Nomad Espresso Machine Brews Up Off-Grid Coffee

A perfect cup of coffee can be hard to come by when away from home. Those simple machines they put in hotel rooms are an affront to the coffee bean, and the only other option is the high priced brew that comes from coffee shop chains. Neither of which are a possibility if your travels take you far from a power outlet.

The Nomad aims to correct all of that. Who says you shouldn’t be able to enjoy a perfectly rendered espresso while watching the sun rise over your tent? At just 2.5 pounds, this light-weight, hand crank-powered device means the best espresso is always right at your finger tips.

Nomad Espresso

Image via Uniterra Inc.

You might be surprised to learn that espresso machines weren’t always the electrified, pump-driven affairs used in most commercial coffee shops today. The earliest models were classic hand operated lever machines, a simple design that the makers of the Nomad want to emulate; except they’re doing it without batteries, electricity, or pressurized gas cartridges.

To use this portable espresso machine, all you do is pack ground coffee into the basket, add hot water, and actuate the pump lever. “With very little effort the Nomad produces 9 bars of pressure (13o psi) and like the classic lever machines users have direct control over the water temperature, pressure, flow rate, and volume,” report the designers.

“Pressure is crucial to pouring a customized shot of espresso. Seven bars of pressure yields a pour lighter in body and crema while extracting more of the floral tones of certain blends,” reports Forbes. More pressure equals stronger body and richer crema.” In the interest of richer crema, Uniterra has also created a proprietary “True Crema Valve” which it claims compensates for improper tamping and coarser grind by stabilizing pressure.

The Nomad is currently gathering funding on Kickstarter. A pledge of $165 can earn you one of the first off the line.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog


  • Reply March 18, 2013


    “Perfect” either implies you are clueless about the realities of quality limitations or that you’re Martha Stewart. Pick one.

  • Reply March 21, 2013

    Ruben Anderson

    Sadly, the comments on TreeHugger are broken, so I will post over here.

    I think you ask a very good question—”Who says you shouldn’t be able to enjoy a perfectly rendered espresso while watching the sun rise over your tent?”

    Who indeed? How should we make those decisions? The nice thing about this excellent question—regarding a very stupid product—is that it is asked at all.

    We make choices all the time, and our choices have consequences. We must mine and refine minerals, pump oil and mine coal. Water and air will be polluted. All so we can have an espresso while camping. All of this for another product that will sit idle 99.999% of the time.

    Well, I say that is stupid. So I say “you shouldn’t be able to enjoy a perfectly rendered espresso while watching the sun rise over your tent.” Rough it a bit. You are camping. Stop promoting and buying stupid and useless crap.

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