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Don’t drink the hotel’s muddy swill. Pack a coffee kit.

Travel-friendly coffee gear to help you stay well caffeinated on the road

Anna Efetova - stock.adobe.com

Travel is starting up again, wonderful news on so many levels. However, there is one downside for those of us who take our morning cup of joe seriously: crappy hotel coffee. The flavorless brown water that appears on most room-service trays and in oversized urns at the breakfast buffet is no way to wake up. You’re out in the world, you need the buzzy energy and, as always, deserve great tasting coffee.

Rather than forcing yourself to drink muddy swill, it’s time to start packing a coffee kit. Don’t worry, all these suggestions can easily fit in a carry-on (some can even slip into a purse or fannypack). Whether you want enjoy a fresh pour-over or French press, perk up with an espresso, or savor a bracing iced coffee, these 10 travel-friendly products ensure you can enjoy grand cru java no matter where in the world you’re staying.


The AeroPress to-go mug.Handout

AeroPress Go Travel Coffee Maker

The OG of coffee press is still going strong nearly two decades after its invention. This smaller model — which includes a lidded mug, scoop, stirrer, and filter holder — brews up to three cups of coffee per press, as well as espresso-like coffee and cold brew. Longtime fans praise its ability to consistently produce cups unmarred by bitterness or grittiness. $39.95

Wacaco Minipresso NS.Handout

Wacaco Minipresso NS

The hand-held, hand-powered gadget is a godsend for Nespresso addicts on the go. Insert an Original sized capsule to the top, fill the bottom with boiling water, and then use the pump on the side. Voila! Your daily fix is served. $54.90

The Pakt coffee kit.Handout

Pakt Coffee Kit

Thoughtfully designed with the coffee geek in mind, the compact all-in-one kit includes everything required to make a pour-over on the road. Inside the sturdy zippered case are nestled a pop-up cone, reusable metal filter (you can use disposable filters, of course), lidded mug, bean container, and electric kettle. As long as you have access to water and an outlet, you’ll never lack your favorite cup of coffee. $205


Planetary Design Bru at Home Bundle.Handout

Planetary Design Bru at Home Bundle

Glass French presses may look swish, but they’re delicate and don’t retain heat well. Made of steel and featuring double wall insulation, this sleek-but-strong model can withstand the rigors of travel while keeping your coffee hot. Comes with a matching stainless steel cannister to transport beans or grounds. $88

South Indian Stainless Steel Coffee Filter

The small filter kit produces beyond-big flavors. Pack it with two tablespoons of finely ground coffee and add hot water. After 15 minutes, the bottom cup will contain still-steaming coffee concentrate, which should be diluted with three times as much milk or water. Whether enjoyed hot or cold, it’s an intense brew guaranteed to cut through the most brutal jet lag. $16

Unido Ninety Plus Geisha Dripkit.Handout

Unido Ninety Plus Geisha Dripkit

When you don’t have much room in your luggage, but you still want a barista-level experience in your room, this clever single-use pour-over kit features pre-ground beans that were naturally fermented, emphasizing their fruity, floral tones, resulting in a lively brew rich with cherry and raisin tones. $7

Canyon Instant Coffee.Handout

Canyon Instant Coffee

Don’t worry, this isn’t anything like Folgers. Single origin beans sourced from Gedeb, Ethiopia, are roasted, brewed, and freeze dried to create surprisingly well bodied instant coffee with notes of chocolate and cherry. Each box contains six packets. $18


Jot Ultra Coffee.Handout

Jot Ultra Coffee

Iced coffee on the go without any fuss. Just one tablespoon of the syrupy concentrate produces a cup with rich coffee flavor and all the caffeine you need to power through an early morning ride to the airport. Make sure to book a room with a minifridge as it must be refrigerated after opening. Each set includes two bottles, enough for 28 glasses. $52

The Yeti Rambler.Handout

Yeti Rambler

The gold standard for keeping brewed coffee hot and iced coffee cold. Sturdy, but still light, it’s an asset whether adventuring or vacationing. The 18-ounce bottle comes topped with a Hot Shot cap, so you can stash it in your backpack or handbag without worrying you’ll create an epic mess. $30

Demerara Sugar.Handout

India Tree Demerara Sugar

Forget single-use packets of white sugar and sweeten in style. This amber hued cane sugar adds nice notes of mild molasses and caramel to a cup of coffee. To save space, pack some of the crunchy crystals in a small, lidded container. $17.33