Best Portable Coffee Makers For Camping And Travel
For us coffee lovers, travel can sometimes be a problem. If you’re lucky enough to be heading on your holidays to somewhere with a great coffee culture, then you’re in luck. But if you’re heading out on your travels with work, you don’t want to be stuck with the hotel coffee machine. And if you’re going out into nature you might think that instant (yuck) is your only hope of getting coffee on the road.
Luckily we have a range of options to make sure you can brew coffee no matter where you are. A portable coffee maker could make all the difference to your trip. There’s no need to compromise on your taste either: even die-hard espresso drinkers can enjoy their favourite brew with our range of portable espresso coffee makers. There are so many travel coffee machines available that there'll be something that suits you just fine, from french press to travel coffee plunger to stovetop.
Because we know coffee lovers have very particular tastes, and that there’s more than one way to travel, we’ve tried to break this guide down so you can find what works best for you.
Best Portable Coffee Makers
Of course there are alternatives to taking a brewer on the road - you could pre batch enough cold brew to last for example, or bite the bullet and drink coffee like a cowboy. Or you could go with a dedicated and portable coffee maker. We think we know what you'd prefer, so here are a few of the best portable coffee makers.
Handpresso Auto Black E.S.E.
To many of us, coffee is not a luxury - it’s an essential part of our day. If you commute daily and want to save yourself some time, the last thing you want to be compromising on is the quality of your morning brew. But if you're on the road for work or play, but you can’t live without espresso, it might seem like your only choice is to empty your pockets buying on the road, or take yourself a flask and just grin and bear it.
However, if you have a portable coffee machine, if you’re moving around the country in your car or truck, then there’s no need for the coffee lover to miss out. The Handpresso Auto Black E.S.E. could well be the travel coffee maker you've been praying for.
This little handheld wonder only needs to be plugged into the 12v cigarette lighter in your car and you can brew your own espresso wherever you’re heading. All you need is water and coffee, and you have a portable espresso machine. The Handpresso is designed for use with any 7g E.S.E pod, meaning your espresso is consistently delicious, and the clean up is super easy: just dispose of the pod. E. S. E. pods (Easy Serving Espresso pods) are similar to those used in Nespresso portable coffee makers and just as convenient.
You don’t even need to add hot water: it also has the ability to heat cold water in its mini-boiler and generate up to 16 bars of pressure, which is not far from the pressure found in commercial machines. Lightweight at 880g, and compact enough to fit into your car's cup holder, this portable coffee maker is the perfect for travel.
But that’s not all - the Handpresso outdoor case comes with a thermos and four unbreakable glasses so you have everything you could possibly need in one stylish package.
Rok Espresso Maker
All well and good if you have the motor with you. But if you’re off camping espresso would be nice too right? What about coffee makers for campers? If you’re going properly off-grid, you can still make proper espresso as you go. In fact, it’s even more authentic this way, as the Rok Espresso Maker uses the same principles as the early espresso machines.
A true camping espresso maker, it has a real portafilter so you are not limited to pods: so long as you have it ground you can use any coffee you desire.
The levers are used to apply pressure manually and force the water through the coffee, meaning that with the Rok Espresso maker you can make espresso without the need for a power outlet. The lever system generates between 5 and 10 bars of pressure, and the double spout portafilter means you can brew for you and a friend at the same time.
Built from engine grade aluminium, the Rok is both lightweight and extremely hard-wearing, and comes with a 10-year guarantee just to make the point. All you need is coffee and hot water and your very own espresso machine is good to go.
Flair Espresso Maker
Working along roughly the same lines as the Rok, the Flair Espresso Maker uses a manual pull lever to generate pressure and extract the flavour from your coffee. The major difference here is that the Flair is capable of producing up to 16 bars of pressure, putting it on a par with that huge coffee maker you see in the cafe.
Unsurprisingly, this also means the Flair makes strong, creamy and crema topped espresso just as you would expect from your local barista.
And it’s easy to use whether you’ve made espresso before or not. Simply fill the basket with freshly ground coffee, reattach the head, and fill with hot water. Press down on the handle, and within 25-45 seconds, your espresso will be ready.
Bellman Espresso Steamer CX-25p
If espresso on the road isn’t good enough for you, you might want to take a look at the Bellman Espresso Steamer, which can not only make cafe-quality espresso but allows you to steam milk for your latte. So long as you have a heat source, this stovetop espresso maker is ready to go. So it’s just as useful at home as it is on your camping stove.
The coffee is brewed in a similar manner to a moka pot or other stove top espresso maker. What makes the Bellman unique though, is that it also generates steam for frothing milk. And with the ability to make up to 9 shots at once, you can make campside coffee for all the family or your friends in one hit.
Just place the water in the chamber and coffee in the basket, reattach the top and place on the stove. You’ll know when the pressure is high enough to brew as the green indicator will turn on to let you know. At this point all you need to do is open the tap and your espresso will be released.
