Comandante’s new grinder, the Trailmaster X25, is particularly designed to be used on the highway; author Tanya Nanetti received to attempt it out throughout her latest journey to Central and South America.
BY TANYA NANETTI
SENIOR ONLINE CORRESPONDENT
Images courtesy of Tanya Nanetti
When your two best passions are journey and (good) espresso, it could actually generally be tough to match them. In my final decade of travels, whether or not to basic locations or extra offbeat locations (suppose Western Samoa, or Damaged Hill, New South Wales), I’ve usually discovered myself stranded someplace with out a respectable cup of espresso.
In search of Light-weight Tools
That’s why I began searching for a sensible possibility to hold my espresso gear wherever I journey. And right here one other small downside comes into play: I at all times journey mild—actually mild. This time, it was only a small backpack (the one allowed free by most airways) for 5 weeks round Central and South America. So each gram counted!
The plain selection as a brewer was the AeroPress (light-weight, dependable, and providing you with a good cup each time, even with out utilizing a scale) and a bag of scrumptious espresso … however what concerning the grinder? Grinding the espresso beforehand was out of the query. However my Comandante C40 (named Negan) was too huge and heavy to slot in my small backpack.
All of the sudden, I noticed that the right answer could also be on the market, within the C40’s little brother, the Comandante X25 Trailmaster. I’d lately began to see it in photos and movies from the good espresso bloggers.
It appeared smaller, resistant, and sensible. Plus, it was clearly very cool.
I undoubtedly needed to attempt it!
The X25’s Specs
The Comandante X25 Trailmaster was delivered to my door. Like its huge brother, the X25 is available in cool, big, but important packaging. It included the grinder (outfitted with a sensible plastic lid), a few stickers, and the Comandante’s rubber bracelet.
The grinder form was barely completely different from the basic C40: leaner, fully manufactured from a high-performance technopolymer known as QTP, with a charming geometrical floor, and a light-camouflage coloration (with extra colours to come back quickly).
At first look, the obvious distinction was the dearth of the basic polymer/glass jar. Within the Trailmaster, that is changed by a unique sort of polymer jar, a pure extension of the grinder itself.
Holding it in my hand for the primary time, I confirmed how a lot smaller and lighter it’s than the C40. At solely 422 grams, it’s good to slot in my small backpack!
Testing It Out
However first, it was time to call it. “Mando” (of The Mandalorian TV collection) was the selection. Just like the TV character, my grinder additionally gave the impression to be carrying cool armor. It undoubtedly appeared able to go on some cool adventures world wide with me.
I selected to not attempt it earlier than the primary cease of my journey, however I did a little bit check nonetheless. I needed to discover a sensible strategy to measure my espresso on the go, discovering a median of the 18 grams I want for my AeroPress recipe, with out utilizing a scale. Fortunately the form of the brand new jar, barely bigger on the underside and with a line separating the bottom from the highest, helped me to discover a clear level of reference for a median quantity of 18 grams. Simply what I wanted.
When it was time to pack and go away, I ascertained how sensible the presence of the small plastic lid was. I might simply pack Mando closed with its lid, placing the crank and the knob on its aspect, in order that they take up much less area.
After which the time for journey lastly got here. An inexpensive resort in Mexico Metropolis, a stunning hostel in Medellin, a shack on a Costa Rican seaside … all over the place was the right place to grind and brew my espresso, and it actually was like brewing at residence.
Stellar Grinding Efficiency
The X25’s Nitro Blade burr set provides a grind efficiency precisely just like the C40’s, which makes use of the identical burr system. The one distinction within the grinding expertise that I might discover was the necessity for a little bit extra energy utilizing the X25. This was simply defined: I’d been utilizing a longer crank in my C40 for some time, which, by rising leverage, helps easy the grind.
Grinding efficiency apart, the one draw back of the X25 is its smaller capability: 28 grams as an alternative of 40. However then, it’s not designed for brewing a big amount of espresso whereas sitting at residence. It’s made for journey, for the highway, the place many customers will select one thing just like the AeroPress, the Orea, or a small dripper as their brewer. For all of those strategies, 28 grams of espresso is greater than sufficient.
All the things else is simply good.
After greater than a month spent grinding espresso with Mando the Trailmaster, the conclusion is simple to make. It’s been banged into my backpack all around the world, with out even a scratch. It skilled heavy rains (because of the tropical storm that saved falling on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica) with out letting any drop inside. It was good to make use of within the frequent space of a hostel, but in addition on a wonderful sunny seaside. The X25 supplied me precisely what I wanted: a constant and dependable grinding expertise, identical to I’m used to with its huge brother Negan the C40.
Well worth the Funding
Again residence, already lacking my journey and already planning a brand new one, I put Mando again the place it belongs, within the little espresso nook subsequent to Negan, and I can’t assist however smile, realizing that there’s one thing else that Mando lacks. To be “actually” good, Mando simply wants a cool handmade knob from Jens at Skateboard Creations. Then it’s going to actually be prepared for the subsequent journey.
As a aspect word, I ought to point out that having the grinder in your carry-on bag will usually increase suspicious appears to be like from the authorities. Be ready to have your backpack checked and to obtain a couple of questions concerning “that bizarre object in your bag.”
For those who prefer to journey mild, the Comandante X25 Trailmaster is likely to be best for you!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tanya Nanetti (she/her) is a specialty-coffee barista, a traveler, and a dreamer. When she’s not behind the espresso machine (or visiting some hidden nook of the world), she’s busy writing for Espresso Riot, a web site about specialty espresso that she’s creating alongside along with her boyfriend.