Ella Takalainen //

Barista Institute Tests: Fellow Prismo Espresso Maker

Aeropress has been around already since 2004 and it has become quite popular in the past ten years among the barista community. There is even few cafes concentrating in using only Aeropress as their premium coffee maker. And let’s face it, it's a super easy to use, clean and it’s very durable. There is already quite a lot of add-ons to Aeropress such as grinders, filters and now an espresso maker. And it's a called Prismo.

When I ordered Prismo the delivery was super-fast. I also loved how it was wrapped nicely and they had put effort into the little details. It gave nice excitement for the use of the little gadget itself. Prismo came with a reusable metal filter that can used for espresso, tea brewing or cold brew. I had really nice light roasted washed Kenya Kibugu that used for the testing.

I first tried the Prismo without reading any instructions, because I have done so many espressos and I thought I would intuitionally know how to do it. But, oh boy, was I wrong. The first attempt ended with lots of coffee on the table and very little of coffee in my cup. Prismo is really stiff to screw on the Aeropress, especially with the reusable filter, so make sure to put on place. Then I made another “espresso” but this time a used Aeropress grind setting and 20g/215g recipe with 30 seconds stirring. This time the result was something between a filter and an americano with TDS of 1,9. Really weak mouthfeel and a bit sour and watery flavour. So another failure.

Fellows prismo

Then I decided I do need to read the instructions. And after that things started to work much smoother. Firstly I corrected my grind setting to quite fine. I used EK 43’s 1,2 setting that would be fine espresso setting. I also adjusted the recipe to Fellows recommended recipe, 20g / 50g. And again stirred for 30 seconds, so that the whole brew took about 1 minute. And now drink even looked bit like espresso. TDS was 8.8, so strength was ok, but the flavour still was not pleasant. Quite sour, blunt with a high acidity with few fruity notes.

I decided that I have to test the coffee as a regular espresso so I could compare the flavours. So I made an espresso with the same grind setting, same coffee and same recipe but with an espresso machine and 26 seconds brew. Surprisingly the TDS was 8.6, but both mouthfeel and flavour were much nicer, it was still super acidity after all I was using pretty light roast. But the fruity notes were so nice and not sour at all. 

super powers for Aeropress
Picture: Fellows Prismo

I have to give it to the Primo that it’s really easy to clean and take with you anywhere. But flavour vice espresso machine beat it ten to zero. The Fellow’s instructions suggests using darker roasts so it might lead to more pleasant results but I love my light roasts so that isn’t option for me. I would say Prismo works well for those who want to have super easy and light coffee maker when outdoor or on the road. Using dark roast and milk is also good option for Prismo. But those who like high quality espressos at home or at the office I still recommend more traditional espresso making options.