Mypressi Twist

At the London Gastronomy Seminars I was given a Mypressi Twist to play with by the UK distributor.  I had been toying with buying one having seen the hype online, so this was a rather pleasant surprise.

I didn’t really get a chance to play with it til yesterday afternoon.  I’ve played with it some more today and this is just a quick summary of my thoughts and what I think is particularly interesting about it.

First off – it makes pretty good espresso.  I know I am hardly the first person to make this observation, but I think everyone who tries it is pleasantly surprised.  I think with a few adjustments to technique then you can get something better than any espresso machine in its price bracket, or up to two or three times its price.  If you like milk drinks though – then this may not appeal to you.

I pulled a couple of shots yesterday, and for shot number three my curiousity kicked in.  What I think is most exciting about this is its potential for experimenting with extraction.  We can only really (safely) use water in an espresso machine.  My first thought was to reach for some whisky.  I probably should have heated it up first, as it was not delicious cold – though the shot did still look pretty good.  I then attempted a little macchiato using milk to brew the coffee. 1.  In hindsight I should probably have used skimmed milk, as the full fat seemed to clog the extraction and the result was (simply put) not good.  But there was potential!

This makes me quite excited about its possible use in barista competitions.  In the past it has been completely illegal to put anything other than coffee in the portafilter (for good reason!) but this would let you infuse anything you like.  You’ll still need to pull and use 4 shots from the competition espresso machine but the applications within signature drinks are almost endless.

You could brew espresso starting with brewed coffee.  You could use espresso and push it through something else to extract flavour into it.  In fact, I am going to pause writing this post and check how many shots you can get in the water section of the twist…..

*time passes*

OK – so 4 shots of espresso fit pretty nicely into the top chamber.  And the espresso seems to pull in a fairly normal (if slightly slow way).  This is a double espresso, brewed using 4 espressos:

The taste?  Not so great, not as bad as I was expecting, but not so great.  The texture was unbelievable.  The point is that this is exciting!  I should add that points for creativity in competitions don’t come from using clever things, or having a wild idea – they come from using clever things, or wild ideas to create something tasty.  There are no points for novelty.

The more I think about it, the more possibilities there seem – non-coffee applications too.  Cocktail people would surely have a million more ideas than me.  I still wonder though – what about pushing vodka through a basket of lemon and lime zest?  What if you use CO2 instead of N20? What if? What if? What if?

I’ve gotten off topic! Back to using it to brew coffee:

I have what not many other people have – a 53mm Scace, back from my days at La Spaziale.  The Mypressi uses a 53mm basket.  It didn’t take a giant leap of thought to dig out my device and start testing the brew temperature.  I’d seen quite a lot of speculation online about it, and I can only post my limited experiments and findings.  Here is a short video:

Preheating the water chamber is incredibly important.  You could tell this was later on in my experiments from the starting temp of the scace probe, which may have influenced readings somewhat.  Without preheating the temp was hovering around 80C.  I am sure I could have heated the top chamber more and squeezed into the 90s.  Nonetheless I think it is a pretty respectable brew temperature.  I’d love to hear how people are getting max temp out of theirs.

I was also a little surprised that the dose and grind I had set on my Synesso seemed to work well.  Out of curiousity I pulled a double on each simultaneously – same dose, same grind setting, same brew time.  Here is the video, data on the shots afterwards:

Synesso shot:  18.5g coffee, 33.4g brew liquid.  Extraction percentage 18.6%

Mypressi shot: 18.5g coffee, 42g brew liquid.  Extraction percentage 18.9%

This is a single experiment, so it would be foolish to take too much from it.  One could speculate that with the temperature issues the Mypressi will struggle to extract coffee as quickly as a hotter profile on a machine.  The fact that it took almost 25% more liquid to get the extraction percentage to match (in the same time frame – with very different pressure profiles I might wager, sadly I only have a 53mm Scace 1.0 – not 2.0) would suggest that if you like shorter shots you may be better off dropping your dose and going finer, and if you want a heavier dose you may need to push a little more water through.

