Never be tempted into thinking that you can only enjoy good coffee if you’re at home or in the proximity of a good coffee shop. There is actually a way for you to enjoy delicious and flavour coffee that you made with your own two hands even when you’re far away from a coffee or electricity source.
The answer to your prayers is a portable coffee maker: a product that doesn’t care if you’re in the kitchen or the middle of the forest.
What’s the Best Portable Coffee Maker? Our Top 3 Picks
AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker (Best Overall)
Recommended by baristas and considered to have revolutionized the way people brew their coffee, the lightweight and portability of the AeroPress make it one of the best portable coffee makers in the world.
Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker (Best with Electricity)
“If you love the convenience of K-cups, like to make a quick cup of coffee, tea, cocoa or soup with zero prep time and zero cleanup […], this is what you’re looking for.” (Customer review)
Presto 02835 MyJo Single Cup Coffee Maker (Budget Pick)
Designed for people who are looking to make a single coffee serving as long as they can heat up water, the Presto MyJo is a cool portable companion that’s bound to make mornings better.
Portable Coffee Maker Benefits
In America alone, people drink about 3.2 cups of coffee every day per person. That means that your average American is bound to drink more than the usual cup of coffee that provides the much-needed energy we all crave in the morning. Consequently, it also means that a lot of people enjoy their coffee on the go, which means that portable coffee makers might be just what these people need.
While a portable coffee maker doesn’t usually compare to a full-sized one, innovations in the field have made it possible for these little fellows to compete with bigger brands. That being said, what are some of the benefits that these smaller coffee makers offer compared to their larger siblings?
- They are easy to carry around. That means they weigh less and have a more compact design that allows you to carry them around in a larger purse or a backpack. With them, you can enjoy your favorite coffee on the go, whether you’re headed for work, or you’re out camping in the woods.
- With size in mind, we have to note that these portable fellows might be the ideal option for those of you that don’t have enough space to spare to place a large coffee maker. They’re good for small offices, miniature kitchens, or dorm rooms, where you can’t take up all the free space you can find while your roommate isn’t looking.
- Depending on the model chosen, some of these portable coffee makers might turn out to be more durable compared to full-sized products. Some of them are built from stainless steel, while others have shatter-proof glass construction. Because they are meant to withstand wear and tear, these products usually have solid builds that you can rely on even when you throw them in the backpack.
- Portable coffee makers are quite versatile when it comes to power options. Full-sized coffee makers normally require electricity to function, but that’s not usually the case with portable coffee makers. Most of them don’t require any power at all, while others are battery-operated and can be used pretty much anywhere. Some models have rechargeable batteries, so you can expect them to function anywhere if you’ve charged them before you left the house.
Portable Coffee Makers Brands (Quick Overview)
In today’s article, we’ve put together a bunch of different reliable portable coffee makers, and we’d like to take a moment to get a quick overview of the brands that you’re about to see:
Straight from the mind of inventor Alan Adler comes the AeroPress. Created back in 1984, the company that now makes the AeroPress debuted in November 2005 at a coffee industry trade show with a product that revolutionized the way we see and use coffee presses. Through constant innovation and imagination, AeroPress released two of the industry’s best and most compact coffee makers for you to enjoy.
Known for making portable coffee makers, Wacaco is a company founded back in 2013. It was aimed at delivering a handheld espresso machine that people could take with them on their travels, and it has quickly reached impressive sales numbers, offering a great alternative for people who are always on the go and don’t want to drink cheap espresso.
OXO is not necessarily a coffee-oriented brand, but rather one that’s looking to improve the tools and accessories that we use in our kitchen on an almost daily basis. Their company started with making the famous OXO potato peeler and has come a long way to making one of the best and most affordable coffee presses around.
Bialetti is a company founded back in 1919 when Alfonso Bialetti launched a workshop aimed at making semi-finished aluminum products. With a strong Italian heritage and having made the coffee pot that brought you stovetop coffee as you know it, Bialetti is a brand with a strong name in the coffee maker industry.
National Presto Industries, Inc. was founded back in 1905, and it’s a company that makes small electric appliances and houseware. Through constant innovation and dedication, the company grew throughout the last century and now produces a reliable portable coffee maker suitable for single servings.
Making everything from espresso makers to complete coffee sets, Primula is a name that a lot of baristas are familiar with. The brand takes pride in its ability to understand how people across multiple cultures enjoy drinking their coffee or tea and delivers quality products that are suitable for different kinds of brewing recipes.
The history of Bodum dates back to 1944 when founder Peter Bodum launched the company in the capital of Denmark. While the brand is specialized in producing coffee and tea accessories, they have a wider range of kitchen and outdoor products to offer, from wine glasses to sports water bottles.
