In recent years, trends have transformed every aspect of the hotel experience. Hotel bars and restaurants can become memorable experiences, humble hotel spas are now destinations in their own right, and rooms and suites are winning design awards in hotels around the world. But for some reason, indoor coffee bars often leave a lot to be desired. best case? Nespresso coffee machine. Worst case? We won’t even go there.
“As a coffee addict, I know all too well the struggle of poor quality hotel coffee,” says Nadine Gehrmann, a coffee blogger and owner of a fair-trade coffee shop in Germany. “My number one recommendation is to get yourself a portable coffee maker and prioritize ease of cleaning because no one wants to deal with a dirty device on the go.”
If you don’t want bad coffee on the road, we’ve got you covered. These coffee makers lead the way in convenience, quality and durability. Portable and travel-friendly coffee makers fit easily in a carry-on bag and require only hot water, coffee, and sometimes a filter, meaning you’ll never be without a decent good morning.
If you want something that is lightweight, reliable, and easy to use on the go, the AeroPress Original Coffee Maker and Espresso Maker is the way to go. “I highly recommend the Aeropress because of its compact size and easy cleanup,” says Gehrmann. “Not only does it make great-tasting coffee that rivals any coffee shop, but when combined with a handheld grinder, you can enjoy freshly ground coffee wherever you are.”
In our testing, we really liked the device because it’s so easy to use. It’s also easy to clean between uses, making it perfect for travelers who want to have their coffee set ready for a cup of tea any time of the day. However, we found that it produced a final product that was more like filter coffee than true espresso.
If you’re looking for a full-bodied espresso, look no further than our pick of the best portable espresso machines, the Staresso Pro. In our testing, the device gave us the best results of all the portable options we tried. It’s compact, three-part and requires some assembly, making it perfect for slipping into a carry-on bag or backpack on any trip. Mind you, it takes some time to build up the pressure you need, but at the end you’re rewarded with a good espresso, and what could be better?
The Wacaco Nanopresso Portable Espresso Machine is one of the best options for those who prefer rugged outdoor adventures to cozy hotel vacations. This portable coffee maker is no larger than a standard flashlight and is extremely durable. It also doesn’t require any batteries or electricity, and is powered entirely by hand—the pumping system pumps out a full hot espresso with just the help of your hands. The cylindrical design is also super easy to clean, so you don’t have to worry about too much maintenance while you’re on the go.
This portable espresso maker is another standout option for those opting for more adventure-oriented travel and who may not have the best settings for brewing coffee in the kitchen or coffee bar area. The Staresso Classic Portable Espresso Machine (as opposed to the Staresso Pro listed above) is particularly convenient and versatile due to its dual brewing method. The internal brewing system is compatible with Nespresso capsules and standard ground coffee, giving you the option to bring your own coffee pod or choose convenient capsules. The adjustable pressure also means you can choose between an espresso and a lighter Americano.
The Kuissential SlickDrip Collapsible Silicone Coffee Dripper is probably the best choice for coffee lovers who value the art of lightweight packaging. This foldable silicone coffee maker functions much like a Chemex Pour-Over—all you have to do is add coffee, hot water, and a filter, then place the device over a standard-sized cup. The durable silicone material and fold-over design mean it can literally be thrown into the smallest side pocket of any bag without worrying about it breaking or taking up too much space – a win for travelers of all types.
The Bodum Travel Press is designed for the time-crunched traveler. It’s essentially a classic French press built into a carry-on travel mug, which means that even if you’re rushing out the hotel room door, you can take the time to brew your coffee right. The vacuum-sealed double-wall construction keeps hot drinks hot for hours at a time, and the entire single-serve travel mug is dishwasher safe for easy maintenance.
The Outin Mini is the top choice for portable coffee machines. Yes, it’s a bit pricey, but if you’re a serious coffee fan, it’s worth it. This option heats water in less than 4 minutes and offers easy, hands-free extraction, so you don’t have to sweat your morning coffee. It’s also compatible with ground coffee and capsules like Nespresso pods and Illy for added convenience and choice. We also love the sleek look of this portable espresso maker, which is available in five colors.
In addition to the Nanopresso, Wacaco also offers a portable espresso machine in its range called the Picopresso. This is one of the more expensive Wacaco options, so in our testing, we found that you can get good espresso. However, we found the design of the Staresso Pro to be better overall. This option is manually operated, so requires no electricity or batteries, and is very compact. It even comes with a travel case to avoid any damage during shipping.
At the end of the day, if you’re lucky enough to have a Nespresso machine in your room, you might be tempted to skip the dusty paper cups and make your morning coffee straight in a travel mug. The Yeti Rambler Travel Mug gets our nod for its dual-slider leak-proof lid (a big bonus when traveling) and its impressive hot and cold insulation. This travel mug also comes in a variety of fun colors — from bright pink and orange to forest green and turquoise — to suit your style best.
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