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|Presse by Bobble French Coffee Press||
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|Bodum Insulated Travel French Press||
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|GSI Outdoors MiniEspresso Set||
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|Staresso Espresso And Cappuccino Maker||
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|Coleman QuikPot Propane Coffee Maker||
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|Neo by Flair Espresso Maker||
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|Kuissential SlickDrip Collapsible Coffee Dripper||
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|Snow Peak Collapsible Coffee Drip||
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|Presto 02835 MyJo K-Cup Coffee Maker||
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|Primula Coffee Brew Buddy||
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- Dimensions: 4.6 x 3.6 x 3.6 inches (without travel mug)
- Weight: 11.5 oz
- Capacity: 8 oz
- Dimensions: 3.2 x 3.2 x 7.2 inches
- Weight: 13.9 oz
- Capacity: 13 oz
- Dimensions: 3.5 x 3.5 x 9.1 inches
- Weight: 10.4 oz
- Capacity: 15 oz
- Dimensions: 3.6 x 3 x 5.9 inches
- Weight: 11 oz
- Capacity: 2.5 oz
- Dimensions: 2.75 x 2.75 x 9.64 inches
- Weight: 14.1 oz
- Capacity: 3.72 fl oz
- Dimensions: 6.14 x 2.8 x 2.44 inches
- Weight: 11.6 oz
- Capacity: 2.7 oz
- Dimensions: 13.3 x 17.1 x 8.9 inches
- Weight: 9.4 lbs
- Capacity: 10 cups
- Dimensions: 14 × 10 × 4 inches
- Weight: 5 lbs
- Capacity: 2 oz
- Dimensions: 8 x 2 x 6 inches
- Weight: 4.8 oz
- Capacity: 1 cup
- Dimensions: 4 x 4 x 3.75 inches
- Weight: 4.9 oz
- Capacity: 1 cup
- Dimensions: 4.13 x 4.13 x 9 inches
- Weight: 14.1 oz
- Capacity: 10 oz
- Dimensions: 5.6 x 4.4 x 1.3 inches
- Weight: 2.4 oz
- Capacity: 1 cup
How to Choose the Best Portable/Travel Coffee Maker
When you’re planning to travel rather than set up your home brewing station, what you’re looking for in a coffee maker is going to change. While you still want the best tasting coffee, you’ll probably be prioritizing things like weight over looks and brewing capacity. Consider these features before you start shopping.
Practicality is one thing, but you should think about your tastebuds first and foremost. After all, this is about making your trip more enjoyable! While some coffees like a cafe-style latte are going to be more difficult to replicate, there’s a portable coffee maker for most brewing methods.
For the most part, espresso lovers will need to settle for something that’s espresso-style rather than the real deal, but we have included one true espresso maker on our list. Likewise, people used to drip coffee will need to leave their fancy SCAA certified machine behind for something that brews a little differently.
French press and pour over coffee, on the other hand, is easily replicated on the road. These brew methods are always completely manual, so a lack of electricity isn’t going to change anything. But if you’re used to precision brewing with a scale, timer, thermometer and gooseneck kettle, you might need to modify your recipe for a simpler one you can do without the extra gear.
Choosing a brewing method you’re familiar with will also make things easier when you travel. You don’t want to be struggling to learn a new kind of coffee maker when there’s no cafe nearby as a plan B.
This is probably going to be the biggest factor when it comes to choosing a travel coffee maker, and really depends on the type of traveling you’re going to do. For a three-day trip in a hotel you can set yourself up with a brewer with a few bells and whistles, but for a three-day hike you’re going to want the lightest, smallest coffee maker you can get your hands on. And if you’re really going off the beaten track, durability will affect just how portable a brewer is.
When thinking about portability, you’ll need to consider more than the brewer itself. Sadly, your machine with a built-in grinder is not coming with you, so if you want fresh coffee, you’ll need to pack a grinder too. A pour over coffee maker might look simple, but you’ll need to bring enough filters for your caffeine needs. If you don’t want the hassle of packing a separate mug, look for a coffee maker with a cup included.
What makes most portable coffee makers suitable for travel is the fact that they don’t need to be plugged in. This frees you from the need for finding an outlet, but also presents a problem: how do you get a hot cup of coffee?
While there are some self-heating brewers on the market, for the most part you’ll either need a heat source such as a camp stove, or a separate way of boiling water. You might want to consider a lightweight travel kettle, or for a one day trip, you can take hot water in a separate thermos.
Ease of cleaning
Looking after your travel coffee maker is important, but the last thing you want to be doing on the road is a complicated cleaning routine. The ideal scenario for a portable coffee maker is something you can simply rinse clean without taking it apart.
