Some of us are barely human without our first coffee of the day. Unfortunately, however, we don’t always have the time (or the equipment!) to sit down and enjoy a relaxing cup of mocha. This is especially true for those commuting or travelling on a regular basis.
Portable travel coffee makers allow you to enjoy the comforts of barista quality coffee no matter where you are. Be it a hotel, out on a road trip or even when you’re camping – there is a brilliant travel coffee maker out there that would have you covered.
Fancy waking up to a perfect cup of coffee every morning? You can!
The difficult part is to find the perfect travel coffee maker for you. Every coffee brewer is different, designed with unique qualities to suit a wide variety of people.
Perhaps you enjoy coffee makers that are nearly silent. Or maybe you tend to run a bit late in the mornings and the perfect coffee maker has your morning brew ready in seconds.
To help you find the best travel coffee maker for you, we have reviewed the top three coffee machines on the market today. Our top picks for the best travel coffee maker 2017 were chosen for both their functionality and aesthetic appeal – and we think you’ll be impressed by both.
In this article, we have included important information about features to consider when purchasing a coffee maker so you can be confident that you’re making an informed decision when you buy your own coffee maker.
Important features to consider when purchasing a coffee maker
Try not to let brand names and fancy ploys decide which coffee maker to purchase. Always consider what you value in a coffee maker and whether or not the coffee maker on the shelf suits your needs.
Temperature is critical when brewing the perfect cup of coffee. The closer the water temperature to 96 C (205 F), the better your brew will be. If the temperature of your coffee maker is too high, then you’ll burn your coffee and it’ll taste bitter. If the temperature is too low (below 91 C or 195 F) the water doesn’t properly extract the coffee from the ground beans and your coffee will taste weak. Advanced coffee makers will come with temperature settings so you can adjust the temperature of the water, allowing you to make a cup of coffee to the desired strength.
Coffee lovers have varying preferences over the strength of their coffee – hence the different coffee brewer reviews to be found on different machines. Some people like to have a strong coffee to wake them up and kick start their day. Others prefer something more mild and comforting. Some coffee machines will come with varying settings so you can change your brew strength. Other machines only have the one setting so you’ll have to choose wisely at the store.
Coffee makers have two filters: a water filter and a coffee filter. The purity of the water affects the taste of the coffee – after all, coffee is mostly water. The water filter ensures that only clean and pure water is being used to make your coffee. This is a great feature to have in your travel coffee maker since you won’t know of the quality of the water at every location you visit on your travels. The coffee filter stops the ground beans from ending up in your coffee. They come in either disposable paper filters or filters made for permanent use from a more durable substance. Permanent filters can be easily cleaned after each use, making them a great option. The cost of disposing paper filters eventually adds up, especially if you have to replace them every time you brew a fresh cup of coffee. Most paper filters are recyclable though, so at least it’s still environmentally friendly.
If your whole family loves coffee, it may be worth looking for a coffee machine that makes enough for everyone in one brew so that you can save time in the kitchen. On the other end of the scale there are also coffee brewers that make a single serve each time like personal coffee makers. These smaller coffee makers are a lot faster (and cheaper!) so they’re the best choice if you’re the only person at home who drinks coffee.
The world of coffee making is becoming more advanced with our leaps and bounds in technology. Coffee machines can now be programmed to set a time to start making coffee. Now you don’t need to even wait for your coffee to brew, it’ll be ready for you when you wake up! Other settings can also include coffee strength and coffee size. It goes without saying that more automated features mean a higher price tag, so consider what programmable features are an absolute must-have before you decide to buy one which contains them all.
Brewing fresh coffees requires fresh beans. So, if you want to repeatedly brew fresh coffee, you will need a coffee grinder. Some machines have a grinder built into them. All you need to do is pour in the beans into the bean hopper and let the coffee machine do the work for you. Of course, this feature is not absolutely necessary, unless you are a stout believer in freshly ground coffee. For a cheaper option, there are also machines that are able to use pre-grinded coffee beans.
