The thing about portable espresso makers is that most of them require pods, gas cartridges or pods and gas cartridges – so when a new hand-powered espresso machine pops up that needs neither of these things… we are going to take notice.
What makes the Nomad special? There are a few things that I like about this machine: 1) no electricity or batteries (very nice if you live in post nuclear meltdown Japan – which I do); 2) no pods (there is no substitute for freshly roasted and ground coffee); and last but not least 3) the True Crema Valve, which the maker says is able to compensate for coarser grinds and tamping imperfections.
The Nomad was inspired by the classic hand operated lever machines which remain the benchmark of quality espresso machines. We simplified and miniaturized the large, complex lever machines and created a portable device that’s very easy to use. The Nomad is the size of a 15 cm cube, weighs 1.1 kg, and requires no electricity. With very little effort the Nomad produces 9 bars of pressure and like the classic lever machines users have direct control over the water temperature, pressure, flow rate, and volume. Skilled coffee hobbyists and experts will enjoy playing with these variables. In addition, The Nomad is equipped with a proprietary True Crema Valve™ which compensates for coarser grounds and tamping variations. When used with the True Crema Valve anyone can make great espresso and coffee without having expensive grinding equipment and extensive training.
While we have not tested out the Nomad and can not attest for its results, the video does show it producing an extremely tasty looking cup of espresso. The results look very impressive.
At $165 (while in funding), the Nomad is a good deal more expensive than the HandPresso Wild Hybrid, which looks a little easier to transport and which is able to operate without pods and which pumps out quite a bit more pressure (16 BAR). What really sets the Nomad apart is the True Crema Valve and the level of control that it offers over the the different brewing variables.
If you want something that you can take hiking, I don’t think there is anything that will beat the HandPresso – but if you want something for a small kitchen, don’t want to use pods and don’t want to invest too much in grinding equipment then the Nomad is definitely worth considering.
The Nomad is currently in the last days of a Kickstarter funding campaign and so close to its $100,000 goal that reaching it should be a formality (at the time of writing $98,923 has been pledged and there are still four days to go).
Price: $165 for the basic model (there are a few different funding options available)