Getting your fix on the go can be tough if you’re a coffee obsessive. Patronizing the local cafes is always a great idea, but sometimes, you need a cup of coffee before your first cup of coffee. And if you’re camping or staying in a remote cabin, your morning Blue Bottle run might be out of the question. If that sounds like you, then you’ve probably wondered what the best ways to make coffee on the go are. That’s why we’ve rounded up our favorite travel coffee makers, based on research and personal experience.
The kind of travel coffee maker that’s best for you will vary depending on the kind of travel you’re doing. That’s why we picked out travel coffee makers that suit different kinds of accommodations. If you’re at an Airbnb, you might have access to a stove, which you likely won’t have if you’re staying at a hotel, for example. And what you need to make coffee while camping in a tent will be totally different.
The basics for making coffee will always be the same, though. You need hot water, ground coffee, some kind of filter, and a vessel to drink out of.
There are plenty of great travel coffee makers out there, but one of the biggest challenges is boiling the water. If you’re staying at a hotel or Airbnb, then a small electric kettle will be your best bet. There are collapsible silicone options, small half-liter stainless steel kettles, and compact plastic options to consider. They come with their own drawbacks, however. Silicone might not be as durable, stainless steel will be heavier, and some people may have concerns about the safety of plastic kettles. Otherwise, you might be able to find hot water at gas stations or in the hotel lobby.
Campers will likely want to opt for some combination of a burner and metal kettle that they can use to heat water. In either case, your kettle will likely be what takes up the most space in your travel coffee setup, so plan accordingly.
Read on for our picks for the best travel coffee makers to buy, regardless of whether you’re staying in a suite or camping in the woods.
1. AeroPress Go Portable Travel Coffee Press
It isn’t every day that a new way to make coffee comes along, which is why the arrival of the AeroPress was such a big deal. It remains one of the most popular ways to brew coffee among enthusiasts. The original AeroPress was slim and built from plastic, making it very easy to take on the go. But the AeroPress Go is even more portable, thanks to the built-in lid that doubles as a mug. One key advantage of the AeroPress is its versatility. By changing the brew time, you can make coffee that’s close to espresso-strength or coffee that’s close to drip. You can even use it to make iced coffee.
- Can brew different kinds of coffee
- Compact and lightweight
- Popular among coffee enthusiasts
- Grit-free coffee
- Requires filters
- Requires some force to press down
2. MiiR Pourigami
The MiiR Pourigami allows you to make pour-over coffee, without needing to bring along fragile and bulky coffee makers like a Chemex or a ceramic dripper. The Pourigami consists of three metal plates that fit together to form a triangular dripper. Regular paper filters don’t always sit properly in the Pourigami, so it’s best to put the filter in and run hot water over it. You can then use a regular paper filter or MiiR’s own paper filter. It’s easily one of the smallest options on this list. When folded, it’s barely thicker than a stack of three credit cards. Plus, the travel pouch has a pocket for storing folded-up filters, so you won’t forget them. However, the short sides of the Pourigami means it’s easy to accidentally overfill, which is one drawback.
- Most compact option on this list
- Good for pour-over fans
- Sturdy metal build
- Comes with travel pouch
- Can take some effort to assemble
- Requires filters
- Can be messy when brewing
3. Bialetti Moka Express 1-Cup
Best for Rentals
Italians are known for their love of espresso, and the Moka pot is how espresso is traditionally enjoyed in Italian households. The Moka pot technically does not use enough pressure to be considered true espresso, but it’s close in flavor and intensity. Bialetti’s Moka pot has several advantages that make it a great travel coffee maker. The filter is built in, so you don’t need to worry about forgetting to bring paper filters. It’s made from aluminum, so it’s lightweight yet durable. It’s also pretty easy to clean. The catch is that it’s a stovetop maker, so it’s better suited to Airbnbs and campsites than it is hotels.
- Inexpensive but durable
- Fairly easy to clean
- No filters required
- No kettle required
- Not ideal for groups
- Requires a stove
4. ESPRO P1 French Press
Best for Trips
Compared to labor-intensive methods like pour-over, the French press requires very little attention or effort. Simply add coffee and hot water, let it sit for a few minutes, press down, pour, and enjoy. Most French presses are made of glass, or in some cases, ceramic, so they’re usually not travel-friendly. ESPRO’s innovative option is made from stainless steel and has a similar design to a travel mug. In fact, it doubles as a travel mug, allowing you to drink straight from the French press. However, for best flavor, you may instead want to pour it into a separate vessel. The double filter design helps eliminate excess grit that’s common with French press coffee. It’s a good option for road trips; skip the gas station coffee and just use their hot water, instead. The compact size will fit in most cup holders.
- No filters required
- Can drink straight from the press
- Cupholder friendly
- Leak-proof lid
- Can be hard to push down the plunger
5. Dripkit Stumptown Holler Mountain
Best for Camping
Some of these coffee makers were designed for home use and so happen to be good for travel. The Dripkit was specifically made with travel in mind. The Dripkit consists of a paper dripper that pops open and sits on top of your mug. Each dripper is pre-filled with a single serving of ground coffee, which you brew the same way you would pour over. Dripkit also partners with different roasters like Portland’s Stumptown and Santa Cruz’s Verve Coffee Roasters, so you can enjoy the taste of your favorite cafe, anywhere in the world.
- Very compact
- You don’t need to bring coffee or filters
- Variety of flavors available
- High cost per cup
- Might not fit over every cup
- Could have more variety in roasters
6. Nguyen Coffee Supply The Original Phin Filter
A phin is a coffee maker that might not be familiar to every coffee enthusiast, but it’s worth familiarizing yourself with. A phin filter is used in Vietnamese coffee, which has a different flavor profile than Western coffee drinkers will be used to. For one thing, Vietnamese coffee uses Robusta, rather than Arabica. Vietnamese coffee is also typically brewed hot but served iced (befitting Vietnam’s tropical climate). It’s made using condensed milk, giving it a sweeter taste. Finding ice and bringing condensed milk are admittedly a few extra steps to take, but the Phin itself is compact and easy to pack in a bag.
- Unique flavor
- No paper filters required
- Robusta can be harder to find
- Can have a learning curve to use
Accessories To Consider
Your travel coffee maker won’t do much good if you don’t have a way to boil the water first, regardless of whether you’re going to drink it hot or iced. An electric kettle will be your best bet if you’re staying somewhere with electricity, like a hotel or a short-term rental. Campers will probably want to opt for a portable burner and a stovetop camping kettle.
Coffee also needs to be ground before it can be brewed. Most coffee lovers will be satisfied grinding their beans before the trip, but if you brew coffee without compromise, then a portable coffee grinder is a suitable option.
1. Brentwood Collapsible-Travel Kettle
According to reviews, this collapsible kettle holds 0.8 liters of water and boils quickly and pours easily. Bear in mind that the silicone outer will be hot to the touch after boiling, so you’ll want to handle it carefully.
2. Coleman 1 Burner Butane Stove
This is an affordable portable burner from a trusted camping brand, and it takes regular butane canisters and has an intuitive design for on-the-go cooking. This is a great option to use with the Bialetti Moka pot featured on this list, or you can use it with a camping kettle.
3. Javapresse Manual Coffee Bean Grinder
Bringing ground coffee will be easiest, but if you insist on grinding it first, then the Javapresse will be one of the best bets. It’s fairly pricey, but it’s made from metal and has a slim design that makes it easier to pack.