When you’re traveling, you don’t always want to rely on whatever horrible coffee maker your hotel has chosen for your room. If you’re like us, you like your coffee made a certain way, and hotel coffee just doesn’t cut it (we prefer our coffee to be drinkable, for one thing). Buying your coffee from Starbucks is an option, but that can add up fast. Or maybe you’re camping or boating and neither Starbucks nor electricity are options.
There are countless travel and portable coffee makers on the market, but we’ve handpicked the best ones to make your life easier. You may prefer a particular coffee-brewing method, and just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you should have to sacrifice coffee made the way you like it. No matter what you’re looking for in a travel coffee maker, from espresso machines to French presses, we’ve got you covered. Read on for our list of the 10 best.
A Quick Summary of Our Favorites
The 10 Best Travel Coffee Makers
1. AeroPress Portable Coffee Maker – Best Overall
The Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker is everything you want in a travel coffee maker. It’s extremely lightweight (only 13 ounces) and compact, so it won’t take up much space in your bag. It makes coffee fast, with less than two minutes to brew a cup, which is perfect for when you’re on the go. It’s easy to use and easy to clean. Best of all, it’s completely manual. It doesn’t require electricity, so you only need access to hot water. This makes it ideal for any travel situation: hotels, beach houses, your friend’s house, or even camping and backpacking.
The only issue is that it can only make one cup of coffee at a time. If you want more than one cup, or if you want to impress your friends with your coffee-brewing skills, you have to go through the process all over again.
All in all, we think this is the best travel coffee maker of 2020.
2. Bodum TravelPress – Best French Press Coffee Maker for Travel
We chose the Bodum Travel Press as the best french press coffee maker for travel, as it’s incredibly convenient. The travel cup comes with a plunger and filter, so you brew your coffee right in your travel cup. This means you don’t have to pack a separate coffee maker or paper filters, saving valuable space in your luggage. It’s made of a stainless steel double wall design that keeps coffee piping hot, so be careful! It’s quick and easy to use, which is great for travel. It even comes in a few bold color choices.
On the negative side, this isn’t the best cup for daily use. That’s fine if you plan to use it just for travel, but the durability is questionable. The filter breaks down over time, and the lid tends to be flimsy.
To conclude, we think this is the best portable french press coffee maker.
3. Black+Decker Portable Single Serve Coffee Maker – Best Value
The Black + Decker Single Serve is another great portable coffee maker that brews right in the travel cup. It’s an auto-drip maker, but its compact design makes it ideal for travel and small spaces (like a dorm room). A permanent filter is included, so you don’t have to worry about disposing of or buying paper filters. It’s also very inexpensive.
It does have a couple of problems, however. It comes with a plastic travel cup, which won’t keep your coffee hot for long. You can upgrade to any 16-ounce travel mug, but that’s an added expense. It’s also not very durable and shouldn’t be used for daily use.
4. Keurig K-Mini – Best Travel K-Cup Coffee Maker
Keurig is the manufacturer of popular K-Cup makers, so it makes sense to include their most travel-friendly model on this list. The Keurig K-Mini is extremely compact and lightweight; it’s only 4.5 inches wide, and it weighs a little less than five pounds. It comes in a variety of colors, and it has a compartment for K-Cup storage. For more potent cups of coffee, it has a strong brew option.
If you’re the type of person who likes more than one cup of coffee in the morning, then this design might get a little tedious, since the water reservoir can only hold up to 12 ounces. Other than the strong brew option and a couple of size options, this brewer doesn’t have any extra features.
5. GSI Portable Portable Pour-Over Coffee Brewer
The GSI Outdoors Java Drip is a great option for backpacking, camping, or boating. It collapses almost completely flat and is made of durable silicone. Fewer parts mean easy cleanup, and it’s easy to use. Just insert a paper filter, place the silicone disc over your mug or travel cup, and use the pour-over coffee-making method with hot water. It’s big enough to use a regular-size coffee filter, so it can handle up to twelve cups of coffee.
Even though the silicone makes it durable and easy to clean, it has a detectable smell, especially right out of the box. This can affect the taste of your coffee. You’ll also need paper filters, which are another thing to purchase, take up space in your bag, and dispose of.
6. Wacaco Minipresso Portable Travel Espresso Maker
If you can’t live without espresso while you’re traveling, especially in situations where you won’t have access to electricity, the Wacaco Minipresso is a great choice. All of its parts stack together into one unit, so it’s very compact. It comes in at 0.8 lbs, which is very light. It’s entirely manually operated via a pumping mechanism, so you don’t have to worry about batteries or finding an outlet.
