7 Best Travel Coffee Makers (2020)
No matter where you’re traveling, your trip will be that much better if you’re properly caffeinated. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find quality coffee, plus in many places in Australia it’ll cost you a pretty penny if you’re always buying coffee from cafés. Adding a coffee maker to your travel gear collection is one of the best decisions you can make; it’ll help you save money for your next adventure and you’ll never be far from a delicious cup of brew!
What to Look for in a Portable Coffee Maker
Thankfully, there are many different types of travel coffee makers on the market to suit a variety of travel needs, but that also means the search can be stressful. To choose the best portable coffee maker for you, there are a few things you need to consider…
1. Brew Time
Don’t let your coffee maker slow you down when you’re on the go. The best coffee makers for travelers will generally take between 30 seconds – 5 minutes to brew a quality cup of joe.
2. Ease of Cleaning
Consider where you’ll be using your coffee maker most often and the cleaning facilities you’ll have available. Some you can toss in the dishwasher, but others need to be hand-washed. Some will be ideally cleaned in a kitchen setting while others can be cleaned perfectly fine at a campground. If you’re doing a multi-day hike, then it may be best to choose one with simple cleaning instructions.
3. How Much Coffee Do You Need?
Your travel style and who you’re traveling with will have the biggest impact on this. Some coffee makers only make a single cup, while other travel coffee makers can make 12 cups. The more coffee it produces in one brew, the larger it is likely to be. Keep this in mind for packing purposes.
4. Power or Powerless?
It’s important to know what actually is required to make the coffee maker work before you buy it. Electricity? Batteries? Stovetop? None of the above? Your travel style and the power sources you’ll have access to will help you choose a quality portable coffee maker.
Fight the urge to believe that a bigger coffee maker will make better coffee. It’s best to travel as light as possible, and even some of the smallest coffee makers can brew exceptional coffee. Be sure the one you choose won’t add too much weight to your bag or take up an obscene amount of space.
6. Type of Coffee Maker
With many ways to brew coffee, here are the most common for travel purposes…
Espressos are brewed when a small amount of hot water is forced through finely ground coffee. There are some great portable espresso makers on the market, but they do tend to be a bit more expensive.
These are typically the smallest and most portable of the three. You put your coffee grounds in a filter then you pour water into it and let the coffee drip into your mug.
With this process, ground coffee is totally submerged in hot water. French-press lovers live by this method, but there are other total immersion processes. While it is great, and your chances of having grit in the bottom of your cup are severely decreased, they do tend to be a little larger than pour over coffee makers, but you still shouldn’t have any trouble fitting it into your bag.
Best Travel Coffee Maker Reviews
Without further delay, here are the best travel coffee makers available today…
Our pour over coffee filter is the ideal piece of equipment for making an amazing cup of coffee either at home or on the go! The filter is made from twill woven stainless steel and BPA free plastic to ensure it won't get damaged while you're exploring the wild. We have added two flaps to the filter to make sure the filter will fit on any cup you use (now that's great design)
The pour over coffee filter will make you 1-3 cups of coffee and is best used with a medium coarse grind. No you don't have to have a gooseneck kettle for the coffee to taste amazing, it will help though!
How do you use it? Simply scoop about 30-40 grams of ground coffee into the filter and ensure the grounds are evenly spread. Pour a small amount of hot water in a 360 motion over the ground coffee and then wait a minute for the coffee to "bloom" then pour the rest of the boiling water over the coffee. Easy as that. To clean just tab the ground coffee into your compost or bin and rinse the filter under some water!
The Bodum Travel Tea and Coffee Press is a vacuum-sealed travel mug with double-wall construction. It’s the best way to make coffee while camping because it’s quick and it will keep your 15 ounces of coffee or tea warm for hours on end. All you have to do is add your coffee grounds, add hot water, then close the lid. By the time you’re done packing up your camping tent, the plunger will be ready to press and you can be on your way. It doesn’t get much easier than the Bodum Travel Tea and Coffee Press.
Bialetti has given millions of people the privilege of tasting perfect Italian coffee since the 1950s. While its unique eight-sided shape isn’t always the best for backpacking, it sure will enhance your coffee. Take your pick of a 1-, 3-, 6-, 9-, or 12-cup model that will give you rich espresso in less than 5 minutes. It’s as simple as adding water, coffee, and heat, then enjoying. Let’s face it, a delicious cup of Italian coffee when you’re traveling through Venice or a similar city, can be quite expensive. The Bialetti Moka Express lets you bring the deliciousness into the comfort of your own home.
The Wild Espresso strikes the best balance between ease of use, portability, and taste. It extracts a nice espresso from almost any beans. There's very little bitterness, and it reliably produces a nice looking crema. The compact all-in-one design also means you can shove it in the smallest of bags and have excellent espresso anywhere you go.
A couple notes to getting the best extraction: Don’t grind your coffee too fine—think table salt rather than powder—and preheat the machine. To preheat, just pump hot water through with nothing in the basket and then make your actual shot. Espresso fanatics argue that you should pump no more than once per second, but I could not tell any difference. It takes a fair amount of pressure to pump the water, though. If you have arthritis, RSI, or other source of joint pain in your hands, the Wild Espresso is probably not the best choice.