The Best Portable Coffee Makers

A guide for coffee on the go

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Coffee on the go is something necessary in today’s day in age. Most of the time there is a coffee shop around the corner (source) or at work. 

However, what if you want to save a few bucks every day and make your own? What if you just like a specific roast? Perhaps you’re going camping or the hotel room doesn’t have a coffee maker. Depending on your situation you want the best portable coffee maker.

Even if it’s not for you and you’re looking for the perfect gift for coffee lovers. You don’t want to blindly select a random portable coffee machine only to have it arrive and not work as promised.

Java Groove's Choice

The Best All Around Portable Coffee Maker

Aeropress is the best portable coffee maker. It’s small enough to carry with you anywhere. It doesn’t require electricity and it’s super easy to clean.

Buy an Aeropress from Amazon or read more below. 

Still want to see what else is out there? Keep in mind there are a few things you should consider.

  • Do you have power?
  • Do you have access to hot water?
  • How much space do you have?
  • How much coffee do you need to make?
  • Are you adding cream or sugar?

The considerations could go on ad nauseam.

Some things should be noticed about portable coffee makers. You can’t have the best of all worlds. It’s either electrical or manual. If it’s small it probably won’t have enough power to get piping hot any time of the year. It will take a while to get hot too. If it’s bigger then it’s probably going to be more powerful, but then it’s not as portable. You get the idea.

I know it’s almost 2020, but unfortunately ultra portable coffee makers are not perfect yet to be your daily driver in every situation.

Should be noted that many of the portable coffee makers in this article work with reusable K-Cups. Filter type is noted in the descriptions.

I know it’s almost 2020, but unfortunately ultra portable coffee makers are not perfect yet to be your daily driver in every situation.

Electric Single-Cup Coffee Makers

These are the best portable coffee makers. They are compact and affordable. They heat up your coffee and both models take reusable K-cups.

Hamilton Beach - The Scoop coffee maker

In case if you need coffee on the go, this little guy gets you a cup in 90 seconds.

It requires electricity, but great if you’ve limited counter real-estate. It gets its name from the scoop filter. You can use the filter to scoop up your coffee grounds. Brews up to 14 ounces and simple to use. 

75% of the 10,000 reviews on Amazon were positive.

4.1/5

Pros

  • Get a cup in 90 seconds
  • Hot cup
  • Parts are Dishwater safe – brews straight to the cup

Cons

  • Have to find the perfect height cup to avoid spillage
  • Messy if you don’t put in the correct amount of water or coffee grounds

The few people that left negative reviews said the coffee tasted plasticky and/or not strong enough.

Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker

portable Keurig coffee maker
4.2/5

This Keurig coffee is the smallest one one the market. There are 2 models the Keurig K-Mini and the Mini-Plus and they’re the same size. 

You get more features with the Plus model, such as removable water reservoir, strong brew button, and able to store up to 9 K-Cups.

Pros

  • Brews fast in normal conditions
  • Keurig simplicity
  • Auto-Shutoff

Cons

  • Brew times are longer if you're in high altitude or cold areas
  • Standard Keurig reliability issues

I mentioned durability because a small minority of people claimed they had problems after sometime.

Having owned a similar model 5 years ago. It started leaking after a few months of sparing use.

Battery Powered Coffee Makers

You can make Americano coffee with these portable espresso makers

Before you move on to the next section you should keep in mind that heating anything to 195° consumes a lot of energy. Think how fast a phone battery dies when it’s hot.

There were many battery powered espresso machines available. Some were advertised as coffee makers, but really it’s Americano coffee.

Many of the battery powered coffee makers that were touted as amazing in 2017 are no longer available for whatever reason. Others are better off never to reach the market in the first place.

MOSFiATA Portable Coffee Maker

Reviews not reliable

Mosfiata claims it uses 18 bars of pressure. Which is essentially espresso.

Pair that with only getting 5oz of coffee and you get the idea.

Pros

  • Battery operated
  • Uses reusable K-cups
  • Double layered vacuum walls for insulation

Cons

  • Need to boil water yourself
  • Makes 5oz

I really wanted to like this product. The idea is great, put in coffee, add grounds, push a button and voilà: coffee! Unfortunately, you can’t do it for less than $50. It’s going to be Americano style coffee, which should be noted.

Fakespot.com gave it a grade of D, which tells me the positive reviews are fabricated even though it’s an Amazon Choice product. Many of the reviews said negative things yet gave 4 or 5 stars.

