Superkop Espresso Maker Review: Great Espresso Without the Electricity

Nothing makes me happier than when somebody comes alongside and clears away all the technological litter from a tool to disclose its easy mechanical underpinnings. When the consequence additionally appears to be like higher and works higher than its opponents, that’s tech(much less) nirvana, which is precisely what the Superkop espresso machine manages to realize.

The Superkop is a wholly guide espresso maker that wants nothing greater than sizzling water and espresso-ground espresso to brew up a scrumptious shot. There’s no touchscreen, no pointless cellphone app, no digital nonsense, simply the important factor you want: nice espresso.

Since it doesn’t require something greater than sizzling water, when the zombie apocalypse comes, you may warmth that water over a garbage can fireplace, brew that scrumptious shot, and calmly search for out of your still-functional Superkop at the impending Zombie horde and say, “Bring it.”

Keep It Simple

Hand-pump espresso machines aren’t a brand new thought. They are, in actual fact, the unique thought. Still out there right now, largely in the type of costly, pro-level machines. La Pavoni might be the best-known model, however most of its machines (and most trendy pump machines) nonetheless require electrical energy (often to warmth the water). Go again additional in historical past and also you’ll discover giant, advanced hand-pump machines designed for espresso retailers. They’re wonderful, usually lovely—a few of them are artwork nouveau–period masterworks—however not the type of factor most of us can afford in our houses.

The most sensible hand-pump machine I’ve used (and the high choose in our guide to portable espresso) is the Flair Signature ($239), which is hand-pumped however makes use of your physique to supply the stress obligatory to realize the 9 to 11 bars required for espresso. This works should you’re capable of present that stress, however it’s the one weak point of the Flair—that you must be robust sufficient to get that stress.

The Superkop steps into this market with a powerful design aesthetic, albeit extra industrial than artwork nouveau however hanging nonetheless, and a intelligent means round the stress downside. It makes use of a ratcheting mechanism in the deal with to maintain the stress fixed as you increase and decrease the pump arm. It takes six pulls to get a full Lungo shot, however you don’t want to tug laborious in any respect.

At the identical time, you do have some management over how a lot stress is utilized. You can regulate the stress by the pace of your pumping, and this, mixed with the quantity of beans and the way finely you grind them, are the instruments it’s important to management the completed consequence. Don’t fear, there’s an overpressure worth that releases at 20 bars so that you received’t break something. And strive as I would, I couldn’t get this launch to set off, so I wouldn’t fear about build up an excessive amount of stress.

As with all espresso machines, there’s a studying curve to getting it the place you need it. Use a scale to maintain observe of how a lot you’re utilizing, and tweak your grind in small increments till you get it to your tastes. After the common twiddling with the grind, tamping stress, and quantity of grounds, I used to be capable of constantly pull glorious photographs with the Superkop. They have been, in actual fact, higher than what I’ve been capable of get from the Flair Signature and higher than most consumer-level dwelling espresso machines, partially, I believe, due to the constant, fixed stress the Superkop achieves.

Test of Time

Photograph: Superkop

Is it higher than the espresso at your native espresso store? That is determined by too many elements to reply for everybody, however in lots of circumstances, sure, positively. If you occur to reside by a store the place the baristas actually know what they’re doing, perhaps not, however in my expertise touring round the US for the previous seven years, these are few and much between. (If you could have store close to you, drop me a line so I can cease in if I’m in the space.)

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