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Espro Travel Press Review

We were highly impressed with the unique filtering system and clean flavor of this well-designed press.
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $35 List | $34.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Excellent clean flavor, double-filtered to eliminate sediment, press completely stops extraction, vessel can be used as a leakproof travel mug
Cons:  Lots of pieces to keep track of, heavy, on the pricier side
Manufacturer:   Espro
By Penney Garrett ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 28, 2019
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75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 20
  • Taste - 40% 9
  • Ease of Use - 25% 8
  • Group Cooking - 15% 4
  • Portability - 10% 7
  • Weight - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The Espro Travel Press is a game-changer for French press lovers on the move. While many people enjoy the rich flavor of a French press due to the presence of more oils, most don't jump for joy at the sight of that thick, sludgy final pour. But the patented double filter on this baby is 9-12 times finer than a standard French press filter and manages to remove every bit of sludge and grit. On top of that, for pour-over lovers that wouldn't be caught dead drinking a dirty cup from a press, the Espro offers paper filters that get placed between the two micro-filters for an even cleaner final product. The paper absorbs all the oils and removes additional solids that the microfilters by themselves let through. Your French press experience has just been majorly leveled up.

The main drawback of the double filter is that it takes up a lot of space inside the travel press. The vessel, which could itself hold around 16 ounces, ends up yielding just 10 ounces of coffee when all is said and done. The version of the Espro we tested is also heavy, but there is an ultralight version available if you want to cut the weight down by almost half. While this device isn't for everyone, we love it and thought it deserved a Top Pick award for doing what it's meant to do very, very well. If you want a simpler, cheaper, and lighter system, the Hario V60, our Editor's Choice winner might be a better choice. And if you'd like to stick with a French press but need to caffeinate more than one person at a time, check out Planetary Designs French Press, our Top Pick for Large Groups. It also has a dual filtration system that fully halts the brewing process after pressing.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Espro Travel Press
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award  
Price $34.95 at Amazon$8.76 at Amazon$15.99 at Amazon$6 List$22.45 at Amazon
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Pros Excellent clean flavor, double-filtered to eliminate sediment, press completely stops extraction, vessel can be used as a leakproof travel mugGourmet flavor, well-conceived design, ceramic version available for home useNo filter needed, great taste, stylishLight, simple, affordable, design allows you to see level of coffee while brewingPacks down flat, produces a good cup, lightweight for non-plastic, works on top of many different-sized vessels
Cons Lots of pieces to keep track of, heavy, on the pricier sideSpecial shaped filters are harder to find, expensive for a plastic dripper, heavier than other brandsExpensive, requires water and more time to fully cleanNot as refined a flavor as the V60, bulkyCan collapse while brewing if not careful, certain filters hang very low due to large bottom hole
Bottom Line We were highly impressed with the unique filtering system and clean flavor of this well-designed press.The iconic pour over model in a light plastic package, delivering a consistently great flavor.The best model that does not require filters and one of the few that does not involve hot water on plastic.This is a very light and inexpensive pour over option that provides solid taste and stellar value.This collapsible stainless steel dripper is a bit on the heavy side but it folds down flat for easy travel and brews a nice cup.
Rating Categories Espro Travel Press Hario V60 Plastic Dripper Paperless Pour Over Melitta 1-Cup Pour-Over Collapsible Coffee Drip
Taste (40%)
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9
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9
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8
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7
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7
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8
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7
Specs Espro Travel Press Hario V60 Plastic... Paperless Pour Over Melitta 1-Cup... Collapsible Coffee...
Weight 12.3 oz dripper alone: 2.95 oz, dripper + scoop: 3.37 oz 3.3 oz 2.01 oz 4.8 oz
Brew Type French Press/ Pour Over Pour Over Pour Over Pour Over Pour Over
Main Material Stainless steel Hard plastic Stainless steel Hard plastic Stainless steel
Filter needed? No Yes No Yes Yes
Notable Features Can be used as french press, pour over, or for tea Cone shape, large hole, ribs along side No filter pour over Can see cup without lifting dripper Collasible cone filter
Notes Brews a really clean cup, keeps liquids nice and hot Makes strong, smooth coffee Requires some water to clean between uses Doesn't brew as well as the Hario dripper Folds down flat for easier transport than most other cone drippers

Our Analysis and Test Results

For the coffee geeks out there who want it all comes the Espro Travel Press, a unique French press that serves up one of the best brews of all our tested devices.

Performance Comparison


This press was destined to impress. The brew we received each and every time was top notch.
This press was destined to impress. The brew we received each and every time was top notch.

Brew Features


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 appreciate how good it brews up our beans.
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 appreciate how good it brews up our beans.

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 steep it all together.

The Espro is also available with a tea-specific filter for those that love the design but don't drink coffee.

Taste


Hallelujah, a clean and delicious French press coffee has arrived! The Espro is on par for taste with our Editors' Choice V60 and finished just barely behind our Top Pick for Gourmet Taste, the AeroPress. We are 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 coffee 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.
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.
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 a bit more water to get cleaned up for round two.

While using and cleaning the Espro was a bit more involved  it all felt worth it for the delicious coffee it produced.
While using and cleaning the Espro was a bit more involved, it all felt worth it for the delicious coffee it produced.

Group Cooking


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 Espro can be used as a travel mug because, when plunged, it separates the coffee grinds completely and halts further extraction.

Portability


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!
The Espro packed up and ready to hit the trail!

Weight


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 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 entirely 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 various parts of the Espro. It's on the heavy side but there's also an ultralight version available.


Value


The Epsro is on the pricey side, but it offers a lot of bang for your buck. You get an excellent press and a leakproof travel mug all in one. The ticket price is worth it if you love a properly clean French press, are on the move a lot, and like having the option to rebrew later in the day, no matter where you are.

Conclusion


The Espro offers superior flavor and a whole host of other features that are easy to appreciate. 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 produces such excellent flavor that we awarded it a Top Pick award.

Bravo Espro! Thanks for the delicious cup!
Bravo Espro! Thanks for the delicious cup!


Penney Garrett