Superkop Espresso Maker Review: Great Espresso Without the Electricity

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

The Superkop is a wholly handbook 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.

Because it doesn’t require something greater than sizzling water, when the zombie apocalypse comes, you possibly can warmth that water over a garbage can hearth, brew that scrumptious shot, and calmly lookup out of your still-functional Superkop on the impending Zombie horde and say, “Carry it.”

Preserve It Easy

Hand-pump espresso machines aren’t a brand new thought. They’re, the truth is, the unique thought. Nonetheless obtainable at this time, largely within 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). Return additional in historical past and also you’ll discover massive, complicated hand-pump machines designed for espresso retailers. They’re wonderful, typically stunning—a few of them are artwork nouveau–period masterworks—however not the kind of factor most of us can afford in our houses.

Probably the most sensible hand-pump machine I’ve used (and the highest choose in our guide to portable espresso) is the Flair Signature ($239), which is hand-pumped however makes use of your physique to offer the strain essential to realize the 9 to 11 bars required for espresso. This works when you’re capable of present that strain, however it’s the one weak point of the Aptitude—you might want to be robust sufficient to get that strain.

The Superkop steps into this market with a powerful design aesthetic, albeit extra industrial than artwork nouveau however placing nonetheless, and a intelligent method across the strain drawback. It makes use of a ratcheting mechanism within the deal with to maintain the strain fixed as you elevate 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.

On the similar time, you do have some management over how a lot strain is utilized. You possibly can regulate the strain by the pace of your pumping, and this, mixed with the quantity of beans and the way finely you grind them, are the instruments you must management the completed outcome. Don’t fear, there’s an overpressure worth that releases at 20 bars so that you gained’t break something. And take a look at as I’d, I couldn’t get this launch to set off, so I wouldn’t fear about build up an excessive amount of strain.

As with all espresso machines, there’s a studying curve to getting it the place you need it. Use a scale to maintain monitor of how a lot you’re utilizing, and tweak your grind in small increments till you get it to your tastes. After the same old fidgeting with the grind, tamping strain, and quantity of grounds, I used to be capable of constantly pull wonderful photographs with the Superkop. They had been, the truth is, higher than what I’ve been capable of get from the Aptitude Signature and higher than most consumer-level residence espresso machines, partly, I feel, due to the constant, fixed strain the Superkop achieves.

Take a look at of Time

{Photograph}: Superkop

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

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