The Best Portable Coffee Makers For Travel
For many coffee lovers, nothing beats a steaming cup of your favorite brew just before starting your day. Whether you use its heavenly aroma to wake up in the morning or to warm your insides on a chilly day, drinking coffee means participating in a morning ritual that millions of people enjoy worldwide. Although there are perks to brewing the perfect mug of coffee at home, you do not have to sacrifice your favorite drink while traveling or on the run. And people like digital nomads, globetrotters, long-distance drivers, and travel professionals deserve a great cup of java as much as anyone. The following guide to best travel coffee makers can ensure that you create the perfect cup anytime and anywhere – even if you are on the go.
Choosing the Best Travel Coffee Maker: What You Need to Know
As with a standard home coffee maker, a travel coffee should be high in quality, easy to use, and simple to maintain. Since travel coffee makers are also portable, however, there are additional factors to consider when choosing the perfect device. For example, you might have to determine whether the coffee maker is battery-powered (for convenient operation), manual (for a coffee press or authentic taste), or electric (ideal for hotel rooms or corner offices). You may also need to decide whether the brew style is traditional coffee press, drip method, or pour-over style. Once you identify general uses for this portable coffee maker (such as a long road trip, truck driving, or going camping), you can pick the travel coffee maker that is just right for you.
Choosing the Right Portable Coffee Maker: Questions to Ask
- What Kind of Coffee Do I Prefer? What is your “go-to” brew when you visit the coffee shop? If you could only pick one type of coffee for the rest of your life, which one would you select? This selection is your staple and can help you make the best decision for your travel coffee maker.
- How Much Space to I Have? Travel coffee makers are usually compact enough that you probably will not need a spacious countertop. How small the coffee maker needs to be can depend on whether you are using it for air travel, driving, or your workspace. Travel coffee makers should also be lightweight enough for easy portability (regardless of whether you are moving through an airport terminal or trekking the woods while camping).
- Do I Need to Use Power or Go Powerless? If you are buying a compact coffee maker for your office, you might be happy with an electric coffee maker that requires a power outlet. But if you are buying a coffee maker for camping or hiking, it is probably better to choose a battery-powered, gravity-powered, or manual device.
- What Accessories Do I Need? Does the coffee maker require pods, filters, or capsules? You should factor required accessories into the cost. For the environmentally conscious, it is also important to note whether accessories are biodegradable or not. As an example, most pods are biodegradable, but many capsule brands are single-use plastics. Noting the environmental cost can help you make the right decision about your travel coffee kit (recycling vs. simply buying a reusable cup) and can also reduce the long-term cost of your machine.
Common Coffee Terms
No matter what travel coffee maker you choose, there are several terms that every coffee lover should know. Take a look at common coffee terminology that will allow yourself to browse through portable coffee gear with ease.
Many coffee lovers prefer to grind whole beans themselves. If you prefer the taste of freshly ground coffee, you may need to invest in a portable coffee grinder. You can find an electric, battery-powered, or manual coffee grinder to match your portable unit.
Regardless of whether you use pre-ground or fresh-ground coffee, you should also understand the importance of grind range. For example, espresso and Turkish coffee drinks require fine grounds, but French press coffee requires coarse grounds. Because some units require the correct ground range to function properly, be sure to check recommended ground size before selecting your favorite brand.
Many travel coffee makers can operate without electricity. However, you still need boiled water to make coffee. You may wish to keep a cordless water kettle available for this purpose. Campers can use a ghillie water kettle, and immersion boilers are great for car or truck drivers. Since water kettles also work for tea, hot chocolate, and soup, these units are practical investments for plenty of hot meals on the road.
A filter basket is the component that hold coffee grounds within the device. Keep in mind that some units use pods or capsule cups instead.
The pump is the component that moves hot water through the coffee maker during the brewing process.
A water front is the nozzle that dispenses hot water from the machine pump.
Extraction is the term for drawing flavor from coffee grounds. For example, overly extracted coffee grounds can have a too-strong or bitter flavor. In contrast, under-extracted coffee grounds can have a weak or sour taste.
