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ESPRO Ultralight Travel Press Review

A double-walled stainless steel travel press with an innovative double filter to reduce muddiness
ESPRO Ultralight Travel Press
Photo: ESPRO
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Price:  $45 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Great flavor with minimal muddiness, easy to use, very portable
Cons:  Difficult to clean, relatively heavy
Manufacturer:   ESPRO
By Mary Witlacil ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 21, 2021
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66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 16
  • Taste - 40% 7
  • Ease of Use - 25% 8
  • Group Cooking - 15% 4
  • Portability - 10% 8
  • Weight - 10% 4

Our Verdict

The ESPRO Ultralight is a durable double-walled stainless steel travel mug with double interlocking micro-filters. Of all the french presses we've reviewed, this one consistently produced the most delicious coffee with the least amount of muddiness or residue. While it is easy to make coffee in this device, it isn't easy to clean; and while it is quite portable, it still isn't the lightest weight option in the review. Bottom line — it isn't a unicorn product that checks every coffee fiend's boxes, but it is a solid and versatile travel press that will keep you caffeinated for years to come.

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Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award 
Price $45 List$29.95 at REI
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$9.05 at Amazon$9.95 at Amazon$29.95 at Amazon
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Pros Great flavor with minimal muddiness, easy to use, very portableGourmet flavor, stylish, compact, easy to clean, easy to use, made from stainless steelGourmet flavor, well-conceived design, ceramic version available for home useNo filter needed, tiny and light, consistently good tasteAmazing flavor, versatile, very portable, simple cleanup
Cons Difficult to clean, relatively heavyHefty, not ideal for big groupsSpecial shaped filters are harder to find, expensive for a plastic dripper, heavier than other brandsMust lift filter out of most cups to avoid over-steeping, poor for large groupsLots of little pieces to mind, heavy for backpacking
Bottom Line A double-walled stainless steel travel press with an innovative double filter to reduce muddinessA cleverly designed, compact, and easy to clean pour-over device that brews consistently great coffeeThe iconic pour over model in a light plastic package, delivering a consistently great flavorThe best option for light travel and backpacking, this savvy brewer will keep you caffeinated without taking up space in your bagThis is our top scorer for taste and we love its durability, ease of use, and versatility
Rating Categories ESPRO Ultralight Tr... MiiR Pourigami Hario V60 Plastic D... Primula Coffee Brew... AeroPress Coffee Maker
Taste (40%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
10.0
Ease Of Use (25%)
8.0
7.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
Group Cooking (15%)
4.0
6.0
6.0
4.0
4.0
Portability (10%)
8.0
8.0
5.0
9.0
6.0
Weight (10%)
4.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
5.0
Specs ESPRO Ultralight Tr... MiiR Pourigami Hario V60 Plastic D... Primula Coffee Brew... AeroPress Coffee Maker
Measured Weight 10 oz Dripper alone: 4.89 oz
Dripper & Case: 5.52 oz
Dripper alone: 2.95 oz
Dripper + scoop: 3.37 oz
1.1 oz Press alone: 7.98 oz
Press + spoon + stirrer: 9.39 oz
Brew Type French Press Pour Over Pour Over Pour Over Pour Over/Press Hybrid
Main Material Stainless Steel Stainless steel with Hardshell powder coat Hard plastic Nylon filter BPA-free polypropylene
Filter Needed? No Yes Yes No Yes
Notable Features Double-walled, vaccuum-insulated stainless steel mug, with a double micro filter. Can be used as french press, pour over, or for tea; ultralight, so easier to travel with Easy to clean, collapsible pour over with slim carrying case. Cone shape, large hole, ribs along side Rests on any mug Easy to clean, re-usable filter
Notes One of the least muddy french presses we've ever had; annoying to clean. Consistently delicious coffee; easy to use; clever/stylish Makes strong, smooth coffee Filter hangs in coffee for most cups Eliminates bitterness while keeping a good flavor

Our Analysis and Test Results

The ESPRO Ultralight is the lighter-weight version of the original ESPRO. While still not technically "ultralight" at 10 ounces (this probably won't be your pick for your next thru-hike), it's still a clean and compact all-in-one brewer/mug that will easily get a lot of use whether you're car camping or commuting to work.

