Battery powered coffee maker: which is the best portable way to make coffee
To a coffee drinker, we can’t live without coffee when we are on the move. Be it for business trips, camping or other outdoor activities, nothing is more comforting than having a hot cup of your coffee in your hands to start the day. Unfortunately, making good coffee on the go isn’t that easy as making one in home. Having the right travel coffee maker will make it easier which is why we are making a list of the best on the go coffee maker you can use. If you are into only cold drip coffee, check out our guide on the best pour over coffee maker for camping.
Buying a travel coffee maker needs a different set of buying criteria than one that you are buying for home, like our best pour over coffer maker guide.
- Good coffee: That is without saying but don’t expect the same quality as your desktop espresso machine. As long as it is not diluted and taste smooth, it is good enough to be included in our list.
- Light weight: Being a portable coffee maker, being light weight and easy to carry is an important criteria that isn’t necessary if you are buying a desktop version
- Speed: When you are on a business or hiking trip, you want to make your coffee fast such that you can get on with the activities for the day
- Easy to clean: Cleaning up is also something we want to be easy and quick. The last thing you want when going on camping is to find a water source to clean up a coffee maker that needs extensive cleaning.
Best battery operated coffee maker reviews
And the winner is…none. After much researching and reading, there is no battery powered coffee maker anywhere. All the models that can be purchased are either operated via hand or fuel. There is a new brand called Mojoe brewing that does have a battery operated coffee brewer but is still in pre order stage so you can’t really buy it now. Without such a product in the market, here are the next best alternatives that you can think about.
Portable espresso coffee maker for camping and backpacking
Wacaco minipresso GR is a great little portable espresso coffee maker that you can take anywhere, be it for camping or travel. You don’t need any kind of power for this, electrical or battery wise. To create the pressure needed for the espresso, you just need to hand pump the device until it is sufficient for the coffee to start flowing out.
One of the great things about this coffee maker is the sleek design, It is very minimalist in look and that makes it very easy to carry around, without worrying parts of stiff. It looks so great that you don’t mind using it anywhere because you will want other people to see this!
The taste itself is wonderful. It is rich in flavor and taste consistent regardless of how much shots you have made. The amount of espresso is around 1.5 shots per use. If you want more want 1 shot, you will need to reload the maker with new grinds and water, which will take around 15 minutes. Fortunately, cleaning up is easy as you just rinse it with water. There is one part that needs more effort which is mentioned below.
In case you are wondering, the difference between the Aeropress coffee maker vs Minipresso, it lies in the kind of coffee you can make. Only the minipresso has the mechanism needed for you to build the necessary pressure to brew espresso on the go. The Aeropress regular coffee maker can only make regular coffee. If you want espresso, you need to look at the model reviewed below.
One important thing to note is that you must not tamp the machine. Doing so will damage the device easily so make sure you don’t do it.
Another thing that I feel can be improved is the cleaning of nozzle. Currently, it takes a fair amount of water to properly clean it. If it can be removed, it will make the cleaning less water intensive.
Aeropress portable coffee maker review
The Aeropress coffee maker is by far the most popular and well known portable coffee maker. On Amazon alone, it has received more than 1000 reviews with a high rating average.
This particular version is able to produce more than regular coffee as it is able to do Espresso as well. This versatilbility and ease of use makes this one of the best on the go coffee maker that you can take to the office or any camping/backpacking/boat trip. It is also very convenient to clean as running it with water is sufficient to get the thing cleaned.
For the taste, it is unbelievably good. We all learn to lower our expectation of coffee when using any portable coffee brewer but this thing really produces excellent coffee. The taste is so good that it might be better than some of the coffee drinks you are having in your local coffee shops.
(Brewing tip: to get the taste right, having the right water temperature and amount is the most critical, following by your grind quality. According to our experiments, the best temperature is around 150 deg F while the water to coffee ratio about be 2 ounces of water to one scoop of coffee)
To nitpick a great product, it can be a bit cumbersome to pack so many parts when traveling or on the road. Compared this to the Miniexpresso, the latter is far more elegant and easier to pack.
Handpresso Auto review – best portable coffee maker for car?
For those who are always on the go, and want to them their own coffee in their car, then the Handpresso Auto will be a godsend. It has the following 2 features that are unique but essential to a good coffee brewing experience in the car
- Cigarette light socket compatibility: The Handpresso is the only coffee maker that has a 12 volt connection of a cigarette lighter. This can be used to heat up the water so it is very very useful. If you want to plug the machine into car’s power outlet, rather than cigaratte lighter, you need to get a convertor. I recommend the “DELED Power Supply Adapter 15 AMP 180 Watt 110v-220v Ac to 12v Dc Switching Power Supply Converter“.
- Internal pump: The machine also uses an internal pressure pump to create the necessary pressure for a strong cup of espresso.
When it comes to taste, the Handpresso delivers as well. The pressure build up and the heated water makes it easy to get the right conditions to create a great cup of espresso, even when you are on the move.
(Brewing tip: if you want a more crema experience, stop the heating before the bubble appeared. You know when they are about to when the coffee slows down its flow. This might be hard to get right the first time around but experiment enough and you will get the hang of it)
The downside is the price. It is priced higher than the what I have recommended so it might be seen as too expensive for some. However, I feel the convenience, great taste and ease of use more than makes up for the price if you like to brew coffee in your car.
Another thing is the water capacity. You can only make one cup of Espresso in one brew so you have to refill the ingredients if you want a larger cup.
Handpresso Auto vs Minipresso GR vs Aeropress
The natural question to ask is which portable coffee maker is the best for the car? Here is the breakdown of their differences:
- Power: The Handpresso Auto can be plugged into the power outlet (with the help of a convertor) or the cigarette lighter socket. The Minipresso and the Aeropress is pure manual work.
- Pressure: Both Minipresso and Aeropress needs manual action to create the pressure while the Handpresso Auto has an inbuilt pressure pump. For convenience, the latter wins.
- Heated water: Water can be heated in the Handpresso using car’s power source. The Minipresso and Aeropress needs you to separately prepare the boiling water so they are not as convenient.
- Taste: I personally feel the taste in the Handpresso is stronger although the brew from the Minipresso has more crema.
- Price: The Minipresso and Aeropress are much cheaper due to the lack of features relative to the Handpresso
In conclusion, if you have the budget, the Handpresso Auto is the better coffee maker for the car. It offers convenience and ease of use that any road warrior will appreciate.
Making coffee on the go is always a challenging task. Hopefully, with the equipment recommended here, it will make your coffee brewing a more pleasant and rewarding experience.