So far I’ve only spent a couple of days with it – but overall I’m quite impressed and looking forward to playing with it some more.  I’ll take more more readings with the ExtractMojo, see if the above experiment was repeatable.  Would love to hear people’s thoughts, suggestions and ideas!

  1. Tim Styles should trademark the term MilkPressi Twist  ↩︎

37 Comments

  1. You’ll have to get a Mypressi of your own for that experiment.

  2. Since I work for Espressi, although I cannot advocate using liqueur through a mypressi TWIST ;) However if you happen to “accidently” get some cointreau in it and pour a shot, it might possibly work great. Let the experimenting continue…

  3. Brilliant James – thanks for trying this out for those of us who can’t get a hold of a Mypressi. There is only one Australian importer at present and they are charging a usurious price for the device given the $US/$AUD near parity and shipping costs. I will try and buy online from the US as these expereiments are enormously appealing (especially with cointreau although frangelico holds a particular fascination in this regard as well!)

  4. Looks very fun. I really enjoyed the video comparison. It helped give an idea of what to expect if I got one.

  5. Great post James, I was lucky enough to get a twist before christmas and combined with my vario grinder made some great coffee at the christmas table!
    I was interested to see your temperature on the scace, I have been getting the best results when trying to get the temp as high as possible by pre heating everything (a lot) and then using fresh boiling water. Still in the cup the shots were always cooler than an espresso machine.
    Do you think the gas has a rapid cooling effect on the water? Perhaps the Twist is a hybrid of sorts – with a temperature profile similar to a lever machine and a pressure profile similar to a traditional espresso machine??? In any case I have had some amazing espresso out of the twist.
    I was thinking of using the twist in CIGS competition and like you discovered the endless possibilities…so far my experimenting has not yielded super tasty results so I won’t be using if on 2nd Feb at the UK CIGS but if I’m fortunate enough to get through I’ll have plenty of time to experiment before the World finals in June……

  6. Pretty cool. I want one.

    Sweetened dark rum, or a tequila liqueur (like Agavero) spring to mind for normal extraction. Would be interesting to see whether they are better hot or cold though! Hot spirits are a bit to ‘spirity’ and cold coffee isn’t very nice!

  7. I’m pretty sure N2O is free from any taste, and is inert – unlike CO2 – so won’t create any new flavours. I could be wrong though!

  8. I can confirm that N2O has no flavour. Not even a whole balloon full tastes of anything.

  9. Edmund’s comment that the gas may have a cooling effect on the brew makes some sense. One reason nitrous oxide is used by engine tuners is that it cools the intake air significantly. Cooler air has a higher density of oxygen so you can throw in a whole heap more fuel and get much improved combustion. I digress, but yes, N2O is likely to have a significant cooling effect.

    It would be interesting to try the machine with CO2 cartridges, such as those used to inflate a bike tyre.

  10. The adiabatic expansion of NO2 has a cooling effect. However, in the Mypressi, the gas doesn’t really expand all that much, it expands a bit until it is at 9 bar or so. And then just the volume of gas needed for an espresso shot.

  11. I used to have a “presso” machine a few years back, great little thing until I (in a rather drunken state) decided to try making vodka espressos. Heating vodka in the microwave isn’t the best of ideas but it seemed to work ok… Damn was the result lethal, but not especially tasty.

  12. Had the opportunity to play with one at CoffeeFest Seattle (thanks, Stephen!) and was instantly impressed with how good the espresso tasted. I had one here at the roastery for a week (our IT guy rushed out and bought one) and got some really good results. We found that you HAVE to preheat every piece of metal involved (including the handle ring) to get a good extraction. Also, that little o-ring near the handle likes to pop out (use extra caution or a little food-safe lube under it).

    Wondering, like everyone else in this thread, just how much the amount of N2O used for an extraction would affect brewing temps… Anyone here have something with which to measure something like this? How much gas is used and at what temperature?

  13. Hi Will, because the gas temp change is just about the #1 question we’re asked, I’ve posted an explanation online.
    Go to http://help.mypressi.com/faqs/top-issues/gas-expansion-and-adiabatic-cooling.
    The short answer is that it is immeasurably small. One way to measure the amount of gas used is with a very sensitive scale. Typically it will be about 2g of gas per double shot.