Tamping is the method of compacting or evenly distributing coffee grounds into a filter. This helps eliminate excess from between grounds in order to produce a more flavorful brew.
If you purchase a portable espresso machine, it may include a wand-shaped milk steamer to help you create drinks like cappuccinos or lattes.
Although some travel coffee makers automatically include matching cups there are plenty of individually sold mugs to help you find the exact thermos to match your travel style.
Top Portable Coffee Maker For Travel
|AdirChef Grab N’ Go Travel Coffee Maker||Check Price|
|AeroPress Go Travel Coffee Maker||Check Price|
|Bodum Travel Press Coffee Maker||Check Price|
|Coffee Gator Pour-Over Travel Coffee Maker||Check Price|
|CHULUX Travel Coffee Maker||Check Price|
|Espro Travel Coffee Press||Check Price|
|GSI Outdoors Travel Coffee Maker||Check Price|
|Kalita Wave 185 Dripper Travel Coffee Maker||Check Price|
|Presto 02835 MyJo Travel Coffee Maker||Check Price|
|Primula Brew Buddy Travel Coffee Maker||Check Price|
The 10 Best Travel Coffee Makers:
Best Features: AdirChef Grab N’ Go is the ideal solution for those who want an all-in-one travel coffee maker. The portable appliance is compact enough to fit into a work cubicle, and the stainless-steel travel mug is tapered to fit your vehicle cup holder. This unit also features a built-in filter, eliminating the need to buy paper filters or plastic dispensing cups. After setting up your appliance, simply pour in your favorite coffee grounds to produce 15 ounces of coffee that you can enjoy any time. The travel mug also includes a no-spill lid for enjoying hot drinks in any setting.
- Compact design that fits easily on countertops or in cubicles
- Includes stainless-steel travel mug with lid
- Built-in filter is washable and environmentally friendly (eliminates the need to buy filters, plastic cups, or pods)
- Travel mug features tapered design that fits in the vehicle cup holder
- Unit itself is not suitable for outdoor use
Best Features: The AeroPress Go is all about helping frequent travelers experience coffeehouse flavors no matter the location. It uses the patented inverted-immersion brewing system to make hot coffee or espresso in 60 seconds. If you prefer, you can also use it to make cold-brew coffee in just two minutes. This coffee maker also includes a mug along with a silicone lid that can double as a carrying case during your adventures.
- Portable travel coffee maker
- Brews hot coffee or espresso in one minute; makes cold-brew coffee in two minutes
- Inverted immersion brewing makes French press coffee without bitter aftertaste
- Includes travel mug along with lid that can double as a carrying case
- Smaller output (produces a maximum 8.0 ounces of coffee)
Best Features: With the Bodum Travel Press, you can enjoy the taste of a French bistro wherever you go. This coffee maker uses a stainless-steel, vacuum-sealed channel and built-in plunger to prepare coffee from coarse grounds within minutes. The portable mug can hold 15 ounces of coffee and includes a spill-resistant lid for the journey.
- Prepares French press coffee from coarse grounds within minutes
- Built-in plunger and stainless-steel container for easy operation
- Includes portable mug with spill-resistant lid
- Stainless-steel construction also keeps beverages hot or cold for hours
- Dishwasher safe
- Over-extraction can occur if you leave the coffee sitting too long
Best Features: This Coffee Gator Travel Coffee Maker is an all-in-one set that makes it easy to enjoy barista-quality coffee while on the run. It includes a reusable, stainless-steel mesh filter for your favorite coffee grounds. Simply add your grounds of choice to the mesh filter and then pour-over water to make drip coffee. The set also includes a thermal cup with lid that fits into your vehicle cup holder.
- Easy pour-over travel coffee maker
- Stainless-steel mesh lid produces drip coffee and eliminates the need to buy extra filters
- Includes thermal cup and lid
- Thermal cup fits into most vehicle cup holders
- Holds 20 ounces of coffee
Best Features: Compactly designed for offices, dorm rooms, and campers, this travel coffee maker is a great way to enjoy your favorite brew in any setting. The portable coffee maker features one-touch button for easy operation, and it also has an automatic shut-off button after three minutes for product safety. Made of food-grade, BPA-free material, this appliance is also versatile enough to accept coffee pods, cups, or grounds (within the removable stainless-steel filter).
