Wacaco Pipamoka Review: Making a cup of vacuum-brewed coffee on-the-go [Video]

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Disassembled Pipamoka on desk

Making a good cup of coffee when away from your normal kitchen or normal appliances can sometimes be difficult – which is something Wacaco has been trying to remedy. Last year we took a look at one of their popular products, the Nanopresso, which is an Amazon bestseller for portable espresso makers. But we were excited to try out their newest coffee maker, an all-in-one vacuum brewer, the Wacaco Pipamoka. Head below to watch the video and see it in action.

At its heart, the Pipamoka is an all-in-one vacuum pressure brewer, and it has everything needed within a single container. Besides coffee and hot water, of course. It comes in at $46.90. That includes a soft case, but if you want more protection you can get the Pipamoka hard case for an extra $20. Opening up the lid of the Pipamoka, there are a brush and scoop, filter basket and lid, water chamber and mug.

Making a cup of coffee

Like the Nanopresso there are a lot of parts, but once you run through it one time it’s easy to remember how everything works. First off, start heating up some water. Then grind some fresh coffee if possible. I have my grinder set a little more fine than where I set it for pour-over.

The Pipamoka comes with a scoop and a funnel to make loading the filter basket easier. Put two scoops of ground coffee in the basket and put the lit back on. I load it pretty full and pack it down with the lid when putting that back on to make it a bit stronger.

Wacaco Pipamoka: See it in action

Then, with your water boiling, fill the mug up to the line that you want. It’s nice to have different lines inside the water chamber which help you choose what style of coffee you’d like to brew with the Pipamoka. In the manual, they have instructions for a normal cup, latte, and espresso-style.

Fill the mug with water to the line you want, and then place the filter basket into the water chamber and let it sink to the bottom. Give it a few taps on the table to try and get air bubbles out, and then put the lid back on.

Next up is the extraction itself. Turn the orange ring clockwise and the mug counterclockwise, or just the only way they’ll turn. This will take a while and the first few times I wasn’t sure when the process was completely finished so I checked it frequently, but eventually, it is completely through the process and is easy to remove from the top of the mug. And then you have a cup of coffee!

How I’ve been brewing

For the first brew,  I followed the instructions and did a full mug up to the one line. For me, this came out a little weak. So I made my grind a little more fine and also only filled water to the ¾ line and the next cup was delicious – it tasted like a full, strong coffee.

Now for my next few cups I filled the chamber up to the one one, but I make sure that the grind is a little more fine than what you might have for a pour-over or drip coffee. Also – really mound those grounds in there and press it down with the filter basket lid. This might make a little bit of a mess, but it makes a fuller cup of coffee in my opinion. When filled up to the one line, the Pipamoka can brew 8-ounces of coffee.

When you have a fresh brew, Pipamoka can get pretty hot. I’m not sure what the proper process is for removing the filter basket, but you can just turn it over and it will fall out, but it is pretty hot so be careful with that. I usually take the lid off for a bit and let it cool off before cleaning it.

Cleaning everything up afterward is pretty straight forward, and the included brush helps to get difficult grounds out of the filter basket. And since everything fits into itself, it’s very easy to store and take with you to use on-the-road.

Prefer a different brew?

If you’re more of a pour-over coffee drinker, be sure to check out some tips from Nathaniel of The Bergamot who uses the Cafflano Klassic to make a great cup of coffee while touring around the country.

Wrapping up

Overall, the Wacaco Pipamoka is a great way to make some coffee on-the-go. I love its all-in-one design that doesn’t use any external filters. It makes a good cup of coffee, the mug keeps it warm, and overall it doesn’t take up much space in a bag. If you like a larger cup of coffee than what a cup of espresso from the Nanopresso can give you, this is a great option.

Buy the Wacaco Pipamoka

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