Review: Preva xSport Portable Espresso & Single Serve Coffee Maker
Portable espresso or making coffee of any type on the go seems to be coming of age. We've seen the Aeropress, in-car espresso makers, and now the Preva xSport Portable Espresso maker for camping, rv-ing, and backpacking.
This ultra-compact espresso maker will make espresso or single serve coffee on the go and is compact, light, and durable. Unlike it's bigger single serve counterparts (see the Senseo for size comparison), we could see this being a pretty good choice for a long weekend hike or perhaps making a double shot cafe Americano on the side of a mountain. We can also see this being a good choice for taking while on vacation and staying in a hotel, where they often have the tiny coffee maker that could provide you hot water to use in your Preva xSport.
Hiking and vacation aside, we decided to put the Preva xSport through the paces here in the Single Serve Coffee test kitchen and see how good of a shot of espresso and how perfect a cup of single serve coffee we could make.
What Your Get with Your Preva xSport
The Preva xSport comes packed with:
- Espresso Pods
- coffee filter for using ground coffee
- espresso shot glass
- Main xSport with Pumping Action
It's a very simple setup. The Preva itself is made of a very sturdy hard translucent plastic. We immediately like the blue color and thought the overall system felt solid.
Making a Shot of Espresso or Single Serve Coffee with the Preva xSport
You'll need to realize right away with the Preva when you make your first shot of espresso or single serve coffee that whatever water you put in is going to come out at the bottom and into your cup.
The process is very easy. An ESE pod goes in the basket, which gets screwed on the bottom, a shot or two of boiling water goes in the top, and with that secure, you pump about a half dozen times. What comes out the bottom is a shot of espresso with a more foam like head than crema head, but the espresso taste is there just not the total mouth feel.
Making a cup of single serve coffee was much easier. We settled on still using the espresso pods provided and went for the larger 3-4 oz cup of coffee. Having more water means more time to pump and to get a better extraction from the espresso pod. We also found that pre-moistening our espresso pod went a long way to making a deep rich cup of coffee each time.
Though we're not blown away with the espresso - we're pretty blown away with the quality of the overall coffee. Both of the espresso pods we sampled produced coffee we liked. We especially like the Moab Trails Blend Espresso. It has a nice sharp flavor with a lingering finish.
In the end we recommend making a larger shot of espresso or going for the 3-5oz larger cup of coffee. It was much easier to pump the Preva xSport 5-10 times and get the type of extraction you wanted. We also found you get a really big finish if you pump the xSport 10 times or so. You'll get a very large sputter and lots more foamy top that way.
Comparing the Preva xSport to the Aeropress
Because the Preva xSport takes espresso pods and you can also use pre-ground coffee, immediately the Preva xSport has a bit of an edge. The use of the espresso pods versus having to use ground coffee in the Aeropress each times makes clean up and use a bit easier. The quality of coffee from the Aeropress though can be a bit higher if you really work out a great pull, but making coffee with the Preva xSport was easier hands down.
We really like the Preva xSport portable espresso and single serve coffee maker. It's a very solid edition to the world of single serve coffee and espresso and we think you can't go wrong if you need espresso on the go or want to have something for vacation and hiking.
Read More in: Portable Single Serve Coffee | Reviews | Single Serve Coffee Machines | Super Automatic & ESE
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Posted by Jay Brewer at July 20, 2006 7:43 AM