Portable Coffee Maker: Top 8 Picks

At A Glance: Our Top 5 Picks for Best Portable Coffee Makers

If you can’t go a day without your cup of joe, you’ll need a handy and dependable travel coffee maker for the times when you’re not at home.

Fortunately, you don’t need a fancy machine to make great-tasting coffee. Try out one of our 8 favorite portable coffee makers during your next trip, and you might not even taste the difference!

IMAGE PRODUCT
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  • Gives you 1-3 cups of coffee
  • Can make brewed coffee and espresso
  • 20-second press time
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  • Gives you 2-4 cups of coffee
  • Three-holed, flat-bottomed design
  • Patented “Wave” filter
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  • Coffee in 30 seconds
  • Reusable
  • Dishwasher-safe
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  • Food-safe silicone material
  • Collapsible coffee press
  • Dishwasher-safe
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  • Single-cup coffee maker
  • K-cup compatible
  • Can brew 6, 8, or 10 oz servings
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  • Vacuum-sealed, double-walled stainless steel material
  • Holds 15 oz of liquid
  • Dishwasher-safe
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  • Portable espresso machine
  • Built-in, portable espresso cup, and scoop
  • Makes single-shot espresso
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  • Gives you 1 cup of coffee
  • Can make hot coffee and cold brew
  • 1-2 minute brew time
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8 Best Portable Coffee Makers

1. AeroPress – Best Overall

Key Features

  • Gives you 1-3 cups of coffee
  • Can make brewed coffee and espresso
  • 20-second press time
  • Includes 350 microfilters
  • BPA-free

The popular AeroPress coffee maker is at the top of our list because it ticks all the boxes: It’s convenient, super easy to use, and it makes amazing coffee!

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While it’s often compared to a French press, the way it brews is actually quite different.

Because it requires finely ground beans and a thin paper filter instead of a more porous, metal one, AeroPress coffee tastes cleaner and more defined.

Some users also experiment with the inverted AeroPress method, which results in an even more flavorful cup.

The best thing about this simple (yet versatile) device is that it can create different types of coffee when grind sizes and brew times are adjusted.

With AeroPress, you can make standard brewed coffee, espresso-based drinks, and even cold brew coffee!

Despite its great functionality, it still proves to be very portable and simple to use.

It’s lightweight, plus it makes coffee extremely quickly, so you won’t waste time setting it up or waiting for it to brew. It’s easy to clean too, as the liquid goes straight to your coffee mug without staining your AeroPress.

While you can certainly get the AeroPress on its own, we recommend purchasing the combo pack, which comes with a travel bag and 350 filters. If you plan to use this a lot, the extra cost will certainly be worth it.

What Else You’ll Need

  • Aeropress microfilters
  • Coffee grounds
  • Travel mug

This Is Best For:

Travelers who like clean-tasting coffee and those looking for something inexpensive and versatile.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Versatile
  • Quick brew time
  • Clean and flavorful coffee
Cons
  • Only makes enough for 1-2 people
  • Needs special filters to work
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2. Kalita Wave Dripper – Best Value

Key Features

  • Gives you 2-4 cups of coffee
  • Three-holed, flat-bottomed design
  • Patented “Wave” filter
  • Available in glass, stainless steel, and ceramic

Looking for a pour-over coffee maker? Definitely check out the Kalita Wave Dripper—with its distinct three-holed, flat-bottomed design, you’ll get delicious coffee that packs a punch every time!

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We like that this coffee maker is super easy to use, even if you’re a total beginner.

Its shape allows for an even and stable extraction, even if your pouring rate isn’t consistent. It’s also designed so the grounds are immersed in the hot water longer, which produces a more complex and full-bodied cup of coffee.

Now, the Kalita Wave Dripper will look good permanently positioned in your kitchen, but if you plan to bring it around with you, consider getting the stainless steel version as it’s lighter and less fragile.

Keep in mind that you’ll need filters and access to a kettle as well.

Read:  The Chemex Coffee Maker: An In-Depth Review

We also recommend buying the Kalita 185 as it makes more servings, but you can always go for the Kalita 155 if you just want a single cup coffee maker.

