For most people, coffee isn’t an optional part of their morning routine. Whether you’re traveling for an important meeting with out-of-town clients or preparing yourself to face extended family, coffee is a must.
From the most bare beans method to a brew that might require a second carry-on, we’re taking you through our favorite ways to make coffee while traveling.
Note that most of these methods are meant for the solo traveler — if you have a plus one, they’ll have to make their own cup.
Hot water is usually the component of coffee that’s easiest to get your hands on. However if you’re headed to the great outdoors or somewhere else you might find yourself without a heat source, it doesn’t hurt to bring your own.
Try this collapsible kettle for something space-effective and easy to use. If you know you’ll at least have electricity, the Bonvita Voyage will boil enough water for a serving or two without taking up space in your luggage.
As a general rule, your coffee grounds are at their freshest immediately after they’re ground. If that full and fresh test is a priority while traveling, consider a hand grinder . They’re a little extra effort but if you can’t spare 30 seconds for a better cup of coffee, why are you packing all this stuff?
If you’re traveling for between 3-10 days, grinding your beans before departure could be your best bet. You’ll still be in the sweet spot of freshness. Bring a coffee scoop for easy portioning if you go with this method.
Some people bring mini scales along with them to get the portions just right. That just seems excessive to us — either eyeball it or employ a coffee scoop.
These tiny tubes are giving instant coffee a good name. We love it for the strong flavor without any bitterness. This method is going to require the least amount of equipment — just your Sudden, some hot water, and a travel-friendly mug. The space it’ll take up in your luggage is nearly negligible.
If you’re too far gone on the path of coffee-snobdom, we understand that even the best instant coffee is still instant coffee. But if you’re looking for a low-effort, high-return cup of joe, Sudden will check both those boxes.
If you like the strong stuff, try this gadget out. You’ll need coffee grounds and a hot water source, but from there this portable machine is completely hand-powered. The lid screws off and can be used as your espresso cup.
While it isn’t completely self-contained, this method comes pretty darn close.
At this point, if you haven’t heard about the Aeropress, we aren’t sure how seriously you take your coffee. This simple method hits the nail on the head with its portable nature and the strong brew it delivers.
The Aeropress does require some additional equipment — ground beans, specialized filters, and a hot water source. You’ll also need a durable mug since you press into the opening of the cup with a not-insignificant amount of pressure.
While it’s not too awkward to add to your suitcase, this little coffee crusher will need some extra supplies to get the job done.
The Clever Dripper is meant to be a cross between drip coffee and the French Press. The smaller size is just five inches tall. Even with its slightly awkward shape, it takes up a minimal amount of space in your suitcase.
With this method, you’ll also need to bring along hot water, #2 filters, and some beans.
Be wary of the lid that’s used to keep the heat in the brewing chamber. It can be pretty delicate and may need some extra padding to ensure safe travels.
Have Coffee, Will Travel
Whether you’ll be on the road for three days or three months, this gear will help you get the best cup of coffee you can. Once you find what works for you, it might hard to leave anything at home.
Read Next: Coffee Showdown: The Best Ways to Brew
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