Rating: 3+ (translates to "good")
Quite often I think of how to make travel with coffee easier. At one time, I remember packing a small suitcase of coffee paraphernalia for long trips, using many devices not designed for life on the road. But over the years, I've consolidated down my travel kit to a plastic conical pourover, filters and a portable grinder. And even though I'm not really in want, I'm always on my the lookout for a better kit.
Recently, I caught notice of the Xpress by Smartcup, a single-use french press that utilizes a normal disposable lid with a tulip-like filter that sits poised, ready to be pushed down by the accompanying, golf tee-like plunger. Following the easy directions (I did not add cream or sugar) that were very similar in method to a normal french press, I tried out the Xpress a couple of times and below I bare my thoughts.
The pro was that the filter worked pretty well, even when I removed the lid and poured the coffee into another cup (more on that below). The design allowed it to catch the majority of the grinds, leaving only a few to be caught in sipping.
The cons were double. The first was the overall design flaw that the grinds were stuck in the bottom, doomed to over-infuse your coffee. The second was that by the time the coffee was at the 3 minute mark, it was still too hot to safely drink; it took an additional couple minutes to be at a drinkable temperature and by then, the coffee was over-infused.
The only solution to the two cons was to pour the coffee into another cup at the 3 minute plunge time (to do so, I simply plunged as instructed, but then removed the lid, reinserted the plunger and carefully poured the hot coffee while keeping pressure on the plunger). While it was a little extra work, the Xpress did a good job in transfer.
Thus, I would have rated the Xpress lower had it not proved worthwhile as a disposable french press (i.e. as an all-in-one coffee brewer and cup, I do not recommend it). If you're looking for a portable means of infusing coffee only, give the Xpress a go.
note: product was provided free of charge and the above review is objective feedback.