What Else You’ll Need

  • Filters
  • Coffee grounds
  • Kettle
  • Travel mug or brew stand

This Is Best For:

People who want to start experimenting with pour-over coffee but don’t know where to start.

Pros
  • Best for pour-overs
  • More control over your brew
  • Aesthetically appealing
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Needs special filters to work
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3. Primula Coffee Brew Buddy – Best Budget Pick

Key Features

  • Coffee in 30 seconds
  • Reusable
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • No filters or other equipment required
  • Extra-fine mesh filter

Looking for the most portable and least expensive option? With a weight of only 1.15 oz, the Primula Coffee Brew Buddy is the product for you.

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Plus, for just under $9, you can easily brew your own cup of coffee (or tea!), even while on-the-go.

This travel coffee maker is also the easiest to use—all you have to do is place the Coffee Brew Buddy on top of your cup, add the coffee, and pour water through the mesh strainer.

Wait for a few seconds (or longer, if you prefer), and that’s it! You now have homemade, brewed coffee.

Unlike other portable coffee makers, there’s absolutely no filter or fancy equipment required too.

However, do note that you won’t be getting the best coffee with this. Although it’s still better than instant, you probably won’t want to use your most expensive coffee beans with this one.

Additionally, it may be a bit difficult to clean the mesh when bits get caught in the wiring.

What Else You’ll Need

  • Coffee grounds
  • Travel mug

This Is Best For:

Those who are pressed for time and aren’t too particular about brew quality. It’s also great if you don’t want to spend too much on coffee gear you’ll only use once in a while.

Pros
  • Most affordable
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Hassle-free
  • Zero waste
Cons
  • Doesn’t make the best-tasting coffee
  • A bit difficult to clean
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4. Kuissential SlickDrip

Key Features

  • Food-safe silicone material
  • Collapsible coffee press
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Odor-resistant
  • BPA-free

Another great budget option on our list, the Kuissential SlickDrip is a portable coffee maker that collapses into a flat disk for easy storage.

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However, unlike the Primula, this doesn’t come with a built-in filter, so you’ll have to purchase disposable ones to brew coffee.

This makes it a bit easier to clean, though, since you can throw out the filter with the remaining coffee sediments.

To make coffee, simply expand the silicone SlickDrip, place it over your cup, and insert a paper filter. Add the amount of coffee you want, and slowly pour hot water every few minutes as it drips.

This part will require some patience and practice, especially as you determine the correct ratios and pouring rates to get the concentration you desire.

However, once you get it right, you’ll definitely be rewarded with tasty coffee!

What Else You’ll Need

  • Filters
  • Coffee grounds
  • Kettle
  • Travel mug

This Is Best For:

Travelers who want something space-saving and easy to clean.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Very portable
  • Takes up the least amount of space
Cons
  • Requires filters
  • Can be messy and time-consuming
  • Doesn’t make the best-tasting coffee
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5. Presto MyJo Single Cup Coffee Maker

Key Features

  • Single-cup coffee maker
  • K-cup compatible
  • Can brew 6, 8, or 10 oz servings
  • Microwave-safe water container
  • Has a slip and heat-resistant silicone grip

If you’re the kind of person who just needs one cup of coffee at a time, the Presto MyJo might be perfect for you.

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The great thing about this portable coffee maker is that you can use K-cups as well as coffee grounds to make your cup of joe.

You just need to heat up water, place the K-cup pack in the base, and attach the reservoir. Then, put the assembled coffee maker on top of your mug and let it start brewing!

However, do note that this is bigger than other portable coffee makers, so it may not be the best for hiking or camping trips. If you have space, though, then go ahead and get this product.

Our tip is to purchase this only if you know you’ll be using K-cups a lot. For regular brewed coffee, stick with other models that have better features and functionality.

What Else You’ll Need

  • K-cup pods
  • Travel mug

This Is Best For:

People who prefer K-cups over coffee beans/ground coffee, as this is a good way to get Keurig-brand coffee without the exorbitant price tag.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Works with both K-cups and ground coffee
Cons
  • Bigger than most travel coffee makers
  • Not great for ground coffee
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6. Bodum Travel Press

Key Features

  • Vacuum-sealed, double-walled stainless steel material
  • Holds 15 oz of liquid
  • Comes in white, black, green, and red
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Has a built-in plunger
Read:  The 4 Best Moka Pots: Buying Guide & Reviews

If you’re a guy who loves French press coffee but finds it difficult to brew on-the-go, you should check out the Bodum Travel Press for your future trips.

