Portable Coffee Maker That Heats Water

About 75% of Americans drink coffee on weekdays, and half of those enjoy the caffeinated beverage daily. At home, it’s easy to whip up a delicious latte with the Breville Barista Express or brew a single-serve coffee with a Keurig. But while those caffeine-churning machines are great at home, they are lousy travel companions.

Coffee shops – especially those with a drive-thru – are popular among coffee drinkers at home and while traveling. But just two coffees per person per day can quickly add up to a large chunk of your travel budget.

Fortunately, portable coffee makers are a great solution. Packable and easy to use, these coffee machines can be fine-tuned to your taste and used before you leave the hotel room.

Browse through this list of the best portable coffee makers and decide which is the best fit for your style of that magnificent morning nectar.

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Why Buy a Portable Coffee Maker?

For some, whether or not to buy a portable coffee maker isn’t an issue because the answer is a resounding “Yes.” But for others, buying a portable coffee maker for travel may seem silly. Why would you want to pack a coffee maker when there are countless places to get coffee?

You may want to buy a portable coffee maker for three good reasons. You don’t need to be a coffee lover to appreciate these reasons. Do any of the reasons appeal to you?

Get coffee when you want it

If you’re anything like me, you want coffee within fifteen minutes of opening your sticky eyelids and rubbing away the last remnants of sleep. The last thing you want is to shower, get dressed, and walk across the street to the coffee shop for your first brew of the day.

If you travel with a portable coffee maker, you can make coffee whenever you want. There is no need to wait in line at the coffee shop or get dressed before you can enjoy that first cup.

Make coffee the way you want it

If you drink coffee regularly, you probably have a particular way you like it. A specific water temperature, a certain volume, and a selection of additives like sugar and cream. But when you travel, you relinquish control over your coffee and rely on the source – a gas station, fast food restaurant, or coffee shop.

If you travel with a portable coffee maker, you can make your coffee just as you like. You can use the same beans or pods, brew the coffee at the same temperature and volume, and add the same ingredients after brewing. And if you travel with a portable fridge, you can keep your coffee creamer chilled between stops on your road trips.

Spend less on coffee and more money on travel

Good coffee isn’t cheap and cheap coffee isn’t good. And while it’s fun to explore local coffee shops while traveling, they can quickly become a drain on your travel budget. Even those one-dollar coffees at the gas station will add up over a week. If you travel with a portable coffee maker, you can save the money you would have spent and put it towards a museum admission or kayak rental.

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The Different Types of Portable Coffee Makers

There are lots of ways of brewing coffee and lots of ways to finish it after brewing. If you drink coffee at home, you likely already know your preferred method of brewing coffee. But when you travel, you might want to try something different, like espresso drinks for an extra caffeine boost or a pour over coffee for something quick and easy.

Here are the different types of portable coffee makers that you could easily pack for your next trip.


Espresso beans are regular coffee beans roasted longer and ground finer for brewing. The result is a richer flavor profile enjoyable in shots, double shots, or espresso drinks like lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos. At home, popular espresso machines like the Breville Barista Pro injects hot, pressurized water through a porta filter filled with finely ground beans.

While there are several portable espresso makers, they all require one key ingredient that is tricky while traveling: hot water. This requires a separate accessory for heating water before you can brew an espresso coffee, adding time and labor to the process.

Portable espresso makers are the easiest to travel with but have the heftiest price tag.

Pour Over

Pour over is the easiest method for brewing coffee at home or on the road. A paper filter on top of a container is filled with ground coffee, and then hot water is methodically poured over the grounds. The Chemex Pour-Over Glass Coffeemaker is a popular model for pour over drinkers at home.

While traveling, the pour over is a quick and easy method for brewing coffee. But, like espresso drinks, it requires hot water. Portable pour over coffee makers are the least expensive of all the options and the easiest to pack.

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French Press

The French Press method of coffee making is popular among backpackers and campers because of how easy it is. First, water is heated in a vessel to the desired temperature. Then, ground coffee is gently poured on top and allowed to soak for a specific time. Finally, a fine mesh filter is pressed down, pushing the coffee grounds to the bottom of the vessel so the coffee can be poured into a mug.

