There was a time when sleeping out in the wild meant having to make do with instant coffee when you wake up in the morning. These days, that’s hardly the case with a healthy selection of on-the-go coffee-brewing options readily available in the market. Whether you’re adventuring by a lake, in a secluded island, or deep in the backcountry, enjoying a delicious cup of brew is no longer the impossible undertaking it seemed to be in the past, so long as you have access to hot water wherever you are staying.
If you’re in the market for an on-the-go coffee maker, here are a few options you’ll want to consider.
This redesigned version of Aeropress’ long-beloved coffee maker is even more portable than its predecessor, all while making the same delicious cup of coffee that remains hard to match even to this day. Seriously, it continues to make arguably the best-tasting coffee among portable options, on top of this new iteration being able to fit all its components into a single container the size of a coffee mug.
What makes it so good? For one, there’s no way to use it wrong, as you can apply any combination of coffee, water, and pressure exactly to your liking, making it easy to tailor the brew to your individual taste. For first time users, though, it’s probably best to follow the precise instructions detailed in the package, then simply fine-tune it based on how you like the results.
The Go model, by the way, only makes 8oz of coffee at a time, so you’re giving up a bit of volume in exchange for the hiking-friendly size. The original 10oz Aeropress is still available, though, so you can still opt for that if you don’t need the added packability.
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Puck Puck Solo
If you’re bringing a cooler full of ice when you’re camping, might as well put it to good use and enjoy some iced coffee. If you want your iced coffee made with proper drip-and-steep cold brew, you can do just that with this attachment designed for the Aeropress.
A puck-sized tool, you simply fill it up with ground coffee, place it on top of the Aeropress tube in place of the plunger, and screw in a standard disposable water bottle (with water, of course) on top to start steeping coffee. From there, you simply turn the valve to make it start dripping. You can hasten or slow down the drip by turning the valve clockwise or counterclockwise, so you can control exactly how long the darn thing steeps, allowing you to enjoy your cold brew the way you like it.
More than a coffee maker, this thing fits a veritable all-in-one inside the confines of what looks like a regular 22-ounce tumbler. Inside this erstwhile simple-looking container sits a ceramic burr grinder, a drip kettle with built-in spot, a reusable metal pour-over filter, and a mug for enjoying whatever concoction you decide to whip up. That’s right, you can ground and brew your own 16oz serving of coffee from scratch on-the-go, making this an attractive option for folks who want control over their caffeinated beverage from start to finish.
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Espro P0 Ultralight Travel Press Bottle
For those who prefer French presses, this thing gives you a high-quality option inside a vacuum-sealed container. Many fans love the fact that it produces very little sediment, a common problem with many portable coffee presses, while others appreciate the fact that you can nurse your coffee, as the double-wall, vacuum-sealed insulation will keep it hot for hours on end. It also doesn’t get bitter, as extraction stops as soon as you press the filter, ensuring it tastes the same from the first sip down to the last. Do note, it’s quite big for something that can only make 10-ounces of coffee at a time, although it’s small enough to be reasonably portable all the same. Plus, it can double as a water bottle when you need it.
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Delter Coffee Press
It looks like the Aeropress. Functionally, though, they use different brewing methods, with the Aeropress relying on immersion brewing and the Delter using injection brewing. The main difference for the Delter is a “jet seal” silicone barrier that keeps both coffee and water apart until you decide to start the brew by applying pressure. Once you do, holes on that silicone barrier open to evenly “inject” water into the coffee bed, which minimizes agitation of the coffee, resulting in a smoother, cleaner brew. That simple change allows you to exercise more control over the process for an even wider range of brewing possibilities.
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In a niche dominated by Aeropress, the biggest chance for any newcomer to make its mark is to deliver a different brewing method. At the least, it gives people a reason to try your product. That’s exactly what Wacaco brings with their portable brewer, which uses vacuum-pressure to churn out your caffeinated beverage. It’s pretty simple, too, requiring you to simply fill the basket with coffee grounds, drop it in the chamber insert, fill the chamber with water, and put the whole thing into the vacuum-insulated mug. Once the air bubbles come out, you twist the orange ring on the mug’s opening to create vacuum pressure that draws water down through the grounds, which then starts dripping into the mug. The water collecting inside the mug then slowly pushes the chamber out, letting you know exactly when your beverage is ready. It’s a fun, unique take on the portable coffee brewer.
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GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip
Arguably the most compact coffee solution you can bring to the outdoors, this consists of little more than three foldable plastic legs that clip onto the mouth of your mug and a cloth filter that’s draped on top of the legs. Just put your coffee grounds on the filter, slowly pour water into the bed, and watch it drip into your mug. Yes, it doesn’t look much, but it gets the job done with little fanfare while cramming into the tiniest corners of your pack. Do note, the legs can occasionally get wobbly (especially with plenty of water in the filter), so you might want to hold the filter along the top to make sure it stays steady.
Bialetti Express Moka Pot
Sometimes, you want to keep things really simple. As far as good coffee’s concerned, it doesn’t get simpler than the moka pot, that classic staple of Italian households. This particular model makes just one cup, so it’s smaller than the standard moka pot you probably see in people’s homes. So long as you have some kind of stove with you at camp, you can use this to make that strong, rich, and velvety brew that moka pot users have known and loved through the years. Yes, it’s a bit too big for something that only makes a cup, but if you want simplicity with your morning coffee, this just might be the way to go.