Wacaco Minipresso vs Handpresso

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Wacaco Minipresso NS, Portable Espresso Machine, Compatible NS Capsules* (Nespresso®** Original Capsules and compatibles), Small Travel Coffee Maker, Manually Operated from Piston Action

Waeco Minipresso

Handpresso Auto

The Minipresso and the Handpresso are both popular portable espresso makers that cater to coffee lovers that like camping, travelling or don’t have space at home for bulky coffee equipment.

Both these espresso makers are portable and compact and can deliver a great tasting shot of espresso that has consistent crema.

Wondering which is the best option for making coffee away from home? Read on as we analyse the key similarities and differences between the Wacaco Minipresso and the Handpresso Auto to help you make the right decision based on your personal preferences.

Key Similarities


The Handpresso is designed to fit into your car’s cupholder with the cord wrapping around the brewer in order to take up less space and stay out of the way while driving.

The Minipresso, fits nicely in the palm of your hand and the round design can also fit into a car’s cupholder.

Wacaco Minipresso NS, Portable Espresso Machine, Compatible NS Capsules* (Nespresso®** Original Capsules and compatibles), Small Travel Coffee Maker, Manually Operated from Piston Action

Both espresso makers are designed for camping and travelling and take up little space in your luggage or backpack.

However, if you’re extremely tight on space, note that the Minipresso is slightly smaller in size than the Handpresso.

Easy to Use

Both the Handpresso and the Minipresso are very user friendly and require little equipment to work. Both of them come with a step-by-step guide on how to make espresso, and the process takes less than 2 minutes with each.

It could be argued that the Handpresso is easier to use as it simply requires you to plug it into your car without actually having to pump in order to build pressure.

Naturally, if you’re away from a car or power source for extended periods, the Minipresso would be the better option as it is powered by hand.

Key Differences

Heating Element

The Handpresso comes with a built-in boiler that heats up the water once it is connected to the 12v cigarette plug in your car. This feature removes the hassle of needing hot water at hand when making an espresso.

The Wacaco needs hot water to work, which means that you must pour it almost off the boil for the espresso to have the desired temperature and create a steady crema. Needing hot water to make an espresso can be a small disadvantage if you are travelling.

Coffee Grounds vs. Capsule

The Minipresso and the Handpresso are both compatible with coffee capsules. The Minipresso is compatible with Nespresso original capsules as well most compatible pods of the same size.

The Handpresso, on the other hand, is compatible with 7g ESE pods such as Illy and some Nespresso capsules and will also work with ground coffee thanks to its built-in filter basket.

This offers a slight advantage as you can use your favourite coffee beans to brew an espresso. You may need some trial and error to find a suitable grind size for the Handpresso.


The Wacaco Minipresso has a water capacity of 70ml yielding an espresso of the same volume.

The Handpresso, on the other hand, has a much smaller water capacity (around 53ml). This means that your espresso shot will come out shorter and more concentrated in flavour (similar to a ristretto).

If you plan on brewing for more than one person, this is an important detail to take into account.

RELATED: Nanopresso Vs Minipresso

Bars of Pressure

The Wacaco Minipresso has a semi-automatic piston with an average built-up pressure of 8 bars that works with the pump flow.

Wacaco Minipresso NS, Portable Espresso Machine, Compatible NS Capsules* (Nespresso®** Original Capsules and compatibles), Small Travel Coffee Maker, Manually Operated from Piston Action

The Handpresso has an impressive 16 bars of pressure, double the pressure of the Wacaco.

For context, a good espresso tends to be brewed at 9 bars of pressure.

The more bars your espresso maker has, the faster it will make a cup of coffee. This doesn’t mean that your espresso will be better or have more crema, it just means that it will come out faster.


In order to work properly, the Handpresso must be plugged into a 12v cigarette lighter port. This ensures that the mini-boiler and the extraction mechanism can work in unison to make your espresso.

In comparison, the Minipresso doesn’t require any source of power to work as the user creates pressure by pressing the piston, making it a better option for travels where a power source might be scarce or a 12v port is difficult to find.

Another product from Handpresso, the Handpresso Wild Hybrid, does not require any source of power to work. This is a good option if you do not have a car or power source available.

Making Your Selection

The Wacaco Minipreso is a small portable espresso machine designed for making an espresso on the go. It is compatible with Nespresso capsules and works through a piston mechanism. It is very popular thanks to its ease of use as it does not require electricity, compressed air or nitrogen cartridges. The Wacaco comes with a convertible cap that also serves as a cup for your espresso.

The Handpresso is a portable espresso maker that plugs into the cigarette lighter plug of your car in order to deliver a shot of espresso in seconds. This new model works with both 7g ESE (Easy Serving Espresso) pods or ground coffee and doesn’t require hot water thanks to the built-in mini boiler.

Wacaco Minipresso NS, Portable Espresso Machine, Compatible NS Capsules* (Nespresso®** Original Capsules and compatibles), Small Travel Coffee Maker, Manually Operated from Piston Action



Choosing between the Handpresso and the Wacaco Minipresso all comes down to preference and lifestyle.

Do you plan on taking this espresso maker on your travels? Do you want something specifically for your car? How long do you like your espresso?

If you favour a short espresso and are looking for an espresso maker that does all the work, then the Handpresso is for you. Thanks to Handpresso’s design you will be able to get an espresso from the comfort of your car and without any extra equipment.

If you prefer an espresso maker that can deliver coffee without having to be connected to a power source and mimics the work of a pump, then the Minipresso is for you. The Minipresso comes extremely handy when camping, as all you really need is boiling water. It also has the advantage that you can expand to a larger capacity tank if you want a longer espresso.

When making your selection, think of how much coffee you want to drink and where you want to drink it.

Portable Espresso Maker FAQ

How does a Handpresso work?

The Auto version of the Handpresso is very user friendly as the pump has already been incorporated inside the mechanism, compared to other versions like the Wild Hybrid where you need to pump manually. Start by adding cold water into the reservoir. Once the capsule has been inserted into the portafilter or the ground coffee has been added, connect the brewer into the cigarette lighter plug and press the ON button. The Handpresso will proceed by heating the mini boiler before starting the brewing process, allowing you to have a cup of espresso in less than 2 minutes.

How much coffee does a Minipresso make?

The Minipresso can make up to 70ml of coffee as that is the total water capacity that you can add to the chamber. The Minipresso also offers an option to buy a larger capacity tank set that stores an additional 30ml of coffee, bringing your coffee to a total of 100ml.