Video: The Handpresso in Action

International Home and Housewares Show 2008

The International Home and Housewares Show has been a great opportunity to meet inventors and innovators in person. We were excited to meet the team behind a strange yet fascinating product we featured during Coffee Week. The Handpresso is a French invention that lets you have espresso anywhere - whether you're camping out in the mountains, a hotel room or just the office. Check out this one-minute impromptu video of their demonstration, and click through to see more of the gadget and to read our impressions of the espresso itself...
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Our initial skepticism about the Handpresso was born out of the novel idea (a bicycle pump plus espresso machine? Really?) and the fact that it uses espresso pods instead of freshly roasted and ground coffee beans.

Some of you cautioned us not to dismiss coffee pods so readily, however, and we are coming round to the idea here at the show. We visited the Illy booth and had two (!!) rather amazing shots of espresso made from their pods. We were impressed by these (and their Fiat-inspired Francis Francis espresso machines; we'll show you some beauty shots soon...). So we had warmed up to the idea of espresso pods by the time we met the wonderfully charming Handpresso team.

We were very impressed with the espresso. It didn't quite hold up to the full-on Francis Francis machines, but it was smooth and rich, with a body that lingered and a heady crema.

If your espresso is important enough to you that you want it on the road, this is a great option. We venture to say that it may very well produce a better espresso than Starbucks and their automated espresso machines anyway.

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The machine itself is very attractive - well built, heavy, and gleaming with polished black steel and glass. There is a whole case set you can buy with espresso cups. Also, we discovered that it takes all types of espresso pods - there is no proprietary kind that you are forced to use.

These will retail in the United States for about $150.

So, what do you think? Now that you've seen it in action, would you be up for buying one?

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