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With a weight of 14.4 oz, you may think the Bodum Travel Press is quite heavy, but you should know that this portable coffee maker doubles as a durable, heat-retaining cup as well.

All you have to do is brew the coffee, press the plunger down, wait for a few minutes, and drink up!

Now, if you’re a camper looking for a way to cool down in the afternoon, you can also use the Bodum Travel Press to make cold brew.

Its vacuum-sealed, double-walled, stainless steel material will help keep the beverage icy throughout the day.

It’s extra durable too, so it’s really the perfect outdoor companion for any coffee lover.

Some things to keep in mind, though, is that the coffee can turn bitter when left for too long, and that the lid isn’t completely spill-proof, so you shouldn’t store it while there’s still liquid inside.

What Else You’ll Need

  • Coffee grounds

This Is Best For:

French press coffee lovers who want a portable, all-in-one device that’ll keep their drinks piping hot or icy cold.

Pros
  • All-in-one portable coffee maker that doesn’t require additional equipment
  • Easy to use
  • Keeps beverages hot or cold for several hours
  • Great for French press
Cons
  • Quite heavy
  • Coffee prone to over-extraction
  • Liquids may spill
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7. Wacaco Minipresso GR

Key Features

  • Portable espresso machine
  • Built-in, portable espresso cup, and scoop
  • Makes single-shot espresso
  • Manual operation
  • Has a 2.35 oz water tank

Specifically made for those who love their espresso, the Wacaco Minipresso GR is a portable espresso maker that’s completely hand-operated.

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Using 8 bars of pressure, this espresso maker brews one shot at a time. Since it has its own, sizable water tank, you can easily customize anything from a ristretto to a lungo depending on how much hot water you add.

However, because this espresso machine is made out of plastic, it may not be suitable for rough travels and long, outdoor treks.

You’ll also have to keep refilling and pumping the espresso maker per drink, so it may be prone to wear and tear.

With that said, if you really need your espresso, this is a pretty good product to have.

Here’s a pro tip from us: One way to produce more espresso is to buy a larger water tank for the machine. You will need to spend more, but you’ll save a lot of time and effort this way.

What Else You’ll Need

  • Coffee grounds

This Is Best For:

Espresso-lovers who want a compact yet powerful espresso machine that they can carry around anywhere.

Pros
  • Makes great espresso
  • Super easy to use
  • Compact and portable
Cons
  • Can’t brew other types of coffee
  • Might not last long
  • A bit difficult to clean
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8. AeroPress Go

Key Features

  • Gives you 1 cup of coffee
  • Can make hot coffee and cold brew
  • 1-2 minute brew time
  • Built-in mug
  • 350 microfilters included

The last portable coffee maker on our list is another cool product by AeroPress: The AeroPress Go.

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Created 14 years after the original AeroPress, this new model is even smaller and more convenient—perfect for any camper, as it comes with a built-in cup too!

In terms of brewing method, it’s still the same kind that produces the great coffee you’d expect from an AeroPress. In fact, it still uses the same filters and equipment.

The main difference is that it’s marketed towards frequent travelers who want a compact, all-in-one solution to their caffeine needs.

The design seems more well-thought-out too, as it includes a foldable stirrer, and its filters all fit neatly in the travel case.

However, if the size of the AeroPress is good enough for you, we’d still recommend getting that over the AeroPress Go.

Although the latter is slightly more portable, it also makes a smaller amount of coffee, which could prove to be more inconvenient.

If size is a bigger priority, though, this may be a better choice for you.

What Else You’ll Need

  • AeroPress microfilters
  • Coffee grind

This Is Best For:

Frequent travelers who want a dedicated, portable, and high-quality coffee maker in their luggage.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Small and compact
  • Versatile
Cons
  • Makes a small amount of coffee
  • Needs special filters to work
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What Do I Need to Consider When Buying a Portable Coffee Maker?

If you still can’t decide among all these travel coffee makers, we’ve compiled a quick buying guide here to help you out.

