Sipping a good cup of warm coffee is one of the simple joys of a traveler. The warmth and other qualities of coffee are both energizing and relaxing which are essential in keeping up energy levels during long travels. However, preparing coffee while on the go can be challenging when you have to travel light, this means bringing our typical coffee equipment and tools would be impractical and a hassle. But don’t worry, because of our innovative coffee enthusiasts, portable coffee makers and devices have been developed over the years to ensure you get a good dose of coffee on your travels!
In choosing the best travel coffee maker, there are three things to consider – size, weight, and ease of cleaning or use. Whatever your preferences or your needs are there is surely a coffee maker designed for you! To help you narrow down your options, here’s a recommended list of the best coffee makers for travelers according to their function. Take note that other coffee makers may belong to one or more categories:
Portable Single-Serve Coffee Makers
© Bex Walton
Travelers who need to get their caffeine fix on the go and only want to brew just one cup of coffee at a time can get portable single-serve coffee makers. These compact coffee makers are perfect for travelling because they are usually lightweight and portable. The coffee from the grounds or coffee pods is extracted using a variety of techniques, including physical pressure. No electricity? No problem, because even in locations where electricity, they can still function and make coffee fast and easily. Here are two of the most recommended portable single-serve coffee makers:
- Aeropress – Barely bigger than a coffee mug, the Aeropress is a travel-friendly coffee maker and is one of the best and most popular in the market today because of its portability and functionality. It’s extremely user-friendly, and all you need to do is add water, coffee, and your desired amount of pressure, and you have your customized cup of coffee. This coffee maker has a plunger and two cylindrical chambers. By squeezing the plunger and forcing the water through the grounds and the filter, the coffee is extracted after a brief period.
- Wacaco Nanopresso – Another perfect coffee maker for travelers on the go, the Wacaco Nanopresso is a single-serve coffee maker that specializes in making espresso. Aside from being lightweight, it is known for making espresso shots at high pressure which is almost similar to the conventional espresso machines you see in coffee shops, but this one fits on your bag! All you have to do is fill the water tank with hot water, add freshly ground coffee to the filter basket, and then manually push the piston. Afterwards, a rich and tasty espresso shot is produced when the pressure created by the pumping action drives the water through the coffee grinds. For those who use nespresso capsules, this coffee maker is just for you!
Travel-friendly Pour-over Coffee Makers
If you’re a traveler who enjoys making a traditional cup of coffee, then pour-over coffee makers are for you! Following the pour-over method, these gadgets typically consist of a dripper that contains coffee grounds and a coffee filter. The coffee grinds are covered with hot water, which causes the coffee to trickle through the filter and into a container or server below. They are frequently lightweight or collapsible, making them simple to pack. Here are two of the most recommended portable pour-over coffee makers:
- GSI Collapsible Coffee Maker – Wouldn’t you consider this as the best coffee maker for backpacking if you knew that this only weighed a mere 5 ounces and can collapse to the size of an old coffee tin?  Mind-blowing isn’t it? The GSI Collapsible coffee maker is a portable pour-over coffee maker that consists of a silicone cone with a durable plastic base and a washable mesh filter. Like any pour-over coffee maker, you can brew your coffee by placing a paper or reusable filter in the cone, adding coffee grounds, and then pouring hot water over the grounds.
- Summit X-Brew Coffee Dripper – Like the GSI coffee maker, the X-Brew coffee dripper is also portable and collapsible. Travelers definitely love this feature as it can be flattened down to a compact size for easy storage in backpacks, camping gear, or travel bags. It is also economical an option as it is made of flexible food grade silicone. But despite being foldable or collapsible, it is still durable and stable when in use. The best part? This doesn’t even need a filter as it already has a super fine mesh filter with 180 micron holes.  Definitely worth it!
Compact Espresso Makers
Espresso drinkers who want the freedom to enjoy espresso-based beverages like lattes and cappuccinos while traveling definitely need compact espresso makers. These are portable, tiny appliances used to prepare espresso shots. To create a concentrated shot of espresso, they may use a variety of devices, such as manual pumps or pressurized systems, to drive hot water through finely ground coffee. It’s like having a mini espresso machine! Here are two of the most recommended compact espresso makers:
- Wacaco Minipresso GR Portable Espresso Machine – Weighing for only a mere 10 ounces and having length of just 5 inches, ] this portable espresso machine can easily serve you a shot of espresso while you’re on the go. You can add any kind of coffee beans and nespresso capsules to it and it can also hold up to 50 milliliters of water.  However, its only downside is that it doesn’t come up with an internal heat-up feature so you have to manually put boiling water to it. So, make sure to have a portable water boiler as well. Other than that it’s still a good choice for travelers!
- CERA+ Portable Espresso Maker – This semi-automatic and lightweight espresso maker is one of the most high-tech model of its kind today. It has a built-in rechargeable battery, a LED temperature and battery level indicator, and a feature that prevents boiling if it senses that there is no water within. Amazing right? You can also produce one cup of coffee or two ounces of espresso in just 3-4 minutes with its stainless steel water tank brewing system. 
These recommendations are just among the many coffee makers you can choose from out there so make sure to also do extra research! As a short and friendly guide we hope this helped you make informed choices and has set your standards about what kind of coffee maker you want to bring as your travel buddy. Just don’t forget to consider the size, and ease of cleaning or use when you’re going through your options. Have a safe travel and enjoy your cup of coffee along the way!
 Gilbertson, S., & Grey, J. (2022, September 27). 10 Best Portable Coffee makers (2022): All-in-Ones, French Presses, and packets. WIRED. https://www.wired.com/gallery/best-portable-coffee-makers/
 Best Portable Coffee Makers For 2023 – Outdoors Magic. (n.d.). Outdoors Magic. https://outdoorsmagic.com/article/best-portable-coffee-makers/
 Hartman, L. (2023). The best portable coffee makers of 2023. Reviewed. https://reviewed.usatoday.com/cooking/best-right-now/best-portable-coffee-makers