Keurig is a brand that doesn’t need too much introduction. The company was formed after the merger of Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and Keurig Green Mountain back in 2018 in an attempt to bring together cold and hot beverages. Today, the company has almost 27,000 employees and includes a ridiculously large brand portfolio, from Peet’s Coffee to Gloria Jean’s Coffee.
Best Portable Coffee Maker in 2021
1. Best Overall: AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker
The AeroPress is a product that baristas recommend time and time again, whether you’re looking for a portable coffee maker or just an innovative product that replaces the traditional French press we’re all too familiar with. This product promises to deliver low-acidity cups of coffee with minimal effort on your behalf.
Capable of making up to three cups of coffee in one take, the AeroPress comes with parts that are easy to put together and take apart, making cleaning a real breeze. With only 6.5 ounces in weight, this one of the best portable coffee makers that money can buy, and it’s delivered with a cool tote bag for easier transportation. The package includes 350 filters, a scoop, a stirrer, a funnel, a filter holder, a filter cap, and the plunger and chamber.
- Lightweight design.
- Includes carrying bag.
- Easy to clean.
- Lots of accessories.
- Is not BPA-free.
2. Best for Espresso: Wacaco Minipresso GR, Portable Espresso Machine
The design of the Wacaco portable espresso maker is definitely something we can get on board with. It’s the type of coffee maker that makes decent espresso cups regardless of whether you are at home, in the car, on a camping trip, in your hotel room, or wherever else life may take you. This 0.8-pound espresso machine uses a semi-automatic piston that puts you to work in order to extract that pure black liquid that we all crave in the morning.
It has a water capacity of 2.53 fl. oz. and a ground capacity of 0.28 oz. It comes with an espresso cup conveniently located at the bottom of the unit so that you can drink your coffee as soon as it’s done and without the need for extra recipients.
- Reusable stainless steel filter.
- Integrated espresso cup.
- Lightweight and portable.
- Doesn’t make the strongest espresso.
3. Best French Press: OXO BREW Venture Travel French Press
If you’re used to drinking coffee made with a French press and you are familiar with the proper brewing methods, then the OXO Brew might be the right product for you. It’s a lightweight and compact product that comes with a shatter-resistant carafe, a feature that’s super important considering that you’ll want to move this press around a lot.
The windows located on the recipient will show the current coffee levels. The plunger has silicone gasket glitter to make sure that you can get delicious cups of coffee each time, while the construction itself makes it easy to take apart the components and clean them. The BPA-free carriage is also safe to clean in the dishwasher. The spout has an additional filter that basically grants you two separate filtration methods for less coffee grounds in your cup.
- Can see coffee levels.
- Two filtration systems.
- Easy to clean and dishwasher-safe.
- Some complaints about filter inefficiency.
4. Best for Espresso: CONQUECO Portable Espresso Maker Travel Coffee Maker
If you enjoy a shot of espresso and you’re interested in a portable coffee maker that you can take with your while on the go, here is another option that you might find purchase-worthy. There are a lot of things to love about the Conqueco coffee maker, starting with its compatibility with Nespresso capsules. Using this battery-powered espresso maker is super easy. By pouring fresh drinking water and waiting 12 minutes for the water to heat, you will get a fresh cup of coffee for you to enjoy.
The coffee maker uses a wall outlet to charge, but make sure that you unplug it before actually using it to make coffee. Note that it takes about 2.5 hours for the battery to pulley charge. There is a control button on the machine that you can press once in order to check the current battery level.
- Heats up water on its own.
- Comes with a wall charger.
- You can check battery level.
- Only works with compatible coffee capsules.
5. Best for Stove: Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Coffee Maker
If you happen to have a campfire or stove access while you’re on a road trip, then you’re going to love the coffee that this Bialetti coffee maker produces. With 1.12 pounds in weight and measuring 5.51 x 3.94 x 6.69 inches, this coffee maker can give a maximum of three cups of coffee with each brew, but you can choose larger versions of the product to make extra servings in one take.
Using a stovetop coffee maker such as this one is pretty simple: you unscrew the bottom chamber and add water, then place your freshly-ground coffee in the filter located at the top of the unit. When placed on an open fire, the heat will generate steam, resulting in pressure that pushes the water to flow through the coffee, brewing in the top compartment.
- Great for making dark coffee.
- Easy to take apart and clean.
- Manufacturer with decades of experience.
- Easy to use.
- Can overflow if not timed carefully.
6. Budget Pick: Presto 02835 MyJo Single Cup Coffee Maker
With this 0.88-pounds coffee maker, you can prepare single servings whether you are at home or at a remote location with no other coffee-making option in sight. The Presto uses heated water to prepare your coffee, giving you the possibility to fill the cup and place it inside the microwave to heat it yourself.
When the water is heated enough, you have to put the top back on the coffee maker cup, pump, and enjoy your hot brew. Designed as a cost-effective unit, the Presto MyJo is a convenient product that you can take with you on your trips, occupying little space and always being a practical alternative to buying poorly-made coffee from random locations.
