I recently bought the Bobble Presse. After using it a few times, I got it jammed. Then my son banged it with a hammer and I squashed it in a vice. It won’t make coffee again, but that’s OK. I don’t need it. I’ve got the AeroPress.
The Bobble Presse is a portable coffee maker, like the AeroPress.
I’ve referred to the AeroPress as the selfie stick of coffee makers in a previous article. The Bobble Presse does that title more justice.
This article contained affiliate links for the Bobble Presse. Read on to find out why I removed them and why I can’t endorse this product.
Read my AeroPress review. Spend your money there if you want a great portable coffee maker.
My wife and I were on our way to a meeting with friends one afternoon. I craved coffee, so I made some in the Bobble Presse.
We were running late. I needed to get my coffee sorted. According to Bobble, you must use medium-coarse ground coffee in the Presse. I didn’t have medium-coarse ground coffee. I used a standard filter ground coffee from the local grocer. I often use it in my AeroPress.
I added coffee grounds and water to the Presse’s tumbler, stirred and placed the plunger inside. I pushed it down, but it stopped about two thirds of the way down. It needed to go all the way to the bottom. So I did what any respectable product tester would do. I placed the Bobble Presse on the floor, placed a block of wood on top and stepped on it.
It was a disaster.
The plunger jammed and I couldn’t get it out again, no matter what I tried.
I placed the Presse in boiling water, hoping it would cause the tumbler to swell and loosen the plunger. Didn’t work.
A friend of mine strapped a dog leash to the plunger and pulled it while I held on to the tumbler. That failed too.
I added ice to the plunger and placed the tumbler inside a pot of boiling water. This didn’t loosen it.
So I gave up and handed the Bobble Presse to my son with instructions to destroy it.
He was happy to oblige and performed some magic on it with a hammer and other tools. After some whacking, boredom set in and he returned it to my eager hands. I squashed it in a vice.
“But Jansie, you’re not supposed to stand on the Bobble Presse.”
You’re right. But I’ll take it a step or two further.
Don’t buy the Bobble Presse.
The Bobble Presse requires a grind level too far removed from the norm. If you can’t get medium-coarse coffee, or you don’t own a fancy coffee grinder, forget about using it.
Believe the hype around this product. But multiply it by two, three, four or ten and you’ll have an idea of how much better the AeroPress is.
In other words…
…buy the AeroPress.
Why did I buy it?
Short answer: I test things.
When I bought the AeroPress I looked for something to compare it to. I had two options: the Staresso espresso maker (post coming soon; sign up below) and the Bobble Presse.
The Staresso is a true espresso maker. I used it once and realised it didn’t fall into the same category as the AeroPress.
The Bobble Presse did fall into the same category as the AeroPress, so I thought I’d give it a go.
My wife and I were discussing the Bobble Presse one night. I confessed to her that I didn’t know how to write an article about it.
I’d wanted to like it. It made a good coffee. That should have been enough.
My wife tried to put a positive spin on it.
“It’s for on-the-go people,” she said. “They make their coffee inside the mug and run. They don’t have time to do it any other way.”
I wasn’t convinced. There were things that bothered me. Big time.
I was torn.
Should I launch an attack on the Bobble Presse? Should I eke out a tepid article to justify buying it? Should I not write about it at all?
I even asked advice on a copywriting forum. People said to tell the truth. I planned on doing that in any case. Wasn’t sure how, though.
It’s a lukewarm product. Not bad; not great.
Then I broke it. That made it easy to write an article about the Bobble Presse.
In the box
The Bobble Presse arrived in bubble wrap (or is it Bobble wrap?). It contained:
- A tumbler.
- A plunger (inner press).
- A rubber lid.
For the sake of not being a complete chophead, let’s tackle what the Bobble Presse does well.
The Bobble Presse gets full marks for appearance. The stainless steel tumbler has a modern look straight from a fashion magazine.
Makes great coffee
The Bobble Presse produces a good filter coffee. I can’t fault it on taste.
It gets full marks for flavour. It doesn’t stand back to the AeroPress.
Easy to use
That is, if you use medium-coarse ground coffee. Use a standard filter grind and you’ll not get it to work.
If you do have medium-coarse ground coffee, making coffee with the Bobble Presse is easy.
It’s easier to use than the AeroPress.
Easy to clean
It’s easier to clean than it is to use.
Pull the plunger from the tumbler, rinse and leave on a rack to dry.
There are many things I hate about the Bobble Presse.
Let me rephrase. If the AeroPress didn’t exist, the Bobble Presse would be fine. While the AeroPress does exist, the Presse is a failure.
Too specific about the grind
My number one reason for choosing the AeroPress over the Bobble Presse.
Bobble makes it clear that you can only use medium-coarse ground coffee in the Presse. Their words:
Use Presse with medium-coarse freshly ground coffee. Do NOT use with finely ground coffee.