Best travel coffee makers reviews 2017
Now that we know what to be aware of when purchasing the best coffee makers, we’re ready to look at three of the best coffee makers available on the market in 2017.
BLACK + DECKER DCM18S Brew ‘n Go Personal Coffee Maker
The Black + Decker have a reputation for making durable coffee makers and the Brew ‘n Go Personal Coffee Maker is one of the best available when it comes to top travel coffee makers. A cheap solution for all your coffee needs, the Black + Decker coffee maker prepares a single serve of coffee of exceptional quality every time.
Available in either the basic or deluxe edition, there is not much difference between the two. The deluxe edition comes with a stainless steel mug and a rubber handle, providing a great insulator against the heat of the piping hot coffee. The basic version contains a plastic travel mug instead of the stainless steel one, making it less effective at keeping your coffee hot for long periods of time. We think the deluxe version is probably one of the top travel coffee makers out there.
The Brew ‘n Go dispenses the coffee directly into a travel mug, so you’re ready to grab your coffee and dash out the door in the morning. Based on this simple design, it’s quite clear that this coffee maker is designed to make 15 oz. of coffee for just the one person (or to share, if you’re not really interested in such a large cup of coffee).
This coffee maker is ideal for anyone on a budget who still wants quality coffee. Taking up only a little amount of space and being easy to use, the ideal users are typically students or office workers who want good coffee right at their fingertips.
Not a big coffee drinker but have friends who visit that absolutely love coffee? The Brew ‘n Go is a brilliant appliance to have in your home. Small, discreet, cheap and easy to maintain, it’s an easy and affordable solution for entertaining friends.
• Easy to use
Black + Decker have simplified the coffee making process as best as they can with this Brew ‘n Go coffee maker. There’s only one button to push on the coffee maker and that’s all you need to do to begin the brewing process. The coffee maker even turns itself off, so you don’t have to worry about wasting electricity or your coffee maker overheating when you leave the house having forgotten to turn off the switch.
• Takes up little space
The best feature about the Brew ‘n Go which makes it better than other coffee makers is the minimal space it requires on your kitchen counter top. It’s so small and compact, you can easily pack it up and take it with you on your travels. It can fit quite comfortably on your desk at the office or on a small side table without using up valuable space. This is perfect for users who love a coffee at any time of the day but don’t have the room for a large coffee maker.
• Mug fits in most car cup holders
The mug is designed to fit in most car cup holders and even comes with a lid. Now you can safely take your coffee to work without worrying about spillage.
• Easy to clean
Cleaning the Brew ‘n Go is easy. The surface is plastic, so you can just wipe it down with a cloth. Everything else is dishwasher safe; the mug, lid, filter and filter basket can all be put into the dishwasher.
• Permanent filter
Permanent filters mean you don’t need to worry about whether or not you’re stocked up when your friends come over. Reducing the need for purchasing and disposing the paper filters, you can save even more money by just cleaning out your permanent filter regularly. Coffee machine reviewers have assured us that cleaning a filter isn’t much of a hassle at all.
This basic coffee maker is suitable for anyone on a budget who still wants a good cup of coffee. It’s even energy efficient, automatically switching itself off once it’s done making coffee. The Black + Decker is a brilliant first coffee maker and its durability ensures you will get much use out of it.
Only able to dish out 15 oz. of coffee, if you require more for a friend or a group of people, you’ll need to pour out the coffee into another mug and repeat the brewing process.
• Daily maintenance
The filter basket will need to be washed with every cup of coffee you make. So if you drink multiple cups a day, that’s multiple cleans that will need to be performed.
• Basic and budget
What you see is what you get with the Brew ‘n Go. There are no hidden features, nothing fancy about its appearance. It does its job well at a good price. So, for those of us who are interested in aesthetics, unfortunately, this piece of plastic will not be living up to expectations.