Brewing with capsules should be carefully considered when you’re on the road. They’re not as messy as ground coffee, but they’re a lot bulkier, and you’ll have to carry the empties around with you too. Nespresso capsules might be recyclable, but not when you’re miles from nowhere.
The Best Portable Coffee Makers in 2021
From tiny coffee makers that fit in your handbag to serious self heating coffee machines, here are our favourite portable coffee makers you can buy right now.
Whether you’ve used one or not, you’ve probably heard of the AeroPress coffee maker. The innovative gadget has been a hit with baristas and amateurs since it was released in 2005, thanks to its ease of use and versatility.
The original AeroPress is a very compact and lightweight coffee maker, but the more recent AeroPress Go has been given some design upgrades that make it even more suitable for camping and traveling.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the Go comes with a plastic cup. Handy for serving, of course, but also works as a compact carry case for the travel coffee maker and all its accessories. The AeroPress itself has been downsized to make it both more lightweight and more portable.
The one downside to this is that it does reduce the brewing capacity from 10 oz to 8 oz. This is only an issue if you want to brew for a few people at once, in which case you can always make a concentrated brew and dilute it with hot water.
The scoop and stirrer are still included but have been redesigned to be more compact. There’s also a smaller version of the filter holder, which also fits inside the mug, and holds 20 paper filters.
It’s not just the portability of the AeroPress Go that makes it our top pick, it’s also the fact that it has the full functionality and versatility of the larger model. With the US-made coffee maker capable of brewing everything from espresso-style coffee to immersion and cold brew (1), you don’t need to pack anything else.
The minimalist exterior of the Presse by Bobble hides not only a portable coffee maker, but an insulated travel mug as well. It might look a little like an AeroPress, but the brewing process is more like a French press.
To make a coffee, simply add your coarsely ground beans to the chamber and fill it with hot water. After the coffee has been allowed to steep for the recommended three minutes brewing time, insert the stainless steel inner mug and press down to filter out the grounds.
When using a traditional French press, you’ll need to pour the brewed coffee out of the pot to stop it from becoming over-extracted. With the Presse, the brand claims that the patented microfilter will separate the grounds and trap them at the bottom of the mug to prevent further brewing. The travel mug will keep your coffee hot for hours, thanks to the three layers of insulation, while the outside will be cool to the touch.
The Bobble brand started off making water filtration systems, so you can be confident that the filter and all materials used in the Presse are up to scratch for drinking standards. The stainless steel parts and silicon lid make it easy to clean while you’re on the road, and when you do return home, you can put all of it into the dishwasher.
What a great way to make that brew and then savor it as you move around.
Of all the brands of French press, Bodum would have to be the most famous. Its signature cafetiere was introduced in 1974 and set the standard for how a classic French press should look and perform.
So when it comes to buying a French press to take on the road, it makes sense to look to the experts. The Travel Press incorporates both the portable coffee maker and a double-walled insulated travel mug. You can brew coffee on the go by adding grounds and hot water and putting the lid on.
After four minutes, depress the plunger to separate the ground from the brewed coffee. The silicone and mesh filter helps remove fines so that you can enjoy your coffee without needing to pout it into another cup. The plunger collapses neatly into the lid, which has a flip opening for easy drinking on the go.
The Bodum French press coffee maker is particularly useful for commuters or anyone who wants to sip on a homemade brew while getting around town. The silicone band provides added grip so you can drink while you’re walking, as well as making sure you have a cool place to hold. There’s also a non-slip base that lets you rest your cup safely wherever you are.
If coffee from a Moka pot is the only brew for you, then this MiniEspresso set will be a welcome addition to your hiking or camping kit. Traditional Moka pots are somewhat portable, especially if you’re opting for the one-cup models, but this bit of gear pares the coffee maker down to its most essential parts.
The GSI Outdoors MiniEspresso Set is basically a Moka pot without the top chamber. The bottom chamber is filled with water, followed by the ground coffee in the filter basket as normal. In this case, the upper part consists of a platform for the cup and a spout. As the coffee brews, it’s forced out through the spout and directly into your awaiting cup.
This travel coffee maker has been specifically designed for use outdoors and can be placed directly over a camping stove. Made from heavy-duty stainless steel, it’s durable enough to throw in your backpack, but you won’t need to – it comes with a compact foam carrying case. GSI Outdoors is a brand that specializes in camp cookware, so you know this portable coffee maker will last.
Looking for a full-size option? Check out our guide to the best Moka pots.
Heading into the great outdoors doesn’t necessarily mean leaving behind all of your creature comforts. If you’ve grown accustomed to the convenience of a single-serve machine like Nespresso, or the frothy taste of a cappuccino, look no further than the Staresso.
