Tag Archives: espresso maker

Travesso The Prima Kit Review

Travesso The Prima Kit Review

Espresso on the go has a couple of unique obstacles to great taste and Travesso The Prima Kit has everything you need for great tasting espresso wherever you find yourself.

Ease of Use/Performance: 4/5
Convenience/Storage 4/5
Appearance/Design 5/5
How much I enjoy 4/5

Total: 4/5

Travesso Prima Kit

Travesso started as a desire to never be without espresso and keeping things small and lightweight is part of that idea. The Prima Kit includes everything you need to make great tasting espresso but does require electricity to heat water.

The Travesso Prima Kit includes the Travesso Prima, immersion heater, CO2 charger, CO2 cartridges, double walled Bodum espresso cup, Oxo heater rest, tread lube and ESE pods. The Prima Kit also comes with a travel case to carry everything in with enough room for a shock absorber pump and a small thermos.

The Prima Kit has a great machine at its center with the Travesso Prima that uses air from a pump to force the hot water through the espresso grounds. Using either ground espresso and a filter paper or an E.S.E. pod you can make fresh espresso with plenty of crema.

whats in the box

The Travesso Prima has a sealed chamber for the water, grounds and gas used to force the water through the grounds and out the valve. The pressure comes from a pump or cartridge with a common Schrader valve and a gauge for charging the Travesso Prima.

To make espresso you first heat water using the included immersion heater or any other method and fill the black reservoir about 3/4 full. Next you either put grounds in the water then a filter paper or set an E.S.E. pod on top of the reservoir.

The lid is screwed on to the reservoir and you turn the unit over to soak the water into the grounds or pod for 8 seconds. Gas from either a pump like a high pressure shock absorber pump, a CO2 or NO2 cartridge is used to pressurize the Travesso Prima.

inside the prima

The gas is force into the Schrader valve and when the unit is pressurized to about 200 psi you can remove the cartridge or pump. The Schrader valve ensures you do not lose pressure while taking the pump or cartridge off the prima.

You can use the included Bodum double walled espresso cup to enjoy your espresso and the kit includes a sampling of great tasting pods. The valve at the outlet controls how much espresso is released which also partially controls the amount of crema.

Once you empty the gas from the Prima after getting your shot of espresso you simply rinse it out and ensure the screw threads get some lubrication. The large screw threads on the lid and reservoir ensure a tight seal but some lube is included to make sure you have an easy time both tightening and maintaining a seal.

Prima Gauge & Valve

The Prima offers a unique way to bring espresso wherever you go and the kit has just about everything you need including an easy way to boil water. The immersion heater works just fine but you can just as easily boil water in a tea kettle or on a fire with a pot or other handy cookware.

Like other espresso devices I found that warming up the Prima and the cup helps to make a smoother and less bitter espresso. I have not really had a bitter espresso with the Prima as it does not really overheat the grounds but you can use too long an extraction as well.

I found the half minute or slightly less is about perfect and warming the cup and Prima helps to get a hot shot of espresso. The Travesso Prima is a great way to make espresso on the go and would make an excellent camping or on the go espresso maker.

Travesso Prima

I highly recommend the Travesso Prima as an excellent espresso maker that works well and is easy to use while the Prima Kit has everything you need for fresh espresso.

Travesso Prima website

Pros
Easy to make espresso
On the go portability
Simple kit

Cons
Makes better espresso with ESE Pods

Imusa Bistro 4 Cup Electric Espresso Maker

Imusa Bistro Espresso Maker

The Imusa Bistro 4 Cup Espresso Maker is an affordable espresso machine for all those great espresso based drinks with the included frother that adds that perfect touch to a finished cappuccino or macchiato.

