What is Pressure Brewed Coffee? How to Use the Pipamoka
Mar 30, 2022Daniel Kennedy

What is Pressure Brewed Coffee? How to Use the Pipamoka

Pressure brewed coffee is exactly what it sounds like – coffee brewed by pushing grounds through hot water at a high pressure. In this post we dig into the brewing techniques behind this popular brewing method, as well as how to properly use the Pipamoka, Wacaco’s all-in-one portable pressure brewer.

With more than 1 billion coffee drinkers around the world, including those coffee-crazed Americans (me included) who drink around 400 million cups of coffee every day, it’s safe to say people take the stuff seriously. From weighing their grounds and getting the perfect ground to water ratio, to dialing in grinding techniques, there are plenty of ways to go down the coffee rabbit hole. And plenty of ways for Wacaco to get you there.

Today, however, we’re going to focus on one brewing method that’s new to some and an old favorite to others – pressure brewed coffee. When it comes to brewing this way, there’s one portable coffee maker from Wacaco that stands out when it comes to ease of use, portability, and brewing time using this particular brewing method and that’s the Pipamoka. Using the pressure brewing method, the Pipamoka delivers a hot, steamy cup of balanced coffee with every brew.

Follow along as we explain what pressure brewed coffee is, why many people prefer to drink coffee brewed this way, the difference between pressure brewed and pour-over, as well as tips and tricks for how to use the Pipamoka all-in-one pressure brewer by Wacaco.

What is Pressure Brewed Coffee and How Does it Work?

Let’s start with the basics – what is pressure brewed coffee? Pressure brewing forces hot water through coffee grounds at a high pressure in a confined chamber. The process is similar to brewing espresso in principle, but with less-fine grounds and a longer brew time. Instead of forcing water through a tamped puck of coffee, the grounds with pressure brewed coffee are loose, but still in a confined space. In the case of the Pipamoka, a reusable mesh micro-filter is used.

Without tamping, the water flows through the grounds easier, requiring less pressure but more contact time with the coffee. The resulting cup is crisp and clean, with less acid than other brewing methods.

Users of the Pipamoka love that it produces a smooth, approachable, and yet complex cup of coffee free of bitterness when they brew with it. Not to mention you’ll never get a muddy mug of coffee when you brew this way – there are no surprises when you get to the bottom of a cup of pressure brewed coffee with the Pipamoka.

Why do Some Coffee Drinkers Prefer Pressure Brewed Coffee Over Other Methods?

Who doesn’t like a crisp, clean cup of coffee? With less acid thanks to a quicker brewing time compared to other brewing methods, pressure brewed coffee really brings out the nuances in your grounds. The ideal ratio is 1:15 for a strong, but not overpowering cup. And, with the Pipamoka using the reusable micro-filter we mentioned above, there’s minimal waste when you brew this way.

Plus, using the Pipamoka is easy, no matter where you are. Here’s what one Wacaco review had to say about the Pipamoka:

“Wacaco changed the way I travel with their portable espresso makers. So, when I heard about a new travel coffee brewer [the Pipamoka], I knew I had to try it. It’s everything I want in a brewer no matter where I am, which makes brewing a stellar cup of coffee a seamless experience that works anywhere.” – Garrett Oden

What is the Difference Between Pressure Brewed Coffee and Pour-Over Coffee?

Think of it like this: pressure brewed means brewing under a higher, faster pressure while pour-over is brewed low and slow. A longer brew time may also result in a more acidic coffee as more acid is extracted the longer your grounds stay in water.

Both are known for being clean, balanced, and rich with flavor.

What Beans do You Use for Pressure Brewed Coffee?

A blend of Arabica and Robusta coffee beans — roasted and freshly ground — is considered the perfect mix. We recommend using a medium to medium-coarse grind for optimal brewing performance.

You can find some of our favorite roasts reviewed right here on the Wacaco blog. Take a look if you haven’t already.

How to Use the Pipamoka

At 2.85” x 7.16” (73 mm x 182 mm) and weighing less than a pound (0.94 lb/425 g), the Pipamoka packs a big punch as a tiny brewer. The coffee basket holds 16 grams of coffee, and the extraction time is about 80 seconds.

First, push the Pipamoka’s twisting mechanism all the way down in the insulated mug.

For a long coffee, using the included funnel placed on the micro-filter’s lid, add 2 scoops (16 g) of medium/medium-coarser coffee grounds to the Pipamoka’s reusable mesh micro-filter basket. Seal the coffee basket’s lid tightly.


Next, pour hot water heated to 175°F (80°C) into the water chamber of the mug, with the twisting mechanism in the mug. Fill to the bottom of the “1” indicated inside the twisting mechanism to brew one full cup.

Drop in the coffee basket into the mug allowing it a few seconds to sink to the bottom of the mug. Once the coffee filter as settled on the bottom of the mug, gently tap the mug against the counter to release any air bubbles trapped inside. Place the lid on the Pipamoka and begin twisting with two hands – one placed on the orange ring and a second holding the mug in place.

Twisting the Pipamoka’s pressure brewing ring requires a minimal amount of force that anyone can achieve easily by holding with two hands. Be sure to read the user guide the first time you brew to ensure you get each step right.

Brewing Tip: If you find that twisting requires too much force, you will need to adjust your grind size and make it coarser – your grounds are too fine.

Once the twisting mechanism reaches the top, you will hear a slight pop. Remove the twisting mechanism and set it aside, your coffee is ready for drinking.

Don’t forget to add a protective case to your Pipamoka order, as well as the pop-tab drinking lid for easy sipping.

With a 2-year warranty, we guarantee you’ll love this sturdy little portable coffee brewer as much as other Wacaco users do. 

Mar 30, 2022 Daniel Kennedy