Our Top 3 Portable Coffee Maker List: The Best Travel Coffee Maker?

The portable coffee maker is real trendy nowadays.

 

With the advent of the digital age, comes more and more digital nomads, remote workers, and world travelers.

 

And they need their coffee… they need it bad.

portable-coffee-maker-cpu

 

Making coffee on the go is important for a lot of people. For many of us, coffee is more than just a pick me up. It’s a vital step in our routine. It’s a daily ritual that jump-starts our day.

 

This is why a portable coffee maker is so appealing. Having a travel coffee maker in your arsenal opens up a whole new whole of possibilities… literally. With portable coffee, you can enjoy your coffee anywhere in the world!

 

[if you want to see our top 3 portable coffee makers now, feel free to scroll down a bit and explore!]

 

Is the Portable Coffee Maker Just Some Trend?

Before we get into our top 3 portable coffee maker list, there’s an important question that needs to be addressed…

 

Is the “travel coffee maker” just some trend, or is this a product one can use for years to come?

 

Are these miniature brewing machines all bark and no bite, or do they really pose a threat to the lack of good coffee on the road?

 

I believe that good portable coffee exists, and it’s something we can incorporate into our daily lives.

 

Coffee lovers shouldn’t be without their precious elixir. There’s no need! We live in a time where good, portable coffee is possible.

 

Maybe you’re reading this because you have been trekking down the internet rabbit hole for a while. and you want to buy a new brewing buddy.

 

Maybe you’re here because you’ve been clicking around from link to link – site to site – and you don’t know where to start.

 

Well…

 

Let’s jump into it. It’s time to put this search to a stop.

 

Here’s Blue Penguin’s Top 3 Portable Coffee Maker List

  1. Aeropress
  2. Kohipress
  3. Kuissential Versa Travel French Press

 

Honorable Mentions

  • Jetboil
  • Minipresso GR

 

Keep reading below to look at our in-depth analysis of each portable coffee maker.

 

Who knows, maybe you’ll find a brewer that you can adopt and call your own?

 

I’ll be covering these attributes for each brewing apparatus:

  • Portability
  • Brewing Quality (how good the coffee is on average)
  • Cleanliness
  • Accessibility (how fast you can pull out the brewer, pump out a cup, and pack it up)
  • Upkeep
  • Coffee Characteristics (mouthfeel, taste of the coffee)

 

#1 Portable Brewer: Aeropress

I talk about the Aeropress a lot

 

I’m in love. Guilty as charged.

 

The Aeropress is an easy number one on my top 3 list. It’s been a reliable coffee companion for the past four years I’ve had it, and it makes a really nice cup of joe.

 

Specialty coffee lovers are obsessed with this brewer. The Aeropress is featured at specialty cafes all around the globe, and it continues to bless the coffee world with its hilarious simplicity.

 

It’s a few pieces of plastic made by a frisbee company…

 

And it arguably brews better coffee than many other specialty brewers. But that’s for you to decide.

 

Blue Penguin Aeropress Review:

Portability: 3 out of 5

Now, the Aeropress isn’t as portable as some of the other brewers in this article. It requires a decanter when “plunging the coffee”, and it doesn’t feature a built-in filter.

 

However, it’s supreme durability and replaceable parts make it a win for mobile brewing. Broken glass and bulky parts are a thing of the past.

 

Brewing Quality: 5 out of 5

Superb is the word.

 

Of course, this depends on you. It has the hardest learning curve of the brewers featured below, but the brewing design lets you manipulate variables such as agitation, turbulence, flow rate, and time.

 

Cleanliness: 5 out of 5

The Aeropress can be taken apart easily and cleaned. There’s a reason many specialty cafes employ this portable coffee maker.

 

Accessibility: 3.5 out of 5

The brewer is small and doesn’t require much maintenance.

 

If you use paper filters, you may have to store them in a plastic bag while on your backpacking excursion. However, if you purchase the able disk, you’ll be rocking a super accessible brewer.

 

Upkeep: 5 out of 5

This puppy will survive anything… except maybe getting driven over by a steam roller.

 

Coffee Characteristics: Immersion Brewing Method

Medium heavy body. It’s an immersion brewing method, so it will have more body and less flavor clarity. Since it employs a paper filter, the coffee will have a bit more flavor clarity than some of the other coffee makers listed below.

 

[immersion brewing means that the coffee grounds are completely submerged in water and are allowed to extract before being filtered out]

 

 

#2 Portable Brewer: Kohipress

The Kohipress is a nifty portable French Press that hasn’t seen much coverage in the coffee community.

 

While it’s not as versatile as the Aeropress, the Kohipress deserves props for its fantastic durability and mobility.

 

If you’re not familiar, check out the Kohipress here.

 

Basically, it’s a self-isolating French Press. The plunger inside of the brewer acts as a one-way valve that traps spent coffee grounds after pressing. Once pressed, the plunger is screwed on, and the brewer becomes a travel mug.

 

Yeah, it’s pretty clever. And it doesn’t take much research to see that the Kohipress is a portable coffee maker worth looking into. It’s one of the only true brew-and-go brewers out there.

 

Let’s look at it closer.

 

Blue Penguin Kohipress Review:

Portability: 5 out of 5

Since the Kohipress brewer doubles as a travel mug, it’s incredibly portable. It doesn’t even need a filter. A filter is already built into the plunger mechanism.

 

Just throw it in your backpack before and after brewing. You’ll be golden.

 

Brewing Quality: 3.5 out of 5

The Kohipress isn’t as versatile as some other brewers, but it can still make a solid cup of coffee.

 

I encourage stirring and agitating (if needed) to achieve a balanced and uniform extraction.