Like the two previous options, the French Press requires hot water. And this method tends to be the messiest, with the wet coffee grounds pressed into the bottom of the vessel that must be cleaned between each use. Portable French Press coffee makers are somewhere in the middle for price and portability, but from start to finish takes the longest amount of time to brew coffee.

Single Serve

Drip coffee is the most common way of making coffee in the world. From large 12-cup glass coffee pots to stainless steel carafes and single-serve options, there are more options for drip coffee machines than any other method of brewing coffee. Ground coffee is placed in a filter basket or a pod inserted, and the machine does the rest, heating water and slowly trickling through the grounds and into the coffee mug.

Single serve coffee makers are the most convenient for travel, especially the models that can use pods. The machines require power, but so does the kettle to make hot water for all the previous options. But the machines require minimal cleaning and manual labor, producing coffee faster and easier.

Portable single-serve coffee makers compete with espresso makers for price. The makers are also larger and near impossible to pack in checked luggage if flying. However, the makers are the best option for road trippers and use in hotel rooms.

Things to Consider with a Portable Coffee Maker

Before confirming your purchase of a portable coffee maker, there are some things to consider when making your decision. This decision might be easy if you’re set on a particular coffee-making method. But if you’re open to new possibilities, there are options for your needs.


If you’re flying, space in your luggage is a premium. But even if you’re road tripping, space in your car is limited. Giant coffee makers permanently parked on your kitchen countertop are not ideal for travel, so look for smaller coffee makers that are easier to pack and carry.


Like the size, if you’re flying, weight is a premium. Small usually means light, but not always. Look for a lightweight, portable coffee maker that will be easier to carry in your luggage.


Some portable coffee makers come in all-in-one packages that make it easy to keep up with the various components. These are the best coffee makers, especially if you’re checking in and out of multiple hotels on a road trip.


This is the least important concern for travel unless you’re camping in an Alaskan yurt. You’ll likely have power wherever you travel, but finding an available outlet can sometimes be difficult. And, if your portable coffee maker requires power, you won’t be using it in your vehicle without a good power inverter.


Most portable coffee makers are built on the principle of brewing single-serve coffee. Anything more required a large and hefty carafe. Be sure you’re happy with one serving at a time, especially if you need two or more coffees immediately in the morning.


Portable coffee makers are slower than their counterparts sitting at your house. Instead of always having hot water ready, a portable coffee maker must heat the water and brew the coffee with each serving. And that can become a problem if you need coffee for two or more people every morning. Some portable coffee makers are faster than others, which might be the deciding factor.


A lot of portable coffee makers must be cleaned between each use. This means it will take longer and more effort to make each coffee. You might want to consider a single-serve coffee maker that will be faster and easier to use.


A world of accessories exists for every portable coffee maker, but some require additional items. Depending on your purchase, you may need a coffee grinder, hot water kettle, and travel case. The total investment increases along with the size and weight of your luggage.

Hot Water

The availability of hot water is probably the most important factor in the type of portable coffee maker you choose. Unless you enjoy cold coffee, you will need hot water to make your coffee. Single serve coffee machines have built-in heating elements, but many other types will require a hot water kettle. That means buying and packing an additional device in your luggage.


One of the benefits of a portable coffee maker is saving money on what you otherwise might have spent at Starbucks. Consider how many coffees you would need to brew to see a return on your investment before plunging into the world of portable coffee makers.

Accessories for Portable Coffee Makers

For every kind of retail item, there is a third-party accessory catalog. Portable coffee makers are no exception. But while some accessories are nice, others are necessary depending on what kind of coffee maker you buy.

Here are some accessories for portable – and not-so-portable – coffee makers you might want to add to your shopping cart.

Wacaco Minipresso GR

The Wacaco Minipresso GR is one of the easiest portable espresso makers. The compact all-in-one kit features a built-in scoop and cup, so everything conveniently remains together as you travel. And with the optional Minipresso Case, you can keep your investment protected.