    Also, lots of speculation about N2O and if it enhances the crema.
    See: http://help.mypressi.com/faqs/top-issues/does-n2o-enhance-the-crema-and-does-it-make-it-taste-sweet

  14. Thanks for the review. I too have been planning to buy a Mypressi Twist for a long time but I have not read many reviews on the internet. Thanks for you very informative post, I am now leaning to purchasing a machine for myself. Looks like it makes very good coffee Great Post and videos!

  15. Super great post. I’m super curious to try the little twister…I love you’re ideas about using it for other mixed drinks.. I think that’s where this could be super useful at home/bars/other places that a full 20k la marzocco might not be convenience.

  16. Brilliant!
    Some really good reads in the FAQ’s on your site, Stephen.
    Answered questions I hadn’t thought of yet, too.
    You really covered your bases.

  17. There’s a great product called RedEspresso (www.redespresso.com) which is Rooibos Tea from South Africa. It works perfectly in the Twist’s pressurized basket. Takes 20 seconds to produce a delicious full-flavored beverage with a silken mouth-feel. You have to try it to understand because it defies description (or at least my powers of description). The leaves have been cut in a special way to work well in espresso machines, although in our experience they behave best with a pressurized portafilter.

  18. I love the idea of this twist. Even just for the ease and quickness of use. Perfect for a quick espresso in the morning without having to strip down and clean a machine before work! Are there distributers in the uk yet? I’ve had a presso in the cupboard for years but could never get consistant results.

    Lee

  19. Ah great thank you Stephen! It’s my birthday in April so here’s hoping the missus will do the honours. That’s a great price too.

  20. I am from Puerto Rico and got my Mypressi Twist through Coffee World Puerto Rico. I received my Mypressi Twist about a week ago. The first impression is that this Mypressi Twist is just nicely built. Making espresso is very easy, and it takes a minute or so to make a cup. I was also impressed with the coffee. Believe me for a portable machine, coffee was great. Now my Mypressi Twist substituted my Krups machine. I use Island Joe’s ESE pods and Lavazza Grand Crema. A good hint is: to make sure the espresso has an ok temperature, I heat up my cup as well as the water container adding the boiling water and then adding the water to make the coffee. I always fill a bit more water (a few drops more) so the ESE pods gets soaked before extraction. And it really takes a click on the trigger, no big deal. With this I get a great espresso and crema too. I recommend buying ESE pods buy bulks of 100 or 150, it gets cheaper. The unit works best with the standard 14g E.S.E pod also works great with ground coffee. The gas cartridge should be purchased through them too.Enjoy!!!

  21. Thanks for the review. I too have been planning to buy a Mypressi Twist for a long time but I have not read many reviews regarding this product. Thanks for you very informative post, I am now leaning to purchasing a machine for myself. Looks like it makes very good coffee Great Post and videos!

  22. Thanks for this post. I am looking for a travel coffee maker that makes espresso rather than plain coffee and so far I only came across handpresso. This looks like another good option.

  23. this is a very good post. I will go ahead and try out the twister today. but anyways, i love your cool little ideas about having other mixed drinks in as well. I assume this tip could be used well in coffee shops. thankyou for reading.

  24. This looks like a fun toy to play around with. I was one of those coffee addicts who would buy a cup of coffee from Starbucks every morning. But then one day my friend showed me how to brew using the Italian stovetop espresso maker – I was literally hooked. I guess enjoying the hot drink is only half of the experience. Manually brewing the beans and just experience the whole process is what makes the coffee taste much better – its like getting reward for your own hard work. This Mypressi Twist looks like exactly what I would like to get my hands on! Thanks for sharing your experience and the detailed review.

  25. thanks for sharing your experiences with the community. i must admit that i have never had the chance of testing such high espresso maker hands on myself, but it for sure is interesting learning other peoples experiences. too bad that these kind of products are normally out of reach financially for many.

  26. Sad the videos aren’t working!  I realize this post is quite old, but I just got a mypressi twist for a wedding gift and wanted some jimseven advice!

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