Recently, I haven’t really been drinking as much espresso as I used to. Less walking around means less spontaneous coffee shop trips for me. I don’t own an espresso machine, and since they are a rather large investment and take up a ton of counter space, I’ve been hesitant to make the leap. Plus, it kinda feels like one of those things where buying a midlevel advanced machine (that’s around $1,000) will leave me yearning for the higher level (that’s around $7,000). But as time has gone on, I’ve been considering it more and more.
So I reached out to the guys at Trade Coffee, the best place to buy coffee these days, in my opinion, and spoke to Maciej Kasperowicz, the Director of Coffee (what a job title!). I thought he’d tell me to just get an espresso machine already, being the coffee lover he is, but his answer surprised me.
“All you really need to make good espresso-strength coffee at home is an AeroPress, plus one attachment,” he said.
I reviewed the AeroPress a while back and to this day, I love it. But I think of it more as a French Press/Pour Over tool than anything else. Maciej agrees, saying “I love using the AeroPress for regular strength coffee, but I’ve never really liked its espresso strength brews.” He mentioned they absorb too much of the oils, and that too much water is required. But when you add Fellow’s Prismo attachment to the mix, things change.
“With Fellow’s Prismo attachment,” he continued, “you get a solid metal filter that lets oils (but not too many fine grinds) through. Plus, the combo of that filter and the gasket creates a seal that doesn’t let any water through until you attach the plunger and creates enough pressure when you do attach that plunger to increase your extraction enough to make sweet, balanced shots without having to use too much water.” Another upside, he mentioned, was that because the Prismo won’t get to the same level of pressure as an espresso machine, “it makes it much harder to over-extract coffee with.”
I tried out the Prismo attachment and really liked it. Not only did it keep my espresso set up small and discrete, I found it pretty fool-proof. Even I, who mess up everything, couldn’t mess up doing a shot out of this thing.
To be fair though, if you’re wondering if it really is as good as a $7,000 espresso set up. It’s not. But Maceij said that “having the Prismo around has made me very happy and for straight shots I think it’s a much better value than most common espresso setups in the <$1000 range.”
Scouted selects products independently and prices reflect what was available at the time of publish. Sign up for our newsletter for more recommendations and check out our coupon site for more deals. If you buy something from our posts, we may earn a small commission.