The Wacaco Minipresso GR uses a semi-automatic hand pump to inject hot water through the filter basket. With a 2.35-ounce water reservoir, you can quickly brew two espresso shots with a few one-handed pumps. The manual operation means no dependency on power or batteries – this could be good or bad, depending on how you view manually crafting your coffee.

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Like all portable espresso makers, the Wacaco Minipresso GR requires hot water from another source. The Jettle Electric Kettle is a perfect portable companion for getting boiling water. The Wacaco Minipresso GR measures just 7 inches tall and weighs less than a pound, making it easy to pack for travel.

Best Portable Espresso Maker

OutIn Nano Portable Espresso Machine

The OutIn Nano Portable Espresso Machine is a quantum leap beyond the competition with a built-in water heater. At 9″ tall and 3″ in diameter, it’s the same size and weight as the competition and a perfectly portable espresso maker.

The OutIn Nano uses a 7500mAh rechargeable battery for the effortless brewing of espresso shots. On a single charge, the machine can produce five shots of espresso. Each brew takes about 5 minutes to heat the water from room temperature and 3 minutes to extract the shot. Recharging is simple, though, with the standard USB-C cable and power block – not included.

The OuttIn Nano is an all-in-one design that makes it easy to pack for travel. An advantage of the OutIn espresso machine is the option to use capsules from popular brands like Nespresso. However, you can still grind coffee beans for a shot.

Staresso Portable Espresso Machine

The Staresso Portable Espresso Machine is a fine portable espresso maker if you don’t mind a little manual labor. The all-in-one design keeps everything together, including the coffee scoop, capsule cutter for Nespresso-style capsules, and filter basket for ground coffee. Stainless steel construction means this compact and lightweight machine can survive jostling while traveling.

After using something like the Jettle Electric Kettle for boiling water, the Staresso Portable Espresso Machine produces a single shot of espresso in about 5 minutes. Unlike other portable espresso machines, the Staresso machine securely holds the cup to the body while pumping for the perfect extraction.

Sea to Summit X-Brew Collapsible Coffee Dripper

Sea to Summit specializes in lightweight gear for backpackers. So, of course, their X-Brew Collapsible Coffee Dripper is also perfect for travelers – especially if you fly. The silicone cone is collapsible to less than an inch thick, so you can slide it into a sleeve of your carry-on bag. The stainless steel mesh filter is removable for easy cleaning. And the entire setup weighs only 3 ounces.

However, a downside to pour over coffee makers is the need for hot water. The Jettle Electric Kettle is easy to get hot water for your pour over while traveling. Once the hot water is ready, brewing a coffee into your favorite travel mug takes less than a minute.

GSI Outdoors Gourmet Pour Over Java Set

US-based GSI Outdoors is one of the world’s largest family-owned outdoor gear makers. The company specializes in gear for backpacking and car camping. The GSI Outdoors Gourmet Pour Over Java Set is a happy product that meets the needs of backpackers, campers, and travelers all at once.

The silicone cone features a large, 5.6″ diameter plastic flange to help center the pour over your travel coffee mug. When finished, the cone collapses to 1″ high and weighs less than a pound. A plastic cover snaps onto the flange to keep everything together. It’s the perfect way to brew coffee if you fly with just a carry-on bag.

Of course, you’ll need hot water. The Jettle Electric Kettle can boil water in less than five minutes and easily packs into most bags.

Best Pour Over Coffee Maker

Cafflano Klassic All-in-One Pour Over Coffee Maker

The Cafflano Klassic All-in-One Pour Over Cofee Maker is one of the most innovative coffee machines ever produced. The nifty device features a kettle, conical burr grinder, pour over filter, and a coffee mug that assembles into a 7.6″x3.5″ travel container. And weighing just one pound, it’s easy to pack for travel.

The adjustable conical burr grinder uses human power to produce fresh ground coffee directly into the pour over filter. The pre-measured kettle features a pour spout for fine control of the pour over. The pour over filter fits snugly onto the insulated tumbler. Pour water through the filter, remove the filter, and you’ll have coffee in less than a minute.