• May occasionally over-spill
Occasionally, the coffee maker will pour out too much and over spill. When this happens, there will be a bit of a mess to tidy up. So, despite being able to store this travel coffee maker on your office desk, make sure there aren’t any important papers lying around!
The Black + Decker coffee maker is an option you must consider when buying your first coffee maker. Easy to use and versatile for one or two person use, this simple coffee maker exceeds the expectations of other coffee makers in its price bracket.
Make a delicious coffee from the comfort of your home, office desk or even bed, with this space saving (and maybe even lifesaving!) appliance.
Hamilton Beach 49981A Single Serve Scoop Coffee Maker
The Hamilton Beach Single Serve Scoop Coffee Maker has all the features to match the needs most coffee makers lack. Fresh coffee that’s quick and easy, the Hamilton Beach coffee maker will have your coffee ready in just 2 minutes. That sounds almost too good to be true.
Versatile in the various types of coffees and grind types you can put in there, now you can make a whole range of coffees to suit people of different tastes. Want to try something new? Or too many friends each with different tastes? The Hamilton Beach has you covered.
Perfect, customized coffees each brew, the Hamilton Beach coffee maker is suitable for people who want to try something new all the time or for people who have many coffee-drinking friends. Being only single scoop and brewing enough for one person, let’s just hope all these friends aren’t visiting at the same time to try some of your amazing coffee!
Compared to other coffee makers on the market, the Hamilton Beach is one of the best coffee makers. With a speedy brew time, easy to clean up, user friendly and a sleek and elegant design, this is a great option for visiting guests.
This coffee maker uses pre-ground coffee, so if you don’t like grinding your own coffee beans or using ground coffee, then this coffee maker is not for you.
Now, here’s the scoop on all the great (and not so great) features of the Hamilton Beach Coffee Maker.
• Adjustable coffee strength
Two different settings, “regular” and “bold”, provide you with flexibility in coffee strength. Now you don’t need to choose at the store whether you want purely strong or purely mild coffees – you can have both! The regular setting makes a quick and easy automatic drip coffee. The bold setting may take longer for your coffee to brew since water is passing through at a slower rate but this provides better coffee extraction and a stronger and more flavorful cup once its finished.
Delivering an 8 oz. cup in under 90 seconds and a 14 oz. travel mug in two and a half minutes, you can’t get faster than this when it comes to brewing coffee. This is perfect for that final mad rush before you head out the door or when you desperately need a caffeine fix pronto.
The versatility of the Hamilton Beach coffee maker allows it to stand out from its competition. You can use whatever brand, grind, flavor and coffee to water ratio. The adaptability of this coffee machine is limitless. This is ideal for travelling, when you’re in a new country and want to try a new flavor of coffee. Make whatever you want to please your fancy.
• Easy to clean
Easy to clean and take care of, all the parts come out easily so that you can clean out all the coffee grinds and other grime which may accumulate over time.
• Weak coffee
One of the biggest problems people have found is that the Hamilton Beach coffee maker fails to produce a flavorful cup of coffee. For an appliance whose most important function is to make great coffee, this is a big no-no. This is due to a design flaw in the coffee maker where the hot water can’t steep the coffee grounds properly unless it’s all packed in. Luckily, there is a solution. Use the back of the spoon to push down on your coffee grinds when they’re in the scoop. Your coffee will go from flavored water to proper coffee.
• Bad coffee filter
Who wants coffee grounds in their mug of coffee? Not me. The coffee filter does a below average job at keeping the coffee sludge out of your coffee. Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix solution for this.
The Hamilton Beach Scoop coffee maker definitely has a unique personality compared with other coffee makers. Stylish and elegant, any person would be proud to have this machine on their kitchen bench to impress visitors. Its versatility makes it great for when you want to shake things up and try some new flavors or when friends with different tastes visit and would like a cup of coffee.
The main issue is the poor design flaw, requiring you to tamp down your coffee grinds before brewing if you want a decent cup of coffee. Which isn’t too much of a problem, as long as you remember.
