Author: David Kelley
There are several good ways to make a great cup of coffee while traveling
It’s hard to imagine a day not beginning with a hot cup of coffee. It perks us up as the last groggy moments of sleep vanish. It’s no wonder that the average consumption is nearly two cups per day in the United States. We love our caffeine fix.
If you travel a lot, you may find that getting a decent cup isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Hotels try with single-cup brewing or packets of ground coffee with a drip coffee maker in the room. Whether you prefer grinding your own coffee beans or heading to the local coffee shop, there are several ways to enjoy a great cup, even if you’re making it on the road.
The best thing about this option is that every cup is hot and fresh. A personal-size coffee maker is an excellent option while traveling. It’s lightweight so that you can easily stow it in with your luggage or carry-on bag. Many products are compatible with the most popular brands, so you won’t have any issues using your favorite ones. Features to look for in these products include:
- Easy storage
- Simple cleaning
- Brew strength options
- Automatic shut-off
We prefer products that include everything you need to start brewing, including a cup and reusable brew basket. Durability and portability are also high on the list of desirable features, especially if you’re on the road. Many products include a travel mug to make it even easier.
Even the name of the French press makes it sound fancy. It makes some of the best coffee you can get, whether you’re enjoying a relaxing staycation or traveling. This method isn’t as simple as the previous one since you have to also have a way to heat the water. If your RV or room has a microwave, it’s no problem. The features we like to see include:
- Durable construction
- Insulated pot
- Easy to disassemble for cleaning
- Internal marks for volumes
After breaking a few glass ones through the years, we’ve finally settled in on the metal versions. The great thing about these models is that they do a decent job of keeping your Joe warm if you want to have another cup (and enjoy the health benefits of drinking coffee). You can also use it to froth milk in a pinch for a killer latte.
A small French Press can be a great travel companion
Aeropress Coffee Maker
The Aeropress coffee maker is a riff on the previous method, only you’re brewing a single cup at a time. The device is fast at getting the job done. It’s an all-in-one unit, making it an excellent choice if space is an issue. Like the French press, it uses a plunger and pressure to make the magic happen. You can also use it for both hot and cold brew beverages. Features to look for are:
- Metal filter disc
- Versatile brewing options
- Easy to clean
The Aeropress scores high marks for versatility to match the type of Joe you’re craving with one device. Different models have their specific slate of accessories, from tote bags to measuring spoons to replaceable filter packs. It’s an ideal choice for camping and RVing.
People usually think of coffee as a hot beverage. That’s what you get when you order an iced version where the barista will pour it over a cup of cubes. It may not be the fastest method for getting a cup of Joe. This method works well with a French press. You simply measure out the coffee, fill the pot with water, and put it in the fridge overnight. The best features are:
- Simple prep
- Excellent choice when hot water isn’t available
- Fresh coffee for a while
- Easy strength adjustment
In the morning, you’ll have a tasty cup of Joe waiting for you. We like this method for making more than one cup at a time which is nice if your travel mates get up at different times. The coffee is waiting no more how late they sleep. We like it because it’s so easy to adjust your wallop to what you prefer. Just add more coffee to brew it to your taste.
Be prepared with one of these great coffee brewing methods and you will always have a great cup of Joe while on the road
Pour-Over Coffee Dripper
The pour-over coffee dripper is a different take on the percolator. You merely tip a pitcher of hot water into the mesh cone and let it permeate through the filter. It couldn’t be easier to use. They are also the ultimate in traveling light. All you need is a mug to catch the delicious elixir. It’s also an eco-friendly option since you don’t have to mess with paper filters.
- Double mesh filter
- Stainless steel construction for maximum durability
- Compact design
- Easy to clean
The slower pour-over ensures that you’ll get a brew with maximum flavor. It’s lightweight and portable, making it an excellent choice with limited packing space. The stainless steel mesh version will prevent it from rusting or getting damaged. It’s a simple solution with mighty results.
Before you start rolling your eyes, we have to say that instant coffee has come a long way in recent years. It’s more flavorful than it ever has been. We’re not talking about the stuff in the jar that you find on the bottom shelf at the grocery store. Boutique and small manufacturers use a variety of methods to preserve the taste, such as individual packaging to maintain their freshness. The advantages include:
- No equipment needed
- Affordably priced
You can brew what you want without the waste that multi-cup solutions provide. The only things you’ll need are a mug and hot water.
Doing It Right
Of course, there’s more to enjoying a great cup of coffee than choosing the right maker or form. As you’ve seen, you have plenty of options, whether you have access to electricity or not. It also depends on your setup and accessories, which any coffee enthusiast will tell you. That’s one thing that makes all-in-one solutions so desirable. You needn’t have to worry about forgetting anything.
A Clean Maker
We mention the ease of cleaning frequently in our list. Freshly brewed coffee will only last a few hours before its quality deteriorates. It’s imperative to use a method that makes it easy to get rid of the remnants to avoid fouling the next cup. The French press might present the greatest challenge, particularly if the plunger has several filters.
If you go this route, make sure it’s easy to disassemble the unit. The used grounds like to hide in between the layers and can go rancid before you say double latte with whip. You may find it helpful to run hot water through your French press or pour-over dipper occasionally to keep it clean. We also suggest verifying if a particular product is dishwasher safe. It can sometimes do a number on the finish.
The Best Beans
Of course, the coffee beans are the star of the show. We suggest only buying what you’d use in a week or two, depending on whether you get ground or whole beans. You can always opt to get a coffee roaster to ensure they are as fresh as possible. Bear in mind that opened coffee in whatever form will start to go deteriorate rapidly after two weeks.
That fact gives the single-cup brewing a distinct advantage since the cups are sealed to extend their shelf life. Many people will store their coffee in the freezer. While it can keep it fresh even longer, there’s also the risk of absorbing unpleasant odors. We suggest avoiding the freezer and using a good air-tight container instead. That will ensure that it doesn’t go bad from thawing and freezing.
The Right Temperature
Temperature also comes into play with the water. Boiling water is a no-no since it will burn the beans and impart an over-extracted bitter flavor. Look for bubbles hitting the surface, which usually happens around 180 degrees, well within the optimal temp.
We suggested keeping your cold brew in the fridge instead of on the counter overnight. A risk, albeit small, exists with bacteria development, not unlike sun tea. Unfortunately, room temperature puts your coffee square in the danger zone for it to occur.
Many options handling the timing of your coffee’s steeping, such as the single-cup brewing, pour-over dripper, and the Aeropress. The latter is surprisingly fast if you’re impatient for that cup of Joe in the morning. On the other hand, the French press joe tastes best if you keep an eye on the time. You’ll get the most flavorful cup by letting the water and coffee marry for about four minutes.
There’s no better way to hit the road than with a fresh cup of coffee in hand. It’ll leave you feeling alert and ready to go for the next adventure. Just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you have to resort to gas station swill. As you’ve seen, there are many ways to take your coffee habit on the road. No matter what your travel mode, there’s a solution to help you get your fix of Joe.