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.
|Our Favorites||The Product||Rating|
|Best Overall||Aeropress Go||5 / 5|
|Best Accessory||Fellow Products Prismo||5 / 5|
|Best All-In-One||Cafflano Klassic||4 / 5|
|Best Espresso Maker||Flair Espresso||4.5 / 5|
|To-Go Espresso||Wacaco Minipresso GR||4 / 5|
- 1. Aeropress Go
- 2. Aeropress
- 3. Fellow Products Prismo
- 4. Cafflano Kompact
- 5. Cafflano Klassic
- 6. American Press
- 7. Flair Espresso
- 8. Bodum Travel Press
- 9. Wacaco Minipresso GR
- What are the upsides of portable coffee makers?
- Why wouldn’t you want a portable coffee maker?
- What should you keep an eye on when shopping for a good portable coffee maker?
- Frequently Asked Questions
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.
I have taken this one on plenty of trips, and it easily just sits in the bottom of my backpack, and am able to grab it whenever I want to make a quick cup of coffee.
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.
I am constantly bragging about this coffee maker to anyone that will listen to me, and is why it easily tops this list as my favorite coffee maker.
- Extremely portable
- High quality
- Very easy to make great coffee
- Clean coffee
- Only makes one cup of coffee
- Uses single use filters
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).
Just like the Aeropress we already discussed, this coffee maker makes an extremely clean cup of coffee, as it utilizes little round filters that filter out all of the extra “mud” out of the coffee. Some people like this, while others don’t!
- Easy to use
- Makes awesome coffee
- Very durable build
- Versatile flavoring
- Not quite as portable as the “Go” version
- Only makes single cup of coffee
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.
One of the biggest upsides of this little attachment, is that it replaces the single use paper filters with a metal filter that can be used over and over again! I will note, over time, the metal filter’s holes do like to get clogged and is difficult to clean. Well worth the effort though!
- Expands the type of coffee you can make with an Aeropress
- Great quality
- Replaces the single use filters that Aeropress normally uses
- Much stronger coffee can be made
- Need to have an Aeropress to use
- Can be difficult to take off
4. Cafflano Kompact
Whew, finally past all of the Aeropress products! Now on to other really cool brands like this Cafflano.
This Kompact unit is built to be an alternative to the Aeropress, and essentially does the same thing, as it is also an immersion brewer that uses pressure to push the coffee through a filter.
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, this means you don’t have to think about the size mug you are using.
This is also a unit that can be sealed tight, which means you don’t have to worry about spilling your coffee out of the maker while it is in use!
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.
In the end, while I don’t think this is necessarily a better unit than the Aeropress, I do think it is an awesome alternative that does things just a little bit different.
- Water tight unit
- You don’t have to set it on a mug
- Immersion brewing
- Great for campsites
- Reusable filters
- Not as versatile as an Aeropress
5. Cafflano Klassic
If you are looking for something that does it all, the Cafflano Klassic might be what you are on the hunt for! Unlike any other coffee maker on this list, with this one you can grind your beans, brew the coffee, and drink the coffee all in one unit, its all there!
Not only that, when you are all done, it collapses all down into a to-go size mug!
It’s brew style is also unique, as most coffee makers like this are immersion brew, this one is actually a miniature pour over, so if this is your preferred method, this is an awesome option for you.
Everything is made of high quality materials, which is great, however it definitely also pushes up the price a bit, however it is definitely worth it.
If you are someone who disdains pre-ground coffee, but also likes to make coffee on-the-go, you really shouldn’t be looking any further than this coffee maker here.
It also would make an awesome gift for someone that is wanting to get into coffee, as it includes everything they need to get started.
- High quality materials
- Everything included to take it from a bean to brew
- Very portable considering what is included
- Uses pour over coffee method
- Definitely a lot of pieces are included
- Can do everything, but not everything awesome
6. American Press
The American Press (full review here) 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.