Hamilton Beach 49970 Personal Cup One Cup Pod Brewer
The Hamilton Beach Personal Cup One Cup Pod Brewer is an effective coffee maker but without the price tag that accompanies top range coffee brewers.
Utilizing coffee pods, they’re efficient and easy to use. What are coffee pods? Quite simply, they’re the coffee equivalent of tea bags. It’s a portion of coffee contained in a bag, all you need to do is rip the bag open and add it to the machine so it can begin brewing.
This coffee maker makes a single cup of coffee the easiest way possible. No fuss, no clean up. Pour in your coffee and water, press a button and you’re set. Perfect for people who are too busy to worry about the finer details of coffee making, but still enjoy barista quality coffee at your beck and call.
• Easy to use
There’s only a single button to press. It can’t possible get any easier than that.
• No clean up after brewing
The use of coffee pods has simplified the cleaning process dramatically. The coffee pods have been designed such that you can just pull them out of the coffee maker and throw them away once they’re finished. No one enjoys cleaning and now you don’t need to – no more cleaning up coffee grinds after each cup of coffee. Everything else is dishwasher safe – what a time saver!
• Adjustable brewing size
The annoying thing about some coffee makers is that they only produce a set serving size of coffee. But some days, you might want more or maybe a little less. Well, this is one of the big selling points of the Hamilton Beach Pod Brewer. Just change the amount of water you add to the reservoir to adjust how much coffee you want made. A perfect cup of coffee can be made, ranging in size from 4 oz. to 12 oz.
For its price, the Hamilton Beach Pod Brewer is amazing in terms of its quality. Coffee pods are also cheaper than other coffee brands you might buy, saving you money with each cup of coffee you make.
• Only uses Melitta brand coffee pods
This a bit of a problem – we can’t use our favorite brand of coffee, as this coffee maker was designed specifically for Melitta brand coffee pods. For the coffee connoisseurs, this is an absolute nightmare. But if you’re not too fussy about the brand of coffee you’re drinking, then this isn’t too bad.
• Small capacity
The water reservoir is large enough to hold water for one serving of coffee. Some people may actually see this as an advantage since they can personally measure out the serving size of their coffee. Other people just view it as a hassle, filling up the water reservoir with every cup of coffee they make.
Cheap but without sacrificing quality, the Hamilton Beach Pod Brewer is one of the best coffee makers for its price. The coffee pods it uses is also low in price, allowing the coffee maker to be much better in terms of value compared with competitors of the same quality and price.
Although it has a small water capacity and needs to be filled up often, having a small reservoir also makes this coffee maker nice and compact. It fits easily on the kitchen bench or even your bedside table, without taking up much space. This is a great advantage most other coffee brewers cannot boast. Want to go on holiday? It fits in your bag without cluttering up all the space.
In our opinion, the ranking of the following coffee makers are as follows:
1. Hamilton Beach 49970 Personal Cup One Cup Pod Brewer
2. BLACK + DECKER DCM18S Brew ‘n Go Personal Coffee Maker
3. Hamilton Beach 49981A Single Serve Scoop Coffee Maker
The Hamilton Beach Pod Brewer is the most compact, making it easy to take on travels and serves quality coffee each time, which is why we have decided to rank it first.
Next is the Black + Decker coffee maker. While it is just as compact and capable as the Pod Brewer, we’re ranking it second due to the cleanup process that is required after each use, an issue the Pod Brewer does not face.
Last is the Hamilton Beach Scoop coffee maker. While it is certainly fancier than the other two designs, its quirkiness can cause a bit of frustration at times.
Let’s get brewing!
So, what are you waiting for? With all this information, you should now have a better knowledge of the important features of coffee makers and which machine might be most suitable for you.
Any of our 3 top picks can be purchased easily from Amazon. So really, a good cup of coffee that you can take anywhere is only a couple of clicks away.
We always try to help when it comes to buying new products so be sure to check out our other pages on this website to find the best products along with their informational reviews. Happy buying!