Before using the Staresso for the first time, I would suggest washing all the components first. Now the first step to using the Staresso coffee maker is to fill the metal coffee filter with ground coffee and tamping it down with the coffee scoop provided. Below, it is sitting in the black holder which screws onto the water chamber. I have found that having the ground coffee filled to about 2 mm below the top of the coffee filter when tamped down to be ideal.
Next the metal disc which fits on top of this is placed onto the ground coffee, and this will further compact down the coffee as the holder is screwed onto the water chamber. This same disc also needs to be placed on top of the milk frother when frothing milk. Hot water is added to the water chamber and the air pump assembly is tightened onto the water chamber.
Below, the Staresso coffee maker is fully assembled and ready to make coffee. The air pump is primed until the pressure builds up sufficiently to force the water through the coffee grounds. I find that pumping this hard and fast makes coffee which is just right for me. For those who want stronger coffee, it is suggested to allow the water to be in contact with the coffee grounds for longer i.e. 2-3 seconds between each press of the air pump, or even longer for French plus.
And the coffee that comes out has plenty of crema on top and smells very fragrant.
Below you can see that the coffee has been tamped down real well, and actually needs to be scraped out of the filter when disposing of the used coffee grounds.
Below is the milk frother for making Cappuccino. The metal disc is placed onto this and the assembly is threaded onto the water chamber, which is then filled with warm milk. The air pump will then force the milk through under pressure to form the frothy milk.
The end result of the milk frother is a cup full of frothy milk – this definitely works. As you can see in the photo below, the volume definitely increases significantly (up to 3x original volume), which is why the provided cup may not be big enough to hold both the coffee and the frothy milk at the same time.
What I like about the Staresso Manual Coffee Maker?
- Reasonable price £29.99 (RRP £69.99) on Amazon.co.uk.
- Very portable and easy to bring along anywhere.
- What I like about my bean-to-cup machine is that it produces consistently good coffee. This is also possible with the Staresso, as each cup tasted as good as the last one, and with plenty of crema – great for making coffee on-the-go.
- The milk frother does work very well, so making Cappuccinos and Lattes should be fairly straightforward.
What could be improved?
- The included cup is fairly small, and hence will not be big enough to hold a full cappuccino.
- If you make the coffee in the supplied cup but serve it in another cup, you will lose a lot of the crema which adheres to the cup in which it was made. The alternative is to hand hold the Staresso while pumping the coffee into another cup, but that could prove to be very messy indeed if not very careful.
- The metal parts do get rather hot after brewing the coffee, so care has to be taken when cleaning them afterwards; or alternatively allowing them to cool down first before washing up. There are no accessories provided to aid cleaning e.g. small brush
I wanted to buy a small compact and portable coffee maker capable of making nice coffee, all for a not so large outlay. In the Staresso Manual Coffee Maker, I think I’ve found the solution. Now it will be possible for me to brew that lovely cup of coffee with my own ground coffee, when I do not have access to my bean-to-cup coffee machine. £29.99 is definitely a great deal, particularly as it works so well with ground coffee – no need for those expensive and environmentally unfriendly coffee pods. Recommended.
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