With Starbucks on every city street corner and independent cafes sprouting in between, it’s clear that coffee culture is here to stay. But while it may be easy to get your favorite cup of fair-trade, Nicaraguan brew at the local café, that luxury doesn’t extend outside a few city blocks – much less countries or continents away. So how is the traveling and discerning coffee aficionado supposed to get his or her perfect fix?
In saunters the ESPRO Travel Press. This ambitious project has three brewing methods in one unassuming blue thermos. The design of the thermos leaves much to be wanted – the simple cylinder has no contours for hands and the only diversity is in its color.
What it lacks in design it makes up for in quality filtration. The first is a standard French press filter that has two filters 9 and 12 times finer than a common French Press. The second is a pour-over style coffee, including disposable paper filters. Their method is called “paper filter pressed coffee.”
And finally there’s an option for tea enthusiasts. The description reads a bit like a science manual – “two-stage micro-filtration that automatically stops extraction once pressed.” Basically, it’s a really, really good filter. Like the French press version, the filter in this tea filter is also 12 times finer than typical micro-filters.
The papers required for the pour-over coffee disqualifies it from consideration, in my opinion. Most travelers have too many small knick-knacks – chargers, IDs, visas – to worry about yet another thing. However, the micro filtration of the French press and the tea filter promises a strong cup without any awkward bits left in your teeth.
While the idea of jumping on trains with loose leaf tea and coffee grinds jumbling around in a backpack seems ridiculous, for the true aficionados there’s really no alternative. And for these tea and coffee fans, the ESPRO Travel Press will create a perfect brew in one simple, heat-containing thermos. The thermos, however, has an uninspired design with no option for personalization.
The Kickstarter page offers the normally $50 Coffee Lover (with the French Press and paper filters) or Tea Lover (Tea micro-filter) Thermos for $39 each. If you want all three filters, it’ll be $49 with an original of $70. Typical filtration bottles are around $25, so at its market price the ESPRO Travel Press is close to twice its competitors. However, its strong filters mean that its cost comes with quality.