- Compact, portable coffee maker for offices, dorms, campers, and cabins
- One-touch button for easy operation
- Automatic shut-off after three minutes
- Includes stainless-steel filter (also accepts soft pods or k-cup)
- Removable drip tray and cover are dishwasher-safe
- Power source required.
Best Features: Avid coffee drinkers can sip with sophistication using the Espro travel coffee maker. This coffee maker features a patented double micro-filter to produce French press without the risk of grit or sludge. Once you have achieved the desired extraction ratio, simply press down on the filter to halt extraction completely. The attractive travel mug features a matte black finish and holds up to 14 ounces of your favorite brew. Insulated with double-walled stainless steel, the travel mug also keeps your drink hot from the first drop to the last.
- Simple way to make French press coffee
- Patented double micro-filter keeps cup free of grit of sludge
- Easy mechanism stops extraction to keep coffee from ever tasting bitter
- Insulated stainless-steel walls keep coffee hot
- Holds up to 14 ounces of your favorite drink
- Attractive matte black finish
- Does not produce alternate styles of coffee
Best Features: Enjoying the great outdoors has never been as fun as with the GSI Outdoors Travel Coffee Maker. This pour-over coffee maker has a patented collapsible design, making it one of the most lightweight and portable coffee makers on the market. Whether you are camping, backpacking, or hiking, this drip coffee maker collapses into a tiny disc and fits easily into your gear. Once expanded, the conical design fits easily over mugs, cups, or bottles for large amounts of coffee in a short amount of time.
- Portable coffee maker featuring collapsible design that fits easily into travel gear
- Expands into a conical shape with flange to drip coffee into mugs, cups, or bottles
- Pour-over method produces strong coffee with minimal effort
- Requires an external source of boiled water
Best Features: The Kalita coffee maker integrates drip and immersion methods to produce evenly extracted coffee. This device features a flat-bottomed coffee bed and three extraction holes over a wave filter. Add your favorite grounds and watch the java brew drip steadily to produce up to four cups of full-bodied coffee.
- Combines drip, immersion, and pour-over methods to produce evenly extracted coffee
- Includes a patented wave filter, extraction holes, and a flat coffee bed
- Makes up to four cups of coffee
- Filter not included
Best Features: The Presto 02835 allows you to make your favorite “cup of joe” within minutes. With its compact design, you can pack this coffee maker away in your backpack for use at work or school and during camping or travel. The coffee maker is also easy to use. Simply fill the reservoir with hot water from a kettle (or fill the reservoir with tap water and heat it up in the microwave). Then insert your favorite K-Cup, attach the water reservoir, and use the appliance pump to push water through the K-Cup to brew. With this portable appliance, you can make a cup of your favorite flavored coffee perfectly each time.
- Compact design for use at work or school and during camping or travel
- Microwave-safe water reservoir
- Accepts K-Cups so that you can choose your favorite coffee flavor
- Easy-to-use manual pump
- Does not offer an alternative to K-Cups
Best Features: For many travel buffs, the Primula Brew Buddy is the closest thing to having a personal barista on call. This portable coffee maker enables the pour-over method to produce tasty coffee in as few as 30 seconds. The patented mesh filter prevents sludge or grit while fitting nicely over travel mug or cup for easy dispensing. In addition, the filter is dishwasher safe and eliminates the need to purchase extra paper filters.
- Portable coffee maker allows you to use the pour-over method to make coffee in 30 seconds
- Patented mesh filter prevents grit or sludge buildup
- Mesh filter is reusable and dishwasher safe
- Perfect for backpacking, camping, or office use
- May not produce the strongest coffee
The Bottom Line
With a range of manual, portable, or compact electric options, travel coffee makers mean that you never have to rely on the coffee shop to enjoy your favorite brew. These convenient and affordable models ensure that access to one of the world’s favorite beverages is only one cup away.