Mypressi Twist Review
by Randy Glass - Copyright 2011 - All rights reserved
E-mail me at email@example.com
Every now and then a device comes along that catches ones attention on all levels. Design, ease of use, effectiveness, and more. I feel the MyPressi Twist fits those and more. Imagine a portable espresso machine that needs only a source of hot water and ground coffee to make "real" espresso, There have been other devices that do much the same. You could place the Presso into this category, calling it a lever machine, but it has not garnered the positive reviews and press that the Twist has gained. A moka pot may fit the category, but since these rely on steam power I do not place them in the same class.
So what is the Twist? This advanced device uses pressure form nitrous oxide cartridges (as used in whipped cream dispensers) or carbon dioxide cartridges (as used in soda siphons) to force heated water, under pressure, through a mass of finely-ground, compacted coffee. Exactly- an espresso machine. What sets it apart is that it is hand-held and highly portable (see note in conclusion).
The first time I picked up the Twist I found it larger than I had perceived and heavier as well. The main frame of the device is made of solid metal and is fairly dense. It in non-magnetic and much heavier than aluminum. I would guess it is plated brass.
When you first lay it all out on a table it looks like an impossible puzzle, but in minutes you will have it figured out. The design team worked overtime on this one. While I didn't spend time actually trying to put it together incorrectly, for the most part it assembles in only one way. Where a specific alignment is required there are indicator marks that make it easy to line up the parts.
Above are shown all the parts that make up the top half of the Twist.
The black plastic part that holds the shower screen has a one-way valve
that keeps the water in the "boiler" section until the trigger is pressed.
The assembled "group." The is the bottom of the group showing the shower screen.
The water dispersion pattern is excellent. Water is emitted evenly all the way across the screen.
BrewingTo set up the Twist, begin by unscrewing the end of the handle and insert a cartridge. Screwing the end back into position punctures the cartridge. Those little nine gram cartridges hold around 600 PSI, so they had to come up with a way to drop that pressure to the 9BAR (135 PSI) necessary for decent espresso. Inside the handle is a sophisticated pressure regulator that does an excellent job of doing just that.
One cartridge gets four double extractions. To help keep track of how many extractions remain, the water cap has an indicator and there are four groups of dots (groups of one to four, inclusive) that you can use as a reminder, if you remember to set the lid correctly on the water chamber after each extraction.
If this is the first extraction of the session, preheat the water chamber bu filling it nearly to the top with water just off the boiling point. Close the lid and allow the chamber to sit for a couple of minutes. The chamber is heavy metal for the most part, so it readily absorbs heat.
While the chamber is preheating insert the correct basket into the handle, grind your coffee, dose, and tamp. (NOTE: You can slo use the Mypressi Twist "bottomless" by simply removing the lower hemisphere. In that case, you will need to dose and tamp with the basket removed from the handle and insert it when finished.)
Just like a "real" espresso machine, the Twist benefits from the use of a quality grinder capable of creating a very fine grind. I have used both a Kony as well as a Baratza Virtuoso to good effect with the Twist. But as you would expect, the better the grinder, the better the espresso.
Now empty the water chamber and refill with approximately two ounces of boiling water for a double or one ounce for a single. Close and secure the lid and attach the top hemisphere assembly to the handle.
ConclusionFor approximately $150, I feel the MyPressi twist is the best return on investment if it is real espresso you are after. Of course, you will need a quality grinder to get the best from the Twist. Add a high-quality hand grinder (and coffee beans, or course!), and all you need is a source of boiling water and nitrous cartridges to enjoy espresso just about anywhere.
The plusses - even in the smallest of kitchens where counter space is extremely limited (like the galley of a small ship) you can have espresso. It is a well designed device made to last that produces espresso that can rival machines costing ten times as much. Small, easy to use, and affordable and it makes wonderful espresso. It is also nearly silent in operation. Unless you drop it on your foot and cry out in pain, on its own it will never emit an audible clue that you are making espresso.
The minuses are .. minor. Don't expect to serve a party of folks using one Mypressi Twist. I suppose it can be done, but it will never rival the performance of a HX or DB machine. It has no steam wand, so you will need to get a "steam toy," or a milk frother if you wish to create milk-based drinks. There is nothing to hold the filter basket in the handle, so knocking the puck out requires removal of the basket from the handle. Finally, there is a tiny O-ring mounted in the handle that seals the path of the pressurized gas when brewing and care must be taken when washing the device not to lose it down the drain.
Cartridge Travel WarningIf you plan on taking the Mypressi Twist on vacation, be aware that it is unlawful to take CO2 or NO2 cartridges onto an aircraft whether in carry-on or checked luggage. You will either have to purchase them at your destination or have them shipped there ahead of time. Don't forget to remove the cylinder from the Twist itself before packing!
The Bottom LineBesides being a study in industrial design, the Twist is small, affordable, and has the potential to create excellent espresso. The Twist is my current go-to recommendation to folks who are looking for a frugal path to excellent espresso.