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What Is The Best Portable Coffee Maker?

Coffee on the go can be one of those nightmare scenarios where in the midst of caffeine depravation we make some rushed decisions.... including buying espresso from a chain coffee store, and sipping on burnt rubber feeling nothing but a major disappointment. Whilst we're all familiar with great coffee from our independent cafe, it's never been a better time for portable coffee makers, and if you're really invest, you'll be drinking freshly made espresso on top of a mountain...

Whether it's travelling, camping, hiking, boating, we've got you sorted for some quick easy solution for great coffee.


Aeropress Go Portable Coffee Maker

Up first is the Aeropress Go coffee maker. Based on the same design as the original Aeropress, except it includes a microwavable mug and lid, all neatly packed in with the Aeropress in a compact and easy to carry package. This one is Cannon's choice, and our personal favourite, because you have far more control over the brew, and can try a mindboggling number of Aeropress recipes to highlight different characteristics you may prefer.

One of the simplest and most effective methods of brewing a great strong cup of coffee. The Aeropress is great for any coffee, given it's flexibility where you can adjust many variables like brew ratio, grind size, level of pressure, stiring and swirling. This is the only brewing method that brews by percolation, immersion and to a small extent, some principles of espresso brewing. A brief explanation below:

Traditional Aeropress Method
Using the Aeropress at home

Percolation - Water is poured from the top, and passed through ground coffee, with gravity pulling the water through. Drip or pour over coffee makers like the Hario V60 work this way.

Immersion - Water is mixed and infused with ground coffee. A cafetiere is the most common example.

Espresso - High pressure pushing hot water through a puck of ground coffee. The espresso machine.

Check out our Aeropress tutorial for a great recipe to get you started!


Cafflano Klassic All-in-one Portable Coffee Maker

The Cafflano Klassic All-in-one Coffee Maker is a portable Bean to Cup coffee maker, which includes a grinder, pour over vessel, and cup which all screw together in a neat compact cylinder shape. The only external things you need are beans and hot water.

Brewing with the Cafflano Klassic Out In The Wild
Brewing with the Cafflano Klassic Out In The Wild

Whilst pre ground coffee can save a little time and be convenient for other brew methods, the main problem is ground coffee goes stale significantly faster than whole beans. See our blog on coffee freshness for more details. So carrying coffee beans with you, alongside a Cafflano grinder which takes up a fraction of the space of a normal separate grinder, is totally worth the gain.

Step by Step, Super Simple Guide to Great Cafflano Coffee
Step by Step, Super Simple Guide to Great Cafflano Coffee

In a nutshell, you brew with the Cafflano in the following steps. Firstly, grind the desired amount of coffee beans in the top grinder section, then pour hot water over the ground coffee inside the brewing section, and your left with a cup of coffee in the cup at the bottom. As far as convenience, being compact, and making coffee brewing easy, it's one of the few bean to cup portable devices which includes a grinder, and gives all the coffee brewing essentials in a single package.


Wacaco Picopresso Portable Coffee Maker

Now we're venturing into novel territory, but incredibly fun and rewarding nonetheless. Really this one is for the campers and hikers, and we now live in age where with somewhat relative ease, you can drink espresso on top of a mountain. The Wacaco Picopresso.

Wacaco Picopresso Portable Coffee Maker
Wacaco Picopresso Portable Coffee Maker

This super small compact device packs a punch, and yields espresso that's can be on par with what you find in a domestic bean to cup machine. Impressive! So in a nutshell you put espresso ground coffee into the brewing chamber, then add hot water to the water tank, screw together, and create pressure by manually pressing and pumping a piston which creates enough pressure to brew espresso. See our full guide here.

The Smallest Espresso Maker In The World
Wacaco Picopresso

Brewing this way requires some degree of faff, for instance carrying espresso ground coffee means you have coffee which is going stale faster than any grind type. If you go whole beans, you'll need a proper espresso grinder which you'll be hard pressed to find an affordable one which is also portable. Additionally, this requires careful attention to roast profile, coffee to water ratio, water temperature, given how sensitive minor changes to espresso brewing are. Despite all the fuss, it's still a fun and successful niche product, which the coffee lover/hiker community absolutely love.


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