GSI Outdoors Mini Espresso Maker Review

Since drooling over this on the Real Coffee  Makers article a few months back, we’ve been waiting to get our greedy little mitts on this piece of shiny shiny. Sick to the stomach and a bit beyond of various coffee sticks, this was deemed the essential bit of kit for the summer. Ordering in early April, we realised that it’s a scarce piece of kit in this country and it was the middle of May that we finally got our grubby little hands on this!

The first thing we realised is that you have to use the provided enamel cup, unless you’ve got a really short cup. Even so, the total weight is still 255g, and definitely in the luxury weight bracket. Yet a small price to pay for some proper coffee.

Making a brew coudn’t be easier. Fill the coffee section with, you’ve guessed, some coffee, and the water section with water and put the whole thing on top of a stove and wait. Within minutes, you’ll have steam and a freshly brewed espresso. All that’s well and good, and the coffee is wonderful, but there’s always a down side. Despite the quality of the coffee you’ll be drinking, the fact that you only get at most about 75ml of espresso, or 150ml Americano, means you don’t get enough. Well, It’s certainly not enough to get me out of bed in the morning as I have a full size maker at home (6 cups?) and that’s just about enough for me in the morning!  While the obvious solution is to brew 2 lots, the maker remains hot for a while, and needs to be cool to the touch before you can open it. As a further downer, the coffee quickly cools as it needs to warm up the enamel mug and then whatever you choose to drink out of.

Overall, this is the perfect solution for the coffee addict who needs their caffeine fix in the morning, but only a small one. It simply needs to produce about twice the volume of coffee to be useful. If you need a proper mugful of coffee, then like me, you’ll be sorely disappointed with the small measures served up by the GSI. I would probably only be happy with one like this.. Despite that, the coffee produced is probably the best you’ve yet tasted on the hill, and the sheer satisfaction of making this thimbleful of coffee with the steam and the smell partially makes up for the mean measures.

Simply because this doesn’t make enough coffee to be practical it gets a: 3 star rating. If it made a bit more, then we’d have no hesitation to give it a 5!

Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader.
Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.

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