For many people out there, having just the right tasting coffee in the morning is exactly what you need to wake up, and enjoy the day. However when you have to drive somewhere, go camping, fly, or are staying in a hotel, you find that that cup of coffee just isn’t as good as what you have at home.
If only there were a way to take that great tasting coffee that you have refined with you! Well, there actually is! Below are my top 10 portable travel coffee makers. I own a decent amount of them, are rather familiar with others, and some that I wish I owned.
At the end of this article, I will be going more in depth to the overall pros and cons of a travel coffee maker, and maybe some other questions you may have before buying any of these 10 different coffee makers.
1. Aeropress Go
This little coffee maker easily made the top of my list. I personally use the Aeropress Go as my main coffee maker every morning. It makes delicious clean coffee, and it is extremely quick about it as well! I can go from boiled water to a cup of coffee in about a minute.
On the travel end of things, it easily packs up into a little red topped mug that it comes with and you can throw it in the back of the car, in a bag, or carry on without having any worry of damaging it due to the plastic it is made with.
The only thing to keep an eye on, is that Aeropress Go doesn’t make a large cup of coffee, however I generally just add a little more hot water at the end to make it the size that I want, and it makes that great cup of coffee that I want.
If you want to read more about the Aeropress Go, you can read my full review of the unit Aeropress sent out to me at no charge for review here.
What? Another Aeropress? Yep, the original Aeropress is the next on this list. It makes the same delicious coffee I discussed with the Aeropress Go, however it is a bit larger. I personally haven’t owned this version, however based on what everyone is saying, it is extremely portable as well.
You mainly will be sacrificing having the to-go mug that the Go version comes with, for a bit larger capacity.
This version of the Aeropress is also made from the same plastic as the Go, and you won’t have to worry about damaging it, no matter how hard you cram it into that backpack (we all know that is what packing is like).
The company is also just really cool as well, this article about 5 things you didn’t know about Aeropress was a lot of fun to put together with them.
3. Fellow Products Prismo
This actually is not a coffee maker in its own right. However if you want something a bit stronger than what an Aeropress can handle, then this is the accessory for you.
The Prismo is an attachment for the Aeropress that has a pressure valve. You screw the Prismo onto the bottom of the Aeropress, push down and it waits for the right pressure before releasing the coffee. The idea behind this, is that the standard Aeropress doesn’t allow for much pressure (1-3 bars) to give a more espresso taste to it.
With the Prismo you can get a lot more pressure, and make coffee a little more like an espresso shot. If you have an Aeropress, or are buying one, I would just go ahead and get this. It will greatly expand the coffee experience with one of my favorite coffee makers.
If the Prismo peaks your interest, this article goes much more in depth about it.
4. Cafflano Kompact
Whew, finally past all of the Aeropress products! Now on to other really cool brands like Cafflano. This Kompact unit is built to be an alternative to the Aeropress, and essentially does the same thing. It is also an immersion brewer.
Unlike the Aeropress though, it does feature a reusable filter (which means, no emergency runs to the store to get filters) and due to the method for pushing/pulling on the unit, you don’t have to worry about setting it onto a mug (and you can quite literally make coffee onto a plate if you want).
One other cool feature that may swing you towards this unit, is that it can be sealed tight. This means you can actually make cold brew on the go. You just add coffee, and water, then seal it up and then when you are ready open it up and brew yourself some cold brew.
5. Cafflano Klassic
The Cafflano Klassic is an extremely different take on the portable coffee maker. This coffee maker essentially makes it so all you need is this unit, coffee, and a way to heat up some water, and you are ready to go!
The Kompact has a pour over drip coffee maker, hand mill grinder, tumbler, lid, and kettle all in one “Kompact” unit.
This means that when you are on the go, you quite literally only need this unit to make your best pour over coffee.
It, like the others on this list, is made of some durable, lightweight material, and should be great for packing with you.
6. American Press
The American Press is one of the lesser portable units on this list, however I felt like it was portable enough, and durable enough to be added on! I personally own one of these, and must say that it has been one of my favorite coffee experiences out there.
Basically, it is a newer, better, easier to clean, and better tasting french press. Instead of it being an immersion brewer like a french press though, you instead push a column of coffee that is stored in a basket through the hot water slowly.
