In recent years, the tides have changed many aspects of the hotel experience. The hotel’s bars and restaurants can become a memorable experience, the hotel’s humble spa is now a destination in its own right, and rooms and suites win design awards at hotels around the world. But for one reason or another, the in-room coffee bar often leaves a lot to be desired. The best script? Nespresso machine. Worst case? We won’t even go there.
“As a fellow coffee drinker, I know all too well how to deal with bad coffee in hotels,” says Nadine Hermann, coffee blogger and owner of a fair trade coffee shop in Germany. “My top tip is to get yourself a portable coffee maker and go easy on cleaning because no one wants to deal with messy equipment on the go.”
If you’re tired of drinking bad coffee on the road, we’ve got your back. These coffee makers lead the way in terms of convenience, quality and durability. Portable and travel-friendly, the coffee maker makes it easy to pack into your carry-on, requiring only access to hot water, coffee and the occasional filter, meaning you’ll never run out of your decent morning coffee.
AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker will be your best choice if you need something lightweight, reliable and easy to use on the go. “I highly recommend the Aeropress because of its compact size and ease of cleaning,” says Hermann. “Not only does it make a delicious cup of coffee that can rival any coffee shop, but when combined with a manual coffee grinder, you can drink freshly ground coffee wherever you are.”
In our testing, we liked the device for its extremely easy-to-use nature. It’s also easy to clean between uses, perfect for travelers who want their coffee utensils ready for a cup of tea any time of the day. However, we found the end product to be more like filter coffee than real espresso.
If you’re looking for a rich espresso, check out our best portable espresso maker Staresso Pro. In our testing, this unit gave us the best results of any other portable option we’ve tried. It’s small in size, comes in three pieces and requires some assembly, perfect for slipping into your carry-on or backpack on any trip. Note that it takes some time to build up the necessary pressure, but at the end you will be rewarded with a quality espresso – and what could be better than that?
The Wacaco Nanopresso portable espresso machine is one of the best options for those who prefer the rugged outdoor adventure to the comfort of a hotel stay. A portable coffee maker is no bigger than a standard flashlight and is almost as reliable. It also requires no batteries or electricity and is fully hand operated – the pumping system makes full shots of hot espresso with just your hands. The cylindrical design is also extremely easy to maintain, so you won’t have to worry about excessive maintenance on the go.
This portable espresso machine is another outstanding option for those who prefer adventure-oriented travel and may not have the best conditions for making coffee in the kitchen or coffee bar. Staresso Classic portable espresso machine (as opposed to Stareso Prolisted above) is particularly convenient and versatile due to its dual brewing method. The internal brewing system is compatible with both Nespresso pods and standard ground coffee, giving you the option to bring your own coffee pod or choose a convenient pod format. Adjustable pressure also means you can choose between concentrated espresso and lighter Americano-style drinks.
The Kuissential SlickDrip Foldable Silicone Coffee Dripper may be the best option for coffee lovers who appreciate the art of very light packaging. The foldable silicone coffee maker works much the same as the Chemex Pour-Over – all you have to do is add coffee, hot water, a filter and place the device on a standard size mug. The durable silicone material and foldable design mean it can literally be tossed into the smallest side pocket of any bag without worrying about it breaking or taking up too much room – a win for travelers of all stripes.
Bodum Travel Press was created for travelers who are short on time. It’s essentially a classic French press built right into your travel mug, which means you can take the time to brew your coffee properly even if you’re running out the door of your hotel room. The double wall vacuum design keeps hot drinks hot for hours, and the entire single serving container is dishwasher safe for easy maintenance.
Outin Mini is the best choice among portable coffee makers. Yes, it is a bit pricey, but if you are a serious coffee drinker, it will be worth the price. This option heats water in less than four minutes and allows for easy, hands-free extraction so you don’t have to sweat your morning coffee. It is also compatible with both ground coffee and pods such as Nespresso and Illy pods for added convenience and more choice. We also love the stylish look of this portable espresso machine, which comes in five color options.
In addition to the Nanopresso, Wacaco also offers a portable espresso machine called the Picopresso. This is the more expensive of the Wacaco options, and as such, we found in our testing that you can expect a quality espresso. However, we found the Staresso Pro design to be better overall. This variant works in manual mode, so it does not require electricity or batteries and is very compact – it even comes with a travel case to avoid damage during transport.
After all, if you’re lucky enough to have a Nespresso machine in your room, you’ll probably want to ditch your dusty paper cup and brew your morning coffee right in your travel mug. The Yeti Rambler Travel Mug earned our accolades for its airtight double slider lid (a major travel bonus) and its impressive hot and cold temperature retention. This travel mug also comes in a huge range of fun colorways – from hot pink and orange to dark green and teal – to best suit your style.
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