Coffee lovers know that traveling often means having to leave your excellent morning cup of coffee behind and temporarily trading it in for bitter brew made with the hotel’s drip machine. Good quality beans are just the start of a nice coffee drinking experience, the brewing method is the other key part of the equation. The problem: it’s difficult to lug a full size, high quality electric machine along when you’re traveling. Fortunately, people on the go who don’t want to sacrifice the taste of their coffee have several portable coffee making options.
The French press is a classic piece of coffee making equipment that’s great for taking along with you since it doesn’t need any electricity. A French press is comprised of a carafe that holds the coffee and water, a lid, plunger and filter mechanism that extracts flavor from coffee while keeping the grounds out of the resulting brew. The Carafe can be made of various different materials. The classic french press is made out of glass, but the sturdiest, most protective is the stainless steel french press. Stainless steel eliminates the worry about the carafe breaking. You want to avoid glass as much as possible when you are traveling.
To use a French press, you put ground coffee — coarse grind is best, but you can use an all purpose grind if you decrease the brew time — into the carafe, followed by hot water. It’s best to let this mixture soak for about 30 seconds and then stir for 10 seconds, but you can skip straight to the brewing countdown if you prefer. Place the lid on the French press and set your phone’s timer for 6 to 8 minutes (3 to 4 if you used an all purpose grind). The longer the coffee brews, the stronger it will taste. Once the brewing time is over, gently push down the plunger on the French press, pour the extracted coffee into your cup — or simply start sipping if you’re using a stainless steel French press travel mug — and enjoy.
The AeroPress is a small, lightweight device that you can store practically anywhere, from your briefcase to a carry on bag. Its brewing process keeps messes to a minimum, so you could even use the AeroPress in your car if needed. Here’s how it works: place the AeroPress over your coffee mug and insert a filter. Put in your ground coffee, pour hot water over it, and then push down the plunger. A wonderfully flavored brew will drip from the bottom of the AeroPress and into your cup, perfectly satisfying your craving for delicious coffee while you’re on the move.
You can try the inverted method too.
Pour over coffee makers are great because they’re light, highly portable, and very affordable, with most costing less than $15 for the pour over brewer and filters. It sits on top of your coffee cup and the brew drips into the bottom. If you have access to hot water, ground coffee, and a pour over maker with a filter, you can make a great cup of coffee literally anywhere. As the water runs through the grounds and into your cup, the flavor is extracted from the coffee without staying in contact too long and resulting in a bitter brew. Pour over coffee makers are made from a wide range of materials, but if you’re planning to use one while traveling stick to a sturdy plastic, metal, or silicone model. Some pour over brewers are made of collapsible silicone, which is perfect when you have little space for packing.