 

Cleanliness: 3 out of 5

The Kohipress is a bit difficult to clean, but the good thing is that it’s NOT messy. It’s incredibly easy to brew with, and there’s usually no mess during the brewing process.

 

Accessibility: 5 out of 5

Brew. Plunge. Go.

 

That’s it.

 

It’s as accessible as it gets.

 

Upkeep: 4 out of 5

It’s a durable device, but you need to make sure to clean it after use. Since it’s so easy to use, it’s easy to forget that you need to clean it for tomorrow morning’s brewing session.

 

Coffee Characteristics: Immersion Brewing Method

Very heavy body. The Kohipress yields a colorful mouthfeel with pleasantly muted flavor tones. It’s similar to normal French Press coffee.

 

#3 Portable Brewer: Kuissential Versa Travel French Press

The Versa Travel French Press is another great product from Kuissential. I briefly mentioned their hand grinder here in one of our blogs.

 

Brief Detour From the Portable Coffee Maker Review:

IF YOU WANT A GOOD HAND GRINDER FOR CHEAP, GO WITH THE KUISSENTIAL EVENGRIND.

DO IT!

It’s cheaper than the other (somewhat cheap) reputable hand grinders on the market, and it yields a much more consistent grind.

Look at this comprehensive comparison that Coffee Brew Guides did.

It’s affordable, portable, and it works. 

 

-end of detour…

 

The Versa French Press isn’t as accessible as the Kohipress or Aeropress, but it is a great addition to the portable coffee maker product line.

 

Think of it like a reverse French Press.

 

It basically comes in two parts: a brewing chamber and a travel mug.

 

Just pour water and grounds into the brewing chamber, twist on the travel mug, and flip the Versa around. Then you pull up the plunger rod and detach the brewing chamber.

 

The Versa Travel French Press also features a cap so that you can sip coffee goodness on your adventures.

 

Blue Penguin Versa French Press Review:

Portability: 3.5 out of 5

It’s not as cohesive as the Kohipress, but the Versa definitely has mobile potential. The brewing chamber is a bit cumbersome, but overall, it’s ready for an excursion.

 

The downside is that the brewing chamber must be taken out of the travel mug chamber. It’s dripping wet, filled with grounds, and it’s hot.

 

It’s not an appropriate brewer for some environments. If there’s no sink available to clean the chamber, you’ll be left with a hot, wet metal tube filled with coffee grounds.

 

Brewing Quality: 3 out of 5

This brewer doesn’t brew bad coffee by any stretch of the imagination. However, the slim brewing chamber leaves very little room for you to work with. The barista can only do so much, and the Versa gives very little brewing control.

 

Cleanliness: 4 out of 5

Since the brewing chamber is autonomous, the coffee grounds can be easily discarded of.

 

The brewer’s cleanliness isn’t the worst on the market, but it isn’t the best either.

 

From my experience, it’s nothing you should worry about.

 

Accessibility: 3 out of 5

The travel mug aspect of the Versa Travel Press makes this brewer a catch.

 

But again, the brewing chamber can be a little inconvenient. It must be taken out, cleaned, and stowed away.

 

Upkeep: 4 out of 5

Its stainless steel design makes the Versa easy to clean and maintain.

 

Coffee Characteristics: Immersion Brewing Method

Very heavy body. The Versa yields a colorful mouthfeel with pleasantly muted flavor tones. It’s similar to normal French Press coffee.

 

Honorable Mentions

There are TONS of ways to brew coffee on the go, and I’d be doing the portable coffee maker world a disservice if I left these puppies out:

 

Honorable Mention #1: The Jetboil + Coffee Press

 

This thing does everything.

 

It cooks food.

 

It makes hot cocoa.

 

It makes coffee.

 

It turns frowns into smiles on the trail…

 

This didn’t make it into my list above for a couple of reasons:

  • The Jetboil is really more for backpackers and hikers. If you want to boil water FAST on the trail, this is for you. It just so happens that the Coffee Press attachment can be cleverly attached to the Jetboil system. Think of it as a multi-faceted cooking/water boiling apparatus – NOT a coffee maker

 

  • It doesn’t make great coffee. And before any Jetboil fanboys and fangirls get upset at me, know that I appreciate the Jetboil for what it is. It makes decent coffee – not great coffee. Considering that your water source on the trail is most likely infused with iodine to prevent giardia, and considering that the Jetboil will be soiled by dirt and food, it may taste a bit weird. Maybe you’ve had great experiences with it, but I have not.

 

Honorable Mention #2: The Minipresso GR

I’ve never been a huge fan of these mobile espresso machines, but I have to give Wacaco props… the Minipresso is pretty cool.

 

It’s a hand pump espresso machine that packs an 8 bar pressure punch.

 

For those that like strong coffee, this lil guy may be for you.

 

I usually don’t use words like “strong” when describing coffee, but I think it describes the Minipresso flavor profile pretty well. It’s a true espresso shot that packs a punch, but it doesn’t have the capacity to make great espresso, every time.

 

In my opinion, the subtle coffee flavor notes – that you get from the delicate shots in cafes – aren’t very present with Minipresso coffee.

 

This video shows why.

 

I’m a fan of the modern espresso served at most specialty cafes.

 

BUT…

 

The Minipresso is really cool. Portable espresso is a dream to behold. So if you like strong bursts of powerful espresso, this is your machine.

 

To Conclude the Portable Coffee Maker Review…

I’d recommend:

 

  • the Aeropress to anyone serious about specialty coffee.
  • the Kohipress to those who want their coffee anywhere.
  • the Versa Travel Press to those who want something different
  • the Jetboil to the mountain goats… (the crazy backpacking fiends).
  • the Minipresso to those who want espresso anywhere they go.

 

 

That’s it for today! Thanks for reading!

 

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