The Mypressi Twist V2 (*Est. $150) uses a blast of nitrous oxide to produce single or double shots of espresso. In professional tests, reviewers say that although the Mypressi Twist resembles a handheld massager, it makes an impressive cup of java. The trick lies in its handle, which conceals a nitrous oxide cartridge. Once you pull the trigger, a nine-bar pressure system forces preheated water through a filter basket, creating what reviewer Oliver Strand of The New York Times describes as a "lush shot of espresso." The biggest complaint surrounding the Twist V2 is its 10 parts, which must be disassembled and cleaned between uses. If taste is your top priority, and you don't mind the task of cleaning, the Mypressi Twist V2 is the manual one-cup coffee maker for you.
If you don't want to spend $150 on a manual machine but want the additional flavor control, consider the Aerobie AeroPress (*Est. $25). Reviewers say it's easy to use: Simply insert a disc-shaped paper filter in the plastic tube, add coffee grounds, place the tube over a cup, pour in hot water, stir for 10 seconds and press the plunger down. Popular Mechanics calls the AeroPress "a French press on steroids," noting that it's easy to control the strength of coffee or espresso by adjusting the amount of coffee grounds used. While it's not the cleanest manual model (use it next to a sink or trash can to dispose of the grounds), it does produce a tasty beverage in a record 40 seconds after you've heated water.
The classically designed Chemex Three Cup Classic Glass Coffeemaker (*Est. $30) has been around since 1941. It has the same variable control as other manual coffee makers, but less durable. The Chemex allows total control over flavor and strength, like most manual coffee makers, but it's attractive enough to leave it sitting out on a counter. However, its glass construction makes it fragile. If you want a faster manual brew tailored to your tastes in a more durable package, the Aerobie AeroPress makes a single-cup of coffee in less than a minute.