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5 Best Travel Coffee Kits 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

travel coffee kitsWe have all been there, right? Spotting that funky little coffee maker in your hotel room that is provided as a “special amenity”. A disc-shaped coffee packet with a sugar and powdered cream combo-packet is hard to get by. Worse yet, try spending time with a relative who only drinks instant decaf.

If you are an avid coffee drinker, these scenarios are not going to fly. There is an answer, though. Say hello to a travel coffee kit! Handy and portable, they allow you to take your at-home brew along with you. No more questionable coffee packets or Aunt Betty’s generic insta-mud for you!

Here’s the tricky part, though. Figuring out which one is right for you can take more work than planning your trip. This is where we come in! We found the five best travel coffee kits around.

We reviewed each one so we could give you the details like usability, durability, functionality, plus much more. To throw some extra help your way, we also added a buyer’s guide below with some tips you don’t want to miss!


A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

ImageProductDetails
Best Overall
Winner
AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker
  • Brews 1 to 3 cups in 1-minute
  • Easy to clean
  • Coffee is not bitter or acidity
  • Best Value
    Second place
    HLDIFENGGS Single Cup Coffee Kit HLDIFENGGS Single Cup Coffee Kit
  • Easy to clean
  • Rust and drop resistant
  • Doesn’t require paper filters
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Handpresso Outdoor Complete French Press Handpresso Outdoor Complete French Press
  • Durable and portable
  • Easy to use
  • Comes with everything you need
  • Wacaco Minipresso GR Portable Espresso Machine Wacaco Minipresso GR Portable Espresso Machine
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Requires no electricity or batteries
  • Soulhand Portable Coffee Grinder Set Soulhand Portable Coffee Grinder Set
  • Versatile use
  • Comes with a bean grinder
  • Requires no batteries or electricity
  • The 5 Best Travel Coffee Kits – Reviews 2020

    1. AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker– Best Overall

    1AeroPress Coffee

    If you want the creme de la creme of coffee kits for the road, we highly recommend the AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker. This innovative option is similar to a French press, but with much better results. You can brew one to three cups of coffee within a minute, plus the microfilters keep coffee grounds out of your cup. Along with that, you will also get smooth and rich coffee without the acidity that comes with longer steep times.

    This is a great option for camping, hotels, staying with relatives, or even using at home. You can make the traditional cup of joe or make expresso shots for lattes and cappuccinos. The AeroPress comes with everything you need on the go, as well. You get the press, funnel, scoop, stirrer, 350 microfilters, a filter holder, plus a zippered bag to store it all in one place. It is durable and resilient, so all you need is the coffee and cup.

    To add to the attractiveness of this kit, it is simple and easy to clean. Made in the USA, the pieces are phthalate and BPA-free. It is easy to use, take apart, and store. Not only that, but the entire contents weigh as little as a pound, so it won’t weigh you down on hiking and camping trips. Overall, this travel coffee kit has everything you need, and it cannot be beat.

    Want to know more? Read our full review of the AeroPress — or our review of the extra-portable AeroPress Go!

    Pros
    • Brews 1 to 3 cups in 1-minute
    • Easy to clean
    • Coffee is not bitter or acidity
    • Makes American coffee and Expresso
    • Lightweight and easy to travel with
    • Easy to use and durable
    Cons
    • Nothing of note

    2. HLDIFENGGS Single Cup Coffee Kit

    2HLDIFENGGS single cup Coffee filters kit

    If you have already blown your budget on your vacation, we have an affordable option that won’t break your wallet. The HLDIFENGGS Single Cup Coffee Kit is a non-toxic option that is made of ABS resin. It has the same material make-up as baby bottles, plus it is odorless, oil-resistant, and rust-resistant. The stainless-steel is durable, as well. It is drop-protected and resistant to high temperatures.

    This is a great option for someone on the go whether you are camping, traveling for work, or using it at home. You simply place the filter over a cup, add your choice of coffee, and strain the water through. It can be used as a tea strainer, as well. You also don’t have to worry about paper filters with this model as it does not require you to use any.

    The HLDIFENGGS can be reused, and it’s easy to clean with just water. This filter is the same type that is used on professional coffee brewers. Not only that, to enhance the coffee filtration it has two layers. It has an inner tightly woven mesh layer, plus a stainless steel layer to give you a great-tasting cup of joe. You can also use this filter on your coffee pot, teapot, mugs, or anything else you would like. The only drawback is this option is only the filter, so it does not brew the coffee. Nonetheless, this is the best coffee kit for the money.