What's The Difference Between Nanopresso And Minipresso?
The Minipresso was arguably the most innovative portable coffee maker when it was released in 2014, and so it’s no surprise that 2017’s Nanopresso was equally well received. But what actually is the difference between the two machines?
Well, as the name suggests, it is a little smaller, roughly 2cm shorter than the original. Despite this, the capacity of the water chamber was increased, to 80ml. It is also 26 grams lighter than the original. So, in terms of portability and ease of travel, the Nanopresso is a decent improvement on the original.
But of course, size isn’t everything. What really stood out about the Minipresso was the quality of espresso it was able to produce. This was partly to do with the amount of pressure applied to the water as it was forced through the coffee grounds. So it’s undoubtedly a big plus that the Nanopresso is capable of producing up to 18 bars of pressure, which puts it right alongside a commercial coffee machine.
Providing an already impressive 16 bars of pressure (232 PSI), the Minipresso required the user to apply a force equal to 13.6 kg (30 lbs). Compared with the Nanopresso, which only requires a force of 11.6 kg, that’s a 2 kg difference.
|Minipresso||175 x 70 x 60 mm||350 g||70ml||16 bar (232 PSI)|
|Nanopresso||156 x 71 x 62 mm||336 g||80ml||18 bar (261 PSI)|
Portable Nespresso Machine With Nespresso Capsules
If you use a Nespresso machine at home, you might have been wondering if there’s any way of taking it on the road with you. But surely there’s no way of packing all of that tech into something you can take with you on your travels? Well, actually there is.
The Nanopresso already does everything the Nespresso machine does. And they’ve made the Nanopresso NS Adaptor so that you can fit your Nespresso pods directly into the machine, so you can enjoy your favourite coffee wherever you are with your very own Nespresso travel machine.
Camping Coffee Makers
If you're the designated camp coffee maker, then you need the right tools. Luckily there are a variety of other options if none of the above took your fancy so you can find your perfect camping coffee maker.
Aeropress Go Coffee Maker
Probably the most widely used of all the travel coffee makers, the Aeropress Go Coffee Maker is a staple with travellers and digital nomads who need good quality coffee wherever they might find themselves.
The lightweight and ultra-durable design mean the Aeropress is perfect for packing up. The plastic construction means this innovative coffee maker won’t shatter or break when it’s packed tightly. Aeropress coffee is also thick and rich like espresso, which is why many espresso lovers opt for this when on the road. The other major plus of the Aeropress is its affordability. Not surprising, when you consider that the Aeropress is basically two plastic tubes. The lack of moving parts means this is super cheap to produce, but it also means there’s really nothing that can easily break.
The Aeropress also has the magical ability to self-clean, which is useful if you find yourself far from a running tap or faucet! To use the Aeropress when camping, all you need is coffee, water, and a stove to heat.
Camping Coffee Percolator
If you’ve ever used a stovetop percolator or moka pot for camping, you will already know that these systems are super easy to use and require only a stovetop, making them an ideal camping coffee pot. Although many percolators would be too bulky to take on the road, the moka pot is a perfect coffee maker for the road, allowing you the freedom to make espresso coffee while out in the wilds.
All you need to do is add the water to the lower chamber, and then place the basket containing the coffee on top of this. Screw on the top chamber and place on a low heat. If you pop the lid, you can watch the coffee as it begins to bubble up into the upper chamber. If it’s too quick, lower the heat. As soon as the upper chamber is close to full, remove from the heat and pour. See our moka pot coffee brewing guide for more great tips.
Best Travel Coffee Makers
Whatever your preference there is a travel coffee maker for you. The OXO Venture French Press is built to be able to stand up to the rigours of the road (and being carried in luggage) and can be used anywhere you can access hot water.
So whether you’re camping out or stuck in a hotel for the night, with a travel french press you can still start your morning with your favourite style of brew.
Well I think we’ve covered the best ways of making your coffee while camping, or out on your travels for work or pleasure. But it’s no good having coffee if you don’t have a mug! Travel mugs like the Hario V60 Travel Mug are a great option for long or short-haul travel, or even just your commute. Available in super-tough pyrex or stainless steel, they are of course built to last. A portable coffee cup is not only designed to keep your coffee warm: a reusable travel coffee cup means you don’t need to use any paper or plastic, lessening your environmental footprint.
And if you’re heading into nature to enjoy it, the least you could do is to do your little bit to preserve it, so that future generations can drink their favourite brews in the great outdoors too.
If you’ve been wondering what’s the best way of enjoying coffee on your camping trips, your commute or just while you’re away from home, we hope you’ve found something here that helps. What’s definite is that whatever your favourite brew, there is a way of making it on the road, and without cutting corners. If you’re planning a trip and you haven’t yet made your coffee arrangements, check out our full range of travel coffee makers and accessories today.