Ease of Use/Performance: 4.5/5
Convenience/Storage 4/5
Appearance/Design 4.5/5
How much I enjoy 5/5

Total: 4.5/5

Imusa Bistro 4 Cup Espresso Maker

There are a broad range of espresso machines out there and the cost is also widely varying from under a hundred dollars to well over ten thousand for those fully automatic ones you see in the coffee shops. Being a home barista and creating those fancy espresso based drinks does not have to start off expensive and you can easily work toward those more expensive appliances while enjoying your own espresso drinks.

At the lower end of the cost scale we have the Imusa Bistro 4 cup Espresso Maker that is a great 4 cup machine that both makes espresso and has the additional frother for the frothed milk and steaming. Lattes, cappuccino’s, machiattos and other drinks based on espresso are all at your hands with the Bistro Espresso Maker with a simple to use system that has the internal tank heating system.

The Bistro Espresso Maker comes with the machine itself, a glass carafe with lid, filter basket, porta filter and instruction manual. Imusa also sent me the 4 cup porcelain espresso set called Peace with chrome rack which makes a nice accompaniment to the espresso machine.

Whats in the Box Imusa Bistro Espresso Maker

Imusa has a wide variety of espresso cup and saucer sets with racks and at the affordable price of the espresso machine getting a set of cups and saucers will not be all that hard on your wallet. The 8 piece porcelain set has the 4 cups and saucers with a chrome rack that holds all the set to keep things organized on your counter or in your cupboard.

The Imusa Bistro 4 Cup Espresso Machine is easy to use with the tank for water accessible from the top under a plastic cover to keep things neat looking when not in use and the screw top makes for a secure pressure tank during use. To make espresso you simply fill the tank with water and fill the filter basket of the porta filter with your choice of espresso then twist the porta filter on the machine.

The handle on the side for making espresso or steaming is easy to use as well and simply turning the handle to the espresso marking starts the pressure and heating. Once the machine has brewed about 2 cups of espresso you can turn the handle to the steam setting to froth or steam milk for those espresso based.

Fresh Cappuccino

I found the machine was easy to use and having the correct grind is an all important step to brewing good espresso but getting practice with the machine is also helpful. Once you have the process down you can experiment with various drinks like lattes and cappuccinos’ but the espresso itself is very good.

I also received a 10 ounce Café La Llave pre ground espresso from Don Francisco’s Coffee Trader’s which made a fine choice for this review. If you just want to try some espresso and keep the starting costs down you can buy ground espresso such as Café La Llave for a try at the world of espresso and see how easy it is to make.

I had no problems using the machine and for the cost it does make very good espresso but this is only a basic machine for the price of about $40. I did find that you really need to be careful with going to 4 cups of espresso as toward the end of the 4 cups you can get bitter tasting coffee because of the scalding of the espresso grounds.

Cafe La Llave Espresso

The more time you are pulling a shot of espresso the more bitter it can be and to try and go for 4 shots of espresso can be trying your luck a bit. The balance between good espresso trying to make the four shots the machine is capable of can be a bit of a balancing act but I found the machine is fast enough to just worry about making two at a time.

I do think this type of machine with more shots than a more expensive espresso machine does work well enough and is well worth a look for someone looking to break into espresso making. A good grinder is also essential but using a ground espresso like the Café La Llave can also work well for a starter as well as buying espresso ground at a local coffee shop that sells and grinds espresso beans.

Imusa 8 Piece Porcelain Espresso Set

I highly recommend the Imusa Bistro 4 Cup Espresso Machine for anyone wanting to try their hand at espresso and to start their own home barista. After finding how easy it is you can slowly work your way up to better espresso starting with a good grinder then maybe a better espresso machine.

Bistro 4 Cup Electric Espresso Maker @ Imusa

Imusa Bistro 4 Cup Electric Espresso Maker @ Target

Francis Francis Y1 IperEspresso Machine

Francis Francis Y1 by Illy

The Illy Francis Francis Y1 is a capsule exclusive espresso machine that uses the Illy iperEspresso capsules to make really quick espresso drinks with the compact and handy machine.