    Pros
    • Made of non-toxic and stainless steel material
    • Easy to clean
    • Can be used with any coffee collection method
    • Rust and drop resistant
    • Doesn’t require paper filters
    Cons
    • Doesn’t brew the coffee

    3. Handpresso Outdoor Complete French Press– Premium Choice

    3Handpresso Outdoor Complete French Press

    If you want to add a little bougie to your travel gear, the Handpresso Outdoor Complete French Press is the model you have been looking for. This premium model is compact, lightweight at just over 3 pounds, and it makes a delicious espresso you can enjoy on a mountain top or in a hotel room. The sleek black case it comes in is not only attractive but only 10.2 inches in length allowing you to carry it in almost anything.

    The Handpresso Outdoors comes with everything you need to make espresso. The kit includes the espresso machine, a thermos/insulated flask to transport your water, four espresso cups, a washable napkin, and a bag of espresso to get you started. You can also use either grounds or pods with this machine.

    The espresso maker itself has a durable and easy to hold handle. What’s more, the pump features a pressure gauge that lets you know exactly what pressure you need to brew. That being said, this little travel kit is only able to brew espresso. If you prefer coffee or something that gives you a variety of options, this will not be a good model for you. Also, a premium coffee kit normally comes with a higher price tag, and this model is no exception. If you want to watch the sunset on a beach while enjoying a smooth espresso, however, this travel kit is worth the extra coin.

    SEE ALSO: What did we think of the Handpresso Portable Espresso Maker?

    Pros
    • Durable and portable
    • Easy to use
    • Comes with everything you need
    • Comes with a pressure gauge
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Only makes espresso

    4. Wacaco Minipresso GR Portable Espresso Machine

    4Wacaco Minipresso GR, Portable Espresso Machine

    For our fourth pick, we have chosen the Wacaco Minipresso GR Portable Espresso Machine. This is another travel-friendly option that is suited to work trips, camping, road trips, and more. The black cylinder is not only sleek but super lightweight at 0.8 pounds. The hand-operated machine also requires no batteries, electricity, or compressed air to brew a smooth and brisk espresso at any time.

    This model is simple to use, plus it’s easy to clean when you are done. All you need to do is pop open the semi-automatic piston and press it down. With this design, you can control the amount of coffee you want to be extracted. Like the option above, however, this machine is only able to brew espresso, although you can choose any type of grounds for the flavor of your choice.

    The Wacaco has a built-in cup and coffee scoop for your convenience. Unfortunately, what you will need is boiling water to use this press. This is important to keep in mind if you are in a locale where boiling water is not easily accessible. Additionally, though this is a handy travel coffee set to have, it is not the most durable option. Care is required, and it’s not a great model for throwing into a travel backpack among heavy equipment. Other than that, this is a great choice for work travel, overnight stays, camping, and other trips where a hot shot of espresso is welcome.

    RELATED READ: Our full review of the Wacaco Minipresso GR (Pros, Cons, & Verdict)

    Pros
    • Easy to use and clean
    • Lightweight and portable
    • Requires no electricity or batteries
    • Comes with a cup and scoop
    Cons
    • Only makes espresso
    • Not as durable
    • Requires boiling water

    5. Soulhand Portable Coffee Grinder Set

    5Soulhand Portable Coffee Grinder Set

    Our final pick is the Soulhand Portable Coffee Grinder Set. This is an all-around model that makes coffee, espresso, and comes with everything you need to make your perfect cup from the beans up. You will not need electricity or batteries to power this handy kit, either. That being said, it will require you to procure boiling water. This is important to keep in mind while packing and planning your trip.

    This easy to carry 1.7-pound coffee kit is ready to make your perfect brew. The top portion of the cylinder is a drip kettle with a spout for easy pouring. The next portion down is a coffee grinder that can be used by either turning the top lid, or you can use the foldable hand crank. Keep in mind, the hand crank is not as durable nor as effective, however. The next step down is the stainless steel filter that doesn’t require paper to keep grinds out of your cup. Finally, the bottom portion acts as an insulated 260 ml mug.

    If that was not enough, you also have a storage area for your coffee beans. It is divided into two portions. One portion is enough beans for a cup of coffee while the other is enough for an espresso. You should note, however, that the bean storage is also the hand crank storage, so you will have to choose which one is being stored. You should also note that this is not the easiest kit to clean. The Soulhand, though it makes a great cup of coffee, is not always as durable as we would like, either. Specifically, the stainless steel filter is prone to rust. While there are some good qualities to this option, the drawbacks do put it in our last spot.

