Sunday, February 13, 2011

Product Review: Xpress


Company: Smartcup
3+ (translates to "good")

uite 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.


ThaiHoa Burroughs said...

First time blogger. Love your blog. Love coffee and tea. Love product reviews.

theo said...

I had no idea that this product existed. I've been on the road many times and had to settle for very poor coffee as there were no quality cafes to be found. I will definitely be giving this product a try. Thanks, Theo

Coffee Carts said...

Coffee on the go has always been a concern of mine too, BUT i started my own coffee business I love the drink so much! It frustrated me that there was never a way to get good coffee on the go! always this instant coffee that tasted horrible. So my own business attempts to make top quality coffee available in as many places as possible! Trhough the use of Coffee Carts. I put sell them all over the world, and with it provide the best arabica and brazailan coffee beans money can buy. And I'll tell you somehting its has been a very good year for us! Love you blog, LOVE coffee and love your product reviews, keep it up and check out our blog!


Anonymous said...

thanks for this nice post 111213

Pound of Coffee said...

Nice review. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone tried the intazza single cup brewer? I stayed at the cosmopolitan in Vegas and it was there it brews a great cup. I'm looking for a red or blue one for my kitchen. Please help

Assistant said...

Thanks for this product review! I have not seen this before but I am glad you tried it out and shared with us.

Traveling and on-the-go coffee accessories are important and it's hard to come across really good products, or ones that make great coffee.

I've used this while camping and outdoors. It works well and is very easy to use-GSI Outdoors Personal Java Press


XPress said...

XPress - Thank you for your review. We are glad you enjoyed the product.
Three quick comments. A cup sleeve or one of the new double walled cups would prevent the issue of too hot. We have found there is little over extraction, especially when compared to a French Press. As the grounds are pressed into a small space (where the water is squeezed out), and the surface area is limited to the small holes at the top of the press, little additional extraction should occur. Lastly, you should not have any grounds come through, as there is an additional screen in the spout.
Thank you again.