In addition to producing a rich and flavorful brew, this machine has a neat milk frothing feature too. Cappuccino on the go anyone?
Like all good portable coffee makers, the Staresso packs away neatly for easy transportation. In this case, all of the parts and accessories are stored inside the chamber creating a tiny 6-inch long canister. Unpack it and you’ll find everything you need for making espresso, cappuccino, or even cold brew on the road.
At the top sits the water chamber, with a metal filter basket for coffee grounds or capsules underneath. To get the pressure required, you simply use the manual pump on the lid. With just a few pumps, you’ll be extracting at 15-20 bars (2). Once you’ve finished making your coffee, the pump can be used to froth milk – it’s the only brewer on our list with this function.
One nice touch is the built-in shot glass, which sits at the bottom of the Staresso. This removes the need for finding a flat and sturdy surface for balancing a portable coffee maker and separate cup on – often a difficult task when you’re camping.
Wacaco came to the attention of coffee-loving adventurers everywhere when it released the Minipresso portable coffee maker back in 2014. Lightweight, compact, and capable of brewing espresso-style coffee, it was something of a game-changer.
The Wacaco Nanopresso came to market a few years later and could be considered an upgrade in almost every way. It’s both smaller and lighter, but somehow now features a larger water reservoir. That said, the Nanpresso is still a one-shot coffee maker, but you can buy a water tank add-on if you really want that double shot coffee on the go.
According to Wacaco, this newer model requires 15% less energy to pump than the original and has a higher extraction pressure of 18 bars. While the benefit of anything more than 9 bars is debatable (3), this does brew a rich-tasting shot. What we like about the pump system on these machines is that it’s side-mounted – so you can operate the whole thing with one hand and without resting it on a cup.
The off-the-shelf model brews with ground coffee only, but there are adapters sold separately if you want the flexibility to brew with Nespresso original or Dolce Gusto capsules as well.
Most of the travel coffee makers on our list focus on being lightweight and portable, ideal for backpackers or hikers. But you have to remember that to brew a nice cup of coffee, you’re also going to need to have a way to heat water.
The Coleman QuikPot eliminates the need for a separate source of hot water by connecting directly to a propane bottle. You don’t even need matches thanks to the InstaStart ignition feature.
Apart from the power source, this is essentially the same as any drip coffee maker you might have at home. The glass carafe holds 10-cups, enough for the whole camping crew. The brew time for a full pot is around 18 minutes, but there’s a Pause ‘n Serve feature that allows you to sneak yourself a cup without waiting for the carafe to fill up.
The obvious downside to the Coleman QuikPot is the size. It’s certainly not small enough to fit in a backpack, and weighing in at over 9 pounds, you’re not going to want to carry it around anyway. However, for anyone driving to a campsite, or even taking an RV, this portable coffee maker is easily packed in with the rest of the gear.
We have featured more than one espresso-style brewer here. But for a true espresso, this is our only portable coffee maker capable of making the genuine article. It might not look particularly suitable for travel, but compare that to a regular espresso machine and this is a fraction of the weight and the price.
…it is the simplest and most affordable way to get the best possible shot you can, especially if you’re new to the espresso gameBusiness Insider
You might need to get used to the equipment, but the Neo by Flair is actually designed to be easier to use than a traditional espresso machine. Or at least, it’s easier to get a quality shot. It works well with any beans, and the pressurized portafilter is very forgiving of grind size – no dialing-in required. The one thing that might break the hearts of aspiring baristas is that the reservoir won’t hold enough water to make a double shot.
The Neo falls into the category of manual espresso machines, where the extraction pressure is achieved by the use of a lever rather than an electric pump. The fact that it doesn’t require a power source is what makes it ideal for travel. When it’s all set up, it’s a little unwieldy, but the Neo can be disassembled and packed away into its own traveling case.
If your favorite way to brew coffee is with a pour over, you’re in luck when it comes to traveling. The simple design of these coffee makers means they’re usually much smaller and lighter.
The Kuissential SlickDrip takes this a step further. By replacing the traditional metal or ceramic body with silicone, this brewer weighs not much more than a deck of cards and folds down to less than an inch high. The material is BPA-free for food safety, and unlike plastic, it won’t add any weird flavors to your drink. You’ll be using paper filters, so the coffee maker itself just requires rinsing to clean.
The SlickDrip works like any other pour over coffee maker, so you can expect to get a great cup of coffee out of it. The downside to this is that you still need all the extras to go align with it. It might be small, but you’ll also need to carry the paper filters, a cup, and have access to hot water.