Ease of Use/Performance: 25/25
Convenience/Storage 25/25
Appearance/Design 20/25
How much I enjoy 24/25

Total: 94/100

Francis Francis Y1 IperEspresso Machine from Illy

The Illy Francis Francis Y1 iperEspresso Machine is a new capsule espresso machine that easily makes espresso’s in a very short time without hassle. The Y1 machine only takes a minute to warm up and you simply put a capsule into the capsule compartment and use the lever to lock down the top compartment then press the brew button.

The Illy Francis Francis Y1 which costs about $175 uses iperEspresso capsules made exclusively by Illy and only these capsules to brew a single espresso. The Y1 comes with the machine itself but you will have to order some espresso capsules to get you started as they are not included with the machine.

Since this machine uses capsules and does not use any kind of grounds you do not need anything but the machine, it does have two pull out pieces in the water tank and empty capsule drawer. The machine is easy to understand and use, simply plug it in, fill the water tank and run some water through it to clean it out.

Once you want to start your first cup of espresso simply place a capsule in the compartment using the pull up handle and push it closed. You have to make sure you catch the handles hooks into the base of the unit on the tower when closing but this is really the only tricky part.

Turn the machine on and once the white light around the button comes on the unit is ready to use, push the stainless steel button and the water will start to flow through the capsule into your cup. The machine is used expressly for smaller cups but it does have a little extra room when you remove the steel platform for your cup.

Francis Francis Y1 Whats in the Box

The Illy Francis Francis Y1 goes through a two step process when brewing with the water going through the grounds in the capsule then the brew getting aerated in the bottom of the capsule. The Y1 is easy to cleanup as the coffee never touches the machine parts, water goes through a small needle like piece in the top and then the capsule only.

I have noticed it does get a little coffee on the back of the tower above your cup tray but this is easily wiped off but also the capsule drawer needs rinsing out. When you’re done with the brewing simply cycle the handle to have the machine pickup and deposit the capsule into the drawer.

This also puts a little brewed espresso in the drawer that spills from the capsules when they go tumbling into the drawer. You should clean out this drawer every few days if you put capsules into it as the dripped coffee can start to mold if you leave it in for a week or more.

The etched glass top has plenty of room to place cups, not included, for warming on the decorated top which makes the Francis Francis Y1 look very distinguished. The machine is about 9.5 by 9.5 inches square so has a smaller space for your countertop and is shorter than most espresso machines.Francis Francis Y1 Machine Inserting Capsule

Using the machine is simple but this is only used with the capsules from Illy so you need to continue purchasing them either on the internet or at local stores. My unit came with two cans, 21 capsules each, but you can purchase a variety of capsules at about $20 to $30 per can of 21.

I did not find any at my local stores but Bed, Bath and Beyond as well as other stores do carry them so you may find them locally depending on the store near you. Illy also offers a bargain with a recurring coffee capsule delivery for three cans of capsules and you get the machine for $125.

The recurring delivery is three cans a month of any variety at their price so you can always have capsules for your coffee available at home. The capsules are pretty good to use and the espresso you get is very good but not as good as from a regular espresso machine.

The machine may not be quite as good as regular espresso from a more conventional machine but it does make a really quick cup of coffee or espresso which is what it excels at. You can make one or even two espresso shots in about three minutes without any fuss with cleanup that does taste good, but the lack of crema is noticeable.

Francis Francis Y1 Parts

I find this machine is perfect if you need a quick shot or two of espresso for on the go drinks as you get ready to face the day. The Francis Francis Y1 makes an excellent machine for an office as well as home use if you need quick coffee or espresso while you’re heading out the door.

I used this more often when going on a trip or out for some errands in the morning and wanted to make a quick drink before tackling the day. The Illy Francis Francis Y1 makes an excellent espresso machine for on the go use for a really quick espresso for your espresso based drinks.

Francis Francis Y1 @ Illy