    Pros
    • Versatile use
    • Comes with a bean grinder
    • Requires no batteries or electricity
    Cons
    • Hard to clean
    • Will require boiling water
    • The hand crank is not durable
    • The filter is prone to rust
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    Buyer’s Guide

    If you have read this article up to this point, you are most likely someone that considers coffee an essential part of their daily routine. Many java junkies also recognize that coffee is a very personal thing. The way it is brewed, prepared, and how you drink it is a personal choice that you typically don’t want to deviate from.

    This is why we varied our choices above to give you an idea of the possibilities. Just in case you are still unsure about which one will give you the best brew for your buck, we have outlined some important factors you should consider before picking out a travel coffee kit.

    Shopping Tips

    With so many travel coffee kits available, the best thing to do is narrow the playing field by asking yourself a few important questions.

    Where Are You Going?

    Most people that invest in a travel coffee maker do so with the assumption that the device will be used at least more than once. That being said, you want to consider the types of trips this kit will accompany you on? Do you travel a lot for work? Do you plan a lot of camping trips, or are you an avid hiker that wants to enjoy something hot and bold before making the trek home?

    These are important questions to answer for the reasons below:

    • Size: Determining what trips you will be taking will help you figure out what size is best. For example, if you are traveling for work, you may be able to get away with a slightly bigger kit. On the other hand, if you are camping or hiking (or even hiking to a camping spot) you will want something more compact and lighter.
    • Durability: If you are planning to rough it in the woods for a few days, throwing your coffee kit in with your gear is going to call for a durable option. A road trip to the beach, however, calls for something a little less hardy.
    • Operation: This is a big one. There is nothing worse than hiking to a beautiful spot, setting up your tent, and pulling out your travel coffee kit only to realize you don’t have the batteries you need. There are typically three options available for a travel kit. You can use an electric model, battery-operated unit, or a hand press. Additionally, some options require compressed air to work.
    • Extra Stuff: Some of the travel kits we mentioned require you to find your own boiling water. This is not a big deal if you are staying at a hotel but might prove more difficult if you are out hiking for the day. The point is, you want to take a look at the extra stuff you will need. A great example is a kettle. You might also need a grinder, cups, coffee filters, etc. Keep in mind, this can also make a difference in weight and space when you are hiking or camping.
    • Cleaning: Finally, you want to consider how difficult the coffee maker will be to clean. Keeping these machines clean and sanitary is important not just for your health, but also for the longevity of the brewer. Knowing where you will be using the kit will help you determine these answers.
    cowboy coffee on the campfire
    Some travel coffee kits will require you to boil water. Image: Jarno Holappa, Shutterstock

    What Is Your Personal Preference?

    As we mentioned above, coffee is a very personal experience, so you will want something that will meet all your java needs (or get as close as possible while on the go). Here are a few more questions you should consider.

    • What Type of Brewer Do You Want? Are you a coffee person or an espresso person? Maybe you like espresso in the morning and a cup of tea in the evening. Although this may be an obvious question to ask yourself, it is important that you find an option that will brew your favorite type of joe. Travel kits are available as French presses, coffee drips, and some even offer options for tea or cappuccino.
    • What Type of Design Do You Like? Aesthetics are not important to everyone, but they are to some. If you are in the latter group, there are many functional yet stylish options to choose from. Just make sure it is also functional, durable, and the right size and weight for your needs.
    • Do You Need Accessories? As you have seen, different brands and models will offer various accessories. For example, some kits may offer espresso cups while others come with an insulated tumbler. There are also grinders, scoops, napkins, drips, and much more. What do you need and prefer in a kit?
    • Is It Easy to Use? Ease of use is important for all coffee kits, but you also want to remember the time it takes to use, as well. If you have plenty of time to grind your beans, heat your water over a fire, and leisurely sip a cup, then a slower brewer is not a problem. If you need to be up and out the door at the crack of dawn, a quick brew model is probably the better way to go.
    • What’s the Taste Like? Finally, you want to find an option that will give you the right flavor and boldness you are looking for. Not all coffee kits are made equal. While some make a delicious cup that is smooth and bold, you may find others make a cup that has higher acidity or gives a funny taste due to the filters. These are all reasons why reviews (ah-hem…like ours) are important before you make your final decision.

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    Conclusion

    It is no small wonder that a travel coffee kit is a popular item for those coffee-connoisseurs on the go. It is also not surprising that it can be difficult to make that initial purchase without a little help. For our part, we recommend going with the AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker. This is an all in one option that will brew your perfect morning cup with little muss or fuss. If you want a cheaper option, we like the HLDIFENGGS Single Cup Coffee Kit. Although it doesn’t have the catchiest name, it does make a great cup of joe for those on the go and those on a budget!

    Looking for more? Read one of our other coffee travel guides:


    Featured image credit: Nataly Landar

    Kate MacDonnell

    Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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