder. That’ll make your shot super astringent.

Step 3: Put the coffee in the basket.

coffee basket nanopresso

Step 4: Distribute the coffee grinds evenly in the basket.

distributing coffee grounds nanopresso

Step 5: Tamp the coffee bed.

tamp coffee nanopresso
nanopresso tamping

When packing your grounds into the filter basket, make sure to tamp them down firmly but not too tightly. This will ensure the water flows evenly through the grounds, resulting in a rich and flavorful shot.

Step 6: Place the “showerhead” into the bottom cap.

nanopresso showerhead

Step 7: Place the basket on top of the “showerhead.”

nanopresso component

Step 8: Screw the basket inside the bottom part.

bottom chamber nanopresso
1 nanopresso 8b

Step 9: Pour 70 ml water inside the upper cup.

1 nanopresso 9

Make sure you have clean, filtered water and heat it to around 200°F.

Step 10: Screw the cup on.

nanopresso screw cup on

Step 11: Pull your espresso shot. 

nanopresso how to pull espresso shot

Do this by unlocking the piston and pressing it once per second over a cup until all the espresso exits.

Step 12: Enjoy!

is nanopresso espresso good

Voila, your espresso should be balanced with a thick crema. Happy brewing on your adventures!

Using the Nanopresso NS Adapter

The Nanopresso NS Adapter allows you to make espresso in your Nanopresso using Nespresso capsules. It’s super convenient if you love Nespresso coffee and want to take it on the go! Here’s how to use the Nanopresso NS adapter:

1. Prepare Your Nanopresso

Start by ensuring your Nanopresso is clean and ready for use. If it’s the first use or after a long time, it might be a good idea to run a cycle with just hot water to preheat the unit and ensure everything is clean

2. Assemble the NS Adapter

The Nanopresso NS Adapter consists of a capsule holder and an outlet head. You’ll need to assemble these parts before use. Make sure they are securely connected to avoid any leakages during brewing.

3. Insert a Nespresso Capsule

Take a Nespresso capsule of your choice and insert it into the capsule holder of the NS Adapter. Ensure the capsule fits snugly and the closed end is facing outwards.

4. Attach the NS Adapter to the Nanopresso

Remove the coffee basket from your Nanopresso if it’s in place. You’ll then attach the NS Adapter where the coffee basket usually goes. Make sure the adapter is properly attached and secure.

5. Add Hot Water

Fill the Nanopresso water tank with hot water (around 80°C/176°F is ideal). Make sure not to exceed the maximum water level indicated on the tank.

6. Pump the Nanopresso

Screw on the water tank to the main body of the Nanopresso, ensure everything is tight and secure. Unlock the piston by twisting it from the locked position, then start pumping the Nanopresso. It usually requires several pumps to start seeing the espresso pour out. Keep pumping until all the water has been pushed through the capsule.

7. Enjoy Your Espresso

Once the extraction process is complete, enjoy your espresso! You can adjust the volume of water used to make your espresso stronger or milder according to your preference.

8. Clean Up

Disassembly of the NS Adapter is straightforward. Eject the spent Nespresso capsule and dispose of it responsibly. Rinse the NS Adapter and Nanopresso parts with warm water to clean them. Ensure everything is dry before reassembly and storage.

Additional Tips:

  1. Preheat your Nanopresso with some hot water before brewing if you like your coffee extra hot.
  2. Be sure to pump slowly and steadily to get the best extraction from your Nespresso capsule.
  3. Experiment with different Nespresso capsules to find your favorite flavor and intensity.

By following these steps, you can easily use the Nanopresso NS Adapter to enjoy Nespresso capsule espresso wherever you are. It combines the convenience of Nespresso with the portability of the Nanopresso, making it a great tool for coffee 

Using the Nanopresso DG Kit

So the Nanopresso DG Kit lets you use Nescafe Dolce Gusto capsules with your Nanopresso portable espresso machine. Here’s a brief walkthrough of how to make a cup of espresso using this kit:

Using the Nanopresso DG Kit with your Nanopresso portable espresso machine allows you to enjoy your favorite Nescafe Dolce Gusto capsules wherever you are. The process is straightforward and convenient, perfectly suited for those craving a high-quality espresso on the go.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to making a cup of espresso using the Nanopresso DG Kit:

1. Prepare Your Nanopresso

Start by ensuring your Nanopresso is disassembled and cleaned. Make sure it’s dry before you start making your espresso.

2. Assemble the DG Kit

Attach the Nanopresso DG Kit to the main body of the Nanopresso. The DG Kit replaces the standard basket and allows you to use Dolce Gusto capsules instead of ground coffee. Ensure it’s securely attached according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

3. Insert the Dolce Gusto Capsule

Take your chosen Nescafe Dolce Gusto capsule and insert it into the DG Kit. Make sure the capsule is correctly positioned and locked in place to prevent any brewing issues.

4. Boil Water

While preparing your Nanopresso and capsule, boil water. Once boiled, let it cool for just a moment because using slightly less than boiling water can help prevent burning the coffee, improving the taste.

5. Pump the Nanopresso

With the capsule and water in place, unlock the pumping piston found on the Nanopresso. Hold the Nanopresso over your cup or mug and start pumping. Initially, it might feel a bit hard to pump, but it will ease as the pressure builds up and the water begins to flow through the capsule into your cup. Continue pumping until all the water has been pushed through the capsule.

6. Enjoy Your Espresso

Once the brewing process is complete, remove the Nanopresso from over your cup, and there you have it – a rich, delicious cup of espresso made from your favorite Nescafe Dolce Gusto capsule. Enjoy your freshly brewed coffee!

