I value my coffee ritual each morning. As I’m sure, many of you do. The five minutes it takes me to make my americano/long black in the morning is a way to ease into a busy day. I’ve been using the Espresso Forge for the past year and couldn’t be happier. It’s not compact enough for on-the-bike outings, but I throw it in a bag and bring it on the road when I travel for events, car camp, or photoshoots.
Let’s take a look at this unique no-nonsense product that makes a killer shot of espresso…
I was content with my Aeropress (I first bought mine in 2010!) but always wanted an in-home espresso machine. To buy a good machine is thousands of dollars; the ones I wanted require service every year and a hard line for water. Plus, they take up so much space. Our kitchen doesn’t have enough countertop space for a machine. Then, it’d be really difficult to take one on the road with you.
When I met the guys from Espresso Forge on a bike ride (It looks like a bicycle pump, right?) in Colorado in 2021, they showed me their new Forge, which uses the same principles as a countertop machine, at a drastic reduction in price and spatial requirements. Yet, there are a few key things you need to know first.
The most crucial element is the grind of your beans. I use a Lido OG grinder to get the beans to an espresso grind, which can take a bit of time to get perfectly dialed, and a USB-rechargeable scale to measure out 19g of ground coffee, tamped in a basket that goes into a holder ring that threads into the bottom of the press.
While on the road, I use a Snowpeak mug that nests perfectly with the Forge, but Espresso Forge also makes a stand for at-home use. For operating, it’s easy peasy. You place the Forge in either the stand or on a mug, then simply pour boiling water (~200º) into the chamber (filling it to the top is the exact amount of water required for a double shot of espresso), press to around 9 bar, or 130PSI (just like a countertop maker,) and voila, out comes a beautiful crema. Sometimes, if I’m at home, I’ll place the Forge on top of my kettle to let it pre-heat, as pouring 200º water into a stainless chamber will result in heat loss since the hot water will heat up the Forge. In all honesty though, I haven’t found heat sink to change the flavor of the espresso at all.
With this particular roast, I like pushing it to 10 bar/140PSI
The kit is relatively compact, and I bring it on the road; that way, I don’t have to rely on the locale having good espresso.
Espresso Forge makes two models of the Forge: the stainless original ($399.99) I’m using here, and a new hybrid aluminum and stainless model dubbed the Evo ($349.99). The latter pre-heats faster, combines the espresso basket and lock ring, and a few other details. I feel like the classic is the way to go.
I know this isn’t the typical cycling-related product here, but people love coffee, and I love supporting made-in-the-USA products, especially made by cyclists.
Drop some questions if you have any in the comments, and see more at Espresso Forge.