Best Compact Travel Coffee Makers For The Road!
If you're about to embark on a long road trip, you'll want to make sure that you pack the best travel coffee maker you can get your hands on that’s going to keep you fully caffeinated wherever you may be. There's nothing worse than being forced to consume whatever crappy coffee is available on the road between destinations; real coffee aficionados always travel prepared.
With electricity probably in short supply while you're on the road the coffee maker for travel has to be small, compact and not reliant on being plugged-in to work; pure muscle power is what powers a good travel coffee brewer.
To be honest, there aren't a lot of coffee brewers which are suitable for taking with you when you go traveling, and many do require an electrical wall socket to work. However, I've done the legwork for you and hunted high and low to find some small, compact coffee machines that are perfect for traveling.
Regular Brewer vs. Travel Coffee Maker
Before we jump to the small travel coffee makers, it’s worth spending a little time understanding the differences between a regular coffee brewer and one that's the best choice for travelers. Obviously, the brewer needs to be lightweight, small enough to throw in the corner of your bag and ideally not reliant on electricity.
A full sized coffee maker just isn't going to cut it out on the open road when you're sat around a campfire, but that doesn't mean you have to scrimp on the quality of your coffee beverage. All of the coffee makers I've chosen can churn out some great tasting coffee, and because of their size, they're perfect for traveling nomadic coffee lovers.
What Else Do You Need?
Remember the coffee brewer is just one part of the equation to make a great tasting cup, so don't forget you'll still need to leave some room in your luggage for a kettle, filters, and a good quality manual burr grinder.
So now you have a better idea of what makes for a good travel coffee maker lets jump to my handpicked favorites; trust me these are some of the best you'll find for your road trip!
Top Rated Travel Coffee Makers (7 Best Picks 2018)
Whether you’re a camper, a regular road tripper or you spend extended periods away from home these portable travel coffee makers are a great option for those who take their coffee truly to go.
For anyone hitting the road for long periods of time the AeroPress has to be at the top of your list. The AeroPress is a fast coffee maker that can churn out an espresso like shots of coffee in under 2-minutes. There are many ways to use the AeroPress such as the inverted method which although slightly slower, produces a delicious, great tasting brew.
The great thing about the AeroPress is that it comes with almost everything you need such as a coffee scoop that gives you just the right amount of coffee for the AeroPress (so you can leave the coffee scale at home), paper filters, and a plastic stirrer as well as a nice tote bag that holds everything.
The Aeropress scores top marks for its portability, ease of use and quick clean up - no road tripper should be without one of these!
Bialetti Stovetop Espresso Maker
The Bialetti Stovetop Espresso Maker is a great option if you're planning on camping or at the very least you'll be regularly cooking on an open fire. The Bialetti can brew an excellent rich coffee that’s on par with many espresso machines, and although it's designed to sit on your kitchen stove top, it works perfectly placed on a BBQ or a campfire.
A number one choice for almost every household throughout Italy the Bialetti Stovetop Espresso Maker will make you want to hit the road more often, trust me this brews delicious coffee! What’s better than campfire coffee?
UniTerra Nomad Espresso Machine
The Nomad Espresso Machine is a neat little coffee brewing gadget that has been expertly engineered to manually brew great tasting espresso with 8-10 bars of pressure, but be warned the Nomad isn't cheap rivaling some full-size espresso machines in price!
The Nomad is ideal for traveling because of its compact size, and it doesn't require electricity to operate. A smart feature built into the Nomad is the “True Crema Valve” which allows the portable device to constantly produce a good crema with every shot without the need for tamping.
GSI Outdoors Collapsible Java Drip
If you’re looking for a coffee brewer that's truly compact for traveling, I can't recommend the GSI Outdoors Collapsible Java Drip enough. As the name suggests this manual pour over coffee maker is “collapsible” and takes up almost no room once flat, and it's super lightweight to boot, due it being crafted entirely of silicone. Weighing less than 5-ounces, the GSI Collapsible Java drip is the number-1 choice for backpackers, campers, or anyone traveling light!
Just like any other manual pour over brewer such as the Hario V60, the GSI Java Drip is super easy to use. Just place the GSI on your coffee mug, add your ground coffee, and slowly pour over your hot water, just wash with water to clean once you're done.
The GSI manual dripper is a cheap budget option that, to be honest, doesn't produce the greatest delicious tasting cup of coffee, but hey, it beats gas station coffee any day!
MiniPresso GR Espresso Maker
If you are looking for an authentic espresso coffee while traveling or on the road look no further than the Minipresso GR Espresso maker. This handheld device is capable of pumping hot water to a pressure of 8-bars which is the same as many full-size espresso machines; amazing really!
The MiniPresso operates with pure elbow grease and isn't reliant on an electricity supply to work. However, it isn't the most sturdy made, and if not held correctly you may find that the pump arm occasional leaks.
With that said, if you want espresso while on your road trip the Minipresso GR is a well-designed option that is small enough to fit in the corner of your backpack.
Primula Single Serve Coffee Brew Buddy
Another compact manual coffee brewer that made the list is the Primula single serve coffee buddy. The Primula works using the same principles as a coffee sock, just fill the mesh sock with ground coffee, slowly pour over your hot water, and wait - the result is a no hassle, consistent cup of coffee.
I’ll be honest the flavor isn't the best but it beats instant coffee, you just have to learn to play with the steep time to get the strength of coffee you like. When you want coffee on the road, it really doesn’t get much easier than this.
Bodum Travel Press
The last travel coffee maker on the list is one of my personal favorites, the Bodum Travel Press. If you love brewing coffee in a French Press at home, the Bodum is basically a portable version that you can take with you.
The Bodum Travel Press has been constructed from double-walled, insulated stainless steel, scoring high for both durability as well as heat retention. In fact, once you close the lid it will keep your coffee hot for absolutely ages making a great companion while on the road.
The Bodum travel press is a good coffee maker for travel especially if you enjoy the richness of French Press coffee. The only downside with this portable coffee brewer is it’s often hard to avoid getting some coffee grounds floating in your coffee, and like a regular French Press if your coffee is left for longer periods of time you may find that it becomes overly bitter. Want to know more about the Bodum travel press, read my full review here.
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