The best travel coffee maker is an excellent item for coffee drinkers on the go. These are portable and easy to use, making them perfect for camping trips, road trips, or any other type of vacation. They typically don’t contain a lot of features or programmable settings, but the compact size is the key component of the design that’s most important.
The best portable coffee maker is a convenient, affordable solution for taking your coffee with you on vacation because it’s not very large. These typically fit in a carry-on and have small carafes that can hold up to five cups of coffee, so they’re great for people who travel a lot or have limited counter space but are not ideal for anyone who drinks a lot of coffee every morning at home.
Keep reading our buying guide to learn more about travel coffee makers, some of the best coffee makers for busy jet setters.
Top Travel Coffee Makers
#1 WACACO MINIPRESSO NS FBA Coffee Maker
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This model features a lightweight and durable form factor that makes it perfect for traveling professionals or users who like to enjoy long treks through the woods. Users will love the simple operation and compatibility with major brewing pods.
- Strong flavor
- Durable build-quality
- Nespresso pod compatible
- No heating feature
The WACACO MINIPRESSO NS FBA coffee maker is an excellent pick for users who want flavorful espresso in a portable design for a quick work break or for making coffee during a long backpacking session. Additionally, this model allows for hand-crafted brewing thanks to the semi-automatic piston that builds up to 8 bars of pressure and allows for easy serving. While this machine doesn’t heat water, users do not have to worry about recharging batteries or compressed air cartridges.
In addition to simple and battery-free operation, the WACACO MINIPRESSO NS FBA coffee maker is supremely portable, and users do not need to worry about leaks thanks to the interlocking design. Additionally, this model weighs less than a pound and can easily pack away in a side pocket or backpack compartment thanks to its sleight 7” length. Lastly, users can easily brew freshly ground beans, or they can opt for Nespresso pods for improved convenience.
#2 AeroPress 82R08 Coffee Maker
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This extremely lightweight and portable device creates beverages with complex and rich flavors. With minimal moving parts, an included case, and quick brewing times, users will love making their favorite drinks at work, camp, or at home.
- Impressive flavor
- Easy operation
- Great portability
- Small serving capacity
The AeroPress 82R08 coffee maker is a fantastic pick for users who value portability and simplicity during their coffee brewing routine. This lightweight model comes with an included carrying tote to make it easy to pack away for a camping trip while keeping it protected from the elements. Additionally, users will love the simple operation that results in quick brews with a full-bodied flavor. While the serving size on offer is only about 1-3 cups per brew, users will love the minute-long brewing cycle that will save them time during a busy morning.
In addition to a quick brewing cycle and fantastic portability, the AeroPress 82R08 coffee maker features polypropylene and silicone construction for durability for campers and travelers that venture from the beaten path. Additionally, this brewer makes rich drinks without bitterness and acidity so users can enjoy shop-quality drinks wherever they are. Users will love the AeroPress filters that keep your mug clear from loose grounds, and they can easily rinse the machine right after a brew.
#3 CONQUECO Coffee Maker
Award: BEST FOR LONG COMMUTES
WHY WE LIKE IT: This model features internal power and convenient charging to deliver a machine that brews while traveling to work or school. With automatic cleaning and the ability to heat water on the go, users will love this model for adding pep to their morning commute.
- Extremely simple to use
- Works with Nespresso or L’OR capsules
- Heats water
- Heating water takes about 10 minutes
The CONQUECO coffee maker is a stellar pick for users who want a convenient and portable way to brew fresh coffee while driving to work or backpacking through the wilderness. This model features an internal battery and multiple charging options so users can make convenient brews while away from home. Additionally, this model works with original Nespresso and L’OR coffee capsules so users can brew without grinding or spilling beans on their workstations. While this model takes about 10 minutes to boil water, it creates fresh coffee in about 5 seconds.
