All of my readers have to know that I have been a fan of the Espro Press starting with my first review of one back in 2010. Countless times in the various coffee forums, anyone who posted a message concerning which press to buy, my answer is always just one word: Espro. The proprietary filter system consisting of two stainless steel, fine-mesh screens does away with the sludge in the cup and the bitterness and muddy flavors which that sludge creates. Another benefit of that is that, once pressed, the screen isolates the ground coffee from the finished beverage so efficiently that you can continue to pour and drink without fear of over-extracted coffee when you get to the bottom of the press, to the last drop.
Since that first press I reviewed, the Espro folks have been on the move in terms of developing and improving their products, and the new Espro Coffee and Tea Travel Press is no exception! This is their first "portable" press that combines the features of their excellent extracting and filtering system with a travel mug.
Here are all the parts of the Espro Coffee and Tea Travel Press (showing coffee filter)
There are a number of features the Travel press has in common with its predecessors as well as incorporating some improvements.
The Espro Coffee and Tea Travel Pressuses the same double stainless filter design for coffee as previous models. The current filter design (update from the original) uses a concentric filter design which leaves far less liquid below the filter making for a much easier cleanup.
The inner and outer coffee filter join with tab-in-slot twist lock. Align the tab and slot and a turn of a few degrees locks them together. Makes it very easy to disassemble for cleaning.
The double wall, vacuum insulated stainless steel vessel has stampings inside to clearly mark the maximum levels for coffee as well as tea, and using those will eliminate overfilling. The maximum lines mark 10 ounces for coffee and 12 ounces for tea. The Travel Press comes with two separate filters. One for coffee and one for tea..
HOW TO USE Put in coarse-ground coffee, stir. Then Insert the filter into the vessel and screw on the top of the press.
It's a press, just like any other press, but this one makes good coffee that you can sip to the last drop.
...Then press. Here you see the plunger's knob after it has been fully pressed into the vessel. Now all you have to do is drink. The knob is deep enough that it will not interfere with drinking. Note the design of the slots to decrease slashing and spills when traveling.
On the move? Screw on the travel cap that features a tapered silicone seal. In my testing, even laying down on a table top when it was full of hot, freshly-prssed coffee, there was not a single drip.
Cleanup is simple and less messy than in the past. Remove the press and basket assembly and disassemble the basket. Discard the grounds and wash all parts.
Do you also enjoy tea? This is the "Espro Coffee and Tea Travel Press," and they wouldn't say "tea" if it wasn't true! Included is a special tea filter. Here you see it compared to the coffee filter. There are a few differences. There is only one filter screen instead of two, there are two silicone seals instead of one, and it is smaller than the coffee filter. Tea does not create the slurry as does full-immersion coffee brewing, but you still want to stop the steeping process.
Note the interesting design of the bottom of the tea filter's seal. When brewing tea and the filter is plunged, the tea passes around the bottom seal then through the metal mesh filter. When the plunger reaches the bottom of the vessel it encounters a slight narrowing of the inside diameter- a taper if you will. This taper forces the silicone "tabs" to fold upwards to effect a complete seal to stop the steeping of the tea.
Excellent, just as you would expect from any Espro product that I have ever tested. The vacuum insulation keeps the coffee hot, and now you can easily take it on the road or even make it on the road! If you make a bad press pot of coffee with an Espro press, it is either you or the coffee.
In terms of a press pot, the Espro Travel press is all that you would expect from Espro:
It efficiently filters the coffee as efficiently as all their press products.
The double-wall, vacuum insulated vessel keeps the coffee hot. I left the top cover lid off and the coffee was still drinkably warm after three hours of sipping.
The travel cap seals so efficiently that you can just throw it into a briefcase or backpack, or onto the floor of the car, and it won't leak.
If you remove the filter basket and plunger you can use the Espro Travel Press as a "regular" travel mug with a 15 ounce capacity.
Want a "pour-over" filtered style coffee? You can assemble the two-part filter with a round, paper filter trapped between them!
The design abounds with intelligence. Little details like the threads in the basket into which the plunder rod screws is stainless steel.
But be aware that the top cap is just that. It is a sealing lid that you cannot drink through. If you have a cup holder in the car sized to hold the press, the screw-in sipping lid that stabilizes the press's plunger will contain just about any splashing other than possibly a Jeep ride through the Rubicon or during a rollover accident. I will leave that level of testing to others.
The need to remove the travel cap is about the only factor which may be a negative one to some users. At least it's the only one I can think of. Well, that and when using the Espro Travel Coffee and Tea Press, you get to the bottom of the coffee too soon.
Do I need to say more? The Espro gang is a wonderful bunch of folks making the highest quality presses that I have used or even seen. The plastics they use in the filters are BPA-, BBP-, and phthalate-free plastic which they state meet the highest possible standard for food-grade plastic in the industry. They state that they neither hold nor impart flavor, and pose no risk of leaching into food over time.
They also stand behind their products. On the box they guarantee that it "Makes coffee and tea that you'll love." Something I have been saying for years (sans the guarantee). The Travel Press comes is stainless, black, red or white.
Check their website for retailers in your region or state. The Espro Coffee and Tea Travel Press comes in a coffee only version and a tea only version for a retail price of about $38. The version that has the coffee and tea filter included is around $50. Replacement filter assemblies are also available through their website. The vessels? What did you do? Run it over with your car? Those are virtually indestructible with the exception of their new glass press. All things considered (ease of use, durability, function, quality of beverage produced, and cost), I am hard pressed
to find a better choice of a coffee making device. I think you will agree.