January 29, 2010

Review: MyPressi Twist Portable Single Serve Espresso and Coffee Maker

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Portable and easy to use espresso machines are all the rage, and the MyPressi Twist is the latest in this growing category of single serve coffee and espresso. The folks behind MyPressi Twist lent us one for just over a week to try and use for this review. It's very much like the Handpresso, except it uses N02 cartridges instead of a built in pump. We've been big users of our Handpresso over the past year, and having seen the MyPressi was hoping for an improvement over the Handpresso or perhaps something different that it would offer. What did we find?

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The MyPressi is on the left and the Handpresso is on the right.
The MyPressi is much heavier and larger.

What we found compared to the Handpresso is a much more complicated device that essentially does the same job. There are 5x the amount of parts and things to make the same shot of espresso and the Handpresso is much lighter and more environmentally friendly requiring only a little muscle to pump it versus using NO2 cartridges in the MyPressi Twist - but more on that later.

How the MyPressi Twist Works

How does the MyPressi Twist work? To operate the mypressi TWIST, simply insert a cartridge into the pressure chamber, fill the basket with fresh ground coffee or a coffee pod, and fill the upper compartment with hot water. With a simple pull of the trigger the TWIST produces one or two shots of espresso perfection ready to be enjoyed alone, or as the base for any coffee beverage. The TWIST has an easy-to-clean design that is also dishwasher safe, ensuring even after months of use that there are no left over oils to oxidize or spoil subsequent shots.


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All the parts - but the brew head needs to be
dissembled to pull a shot each time.

That's how it works, but is it easy to use and setup? No. We found the the parts you had to fit together to be like some kind of crazy espresso maker puzzle. The MyPressi Twist head unit contains a ton of part from the ESE pod holder, to the base, to the top you put water in - to sealing the chamber - just endless puzzles, and when you're dealing with hot water - not fun.

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Just some of the parts that make up the brew head. You
need to redo this sandwich making process of brew head and
espresso pod each time.

You may think us crazy, but the Handpresso only has one thing to take off and on - the part that holds the espresso pod or grounds. It much simpler with you pouring in the water, putting the pod in the holder and screwing it into place. The MyPressi is similiar but then there's also the N02 cartridge, and the weight.


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After finally getting it put together we pull a shot.

The MyPressi Twist is 2x the weight and heft of the Handpresso making it really heaving to hold in your hand to support the large brew chamber.

How good is the Espresso from the MyPressi Twist

Honestly once you figure out the crazy puzzle of getting it together, filling it, and then pouring a shot, the espresso produced is quite good. Is it better or easier than the Handpresso - alas no. They are on par with each other, with a slight edge on the Handpresso for just being 5x easier to use and repeat the process.


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The result is a very nice shot of espresso.


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We tried a variety of ESE pods from Starbucks to Illy - the results were all good. But yes - we are beating a dead horse here - using the MyPressi is just not as fun or easy as the Handpresso - and the mess with water and filling was also quite noticeable over using the Handpresso for the same number of shots. Also because the process takes longer to turn over, the brew temp of the espresso shots varied much wider than the HandPresso.

Conclusions

You're going to have to spend $149 or so for the MyPressi Twist, and you'll only pay $88 or so for the Handpresso. You won't have to buy refills of N02 cartridges for the HandPresso, but you don't have to pump the MyPressi as it uses the N02 cartridges to produce the pressure needed to pull a shot of single serve espresso. It's a trade off, but the Handpresso is so much lighter and easier to use, we'd rather pump a shot any day over having the bulk and mess of the MyPressi Twist and it's complicated brew head puzzle.

At MyPressi and MyPressi Twist

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Posted by Jay Brewer at January 29, 2010 8:06 AM

Recent Comments

Finally some indication as to the weight of the thing! Granted, this review does not go into depths regarding flavor, but that's something you can read anywhere. As a backpacker I am interested in the practicalities too, and those I find lacking in other reviews on the subject.


Posted by: Niels Giesen at July 4, 2011 10:34 AM

Sorry, but this is a very superficial review; it is almost worthless to the true coffee-lover. We are looking to see how good a job it does (Damn the parts-count, Sir, full steam ahead!)

Too many parts? It's the exactly the same number of parts as the Handpresso, if the the Handprsso was capable of doing double-shots, single-shots, coarse-ground and pods.

And, sorry again, but site after site praises the quality of the espresso from the MyPressi, albiet a double (but what else would you drink, instant in little packets?)

Apologize for being so critical, but this was a really slap-dash piece of reportage and a dis-service to the reader.


Posted by: Robin C at February 22, 2010 11:17 AM

Thank you for taking the time to review the TWIST. I understand that you are focused purely on pod use and so didn't test the TWIST with fresh ground coffee. Pods are pods, and one can only do so much with them. I make no apology for the TWIST being unable to transform pods into something better, and I am not surprised the taste was similar. However, switch up to fresh ground coffee and you will find the TWIST really sings. This is something the other machine cannot do. In numerous independent reviews the TWIST has been compared to the best home espresso machines costing at least 4x as much, and it has even confounded professional tasters in blind tests against $14,000 machines.

The parts you found confusing actually enable the TWIST to transform from POD use to real espresso in a matter of seconds. To say there are too many parts is a little like saying a food processor has too many blades. If all you ever do is puree, then you are probably happy having just a chopping blade and don't want the additional grating or mixing blades. But if you want to do more with the product, you will certainly appreciate them.

The TWIST has three different baskets enabling it to work with pods, coarse ground coffee, or a true espresso grind. Just swap one piece out for the other and you’re on your way. It will also pull two shots at once, just like a commercial machine.

Regarding its weight, the TWIST is built to handle a sustained 135psi while extracting a shot. It maintains a total of 400 pounds of force across the basket for the entire shot, a little like holding up a couple of linebackers for 30 seconds. That’s a lot of work, which is why you won’t find any plastic structural parts in our product. It's also required for real espresso. On the other hand, in our opinion it is also a lot easier to hold the TWIST for 30 seconds than it is to pump the other device for the 20-40 strokes it takes to make just one shot. Double that for two.

Of course, opinions vary. Thank you again for your review.


Posted by: Stephen O'Brien at January 29, 2010 6:31 PM

Nice work. Enjoyed this review.


Posted by: jbviau at January 29, 2010 2:27 PM
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