Review: Solobrew - The French Press to Go
We've seen a lot of portable single serve coffee makers in our time, including the Handpresso, My Pressi Twist, Starbucks Via Mug, and Jetboil for hiking. Well - they're a mixed bag of tricks with some making better coffee than others. We've like the Handpresso so far, but the Handpresso also costs $99+ dollars and requires ESE pods, hot water, and some pumping power in that arm of yours. So along comes the Solobrew - basically a mini-french press that is both portable and disposable after you use the 4 refills it comes with, and we have to say we're impressed.
You can see here - fill with water, insert the plunger, and then steep and plunge.
Totally french press like.
The SoloPress, also known as French Press To-Go is a disposable and refillable single serve French Press (Press Pot). The SoloPress is conveniently pre-packaged with easy to use disposable plunger units, and the SoloPress brews quickly with some preparation and has a bit of a wet mess to clean up. Well - not a huge mess really - just a rather large wet coffee pod like bad that contains the plunger - but if you're brewing coffee - it's acceptable.
Shown here with our Pyrex Timer. so we get a perfect brew time.
The Solobrew SoloPress opened showing the foil french brew packets.
The inserted french press sock that goes into the SoloPrew container.
Insert after filling with hot water and then let steep and plunge.
The slower you're plunge pull the better the coffee.
After brewing remove the french press sock. You can then
use the SoloPrew chamber for another 3 brews.
You get a cup of decent coffee. Much better than hotel coffee,
not as good as Handpresso ESE coffee - but much cheaper and more portable.
We think the coffee produced is more than acceptable from the SoloPress from Solobrew. If we were to score this on our rating system (we tried the Costa Rican - Sumatra is also available), we think we'd give it in the Good range. Why good? Well - it's not amazing coffee, but the coffee produced when thinking about hiking, drinking at the office, on a trip in your hotel room, would be much better than we normally get.
You also have to like the price - at $3.95 from the Coffee Artisan, that's about $1 a cup and would allow you to purchase about 25 of these netting you about 100 cups of coffee before even the price of a Handpresso. That being said - it's not espresso - it's french pressed coffee which is good, but you have to deal with a bit of a wet pod. We're never big fans of a wet pod sock like coffee thing, but if you're outdoors - who cares? Or if you're by the sink or the waste bin - it's the same type of mess you get from a huge tea bag.
Overall we like the SoloPress. It's a good alternative for coffee on the go, and the product will continue to expand in the future with an espresso version according to their web site.
At Solobrew and make sure to read Jolly's review in the Single Serve Coffee Forums too.
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Posted by Jay Brewer at September 11, 2009 8:17 AM