The only thing missing from the otherwise flawless portable coffee maker is a means to produce hot water. The Jettle Electric Kettle can make hot water in about five minutes, and the pre-measured Cafflano Klassic kettle will ensure you get the correct amount of water each time.

Aeropress Go Portable Travel Coffee Press Kit

All it takes is a single pump when brewing coffee with the Aeropress Go. The French press portable coffee maker uses a hand pump to push water through ground coffee in a filter basket to make delicious coffee. The process takes only a few minutes – but you’ll have to make the hot water first.

The 15-ounce travel cup does double duty as storage for the various components of the travel coffee kit. The scoop, stirrer, additional paper filters, and pump fit inside the cup, and a silicone cap keeps everything secured.

The all-plastic design means the Aeropress Go is more fragile than its stainless steel counterparts. And the paper filter means you’ll need to carry spares and pack enough to last the duration of your trip. Finally, you’ll need something like the Jettle Electric Kettle to make hot water for your coffee.

Bodum Travel Press

The Bodum Travel Press is as simple as it gets with a portable coffee maker. The 15-ounce stainless steel tumbler stores everything inside until you can make coffee. The plunger is built into the leak-proof lid for easy use without assembly.

You’ll need something like the Jettle Electric Kettle to make the hot water, though. Once the hot water is poured into the tumbler, add your ground coffee, wait a few minutes, and press the plunger. Enjoy your coffee first, and clean up everything later.

Presto MyJo Single Cup Coffee Maker

Depending on how you brew coffee at home, the Presto MyJo Single Cup Coffee Maker could have one significant advantage over other French press coffee makers: it uses pods instead of ground coffee. The all-in-one design keeps everything together and makes packing easy for travel. When you’re ready to use, simply open the base, pop in a k-pod or other brand, and you’re ready to pump your delicious coffee.

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Like other portable coffee makers, you’ll need something like the Jettle Electric Kettle to make hot water. Once boiling, pour into the Presto MyJo water reservoir and start pumping.

The Presto MyJo is slightly bigger than other portable coffee makers, measuring 9″ tall and about 4″ wide. However, it weighs less than a pound, so it’s still easy to carry around in your luggage.

Best Portable French Press Coffee Maker

BruTrek OVRLNDR Travel Coffee French Press

Although BruTrek’s budget was too small to buy vowels, the BruTrek OVRLNDR is one of the best portable coffee makers for travel. The all-in-one design keeps everything together for easy packing and prevents lost parts. The stainless steel components are durable and will survive the rigors of travel. At 9.5″ tall, it will take some room in your luggage, and at 1.5 pounds, it’s still lightweight but heavier than the competition.

The innovative removable bottom is the coolest – or hottest, depending on how you like your coffee – part about the BruTrek OVRLNDR. The bottom of the insulated travel mug detaches to make cleaning the soggy coffee grounds effortless.

You’ll need something like the Jettle Electric Kettle to make hot water. Once ready, pour the water into the travel mug, add your ground coffee, and screw on the leak-proof lid with a built-in plunger. A single plunge and you’re drinking a delicious coffee.

ESPRO P1 French Press

Have you ever sipped French press coffee and found gritty coffee grounds? With a patented double-filter design, the ESPRO P1 promises to prevent that irritating problem. Pour hot water into the 14-ounce travel mug, add your ground coffee, and press the plunger down. The basket-shaped reusable mesh filter squeezes the coffee through and pushes the grounds to the bottom.

With the Jettle Electric Kettle, you’ll have hot water in five minutes. Then, it takes just a couple more minutes to brew your coffee in the ESPRO P1. The insulated travel mug keeps the coffee hot, and the leak-proof lid will keep it from spilling.

The ESPRO P1 is 8″ tall and 3″ wide and weighs less than a pound, making it easy to pack and travel.

Best Single Serve Coffee Maker

Keurig K-Mini Plus

Keurig popularized the use of coffee pods – small plastic cups filled with a single scoop of ground coffee for brewing one coffee at a time. Single-use coffee machines are common in kitchens across the country today.

