Last Updated 03/07/2021
If you adore your coffee, you’ll want to pack the best travel coffee maker for your style of travel or simply to take to the office. I’ve been searching for the perfect portable coffee machine for many years so let’s look at what’s available for we travelling coffee addicts. Whether you’re camping, short-term renting, RV travelling or popping one of these compact travel coffee makers in your luggage for overseas trips, there’s something here to keep us all caffeinated away from home. We bought them, we tried them, we’ve needed them. This is our take on the best portable coffee makers for travel.
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I should just mention, that if you’re travelling in Vietnam, the traditional pour-over coffee maker there is a good choice. You can find them cheeply in markets. You can see an example in our post on Vietnamese salt coffee.
Please check and double-check all the information we give you locally as times, places, dates, and services do, as we found, change often. Restrictions and closures may apply.
Best Travel Coffee Makers
Various styles of travel coffee maker exist from simple portable filters to 1 cup coffee machines and french presses, but prices seem to vary little, expect to pay less than £30, $50, for whatever coffee machine you choose.
The Aerobie AeroPress Go is the current popular buy, we use one, the coffee is great, but there are other alternatives. We mention a good one.
Whichever way you look at it, your travel coffee maker will save you money on buying coffee out and give you greater freedom to explore on your own terms. At the same time it could help you cut your plastic consumption, that’s something we all need to think about.
Add a robust insulated coffee cup to your travel coffee maker, or even a small portable coffee grinder, and you have a big bonus for coffee lovers on the move. These small compact devices are easy to carry and would make great gifts.
Best Pour-Over Coffee Maker for Travel
I have to admit, I love a pour-over coffee maker. I have this glass Bodum pour-over at home (above right) and we’ve also taken it way with us in our camper van. It’s perfect to make a single great-tasting cup of coffee for me early in the morning while I enjoy the dawn peace. However, I don’t think I’d want to put a glass pour-over in my luggage. But no problem, travel-worthy single cup pour-over coffee systems also exist. Take a look at the three models above. You could simply purchase the collapsible filter above, or a unit like the one top left, that creates your pour-over in its own insulated travel coffee mug.
The Best Travel Coffee Maker-Our Choice
Aeropress is Our Favourite Portable Coffee Maker for Travel
As you can see from the photo above, we use an Aeropress coffee maker. We don’t always carry it, but if we’re staying in one place for a while, maybe a rental or Airbnb, we need it.
You will particularly need a portable coffee machine if you’re travelling in certain parts of Asia where good coffee is hard to find.
The little red metal coffee pot on the left is our “at home” coffee solution. It makes amazing coffee but needs a stovetop. It doesn’t need filters, which is a bonus. One of these could work for you in rentals or hostels or for camping.
The Aeropress is certainly a little lighter and easier to carry although maybe less robust. It can be bought with a travel pouch.
All you need is the coffee, boiling water, filters and a cup. The tiny filters are very portable but still, you need filters.
The Aeropress was absolutely the best travel coffee maker of its time but the Kohipress (cick to see) or Wacaco Mini Espresso Machine ( uses coffee capsules) are strong contenders. All are competitively priced and are nice products.
An Aeropress is quicker than a traditional cafetiere, taking just seconds to produce great coffee. It takes a fair bit of force to depress the plunger, but if you really want that coffee, no worries.
Many say Aeropress makes the best coffee they ever had, I’m not that discerning, but it’s certainly good. You can buy yourself, or your friend, an Aeropress Go here.
Other Options For Making Coffee As You Travel
Below we rounded up some other options for making coffee as you travel, for camping, RV life, at the beach or anywhere you need a compact coffee machine.
A Travel Kettle For Instant Coffee or Tea
The old-school travel kettle has come a long way lately. Take a look at the cool modern designs above in collapsible food-grade silicone, or this swish model from the desirable brand, Bodum. If you’re fine with instant coffee (or tea) and your destination lacks a kettle, one of these little travel kettles could be your best friend. Alternatively, one cup water heater elements also do the job. We find that most countries give you a kettle in your hotel room, but when they don’t it’s an issue.
A more modern version of a plug-in travel coffee maker, a self-contained machine ideal for hotel rooms. Nobody is going to be throwing one of these in their backpack, but if you care more about coffee that travelling light, this could be an answer.
The Kohipress Portable French Press and Insulated Travel Mug
This one is a winner, you could travel with it, obviously, or even use it in your office or on your commute. It’s a great looking machine at a reasonable price.
The method is similar to that of the Aeropress, but once plunged, your Kohipress becomes its own insulated travel mug. There is no messing about with metal filters as the Kohipress has its own metal mesh filter.
It claims to be leak-proof. I’m liking this design a lot for. Unfortunately this model can only be found in the US and Canada right now, our link will redirect UK and Europe readers to a similar design, otherwise consider the Bodum travel press mug below.
Bodum Travel Coffee French Press Mug
Bodum are a classy, quality brand and if I was buying or receiving a gift, this would be what I’d go for. These portable coffee press mugs come in multiple colours and look just great! With this style you have just one unit to carry and clean, you can brew and drink from the same mug. The stainless steel outer is robust and great for travel. The unit is double-walled and so insulated, making it a perfect on-the-go press and travel mug in one.
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Espro Travel Press for Coffee (12oz) – Matte Black
This espresso travel press is basically a cafetiere that you can’t break, a genius piece of kit, even to use at home. This probably takes up the least space of the bunch, being just the size of an insulated coffee mug. It’s surprisingly light at 345g, that’s less than the Aeropress.
Melitta Coffee Maker, Single Cup Pour-Over Brewer with Travel Mug, Red (Pack of 2)
Make filter drip coffee straight into your travel mug. The filter cone is BPA free and the travel mug is sturdy stainless steel. Really, with something like this, you’re barely carrying more than an insulated travel coffee mug. I guess a lot of us carry one of those anyway, so why not carry the filter too?
The Original Bialetti Moka Express Made in Italy 1-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker with Patented Valve
This little stove-top pot is the closest I can find to our old red model. These are great because you don’t need filter papers, just coffee and a heat source, be that a campfire, primus stove or hostel kitchen stove.
What’s The Best Travel Coffee Maker For Your Needs?
The best travel coffee maker for you will depend on your tastes, needs, destinations, and style of travel. There are many more travel coffee makers, single-serve machines, and pour-over coffee devices on the market, I’m adding to this post all the time as my research turns them up. For us, for now, the best travel coffee maker is our Aeropress, but it’s not the one we use at home, we use the little percolator pot on the hob, our pour-over Bodum, or even a simple over-cup Vietnamese-style coffee maker. We hope you found our round-up on travel coffee makers useful. In certain countries, for instance, Malaysia, India, or Sri Lanka, it’s incredibly hard to find a good coffee without pre-added powdered milk and sugar. These little beauties get your day off to a much better start than a glass of water and paracetamol, which has been my enforced coffee substitute from time to time. Enjoy your coffee!