In addition to portability and convenience, the CONQUECO coffee maker provides users with a device that only requires a single button press to operate. This self-contained espresso machine generates enough pressure for an authentic espresso taste, and the included coffee cup can stay attached while it pours coffee. Additionally, users will love the self-cleaning mode that keeps your machine working well and your drinks tasting fresh. The only part that requires additional maintenance is the removable cup that users can easily wash by hand.
#4 MiXPRESSO Coffee Maker
Award: BEST FOR BUSY PROFESSIONALS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This model features simple operation and a small kitchen footprint so users can have high-quality brews ready for their morning commute. Additionally, the reusable mesh strainer and stainless steel thermos are perfect for the ecologically concerned who want to minimize waste.
- Space-saving design
- Included coffee mug
- One-touch operation
- Sub-par filter
The MiXPRESSO coffee maker is a great choice for users who like to whip up a fresh brew before heading to the office. This space-saving model won’t take up too much room from your cooking space or food-prep area, and the convenient form factor saves a spot for your traveling mug. Additionally, this model saves users’ time thanks to the mesh filter, travel mug, and mug lid all being dishwasher safe on the top rack. While the mesh filter isn’t the greatest, users can forgo fresh grounds and brew with pre-filled coffee pods.
In addition to a space-saving design and dishwasher-safe parts, the MiXPRESSO coffee maker provides all of the tools necessary for a great mug of brew. The included travel mug fits perfectly underneath the brew basket, and it is small enough to fit most car cup holders. Additionally, the mug is well insulated so users can slowly sip on their morning brew while they ease into the day. Lastly, the one-button operation and auto-off feature make this model easy to fit into a user’s daily routine.
#5 Sisitano 8541895270 Coffee Maker
Award: BEST FOR OUTDOOR BREWING
WHY WE LIKE IT: This lightweight unit features a borderline pocketable form factor and leak protection from every angle to provide a device that delivers flavorful drinks in any setting. Thanks to the interlocking design and great filter, users can even drink straight from this device.
- Easy to store
- No-leak design
- Simple operation
- No included travel cup
The Sistano 8541895270 coffee maker is a compelling choice for users who want to brew coffee or tea at their campsite or their desk. This model features multiple seals and interlocking parts to deliver a leakproof container from any angle. Additionally, users will love this compact design that can fit in a bag or large pants pocket for portable brewing on the road or while hiking through the woods. While this model doesn’t offer an additional coffee mug, users can drink directly from this portable brewer.
In addition to portability and convenient brewing, the Sistano 8541895270 coffee maker doubles as a tumbler for portable pre-made drinks. Additionally, users will love how simple it is to brew fresh tea or coffee in this small device. In only about 3-4 minutes, users can have delicious french press coffee or strained tea ready to drink. Since this unit is insulated, users can enjoy warm drinks over a busy morning or casual afternoon break from the action.
#6 ESPRO 5116C-18BK Coffee Maker
Award: BEST FOR FLAVOR
WHY WE LIKE IT: This extremely portable model features easy operation and cleaning for users who want to enjoy hot and fresh beverages while off the grid. Users will love the minimal moving parts and durable design so they can keep their morning habits without the need for external power.
- Extremely durable
- Great insulation
- Good filtration
- No additional serving mug
The ESPRO 5116C-18BK coffee maker is a stellar choice for users who value fresh coffee, simplicity, and a portable design. This travel-ready french press provides excellent coffee without much fuss, and the double-insulated stainless steel body keeps coffee hot for hours after brewing. Additionally, the stainless steel body can stand up to rough travels, and this model is small enough to easily fit in a bag or hook onto a strap. While this coffee maker doesn’t include a separate serving mug, users can drink directly from the brewer itself.
In addition to portability and impressive insulation, the ESPRO 5116C-18BK coffee maker provides users with minimal moving parts for easy cleaning. The dual micro-filter brewing basket is much finer than traditional french presses, so users can enjoy sludge-free drinks of coffee right after brewing. Additionally, the multiple seals keep the coffee grounds separate after a full press, so your coffee doesn’t continue to brew and grow bitter over time. Lastly, users can wash this model while camping or throw it in the top rack of their dishwasher.