I think the biggest drawback from this coffee maker, is the effort that goes into the brew. It takes a bit of pressure to push the basket down, and takes about 3 minutes of this. It does result in some awesome coffee though!
- Amazing coffee (best on the list from my experience)
- Makes a large cup of coffee
- Very high quality materials
- Quite a few components to clean
- A bit of a difficult brew process
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).
These really are an incredible, and innovate product that I have been really impressed with. Not only do they look cool, but they are able to do something many other portable coffee makers try to do, which is make actual espresso.
With some of the higher end versions, you will have high quality portafilters, and even a pressure gauge to make sure you get that exact pressure to make the exact espresso that you are setting out to make.
Not only is this a great portable espresso maker, it also makes an awesome, relatively inexpensive espresso maker for your home.
Not to mention, it would be a cool conversation starter for guests to your home.
- Tears down to be placed in a carrying case
- Very high quality
- Pressure gauges included on some versions
- Actually makes real espresso
- Takes effort to put together when you want coffee
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.
This by no means is the perfect coffee maker, however if you are someone that doesn’t have the time in the morning to make your cup of coffee, then you can truly do it on the go with this one.
- Can make and drink coffee while on-the-go
- Great quality build
- French press coffee, with lots of sediment
- Can over extract your coffee if left in mug
9. Wacaco Minipresso GR
The Wacaco Minipresso GR 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.
Now that I am updating this article, I actually have since been given this unit as a gift, and it really is a cool espresso maker! It is relatively easy to use once you learn how, and makes a true espresso shot!
The only downside, is that it is a bit more difficult to clean, but as long as you are good with that, it does a great job as advertised!
- Makes true espresso
- Very portable
- Doesn’t use pods
- Somewhat difficult to clean
What are the upsides of portable coffee makers?
- Easy to travel with
- Generally inexpensive
- Fun to use
- Doesn’t take up much room in your home
Why wouldn’t you want a portable 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 should you keep an eye on when shopping for a good portable coffee maker?
Every travel, and to-go coffee maker needs a couple different things before it will be considered right for the job.
Durability of the coffee maker
If you plan on taking a coffee maker with you on road-trips, backpacking trips, and more, you need to make sure that the coffee maker can stand up to a beating. No matter what you do outside of keeping your coffee maker in the kitchen, it will be knocked around, rolled around and more just due to the nature of being a portable coffee maker.
Because of this, you need to make sure to buy a coffee maker that can handle that! Surprisingly, this is one of the few categories of items where plastic comes into play. While many coffee makers are made of glass, this tends to break when dropped. However plastic is much more forgiving, and which is why most of the options on this list have offered up that material.
How compact can it get?
You never know where or how you are going to take your portable coffee maker, which is why you should make sure it can at least be packed away in a small day backpack. The bigger the portable coffee maker, the less places that you can take it, and the less value it brings you.
That is why you find the Aeropress Go at the top of my list, as everything folds up into a mug sized container, and keeps all of the components together, rather than in a bag.
Does it make great coffee?
Where would you be without this coffee maker making good coffee! Sure, it may be a quality coffee maker that folds up tight, however if it makes a bad brew, whats the point? This is where getting individual reviews of the products are going to be important.
Figure out what taste you like, and gravitate towards that! If you like coffee makers with more body to them, think about getting an immersion brewer, if you like a cleaner cup then a pour over is going to be a best bet.
Is it fun to use?
Yes! Making coffee should be a blast, so if you have a coffee maker that is difficult to use, finicky, or just a pain, then you won’t use it. I have had some of those in the past, and they tend to just sit on a shelf somewhere just to look at. While others that are easier to use get used regularly, and enjoyed.
What is your budget?
Always, always have a budget when you are shopping for something, especially with coffee equipment. Even to-go coffee makers can get crazy expensive, so make sure you know what you want to spend and don’t cross that line.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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.
If you are someone that really enjoys coffee culture, and want to take that with you wherever you go, then this list should get you started on that journey!