Performance Comparison


The ESPRO Ultralight is a decently lightweight and durable travel...
The ESPRO Ultralight is a decently lightweight and durable travel French press with an innovative double filter to eliminate muddiness.
Photo: Jared Ross

Brew Features


The ESPRO Ultralight Travel Press features a double-walled, vacuum-insulated stainless steel mug to keep your coffee hot for hours. The press has two interlocking micro-filters that keep muddiness and residue to a minimum, and a silicone gasket creates a vacuum seal in the mug to ensure extraction will stop once you press. If you want to filter out even more residue, you can add an additional paper filter. It can be used as a French press or a pour-over, and you can even use it with loose-leaf tea. This is ESPRO's ultralight model, and at 10 ounces, it proves a worthy device for travel, car camping, or even a luxury backpacking option.

You can use a paper filter in between the interlocking microfilters...
You can use a paper filter in between the interlocking microfilters on the ESPRO to eliminate any French press muddiness. And the silicone gasket around the outside of the filter stops extraction completely when you press your coffee.
Photo: Jared Ross

Taste


In our blind taste-test, the ESPRO Ultralight did remarkably well, especially for a French press. One of our taste-testers doesn't like French press coffee, and even they were impressed by how little muddiness got into a cup of coffee made with this press. We were impressed by the lack of bitterness and balanced flavor produced by this device.

In taste tests, the ESPRO Ultralight consistently out-performed most...
In taste tests, the ESPRO Ultralight consistently out-performed most other French presses in our review.
Photo: Jared Ross

Ease of Use


The ESPRO Ultralight performed well in this metric. Few methods of making coffee are as straightforward as using a French press. This press also has the added benefit of doubling as a travel mug. After you press your grounds, you can just start drinking; no extra cup is needed. That said, this press has the added step of joining — and then cleaning — the two microfilters. It's also more involved to remove the grinds and wash out the skinny vessel than clean a simple pour-over device.

While the ESPRO Ultralight proved difficult to clean without running...
While the ESPRO Ultralight proved difficult to clean without running water, it is shamelessly easy to use for making delicious coffee. Simply add your grounds, pour hot water, give it some time to steep, press your coffee and voila - you're done.
Photo: Jared Ross

Group Cooking


The ESPRO Ultralight isn't really designed to make coffee for a big crew, and given the difficulty with cleaning this device, it earned below-average marks in this category.

The ESPRO Ultralight makes 12oz per press, so it isn't ideal for...
The ESPRO Ultralight makes 12oz per press, so it isn't ideal for large groups, a fact compounded by the fact that it is rather difficult to clean without running water.
Photo: Jared Ross

Portability


We love how portable the ESPRO Ultralight is. It is lightweight for a travel mug and press combo and is as slim as a baguette. If you're looking for a decent option for travel, car camping, or even quick backpacking trips — you'll be impressed with how little space it requires.

The ESPRO Ultralight is rather trim and decently lightweight...
The ESPRO Ultralight is rather trim and decently lightweight, perfectly portable for a travel French press.
Photo: Jared Ross

Weight


At 10 ounces, the ESPRO Ultralight isn't truly ultralight, but it is light enough for car camping, less demanding backpacking trips, and travel. Remember that this weight is all-inclusive — you can sip directly from the mug/press without needing to bring a separate drinking vessel.

The ESPRO Ultralight isn't the lightest model in our review, but for...
The ESPRO Ultralight isn't the lightest model in our review, but for car camping, this mug/press combo is unlikely to weigh you down.
Photo: Mary Witlacil

Value


The ESPRO Ultralight counts among the more expensive options in our review. However, it is a well-conceived press that eliminates most muddiness and finishes extraction when you press it. If you love the simplicity of a French press but could do without a muddy mouthfeel, and you want a versatile mug that can make coffee as well as tea — then this device could be a great value for you. Additionally, most "ultralight" products lack durability, but this mug should last a long time with its stainless steel construction.

Conclusion


The ESPRO Ultralight Travel Press is a solid travel French press with an innovative double micro-filter that reduces muddiness and stops extraction when you press it. You can even add supplemental paper filters to clean up your brew even more. If you crave a mug that will keep your coffee hot for hours, and a press that can also handle loose leaf tea, then this just might be a match for you.

Durable, innovative, fairly compact, and easy to use - the ESPRO...
Durable, innovative, fairly compact, and easy to use - the ESPRO Ultralight is a fantastic travel French press for folks who prefer the simplicity of a press without the grit.
Photo: Jared Ross

Mary Witlacil