Beginner’s Guide to Travel Coffee Makers
What is a Travel Coffee Maker?
A travel coffee maker (or a portable espresso maker) is a portable, easy-to-use coffee brewer perfect for taking on the go. They are typically small and compact, making them easy to store and take with you on trips. You may even be able to fit them in your carry-on bag if you can’t live without your coffee pot, even in a fully-equipped hotel room.
Travel coffee makers are typically very simple devices. They’re also some of the best USA-made coffee makers. They heat water to the ideal brewing temperature, pour it over ground beans, and then filter out the coffee grounds once they’ve brewed. Some full-pot drip coffee makers use metal or paper filters, while portable hand brewers usually feature a fine metal mesh filter.
Travel Coffee Makers vs Standard Coffee Makers
The main difference between travel coffee makers and standard coffee makers is capacity and size. Travel coffee makers are typically smaller and more compact than traditional coffee makers, making them more convenient to take with you on the go. However, they may only brew a few ounces of coffee at a time.
Standard coffee makers are bulkier and less portable, making them better suited for use in a home or office, and will brew up to 12 cups at a time.
Travel coffee makers are perfect for making individual cups of coffee on the go. They’re portable, simple to use, and available in a variety of different styles from drip coffee to electric kettles. You can get travel coffee makers in several different brewing methods including drip coffee, single serve coffee makers, stovetop percolation, French pressing, and the pour-over kettle method. Speaking of brewing methods, you might like our roundup of the top-rated French presses. And, we have useful guides to help you learn to use your French press.
While standard coffee makers come with many of the same brewing methods, they have a bigger footprint and can brew larger quantities of coffee at a time. They’re more powerful and better suited for making multiple cups of coffee at once and are not as portable as travel models.
Because the boiler in a small drip coffee pot can’t heat water as consistently as a standard drip coffee maker, what you’ll often find is that the coffee doesn’t get as hot as you might like and the taste can be inconsistent. A standard coffee maker will heat water to a higher temperature more consistently and be capable of producing the same delicious coffee every time.
While most types of portable coffee makers don’t have even the simplest components like a permanent filter or water reservoir, standard drip coffee makers have more features, settings, programmable options, and automated functions. However, this also makes standard coffee makers more expensive than portable options.
How a Travel Coffee Maker Works
There are various types of travel coffee makers available, ranging from simple, manual methods to more involved kettles with built-in heating plates. They usually come in two different styles: portable hand brewers or full-pot drip coffee makers.
Portable hand brewers are typically made of a single layer of mesh in a metal or plastic frame. They are either a manual, pour-over device or a perforated container that holds a metal or paper filter. The user pours water through the filter to brew hot coffee on the go.
While they are simple, portable, and easy to use, they typically only make a single cup of coffee at a time. However, much like the pour-over method, you have complete control over the flavor of your coffee, thanks to different pour-over techniques (like blooming) and the timing of your pour intervals.
Full-pot drip coffee makers are larger and more complicated than portable hand brewers, but they make multiple cups of coffee at a time. These coffee makers typically have a carafe or pot that sits on a heating plate to keep coffee warm.
The user inserts a paper or metal filter into the top of the machine and fills it with ground coffee. They then pour water into the reservoir and hit a button to start the brewing process. The coffee maker will automatically stop brewing when it has made the desired number of cups, so the user doesn’t have to worry about over-brewing.
While these drip coffee makers tend to be larger than portable hand brewers, you can still find compact versions of them that will only brew 4-5 cups of coffee at a time rather than the 10-12 cups of a full-sized drip coffee maker.
Most travel coffee makers use a standard 110V plug, making them easy to use in the United States and other countries that use this power source. This also makes them easy to use with an inverter or battery pack, allowing you to make coffee without an outlet.
Why Should You Buy a Travel Coffee Maker?
Are you heading out on your next camping trip adventure? A travel coffee maker might just be the perfect addition to your camping gear. They are great for people who like to travel but don’t want to miss out on their morning brew.