However, with eight BARs of pressure, it’s just under the nine BARs needed for espresso. This means that the grounds are a bit under-extracted. Quite a bit of hand strength is needed for the pump, and even though the company’s video shows it being operated with only one hand, many people will need to use both. All those parts also mean it’s harder to clean, and some will require air-drying.
7. Coffee Gator Travel Pour-Over Coffee Brewer Mug
The Coffee Gator Pour Over Brewer Mug is another option for pour-over brewing, where you can brew directly into the included travel mug. It’s made of vacuum insulated stainless steel, and it has a copper lining to keep your coffee hotter longer. The metal filter means you don’t have to buy paper filters or have them take up space in your luggage. It comes in a range of colors, and it’s easy to use.
There are a few things that keep it from the top of the list, however. It has a flimsy lid, so the durability is questionable. The lid also has a few small parts, making it difficult to clean. This wouldn’t be a good choice for daily use, as the filter appeared to break down over time.
8. Bialetti Portable Stovetop Coffee Maker
This is the compact, travel-friendly version of the Bialetti Moka pot you love. It’s extremely portable because it’s entirely self-contained. Just add ground coffee and water. The brew time is fast at under five minutes, and it’s easy to clean.
One major issue, however, is that you’ll need access to a stovetop or campfire. That’s not a problem if you’re staying in a hotel suite with a kitchen or traveling in an RV, but it wouldn’t be the best travel coffee maker choice for a regular hotel room, for example. It’s also a bit heavier than some of the other options, at a little more than a pound. It only makes one small cup, so it’s a bit of a pain if you want multiple cups of coffee.
9. Presto MyJo Single Cup Travel Coffee-Maker
The Presto MyJo is another good choice for camping, backpacking, or other traveling activity where you don’t have access to electricity. If you love the convenience of a K-Cup brewer, this is the travel coffee maker for you. It uses K-Cups, but it also comes with a reusable coffee filter that you can fill with your own ground coffee. The design is extremely compact, and it weighs less than a pound.
Unfortunately, the reusable filter is also pretty delicate, and it’s custom-made by Presto, so you have to order it from the company. The MyJo isn’t very durable, and the gasket leaks easily if you don’t have it properly sealed. It may also be convenient that no electricity is needed, but it requires a lot of force to pump the water through.
10. Takeya Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker
Can’t live without your iced coffee, even when traveling? Then the Takeya Cold Brew is the coffee maker for you. It’s easy to use; you only need coffee grounds and cold water. This design is especially compact and lightweight, at just under 10 ounces.
However, the handle is flimsy, and the lid tends to leak if you aren’t careful. The filter also never forms a perfect seal, so grounds always manage to escape into the coffee. Because of this, the overall design doesn’t seem very durable. It’s fine for occasional travel use, but it wouldn’t be a good choice for daily use.
We think Aeropress is the best travel coffee maker of 2020. It’s lightweight and compact enough for air travel, and the fact that it doesn’t require electricity makes it ideal for camping. It makes both American-style coffee and espresso, so it can suit the tastes of almost everyone.
If you can’t leave home without your French press, then the Bodum Travel Press is the best for travel. The fact that it brews directly in the travel mug makes it great for travel, and it won’t take up much space in your luggage.
If you’re on a budget, Black + Decker’s Single-Serve Coffeemaker is inexpensive and also brews right in the travel mug. This is an auto-drip model that’s easy to use and familiar to just about everyone.
For those who love the convenience and efficiency of a K-Cup coffee maker, the Keurig K-Mini is perfect to take along. Its compact design ensures it won’t take up much space, while still giving you the speed and efficiency you’ve come to expect from a single-serve coffee maker.
Whether you prefer a cup of espresso or love the convenience of a K-Cup, we hope our reviews helped you find the travel coffee maker to suit your needs.
We truly hope that our guide helps you find the best portable coffee maker for your tastebuds. Happy brewing!
Table of Contents
- A Quick Summary of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Travel Coffee Makers
- 1. AeroPress Portable Coffee Maker – Best Overall
- 2. Bodum TravelPress – Best French Press Coffee Maker for Travel
- 3. Black+Decker Portable Single Serve Coffee Maker – Best Value
- 4. Keurig K-Mini – Best Travel K-Cup Coffee Maker
- 5. GSI Portable Portable Pour-Over Coffee Brewer
- 6. Wacaco Minipresso Portable Travel Espresso Maker
- 7. Coffee Gator Travel Pour-Over Coffee Brewer Mug
- 8. Bialetti Portable Stovetop Coffee Maker
- 9. Presto MyJo Single Cup Travel Coffee-Maker
- 10. Takeya Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker
- Final Thoughts