Wacaco Minipresso GR portable mini espresso machine: my review, tips and photos

Wacaco Minipresso GR unpacked

by Nigel Ong

I can be a bit of a coffee addict, and I want to enjoy my coffee whenever I like it. However, good coffee can be hard to access when I go on trips. I finally solved the issue with an espresso brewer that does not require electricity access.

Enter the Wacaco Minipresso GR. I bought this tool with the idea that if I can make espresso anywhere I want, I can easily turn the espresso into Americano or other coffee drinks too. 

So far, I enjoy using this tool, especially on the road. There are, of course, parts I do not enjoy. 

In this post, I will review my Wacaco Minipresso GR in depth. I will explain the full range of Wacaco’s products and the parts in the Minipresso GR. Then, I discuss what I like and don’t like about my Minipresso and if you should get one for yourself. 

What Is The Wacaco Minipresso GR?

Wacaco is a Hong Kong-based company specializing in making portable coffee makers. If you check out their website, you can see they offer all sorts of hand tools to make all kinds of coffee. 

There is the Pipamoka, a portable, self-contained coffee maker. There is also the Cuppamoka, a smaller version of the Pipamoka. Finally, there’s the Octatoma, a heat water tumbler.

For espresso makers, you have the Minipresso as the base offering. There are also Nanopresso and Picopresso. These are smaller and even more high-tech espresso makers than the Minipresso.

For the review here, I have the Minipresso GR. My Minipresso comes complete with a drawstring bag, user guide, warranty note, and two stickers. 

The whole Minipresso is built with high-quality plastic, while some parts are made with stainless steel. This helps the Minipresso to be able to generate up to 8 bars of pressure inside, just right to help brew a great cup of espresso.

The whole machine feels sturdy in hand and is confidence inspiring. You will definitely feel comfortable applying rigorous pressure on the Minipresso. You will need this, as the action of pumping the piston can require some force.

The initial GR behind means’ Ground,’ which means I can only brew my espresso using ground coffee. 

Some versions of Minipresso can work with pods. Minipresso with the ‘NS’ initial works with Nespresso pods. Those with ‘CA’ work with Caffitaly pods. So far, Wacaco does not offer Minipressos that work with K-cups.

You can also purchase additional accessories to go with your Minipresso. There are additional cups, water tanks, and protective bags.

Clockwise: Mini brush, main body, scoop, filter basket, outlet cap, bottom cap, water tank.

What Are The Parts In the Minipresso GR?

The Minipresso GR can look a little intimidating; it comes with many parts and accessories. You need to put and secure the parts together in good order. 

If not, you run the risk of injuring yourself. We are, after all, dealing with hot water. We will also be using our fingers to pump the pistons on the Minipresso GR. 

You can break the Minipresso GR down into 8 main parts. They are:

Main Body: The main body connects the bottom and top parts of the Minipresso. It also hosts the pump, where the brewing magic happens.

Pump/Piston: The pump is where you build up the pressure inside the Minipresso to extract your espresso. You can lock the piston by pushing the piston in and then twisting the cap clockwise. Unlock by twisting counter-clockwise. 

Water Tank: The water tank fills with hot water to brew your espresso. A line on the inner surface indicates the maximum amount of water. Avoid filling over to avoid leakages or diluted espresso.

Outlet Cap: The outlet cap hosts the portafilter. It also has a small outlet that allows the espresso to flow out from the Minipresso. The outlet cap also has a steel surface inside, with three holes.

Filter Basket: You will put your coffee ground in the filter basket. It is smaller than the caps and has a steel bottom with many small holes. It sits between the main body and then the bottom cap. They should hold up to 8 grams of coffee ground at a time.

Bottom Cap: The bottom cap has a rubberized outer band and caps on the outlet cap. It acts as a protector of the outlet cap and a cup for your espresso.

Scoop + Tamp: The Minipresso GR also comes with a scoop. It normally takes around 1.5 scoops to fill my filter basket. The scoop also doubles as a tamp to help you tamp the ground tighter for a good brew.

Mini Brush: You can use the mini brush to clean parts of the Minipresso. I found reaching into the small holes and the nooks and crannies of my Minipresso handy.

How Do You Operate The Minipresso GR?

If you are used to brewing your coffee the simple way, the Minipresso can be a challenge. Just look at the brewing instructions. There are 15 steps! 

Non-technical people may not enjoy this. However, once you get the hang of it, it is easy. It comes naturally. 

The simplified way to explain the process is to load the coffee, then the water. Then, you turn the Minipresso upside down and pump away until the espresso comes out fully. 

Start by taking out all the removable parts of the Minipresso, and then follow the steps below to brew your cup:

Load The Coffee

  1. Start by filling the filter basket with coffee grounds.
  2. Tamp down slightly to compact the grounds. Aim for about 20-30 pounds of pressure. 
  3. Ensure your Minipresso’s main body is facing up. You should be able to read the Minipresso label correctly.
  4. Place the filter, with the coffee ground facing you, into the top compartment of the main body. It should fit in nicely and not wobble around.
  5. Screw in the outlet cap. 