Is a Travel Coffee Maker Worth Buying?
- They’re lightweight: Travel coffee makers are some of the lightest coffee makers on the market. This makes them perfect for people who frequently travel because they won’t take up a lot of room in a suitcase and will help you stay under the maximum weight of your carry-on as dictated by the airline.
- They’re portable: Travel coffee makers feature a compact design that doesn’t take up much room in your luggage. The small size makes it easy to put in a carry-on, a duffel bag, or even the trunk of your car.
- They make single servings of coffee: Travel coffee makers come in various sizes, from personal hand brewers to full-pot drip coffee makers. Most travel coffee makers only make a single serving at a time, though, making them perfect for an individual or couple.
- They’re affordable: Travel coffee makers are a great option for budget-conscious shoppers. Since they don’t have as many moving parts as standard coffee makers, they typically cost less.
Why a Travel Coffee Maker Might Not Be For You
- They can be slow and loud: Travel coffee makers typically take longer to brew a cup of coffee than standard coffee makers. This might not be an issue if you’re only making coffee for yourself, but it can be frustrating if you’re trying to make coffee for a group. Because they’re also not built with the highest quality materials, they tend to be loud. If you want something less noisy, consider the quietest coffee maker.
- They don’t always make great coffee: Since travel coffee makers don’t have the same level of control as standard coffee makers, they aren’t always able to brew a quality cup of coffee. This might not be a problem if you’re only using your travel coffee maker to make coffee on the go, but it can be frustrating if you’re making coffee at home. If you’re more interested in good coffee in your own kitchen, you may want to check out the best thermal carafe coffee maker.
- They usually use disposable filters: Most travel coffee makers don’t come with permanent filters that can be cleaned and reused. This means that you have to use disposable paper or metal filters every time you brew a cup of coffee, which can be wasteful and expensive in the long run.
How Long Will a Travel Coffee Maker Last?
While the durability of your travel coffee maker will depend on how often you use it and how well you take care of it, these models typically last for at least one year. Of course, many travel coffee makers can last for several years if they’re well maintained, although some owners replace theirs after just a few weeks because they’re simply not made with the same high-quality parts that a standard coffee maker contains, like stainless steel.
The plastic parts are most likely to break on a small coffee maker. Because the goal is to make a compact, lightweight coffee maker, manufacturers typically don’t use the highest quality materials. Due to travel stress, you may find that your travel coffee maker won’t last as long as a full-sized brewer. To prolong its life, place your travel coffee maker in a location where it won’t get thrown around or smashed under something heavy.
How to Choose a Travel Coffee Maker
When choosing between a travel coffee maker and a standard coffee maker, there are several factors you should consider. First, think about how you plan to use the coffee maker. Then evaluate your personal needs and preferences, including power options and portability.
Best Travel Coffee Maker Key Factors
1. What uses should I consider for a travel coffee maker?
If your primary concern is portability, you’ll want to invest in a travel coffee maker. They are usually smaller and easier to stow away, making them perfect for taking with you on the go. If you plan to make coffee primarily at home or in your office, a standard coffee maker may be a better option. Standard coffee makers are bulkier and less travel-friendly than travel coffee makers, but they typically brew faster and more effectively than smaller portable coffee makers.
However, the other nice thing about travel coffee makers is that they don’t take up a lot of counter space, making them perfect for small kitchens or shared offices. You don’t have to plan to travel with them just because you want something small.
2. What are my power needs?
Another important consideration is your power needs. Most travel coffee makers use a standard 110V plug, which makes them perfect for standard power outlets in the United States and other countries. However, some models are available with 220V plugs or built-in rechargeable batteries.
3. What are the best features of my travel coffee maker?
After you’ve considered your power needs, think about what else you want from your coffee maker. Think about the features you need and those you’d like to have, such as carafe or travel mug compatibility, automatic shutoff, and water filters.
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can begin to narrow down your options and find the best travel coffee maker for you.