It’s not a suggestion, it’s a rule. They mash you into this mould and there’s no way to get out.
If you read the intro to this article you’d have seen how I killed the Bobble Presse by using a fine filter grind.
Now, it wouldn’t be fair to knock the Bobble Presse if other portable coffee makers were as stringent.
The AeroPress is far more forgiving. Although it suggests a specific grind level, it does not impose a rule. I can use a wider selection of coffee grounds than I can with the Bobble Presse.
Tasty rubber lid
The Bobble Presse’s rubber lid oozes flavour.
It’s revolting. The taste climbs into your head and clings like velcro.
At first I found it bearable. But halfway through a cup it becomes too much, even for a guy with iron taste buds.
Made from metal
They make the Bobble Presse from 304 stainless steel. It’s a good steel. I had some 304 stainless steel grids manufactured for my braai (grill). Works great.
I’m a fan. I worked with the stuff for years.
But don’t drop the Bobble Presse. The plunger is made of 0.7mm stainless steel. If you drop it, it’ll bend. For the same reason, don’t pack it too tight if you plan on taking it on a trip.
If you handle it with care, the Presse should last years. But don’t drop it or stand on it. It’ll dent, bend or get stuck.
The Bobble Presse sells for under $30 online. That’s what I paid, in any case.
It’s the same price as the AeroPress.
Read my AeroPress review to see why the AeroPress is a better buy.
I can’t endorse the Bobble Presse, so I can’t link to it.
How to make coffee
I managed to make a few coffees before breaking it. Follow these steps:
- Remove the inner press from the tumbler.
- Add 10g of medium-coarse coffee to the tumbler.
- Bobble says you must not use fine ground coffee. I ignored this warning because I take what I get at the grocer.
- Add water to the tumbler.
- Stir the mixture.
- Place the inner press into the tumbler.
- Attach the silicone lid to the inner press.
- Press the inner press down into the tumbler.
- Drink your coffee.
Can it make espresso?
The Bobble Presse can’t make espresso.
An espresso requires six to ten grams of finely ground coffee, tamped into a portafilter basket through which 30ml to 45ml of water with a temperature of 194 Fahrenheit (90 degrees Celsius) is forced at nine bars of pressure for 30 seconds.
With that in mind, it’s pointless to try.
How many coffees does it make?
According to Bobble, the Presse makes up to 13 fl oz (384,456ml) of coffee.
I could not test this claim.
The Bobble Presse makes a good coffee. Don’t use the rubber cap if you don’t need to. It tastes horrible.
But the coffee itself is palatable.
Cost of coffee
Unlike the AeroPress, the Bobble Presse doesn’t come with paper filters. The Presse’s plunger contains a built-in metal filter.
The Bobble Presse uses no consumables. You use it until it dies and throw it away.
I use the same calculations I used for costing AeroPress coffee (read my AeroPress review).
Let’s say the Bobble Presse gives you 365 days of service.
You make two filter coffees with the Bobble Presse every day. You don’t take sugar or milk (to simplify the calculation).
That’s an annual quantity of 730 cups of black coffee without sugar.
We’ll cost water and electricity at $0.40 per cup.
You buy Death Wish coffee. It costs $1.25 per ounce ($0.04 per gram).
Each filter coffee needs two scoops of ground coffee. At the proper grind level this amounts to 1.05822 oz (30 grams) (15 grams per scoop) of grounds per cup; 2.11644 oz (60 grams) per day.
Death Wish Coffee grounds cost $1.20 per cup.
The Bobble Presse device, broken up into 730 cups, costs $0.04 per cup.
Cost of a Bobble Presse coffee:
Water & Electricity (per cup): $0.40.
2.12 oz (30 grams) of Death Wish coffee: $1.20.
Bobble Presse device (per cup): $0.04.
It costs $1.64 for a DIY Bobble Presse coffee. Remember, it’s Death Wish coffee grounds. It’s far more expensive than a Well Known Coffee Brand. But, per cup it’s cheaper. Besides, your DIY Bobble Presse coffee is better. You’re the master of your tastebuds.
730 cups of Well Known Coffee Brand coffees put you back $1,277.50.
730 cups of Bobble Presse brewed Death Wish coffees put you back $1,197.20.
That’s a saving of $80.30 per year.
The Bobble Presse saves you $29.20 more than the AeroPress. It’s cheaper than the AeroPress, provided it lasts as long.
Will it? I’m not convinced.
The Bobble Presse, pressed
Some post-surgery pics of the Bobble Presse…
I would have loved to recommend the Bobble Presse.
It requires medium-coarse ground coffee. That’s ridiculous. Other coffee makers aren’t as stringent. For instance, the AeroPress works fine with an off-the-shelf filter grind.
Add the rubber lid’s repulsive taste and you have ample reason to steer clear of the Bobble Presse.
If you’re looking for an awesome low-tech coffee maker, read my review of the AeroPress. Spend your cash there.