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Thread: Your opinion on hand operated coffee presses/potential improvements

  1. #1
    Frei Press
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    Your opinion on hand operated coffee presses/potential improvements

    Hello there fellow coffee enthusiasts!

    I have a few questions regarding hand operated coffee presses along the lines of the Aeropress and travel french presses, because I believe that there is room to improve on some of these designs.


    Obviously the Aeropress makes a good cup of coffee, and it has achieved a cult following, but with that in mind I'd like to know:

    What is your #1 concern when it comes to purchasing a compact coffee maker besides the taste of the coffee? (this is a given, good tasting coffee should always be the priority)


    What would you look for in a portable coffee making device? (price, size, portability, materials etc.)

    I'm asking because I am currently in the middle of designing one such coffee press, and would value the opinions of coffee lovers around the world.

    Thank you, your input would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    These are what I consider are some desirable attributes of a travel coffee press.

    Light - and of a material offering good insulation to facilitate ease of handling. Espro and Bobble Presse provide exceptional insulation but fall short on ease-of-cleaning factor (see comment below)

    Compact - Aeropress ability to store a Porlex grinder in piston is an ideal feature.

    Easy to clean - for remote travel/camping a method not requiring copious water to flush. In this regard the Aeropress method of ejecting coffee puck can be considered a benchmark.

    Filtration system to deliver a clean brew eg Aeropress paper or metal filter, Espro double filter system.

    Minimum parts and reliance on minimum external resources.

    Able to clear airport security with confidence.

    Hope these comments are helpful. Good luck with your endeavours.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ArtW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frei View Post
    Hello there fellow coffee enthusiasts!

    What is your #1 concern when it comes to purchasing a compact coffee maker besides the taste of the coffee? (this is a given, good tasting coffee should always be the priority)
    I'm not sure that good taste is a given as there is a lot of subjectivity. I now use an Aeropress at work because I value its consistency and easy of cleaning. However I think the filters do not do as good a job as say a Melitta filter in a pour-over and consequently the flavour is not as clean. So I enjoy the taste of a good pour over more than the Aerporess but as I always struggled with consistency making pour-over at work, I now choose the Aeropress. I guess what I'm saying is that consistent, easily reproduced good taste is critical for me.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    I'm an Aeropress fan. Some years when I'm working overseas I'll use it for months on end. Why. It is small, light, easy to clean and makes a great coffee. The price point is spot on. If you go any more than say USD60-70, you have to convince the market that you offer something that clearly beats the Aeropress in some respect. You can certainly develop something that more closely approximates espresso (and such things exist as you acknowledge)....but that is going to cost significantly more.

    Pick your market first, rather than playing scientist (I know it is tempting). Where is the biggest gap? You can throw a lot of money into building a better mousetrap and get burned.
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  5. #5
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    There is no mention in this thread (yet!) of the American EspressoForge (which I have just ordered for myself). EspressoForge – A manual by hand pour-over espresso coffee press machine.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascherjim View Post
    There is no mention in this thread (yet!) of the American EspressoForge (which I have just ordered for myself). EspressoForge – A manual by hand pour-over espresso coffee press machine.

    Well, perhaps that because simply saying that you've ordered (and not used) a particular machine doesn't really address the OP's question. What factors did you consider when making the purchase?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    The only think that would beat the Aeropress, for me, would be an espresso or at least higher pressure extraction. The AP is already pretty light and pretty compact, but lighter and compacterer would be betterer for travel...

    Something the diameter of the espressoforge but shorter and plastic would have me considering putting my hand in my pocket.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascherjim View Post
    There is no mention in this thread (yet!) of the American EspressoForge (which I have just ordered for myself). EspressoForge A manual by hand pour-over espresso coffee press machine.
    The OP was asking about hand operated presses along the lines of the Aeropress and French travel presses.

    I have an Espresso Forge, and while it is great for off-grid espresso if you are vehicle/camper based, it fails heavily in the areas of compactness and weight to be considered a compact travel press. I also wouldn't be confident to front up to airport security with one, and in any case you would have blown a major proportion of your carry-on allowance.
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  9. #9
    Frei Press
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    Wow, some great responses, thanks everyone. So as I understand it most of you are fans of the Aeropress' ability to create a consistent cup. If a system could deliver that same consistency at a similar or slightly higher price point and could claim to be more portable, easy to clean and made of high quality materials (and had a few tricks up its sleeves) would you consider it for purchase?
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frei View Post
    Wow, some great responses, thanks everyone. So as I understand it most of you are fans of the Aeropress' ability to create a consistent cup. If a system could deliver that same consistency at a similar or slightly higher price point and could claim to be more portable, easy to clean and made of high quality materials (and had a few tricks up its sleeves) would you consider it for purchase?
    Potentially... but tbh I see the aeropress as having all three of those bases covered already. So the tricks would have to be pretty impressive!
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  11. #11
    Frei Press
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic_Matt View Post
    Potentially... but tbh I see the aeropress as having all three of those bases covered already. So the tricks would have to be pretty impressive!
    Well, I'm not giving anything away yet, but hopefully they'll impress
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    I'll be waiting with bated breath then!

  13. #13
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Wait no more...
    New kickstarter: frei press
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  14. #14
    Frei Press
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Thanks Andy!
    Yep, we're up on Kickstarter. Please take the time to check us out if you're at all interested in the idea of a hand-pressed coffee brewer built into a thermos that can regulate the temperature of your brew to that perfect 'not too hot, not too cold' range.

    Check us out on Kickstarter under Frei Press: Great Coffee at the Perfect Temperature

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