Brew Time

If you’re the type of person who’s always on-the-go, chances are, you don’t have a lot of time to spare for brewing your morning coffee.

Given this, the best options for you are coffee makers with short brew times such as the AeroPress or the Primula Brew Buddy.

Preparation of ground coffee in aeropress - portable filter coffee maker, portable coffee maker

However, if you want a slower and more immersive brewing experience, it’s worth checking out the Kalita Wave Dripper. After all, good things take time—coffee included!

Read:  Smart Coffee Maker: Top 6 Picks

Size

When you travel places, do you have enough space to carry and store your coffee maker?

If you pack light, more compact options like the Primula Brew Buddy and the Kuissential SlickDrip are better, as they are lightweight and space-saving.

You may also prefer coffee makers with built-in mugs such as the Bodum Travel Press and the AeroPress Go, so you don’t have to pack any other accessories.

Cleaning Method

After enjoying your coffee, it can be a pain to clean a coffee maker with tons of parts, especially if you’re going to brew a few more cups.

With that said, it’s important to pick a coffee maker that’s easy to wash. Watch out for models that use filters and are dishwasher-safe like the Kuissential SlickDrip—you’ll only need to give these a light rinse with water most of the time.

Accessories

When deciding which travel coffee maker to purchase, it’s also important to check which accessories it needs.

Will you buy packs of disposable filters for great coffee? Or would you prefer a French press that only requires coffee grind and hot water? Do you see yourself buying pods over beans?

Since different coffee makers have different requirements, it’s good to know exactly what you want (and are willing to spend for) before deciding on a specific model.

You should also check if these extra accessories are readily available online (like on Amazon).

Amount of Coffee

Are you traveling solo or with a group? If you need more than 1 cup of coffee at a time, then a tiny machine won’t cut it—unless you’re okay with brewing in batches, that is.

For larger quantities, a coffee press like the Bodum Travel Press may be preferable. Sure, it might have a larger weight, but it also contains a larger volume of liquid that’s enough for sharing.

Type of Coffee

Lastly, but most importantly, what type of coffee do you like to drink?

Are you a fan of the French press, the pour-over, or the espresso? Which kind do you realistically see yourself drinking at home, out of the country, or even in the outdoors?

Note that while pour-over types are typically small and compact, the French press and the espresso coffee maker are often larger in size.

However, the resulting flavors are quite different, so take this into account before settling on one or the other.

Ultimately, the best portable coffee maker is the one that can make the perfect cup for you.

How Do You Make Coffee On the Go?

It all depends on the kind of coffee you want to make and the portable coffee maker you plan to buy.

Generally, though, you’ll need two things: Coffee grind and hot water. Once you have these, you can usually let the portable coffee maker do the rest. Sounds simple, right?

Keep in mind, though, that you may have to get some extra accessories.

For example, if you purchase your beans whole, you’ll need a grinder to process them into coarse or fine grounds.

Close up of coffee grinder and beans, portable coffee maker

Some travel coffee makers won’t come with a mug too, so you’ll need a vessel of some sort to store the liquid. Special filters may also be required for brewing.

On the other hand, some machines may only work with prepackaged pods, so don’t forget to stock up on these before you go on a long trip.

Lastly, make sure to read your travel coffee maker’s manual and follow all instructions properly to get your perfect cup of coffee!

Verdict

The best portable coffee maker is the AeroPress. It’s our best overall pick for its price, functionality, and convenience. Most importantly, it makes great-tasting coffee in a matter of seconds!

Coming in second is the Kalita Wave Dripper for its ability to produce deep and complex flavors in your coffee. If you want more control over your brew, and you have time to spare, this is the one for you.

For an amazing budget option, consider the Primula Coffee Brew Buddy. It’s simple, but it gets the job done. Plus, at 1.15oz, you won’t even feel its weight in your suitcase.

You can buy these top 3 travel coffee maker options (as well as the others on this list) directly from the manufacturers or from online retailers such as Amazon.

Conclusion

Whether you’re a fan of the French press or the pour-over, you won’t have to settle for a substandard cup of joe when you’re away from home.

Just bring along the best portable coffee maker and good quality coffee, and you’re all set!

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