And the Keurig K-Mini Plus is the perfect portable coffee machine.

The single-serve coffee maker uses any brand’s pods to brew up to 12 ounces. The removable water reservoir is easily filled with pre-measured amounts etched into the clear plastic sides. The Keurig K-Mini Plus heats water on demand for each single-serve coffee. Brewing a coffee takes about five minutes from start to finish.

The removable tray allows for up to a 16.8″ travel mug. The 26″ power cord stores in a compartment in the back of the coffee maker. And a removable compartment holds 9 pods. With the additional travel bag, it’s easy to pack the Keurig K-Mini Plus in your car.

BLACK+DECKER Single-Serve Coffeemaker

The BLACK+DECKER Single Serve Coffeemaker is one of the lightest and most compact on the market. But that’s because it’s a barebones portable coffee maker with few features. Pour up to 16 ounces of water into the built-in reservoir, fill the removable filter basket with ground coffee, and press a button to brew.

It takes about five minutes for the single-brew coffee to heat and trickle through the filter basket into the included travel mug. The travel mug is a nice feature, but the lid is prone to leaking, and poor insulation does not keep the coffee warm for long. The portable coffee maker has clearance for a 7″ travel mug.

At 12″ tall and weighing just 3 pounds, the BLACK+DECKER Single Serve Coffeemaker is compact and lightweight, perfect for packing in your car.

CHULUX Single Cup Coffee Maker

The CHULUX Single Cup Coffee Maker is great for travelers who want fresh drip coffee in the mornings. The portable coffee maker is just 9″ tall and weighs about 2 pounds, so it’s easy to pack.

The built-in water reservoir holds up to 12 ounces. The filter basket is only compatible with coffee pods. But once those are loaded, the coffee maker features a lockable lid to prevent accidentally spilling contents if knocked over in the hotel room.

Powerful heating elements means it only takes 3 minutes to brew a 12-ounce coffee. The removable drip tray allows for up to a 5.3″ coffee mug. At 10″ tall and 2.2 pounds, it’s great for travel to rental units where you’ll have coffee mugs to use instead of travel mugs.

Makita 18V Cordless Coffee Maker

Even if you’re not heading out to the job site, the Makita 18V Cordless Coffee Maker is an interesting portable machine. The coffee maker uses 18V or 12V lithium-ion batteries to produce up to three 5-ounce coffees on a single 4Ah battery. The cordless design makes it convenient for brewing in the car or without hassling to find an outlet.

The removable water reservoir makes it easy to fill. Insert a coffee packet into the basket or use ground coffee with the permanent built-in filter. Brewing a single coffee takes about 5 minutes after pressing the power button. But with only 3.5″ of clearance, you can only use small coffee mugs – no travel mugs for this coffee machine.

This is a great portable coffee maker if you don’t have room in your luggage to fit another compact coffee maker. The rugged exterior features a carry handle to grab and go. But you’ll also need to grab an extra battery and charger.

Hamilton Beach FlexBrew

The Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Single Serve Coffee Maker is a perfect compact solution for brewing pods or ground coffee while traveling. The coffee maker features an interchangeable, reusable filter basket and piercing pod insert, so you can brew coffee however you prefer. With pods, the coffee maker produces 10-ounce coffees, and with ground coffee, you can get a 14-ounce coffee.

The coffee maker requires a lot of power, though – 1,000 watts. That’s not an issue if plugging into a household outlet in a hotel or house rental. But if you want to use this coffee maker in the car, you’ll need a bigger power inverter for a portable coffee maker. Two brewing strengths are a bonus with the Hamilton Beach FlexBrew. Choose between Regular and Bold to begin the brew.

The coffee maker can fit most travel mugs with an 8″ height. The removable cup rest makes it easy to use smaller coffee mugs and the rest doubles as extra storage.

The coffee maker is compact at 13″ tall and weighs just 3 pounds. However, portability is hindered by a fixed 2-foot power cord that cannot be retracted for storage.

Frequently Asked Questions