Frugal Living » Dirt Cheap Espresso- to Go!

Dirt Cheap Espresso- to Go!

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Finally, decent dirt cheap espresso on the go! Coffee is the nectar of life and when you’re traveling, it can be sheer hell to find a decent cup at an affordable price. Who wants to pay $5 for a Latte?? Not only that… who wants to stand in line these days in an overcrowded coffee shop around masked people, all trying to avoid getting exposed to Covid.

How to Use the Staresso Portable Espresso

The directions for the Staresso portable espresso unit are pretty simple. All you’ll need to make perfect espresso is a bit of hot water, your favorite coffee and milk (entirely optional!).

b101 staresso portable espresso machine

Fill the coffee basket with ground coffee or a Nespresso pod.

b101 tamper coffee
Example of Coarse grind (not the best choice in grind!!)

Screw it into the bottom of the water chamber, firmly.

Add hot water to the desired fill line. The machine actually has two fill lines listed inside, 50ML for Italian espresso and 80ML for Americano-style espresso. The amount of water you choose is based on the style of beverage you prefer.

b101 filling staresso water reservoir

Release the pump plunger from its locked position (by pressing gently and turning it slightly clockwise). Then pump several times until pressure builds and espresso starts to express into the glass. Continue pumping until all of the water has been pressed through.

b101 staresso espresso pump

You’ll see the layers forming in the glass, the heart at the bottom rich and dark, the body (in the middle) finished with a nice rich, thick Crema on the top.b101 espresso layers

The resulting espresso is delightful, full bodied, loaded with flavor, without the bitterness that can often result in hastily prepared espresso.

b101 perfect espresso

Game Changer Tricks for the Staresso Portable Espresso Maker

The Staresso portable Espresso machine is definitely the answer to avoiding extensive lines in expensive coffee shops. While it comes with simple instructions to get you started with ease, let me give you a couple tips that are game changers for me.

It’s all about the Grind

Use a fine grind, you’ll want about 8-10 grams of coffee in the coffee basket. If the grind is too fine or compact, it will be difficult to press. If it’s too coarse, the water will flow right through very quickly, creating a watered down espresso.

b101 espresso fine grind coffee

We recommend grinding freshly roasted beans for the best flavor. But that’s certainly not a requirement. If you don’t have a coffee grinder, you can opt to purchase ready-ground espresso or for even less-effort, Nespresso capsules. These are pre-measured pods that you simply drop in place of the ground coffee pod.

While other brands do fit, they’re not recommended because they create excessive wear and tear on the unit. If you use Nespresso capsules, be aware that you need to poke a couple holes into the pod using the cleaning brush/poker tool that comes with the unit.

b101 cleaning brush poke tool

Foreplay Helps

First and foremost, your Staresso espresso unit likes a little foreplay (who doesn’t, honestly?). Fill the glass with HOT water. Remove the the pump from the top, place it into the glass of hot water and give it a few pumps until the hot water is moving through the ceramic coated pump.

The reason for this is that first… it heats the pump and the glass- which means your espresso is going to be good and hot. Using them while they’re cold reduces the temperature of your finished espresso. This is isn’t a problem if you plan to consume it immediately, but if you like to sip and savor, heat them first. You’ll thank me later!

The second reason is that you’ve already created the pressure and the pump is full of hot water rather than hot air, which reduces the bubbles in the espresso, whilst creating a super smooth, super thick Crema.

b101 layered espresso

Immediately dump out the glass of water, fill the water reservoir and pump up the pressure until you see that sweet nectar of life start to flow through. At that point, wait a few seconds… let the water and the coffee court and marry . . . after all, this is one relationship you don’t want to rush!

b101 espresso extraction staresso mini

Now, press the pump and extract the pure deliciousness into the hot cup.

By the way, pre-warming the glass and the ceramic coated pump gives you the perfect temperature on your coffee, improves the smooth, rich, thick Crema, and the resulting flavor that matches those expensive space-hogging machines.

b101 prewarming staresso mini

At this point, if you’d like to add milk foam, remove the ground coffee basket and fill the chamber with about 1 ounce of hot milk. Start pumping to build up pressure, then continue to pump to extract the milk foam to make the perfect Cappuccino.

Don’t rinse it first, there’s no need. The tiny remnants of espresso residue inside impart a lovely layer of flavor into the foam.

b101 foaming milk staresso

Staresso Espresso Portable Mini – a Traveler’s Dream!

While the Staresso espresso portable is perfectly suited for home use, camping, college dorms, etc, I’ve found the Staresso portable espresso mini to be a traveler’s dream come true!

b101 staresso espresso mini

The Staresso mini weighs less than half a pound and is only six inches tall. It comes in a tiny travel case where everything is completely self-contained. It fits nicely on the side of my camera bag, in the door of my car, or even in my laptop bag, depending on where I’m headed.

Of course you still need hot water, but if you pull into a gas station or hotel lobby, while traveling, you’ll be able to throw together an instant espresso with minimal effort. Unlike fast food chain coffee, it will actually taste good! Don’t toss out those used coffee grounds just yet, here are 21 clever uses to repurpose coffee grounds.

b101 staresso mini espresso

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