This brewer makes incredibly tasty coffee that has a little bolder taste than an Aeropress. So if something with a little more of the grind in it is your taste, I think this is probably your best bet!
I also wouldn’t hesitate to put this in a suitcase, however you may want to keep it out of your carry on, as it does have metal in it, and likely will be checked at security.
7. Flair Espresso
For those that want to drink a true espresso on the go, this is your portable coffee maker!
The flair espresso is a lever action, manual espresso maker that can be torn down quickly and put into a travel case to take with you.
Once put together, it gives you the pressure you need to make a true shot of espresso (like a real one, not a knock off version).
This article here goes a lot more in depth about the Flair Espresso, or if you want to learn more about the company itself, this article talks about 5 things you may not have known about them.
8. Bodum Travel Press
The Bodum Travel Press is another coffee maker that I personally own. There isn’t much to it, however it works awesome! It is basically a travel mug with a french press plunger built into the lid.
You add coffee, add water, stir, let sit and then plunge just like a french press! However instead of doing that all in the kitchen, you can let it brew while you are on your way out to the car and then drink on the go, all in one unit.
It’s kinda like one of those “one pot recipes”, except…. With coffee.
The downside I have personally found though, is generally with a french press, you don’t want to store any coffee with the grounds, as it gets a bit over brewed. Because this is all one unit, this can be an issue and cause the coffee to taste bitter in the long run.
9. Wacaco Minipresso GR
This little espresso maker would be perfect for those that don’t want quite as manual of a process as the Flair Espresso. Thankfully it is also even smaller, and is the most compact espresso maker on this list.
Essentially you put your coffee grinds in a pod, put in your water, and then you use a button on the side to manually build pressure until it gets pressurized enough to then come out of the unit. It should create delicious espresso without all of the equipment of a normal automatic espresso maker.
10. Free Coffee Box
Alright, yes, I know, this isn’t really a coffee maker…. or is it?
Free Coffee Box offers a really cool option to your normal portable coffee maker! This is a subscription coffee service, however it is a bit different than the rest.
Instead of just getting coffee every month, the coffee arrives in packets that can be unfolded and attached to a coffee mug of your choice. You then can use those as a pour over coffee maker!
This means you can travel with just packets of coffee, and all you would need is hot water. Meaning a stay in a hotel is incredibly easy with these packets.
Pros of a travel coffee maker
- Easy to travel with
- Generally inexpensive
- Fun to use
- Doesn’t take up much room in your home
Cons of a travel coffee maker
- Tend to only have single serving capabilities
- Not meant to be aesthetically pleasing
- Sometimes aren’t great for both home and on-the-go use
What makes a good travel press?
Every travel, and to-go coffee maker needs a couple different things before it will be considered right for the job.
- Durable – This coffee maker will need to be thrown around a bit, as it may go with you in trains, cars, boats, plantes, you know, stuff like that.
- Small – Obviously if you want to take this on the go, it needs to fit into your pack, or anything you have on you.
- Makes great coffee – If this coffee maker doesn’t do the coffee making job well, why not just drink that hotel coffee.
- Fun to use – Making coffee is an experience, as much as drinking that coffee is. If it isn’t fun to use, why use it.
How do you use a portable coffee maker?
Every travel coffee maker is so different, some are lever action, button action, automatic, pour over, etc. However for the most part the things you need to keep in mind with all of them, is you need coffee with you, and the ability to get the hot water at least up to 180 degrees to use any of these methods.
How do you pack coffee grounds for travel?
One of the most important things to keep in mind, is how you are going to pack coffee for travel. You may have an awesome travel coffee maker from above, but then not have the right things to take your coffee with you.
Generally speaking, you will just want to take your coffee grounds or beans in a semi air-tight container. I would keep them in a small jar, or you can have something like an Atmos Canister from Fellow Products. Either way would work, just make sure it is something that can hold up to travel and not break.
How do you make good hotel coffee?
Alright, so I have run into this in the past as well. Making coffee in a hotel can either mean amazing coffee, as that is something that the hotel may specialize in, or you end up with watered down burnt coffee that just can’t be drunk with a smile on the face.
So there you have it, these are the best portable travel coffee makers that I would recommend you look at. They all should hold up to what it takes to be a great portable coffee maker that should serve you for years to come.