Plastic free single serve espresso
February 21, 2011 10:30 AM   Subscribe

Single serving espresso maker that is plastic free?

Basically I'm looking for an electric expresso maker that I can keep on my desk at work (or bedside table), that is easy to use/clean/maintain, and reliable. I'd like to come into as little plastic as possible, hot liquids and plastic don't sound too good for long term health.

I would also like to use it to heat water for tea, if possible.
posted by mbird to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Senseo makes a nice product. I've had my machine for 5+ years and it's still going strong.
posted by ACN09 at 10:43 AM on February 21, 2011

The MyPressi Twist is a little odd as espresso machines go, but it's definitely small and light enough for the office; heck, you could shove it in a desk drawer so your coworkers don't get any funny ideas about using it. They use gas cartridges instead of pressure generated by a pump, which is a disadvantage since its something you need to keep buying/refilling.

It is 99% metal on the inside but it has gaskets that are rubber or plastic, I'm not sure, but that is going to be pretty much a requirement on any and all espresso machines. You need a seal around the group head so that water can not get forced back the wrong direction. For the most part these seals are designed for the extreme heat and pressure they come into contact with, otherwise they would disintegrate quickly. If you are worried about leaching, running many blank shots of water through any new machine should take care of most of it.

Most other compact espresso machines are going to have tubing that brings the water to the group that is some kind of plastic. If you really want high quality copper components those are generally found on commercial machines designed for coffee shops that take up a ton of counter space and have more than one group head.
posted by slow graffiti at 10:45 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

On closer read, I realize you may be asking exclusively for machines that use k-cups or some other pod type system. If you mean ESE pods, the MyPressi is compatible with those, but I know nothing about k-cup or other single serve machines (I don't like them but I'll spare you the reasons).
posted by slow graffiti at 10:50 AM on February 21, 2011

The capsules used in Nespresso compatible machines are made from aluminum. The machine I am familiar with (Nespresso Citiz) does not heat water for tea, but unsure of others.
posted by mhaw at 11:01 AM on February 21, 2011

Have you considered a Moka? I keep an electric one at work, it makes something very similar to espresso but is much smaller/quieter/easier to use. On mine, there is a rubber gasket and the top pot is plastic, however, I have seen models when the top is also metal.
posted by miscbuff at 11:47 AM on February 21, 2011

I love my Moka espresso maker so much. I live in Portland where there is a great cup of espresso on every street corner and I still rarely go out for coffee thanks to it. I have the stove top version, but here is the all-metal electric version mhaw mentioned.
posted by munchingzombie at 12:02 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Erm... that miscbuff mentioned. Sorry, haven't had my espresso yet today.
posted by munchingzombie at 12:03 PM on February 21, 2011

The Presso bills itself as having the 'smallest carbon footprint of any espresso maker.' I've not used this one myself but have heard it's quite good. However, it won't double as a tea-maker.
posted by grounded at 3:27 PM on February 21, 2011

These make nice coffee and are solidly constructed. Not cheap though
posted by the noob at 4:20 AM on February 22, 2011

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