Load The Water

  1. Pour in hot water into the water tank. Minipresso does not recommend water temperature, but the best should be around 197 – 205 °F (92 – 96 °C.)
  2. When pouring, take note of the maximum line on the water tank. Stop filling right before the water reaches the line.
  3. Take the Main Body, and attach it to the water tank. Note that there are no screw grooves here; push both together until they feel tight.
wacao Minipresso brewing espresso

Pump The Espresso Out

  1. Turn the whole Minipresso upside down. The water tank should be at the top and the outlet cap at the bottom. 
  2. Twist the pump counter-clockwise to unlock it. 
  3. Start pumping. The first few pumps should not produce anything. It merely builds up the pressure inside the Minipresso.
  4. I notice espresso starts coming out at about 6-7th pump. You may also notice you need to apply more force. 
  5. Keep pumping until you extract all the hot water. You know you are done when no more pressure on the pump and no more espresso flows out from the Minipresso.
  6. Enjoy the espresso!

What Are The Pros Of Minipresso GR?

Small and Portable

The Minipresso GR is one seriously powerful espresso brewer when you look at its size. It’s a little smaller than your regular bottled water in the market and is not very heavy either.

This means the Minipresso GR is very portable. You can take it anywhere you like and make your espresso coffee. You can even take it along on hikes and sip your espresso once you reach the peak!

No Electricity Needed

Many small coffee brewers are out there; some require electricity to work. They usually require you to charge the battery, and each full charge brews you only a small amount of coffee, usually no more than 3-5 cups.

Not with the Minipresso GR. It is manually operated, requiring no batteries. This allows you to brew your coffee, even if you are off the grid for days. No more charge anxiety!


One concern about many portable coffee brewers is their usability. With so many moving parts, it is easy to end up with a flimsy brewer. 

Not with the Minipresso. The parts are made of high-quality plastic that does not smell. The plastic and steel parts also give you the confidence that you can pump away hard on the pistons and not break the Minipresso.

Parts And Upgrades Are Available

One of the major issues with tools is parts and upgrades. This can be an issue when you break only a small part of the tool. If the maker does not offer parts, you will need to consider buying a whole new tool. 

With the Minipresso, you can purchase parts for the tool. You can purchase additional water tanks, filter baskets, and more. You can also get protective cases for your Minipresso if the drawstring bag is not good enough for you.


The Minipresso comes with a 12-month worldwide warranty, provided that you register your Minipresso. 

However, the warranty does not cover damages from improper use, such as drops or knocks. It also does not cover the replacement of O-rings, filter baskets, or scoops. You also need to register your warranty.

What Are The Cons Of Minipresso GR?

Complicated Brewing Process

When your Minipresso can brew espresso so well in such a small package, something has to give. To me, I think it complicates the brewing process. 

If you refer to the user guide, there are 15 steps to brew your espresso with the Minipresso GR. This may be a challenge to some, especially if you are not too technical with things. 

If you use Minipressos with pods, the brewing process may be easier. Still, there should be many steps too.

Some Spills When Disassembling

One thing I absolutely hate about my Minipresso GR is the spills. This happens when I disassemble my Minipresso after brewing my espresso.

You could pump all you want, but there is still water left inside the water tank, brewing chamber, outlet cap, and more. 

This means when you disassemble the Minipresso, you get spills. It for sure ain’t fun, especially if the water is still a bit hot.

Not Easy To Clean

Finally, cleaning the Minipresso can be a bit of an issue. The parts can be small, and you will need to use small brushes to reach into the smaller parts of the Minipresso. It is also not dishwasher safe, especially the main body.

Fortunately, it comes with brushes that allow you to clean the nooks and crannies properly. However, I suggest you still use a detailer’s brush and some dishwashing liquid to clean everything properly. 

Tips When Using Minipresso GR

Do Your First Run With Hot Water Only

When I first got the Minipresso GR, I was excited to brew my espresso. So I went ahead and dived straight in. Instead of a great espresso, my coffee smelled a little bit plasticky. The taste is also a bit off. 

After yucking my mouth for a bit, I went ahead and rinsed the entire inside of the Minipresso. I load the water tank with hot water and pump it to simulate brewing. The next cup of espresso tasted much better. 

I suggest you do the same if you just got your fresh Minipresso GR next time. 

Warm It Up

Another issue with the Minipresso is the pumping. I notice that when the Minipresso is cold, you need to squeeze in more pumps to start extracting espresso from the coffee. 

Consider warming the Minipresso before brewing. Just brew with hot water, without coffee. The hot water should warm the inside and help with building pressure. 

The warm metal parts will also prevent your espresso from cooling down too much as it is being brewed inside the Minipresso. 

Disassemble In Kitchen Sink

Since the Minipresso leaks water everywhere when disassembled, I have discovered that the best way is to do it in a kitchen sink. If there are spills, they are in the sink. You can wash them away easily, without much hassle.

Once washed, leave it to air dry, and disassembled. If you put everything back after washing, you may trap moisture inside. This could encourage mold growth, causing your espresso to smell and taste odd.

Who Should Get The Wacaco Minipresso GR?

I think the Minipresso GR suits two types of people. One, you are a coffee fan that wants to enjoy your drink everywhere you go. Second, you want to brew your own espresso at home but are not sure if you want to invest in an espresso machine. 

The Minipresso GR is small, light, and requires no electricity. It also brews amazingly good espresso. It is a no-brainer for people on the go. 

Since it makes espresso, you can easily add water to turn it into Long Black or Americano. Add steamed milk or cream and get Latte, Cappuccino, or Breve.

If you are exploring making your espresso at home, the Minipresso GR is also a great idea. It is cheap, which means you can buy one easily and experiment. If you enjoy the experience, you can invest in a proper espresso machine later. 

Even if you end up with a proper espresso machine, your Minipresso GR will not be a waste. You can easily turn it into a portable espresso maker you take on trips, and so on.

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