7. Cleaning Up

Carefully disassemble the DG Kit from the Nanopresso. Remove the capsule and dispose of it. Then, rinse both the DG Kit and Nanopresso parts under warm water to remove coffee residue. Allow all parts to air dry before 

Interested in buying a DG kit? Pick one up right here on Amazon.

What Comes in the Nanopresso Barista Kit?

The Nanopresso Barista Kit is an extension of the Nanopresso portable espresso maker bundled with a protective case designed to enhance the coffee-making experience. This kit caters to those who prefer a double espresso and ensures that achieving the perfect espresso shot is far from an elusive goal.

With a capability of reaching up to 18 bar pressure, substantially more than what most home espresso machines deliver, the Nanopresso stands out as one of the most versatile espresso machines. The protective case included in the kit is not just for show; its robust design is meant to fit around the Nanopresso securely, ensuring that the case helps protect the device during travels, making it perfect for camping or any outdoor activities where a small travel coffee maker is desirable.

Moreover, the Barista Kit introduces an expanded capability by being compatible with NS capsules, allowing for a variety of coffee flavors and further emphasizing the ease of use. For those preferring traditional methods, it’s also compatible with ground coffee, making it a versatile choice for every coffee lover.

The addition of the kit enables the Nanopresso to achieve 18 bar pressure, a paramount feature essential for espresso and other coffee strengths, without the bulky size of traditional machines. Despite its compact size, Nanopresso maintenance takes minimal effort as it’s easily separated for deep cleaning, ensuring the device’s longevity.

Final Thoughts on All the Ways to Use Your Nanopresso

The Nanopresso is one device that revolutionizes the way you enjoy espresso coffee. With the ability to use compatible ground coffee or espresso pods, its versatility is enhanced by an adapter ring from the NS. This flexibility ensures the shot of espresso you create with hot water and the Nanopresso is far from easy but utterly rewarding. 

Moreover, protecting your Nanopresso from any bumps is made simple with the espresso maker bundled with a protective case made of durable EVA material and soft fabric interior lining. This case is specially designed to fit around the machine, reflecting the quality of the coffee maker and ensuring its performance.

Whether you have the 1st generation Minipresso or are looking at the Nano portable electric espresso machine, these accessories and the Wacaco Minipresso GR or NS, ensure a superior coffee experience. Should any issues arise, a refund or replacement is available within 30 days, emphasizing the brand’s confidence in its product.

Need to buy a Nanopresso? You can pick one up on Amazon!

Nanopresso FAQs

  1. Can I Use Nanopresso for Travel?

    Absolutely! In fact, that’s what it’s designed for. Nanopresso is compact and lightweight, making it the perfect companion for your travels.

  2. How Often Should I Descale My Nanopresso?

    Descale your Nanopresso every three to six months, depending on how often you use it.

  3. How Do I Clean My Nanopresso?

    Cleaning it is easy. Simply rinse the water tank and filter basket with hot water after each use, and use a cleaning brush to remove any leftover coffee grounds. For a deep clean, you can also disassemble the machine and clean each part separately.

  4. Can I Use Nanopresso for Making Tea?

    Technically, yes, but I wouldn’t. It is designed specifically for brewing espresso, so using it for tea may taste weird.

  5. Can I Use Pre-Ground Coffee with Nanopresso?

    Yes. While it’s always best to use freshly ground coffee, pre-ground will work just fine. Just be sure to choose a grind size that’s appropriate for espresso.

  6. What kind of power does the Wacaco Nanopresso require to operate?

    The Wacaco Nanopresso does not require electric power to operate. The power is in the machine’s innovative design, allowing for manual pressure to brew a delicious espresso shot, mimicking the quality of a professional machine.

  7. How easy is it to make a shot with the Wacaco Nanopresso?

    While crafting a shot is far from easy with traditional espresso makers, the Nanopresso shines by simplifying the process. Its ease of use combined with the ability to produce authentic espresso rivals that of an electric espresso machine with 3-4 min self-heating.

  8. Can I use Nespresso pods with my Nanopresso?

    Yes, by utilizing the NS Capsule Adapter, the Nanopresso allows the use of Nespresso Original capsules, or pods, making it easy to enjoy a wide variety of coffee beverages anytime, anywhere. The adapter or the Barista Kit enhances its versatility and convenience.

  9. Is the Nanopresso difficult to clean?

    No, the Nanopresso is engineered for hassle-free cleaning. Its components like the portafilter are easily separated, making it easier to clean after use. This feature ensures your coffee maker maintains optimal performance and hygiene.

  10. What protects the Nanopresso while traveling?

    The Nanopresso case is specifically designed to protect the machine from any bumps or scratches while you’re on the go. This ensures that your tiny espresso maker is always ready to make delicious coffee, making it easy to pack for any adventure.

  11. What is included in the Nanopresso bundle?

    The standard Nanopresso espresso maker bundled with protective case provides great value, offering a compact and robust design for espresso lovers on the move. There are options to include the NS Adapter or the Barista Kit, enhancing its capabilities to brew double espresso shots or use coffee pods for convenience.

  12. How does the Nanopresso compare to a traditional espresso machine?

    The Nanopresso bridges the gap between portability and the ability to produce espresso that rivals a traditional, professional machine. Its compact size and manual operation defy the odds by crafting a shot with rich crema and robust flavor, at a fraction of the price and size of an electric espresso machine.

  13. Is there a warranty for the Wacaco Nanopresso?

    Yes, the Nanopresso comes with a warranty effective from the date of purchase. This provides peace of mind and assures the buyer of the company’s confidence in the performance of the coffee maker.

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