It’s 8:45 a.m. and you’re just getting into your car to leave for work. There’s no time for coffee—but you’ve never needed it more. A new espresso machine that plugs into a car’s cigarette lighter socket aims to give French drivers a cup of espresso wherever they are.
The Handpresso Auto is the newest addition to Fontainebleau-based Handpresso’s line of portable, hand-held espresso makers. Users plug the machine, about the size of a flashlight, into a cigarette lighter, add water, pop in a pod of espresso grounds (any brand is fine), and press a button. Water is pumped through the grounds at 16 bars of pressure—nine bars is typically considered the minimum—and the drink is ready in two minutes (click to see a video).
The invention frees caffeine lovers from the tyranny of the clunky, immobile espresso machine. The company draws its unofficial motto, “Liberté, qualité, mobilité” from the French Revolution slogan, “Liberté, égalité, fraternité.”