Just like the SlickDrip, the Snow Peak Collapsible Coffee Drip is a pour over coffee maker that’s been modified for travel. The unusual square shape allows it to fold flat when not in use and makes it suitable for a wide range of cup sizes.
It’s not as light as a plastic coffee maker would be, but the stainless steel construction gives it some useful heft. You can take this into the most rugged of terrains without worrying it will break or tear. The metal is also great if you don’t like the idea of your hot coffee coming into contact with plastic.
In terms of brewing, it works as any other pour over would. The Snow Peak claims to work with any kind of paper filters, but if you have the basket-shaped ones, you’ll need to do a little origami to get them to sit in place. But you’re not on your own–the manual for the brewer shows you how to fold them.
One thing users have noted is that you will need to find a sturdy spot to brew your coffee. The legs help it stand unassisted but don’t lock into place when sitting on a cup.
Keurig fans often get left behind when it comes to portable coffee makers, but MyJo K-Cup Coffee Maker has neatly filled that gap in the market. And to be fair, this coffee maker doesn’t work in exactly the same way as a standard Keurig machine, but it does allow you to enjoy your favorite K-Cup flavors on the road.
Drip coffee makers like Keurig work by automating a slow flow of hot water over the coffee grounds. For this, they need power, which is why they don’t usually show up as travel machines (one exception being the Coleman QuikPot above). This brewer from Presto instead extracts using pressure, with a manual pump forcing water through the single-serve capsule.
Cleaning is as simple as popping out the used K-Cup and rinsing the base. Just don’t forget to take your capsules home with you if you’re out in nature.
Sometimes, every ounce and inch of space in your backpack counts. And in that case, you need the Primula Coffee Brew Buddy. Consisting of a simple plastic disc with a fine mesh filter, this innovative gadget is small enough even to carry in your handbag.
The Primula Coffee Brew Buddy works like a cross between a pour over coffee maker and a French press. You sit the filter on top of your cup and fill the basket with grounds. Hot water is poured through the grounds, as with a pour over, but then the filter hangs inside the cup, allowing the extraction to continue. You’ll need to remove the Brew Buddy after 2-3 minutes to prevent over brewing your cup of joe.
We appreciate the fact that, even with an imprecise and messy pour, the Brew Buddy can still deliver a delicious brew.Outdoor GearLab
Unlike a pour over, however, you won’t need to carry paper filters with you, and you won’t miss having your gooseneck kettle. It’s also more flexible when it comes to the cup size you use and even fits travel mugs. The Brew Buddy is a must for coffee lovers traveling light.
Even the most seasoned travelers and rugged adventurers will appreciate a good cup of coffee on the road. With a portable coffee maker available for every brewing style, the best brewer will often come down to what kind of coffee you like to drink.
Our favorite portable coffee maker is the AeroPress Go, which ticks all the boxes we need in a travel coffee maker – it’s portable, lightweight, and very easy to clean. It’s also an incredibly versatile brewer that will make great coffee to please most camping companions. It’s a quality coffee maker at an affordable price.
The difference between coffee and espresso is the way it’s prepared. What we usually think of as regular coffee brewed using a drip method, but can also be made using immersion. Espresso, however, is extracted quickly under intense pressure, resulting in a rich, concentrated brew.
The best grinder for travel is one that’s compact, lightweight, and durable. You’ll also need to make sure it can grind at the correct fineness for the type of brewer you’re taking with you. If you need some help choosing, check out some of our favorite manual coffee grinders.
You can use coffee capsules twice, but the coffee you get out of the second use will be very weak and watery. Some people do run water through a capsule two times to make a larger, Americano-style coffee.
- Pospisil, A. (2020, September 11). 9 ways to make coffee with the Aeropress. European Coffee Trip. Retrieved October 1, 2021, from https://europeancoffeetrip.com/make-coffee-with-aeropress/
- Staresso (basic) portable espresso maker. Staresso. (n.d.). Retrieved October 1, 2021, from https://staresso.com/collections/portable-espresso-maker/products/sp200
- Kilbride, D. (2020, November 11). How does pressure affect espresso quality? Perfect Daily Grind. Retrieved October 1, 2021, from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2017/06/how-does-pressure-affect-espresso-quality/
- What is espresso? Espresso Coffee Explained by 1st in Coffee. (n.d.). Retrieved from Retrieved October 1, 2021, from https://www.1stincoffee.com/what-is-espresso
Husband, father and former journalist, I’ve combined my love of writing with my love of coffee to create this site. I love high end products, but write all my content with budget conscious coffee enthusiasts in mind. I prefer light roasts, and my normal brew is some sort of pour over, although my guilty pleasure is the occasional flat white.