It all started with a simple mission: build the world’s best handheld espresso machine. Forget the wires, the pumps, the electrical tethers to the wall. Funnily enough, there weren’t any handled espresso machines at the time so innovation was the only option.

Extreme innovation. A team of incredibly talented designers and engineers in California pulled it together. Powered by tiny bulbs of gas powered at 600 psi, the TWIST reaches the operational pressures of professional Italian espresso machines (9 bars, 145 psi) in absolute silence with the squeeze of a trigger.

Three prototypes were shown at the SCAA Annual Exposition in 2009. The crowd around the booth was five levels deep. And then came the award: Product of the Year (Consumer Products).

Today the TWIST is used by tens of thousands of happily caffeinated customers around the world. It’s gone through several rounds of refinement from v1 to v1.9 (also known as “the TWIST, refreshed”), to a v2 that has also gone through continuous internal refinement. (If the improvement isn’t outwardly obvious, we don’t typically announce it.)


Stephen O’Brien:

Firstly, after a restructure Espressi is turning around. We discontinued wholesale orders in the US which allowed us to reduce headcount and close an office. Switching to a purely online sales model via a remodelled mypressi.com and through Amazon also greatly improved our margins.

We are also gradually expanding our products and services and have some great stuff coming. Not a v3, by the way, but additions to the current and previous models that extend their functionality in some very exciting ways.

From a management perspective, I can say that hitting the wall is not necessarily a bad thing. It peels back all the layers and makes you focus on the core. It’s rough and it’s tough, but it is also a healthy process if you can stand a few months of “WFIO”.