- Compact and easy to store/carry.
- Can heat water right in the cup.
- Cup is microwave-safe.
- Only brews one serving at a time.
7. Best Pour Over: Primula Brew Buddy Portable Pour Over
When you’re short on space and you’re planning a camping/hiking trip with nothing but your backpack with you, you want to benefit from something that’s lightweight and almost invisible, such as the Primula pour-over. This is a filter that’s placed right on the opening of your coffee mug, holding fresh coffee grounds and waiting for the hot water to be poured over. The coffee slowly sips through the reusable mesh filter and straight into the cup below.
With only 0.06 pounds in weight and measuring 4.2 x 4.2 x 1.6 inches, this is a coffee-making solution that could literally fit in your pocket, and you wouldn’t even know it’s there. The dishwasher-safe construction is a mere bonus because you can just throw away the coffee grounds and rinse the filter clean in a matter of seconds.
- Makes coffee fast.
- Lightweight and compact design.
- Dishwasher-safe & easy to clean.
- Allows for fine sediments to pass through.
8. Editor’s Choice: Bodum Travel Press
You might be wondering why we chose to add the Bodum Travel press to the list. What makes it so special? While it’s a quality coffee mug that doubles as a French-press, there is one thing that impressed us more than anything else: the ability to maintain a steady temperature for impressive periods of time. That means that whether you’re making iced coffee or hot brew, the stainless-steel construction of the cup makes it so that the temperature of the liquid inside maintains its temperature for you to be able to enjoy the rich taste for longer.
Other than that, the features of the Bodum press are pretty similar to what you’d expect to get from a product within its price range: it comes with a spill-resistant lid, a built-in plunger, a silicone top, and a body that allows for a good grip.
- Maintaining liquid temperature for long.
- Durable design.
- Tight silicone lid.
- Non-skid rubber base.
- Coffee grounds may get through.
9. Most Versatile: SOMA Double Wall Glass Tea and Coffee Cold Brew Bottle
The SOMA is a product that’s impressive simply because it’s versatile enough to serve as a coffee maker, coffee cup, and a tea-infusion bottle at the same time. You can use it to make pour-over coffee, to hold your cold brew, and to make loose leaf tea since it comes with a reusable stainless-steel filter that’s relatively easy to clean.
The bottle has a 12-ounce capacity and is made from borosilicate glass. It measures 2.8″ W x 9.1″ H x 2.8″ D and has a total weight of 5.1 ounces. When you’re done using it, you have to clean the parts every time. Using this bottle daily will cause oil build-ups in the filter, so you should clean it with fragrance-free mild soap after each use.
- Leak-proof lid.
- Can be used to make coffee and tea.
- Equips a reusable stainless steel filter.
- Not very durable.
10. Best with Electricity: Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker
The Keurig K-Mini had every chance to be the very best portable coffee maker, but it does restrict you to using a power outlet, so if you’re on the go and don’t have the possibility to plug it in, it doesn’t check off all the boxes that we feel are needed for a product to become the very best portable product on the market. However, it doesn’t fall short of impressive features that are delivered in a two-pound product with a gorgeous slim design.
With less than 5 inches in width, this one of the slimmest countertop coffee makers we’ve seen. It’s compatible with K-cup pods to deliver a wide range of different coffee types and tastes coming from world-renown brands, including Lavazza, Peet’s Coffee, Starbucks, or Green Mountain Coffee roaster.
- Energy-efficient system.
- Different brew sizes.
- Cord management system.
- Only works with K-pods.
Portable Coffee Makers: FAQ
Is there such a thing as a battery-operated coffee maker?
Yes, and they offer the great benefit of being able to make your coffee without the need for electricity.
How do I make coffee on a road trip?
There are several ways for you to make coffee when you’re on the go. A battery-powered coffee maker is the best choice for road trips because you don’t need an actual fire to heat up the water (as you do in the case of regular portable coffee makers). These devices use battery power to heat up the water for you.
What is the best coffee maker for camping?
While the answer to this question is partly a matter of personal preference and what features you expect to get when purchasing a coffee maker, one of the best products that experts and baristas recommend time and time again is the AeroPress GO.
Is there a coffee maker without plastic?
While there are a few coffee makers that don’t use any plastic in their design, there is also a safe plastic that’s used to make them. When you want a coffee maker that’s safe to use, look for products labeled BPA-free.
Granted, if you don’t leave home every day or don’t travel very often, it doesn’t really matter if you have a portable or a large coffee maker since it will most likely not leave the kitchen. But, if you care about having a portable coffee maker, the wide range of models we’ve reviewed today are bound to offer you some reliable suggestions, whether you’re looking for something compact for a small kitchen or a dorm, something to take with you while camping, or even a portable espresso maker that allows you to make espresso shots when you’re in the car.