For the coffee geeks out there who want it all comes the Espro Travel Press, a unique French press that served up one of the best brews of all our tested devices.
This press was destined to impress. The brew we received each and every time was top notch.
Brewing with the Espro is slightly more involved than a typical French press, but not by much. The double filter must be fitted together correctly, either by itself or with a paper filter between each piece. From there it's the same as any other press — add your grounds, add some water, stir, cap it, and wait. Pressing the plunger on this device takes more muscle than most other presses because it is a tight fit that fully separates the grinds and completely stops extraction. Once ready, you can either pour your brew out into another mug or sip it straight from the lid — just be careful, it stays hot in there for a long time! You can also cap the whole thing with the leakproof lid and save it for later. So many options!
The patented double micro filter of the Espro getting assembled for brewing. It's a tiny extra step and takes up a lot of room, but we appreciated how good our coffee tasted.
One issue that came up in online customer reviews is that — despite this being a travel press — there's really no way to add cream or sugar unless you pour your brew into another vessel. For that reason, this is best suited for those that prefer black coffee, though you could add sugar in with the grounds and just steep it all together.
Hallelujah, a clean and delicious French pressed coffee has arrived! The Espro was on par for taste with our Editors' Choice V60 and just barely behind our Top Pick for Gourmet taste, the AeroPress. We were impressed.
The Espro offers two filters that are reportedly 9-12 times finer than your typical French press filter. What this means is that more grit and sediment are removed from your cup — whatever the first filter doesn't get, the second one does. Taste test after taste test the brew from this device was chosen as the best or one of the best. We appreciated that our brew still retained some of the oils — an aspect that French press drinkers love — while also removing anything we would have to chew on or want to spit out.
Here you can clearly see the benefit of the double filter - the first outer filter got all the big stuff while the smaller inner filter cleaned up that superfine sludge that is normally in the bottom of your brew.
As if all that wasn't enough, the Espro also offers paper filters for people that want a really clean and bright flavor like a pour-over. Simply place a round paper filter in between the two mesh filters and brew as you normally would. We couldn't find a single complaint with our results.
The addition of a paper filter cleaned up our cup even more, producing a result as though we had brewed with a pour over device like the V60.
Ease of Use
As mentioned above, this brewer is a little bit more involved than a standard French press. But, as with any system, once you learn the ropes, it's completely straightforward.
With all French presses, the main issue that can slow everything down is cleaning. Because of the tall and narrow shape of this vessel, knocking all the grinds out is tricky and works better if you have water for a rinse. You will also need water to rinse both filters, even if you've used a paper filter. All our other models with a paper filter simply require lifting the filter out and tossing it to get mostly clean. The Espro does require a few extra steps and considerably more water.
While using and cleaning the Espro was a bit more involved, it all felt worth it for the delicious coffee it produced.
This device is optimal for one person at a time. It only brews 10 ounces and, while you can pour that out and make more, the system is housed within a travel mug meant for one.
A perk of the Espro however, is that the insulted vessel can help keep some extra brew hot for later on down the road if you and your crew want to get moving quickly. It will only be 10 ounces, but sometimes that can make all the difference when you're jonesing for just a wee bit more caffeine on the trail or out on the road.
The Espro can be used as a travel mug because, when plunged, it separates the coffee grinds completely and halts further extraction.
The leakproof travel-mug design of this press allows you to take your brew on the road. The double wall vacuum insulated sides will ensure that it's still warm hours later, and the excellent filtering system means your brew will still taste good instead of being bitter and over-extracted.
Slim and sleek, the Espro can easily fit in a backpack pocket or cup holder. There are more pieces to contend with than most other options, but they all fit together snugly, lessening your chances of losing anything.
The Espro packed up and ready to hit the trail!
At 12.3 ounces this is on the heavy side for sure.
We realize that the weight on this press is not particularly conducive to backpacking, though for car camping it's perfectly fine. And, if you absolutely love this system but can't get past its heftiness, you're in luck: Espro makes an ultralight version that cuts the weight back to just 7.5 ounces. Still on the heavy side for backpacking, but not completely out of the question.
The various parts of the Espro. It's on the heavy side but there's also an ultralight version available.
The Espro offered us superior flavor and a whole host of other features we appreciated. It functions as an on-the-go travel mug, keeping its contents warm for hours and is also completely leakproof. While it's heavy and a bit of a pain to clean, for those that like a French press system but don't want sludge or grit in their cup, this is a top-notch option that produced such excellent flavor that we awarded it Top Pick status.
Bravo Espro! Thanks for the delicious cup!