All in all I feel this is up to you as a buyer. Personally, I would spend a bit more and get a better one.

CONQUECO Portable Espresso Maker

One of the few devices that is well received by owners. It heats up water in 12 minutes using a rechargeable lithium battery. This portable espresso maker only takes genuine L’OR and Nespresso capsules.

Technically it makes espresso so you have to add more hot water (which would have to be heated up again) to it if you want to make coffee.

best Portable Espresso
4.5/5

Pros

  • Lithium battery
  • Easy to clean
  • Light & compact - 3" x 10"

Cons

  • Only makes espresso
  • 12 minutes to start brewing

Manual Coffee Makers

Manuel coffee makers are your best bet if you need coffee on the go. They require hot water to to be poured in and require you to physically extract coffee.

Manual Coffee Brewer for Keurig K-Cups

If you have access to hot water then this portable K-Cup coffee maker is great for K-cup coffee aficionados.

This manual coffee maker by Kitchen Gizmo takes a bit more space, but it’s easy to setup, clean, and use.

no electricity coffee maker
4.1/5

Pros

  • Simple
  • No need for power
  • Easier to clean up

Cons

  • If you press too hard problems arise like the K-Cup exploding or the plunger sticks
  • Some users claim the plunger gets stuck when pressed down all the way

Presto 02835 MyJo Coffee Maker

4.1/5

Another Amazon’s Choice with an almost perfect 4.5 out of 5 rating on 1000+ reviews. The MyJo water reservoir is microwave safe.

It’s the best choice is you’re looking for a cost effective and convenient way to brew with K-Cups on the go. 

Pros

  • Compact, durable & lightweight
  • Parts are Dishwater safe – brews straight to the cup

Cons

  • In rare cases the pump doesn’t work you have to open the slit in the valve.
  • Messy & coffee tends to get in the slit

AeroPress Coffee Maker

Chances are you’ve heard of this device made by Alan Alder in the mid 90’s. It’s the staple device in every coffee nerds arsenal.

Makes a smooth cup of Joe using contained pressure, which reduces the oils, which in turn reduces bitterness.

Play Video
5/5

Pros

  • Compact, durable & lightweight
  • Parts are Dishwater safe – brews straight to the cup
  • Use your own coffee grounds

Cons

  • Only makes a cup at a time
  • Lots of parts
  • Users special filters

Cafflano Klassic - Portable All-in-One Pour Over Coffee Maker

3.9/5

The swiss army knife of coffee portable coffee makers. It grinds, it steeps, it keeps your coffee warm!

If you’re a stickler for freshly ground coffee on-the-go then this portable coffee maker is your best bet.

Pros

  • Adjustable grind size
  • Quality product - solidly built

Cons

  • Should watch video to understand how it works
  • Forced to pour slow
  • Luxury pricing

Miscellaneous Powered Coffee Makers

These are the best alternative powered coffee makers. They are compact and affordable. According to their source of power leads to their strengths and weekneesses

Before you move on to the next section you should keep in mind that heating anything around 180° consumes a lot of energy.

There were many battery powered espresso machines available. Some were advertised as coffee makers, but really it’s Americano coffee. You can catch the full review of battery operated portable espresso makers soon here.

There is nothing I hate more than buying a product that doesn’t work. The handheld battery operated coffee makers I found didn’t receive a good enough rating for me to recommend.

Many of the battery powered coffee makers that were touted as amazing in 2017 are no longer available for whatever reason. Others are better off never to reach the market in the first place.

Coleman QuikPot Propane Coffee Maker

 A 16 ounce propane tank will help you make coffee for over 4 hours. Rest assured it doesn’t require matches, it uses a proprietary technology to push start. Comes with a removable filter basket to brew your coffee of choice.

The ideal use of this is for camping or working outdoors. Comes with a 3 year warranty.

camping coffee maker
4.1/5

Pros

  • Durable & lightweight
  • Easy to clean
  • Can brew 10 cups
  • Consistently brews great coffee

Cons

  • Take at least 18 minutes to get started
  • Bigger than other options
  • Holding water**

The major issue was how long it took to get started. Doesn’t matter if you add boiling water in the machine, it’s going to take 20 minutes to get a cup. 

**Many users complained that 10 cups isn’t really 10 cups. Others said they added water to it as it was percolating to make up for lost water.

Some users were concerned if it was safe because it gets hot, but throughout reviews users said they haven’t experienced any issues. One user reported it was used on a folding table with no problems.

battery portable coffee maker
3.5/5

Japanese manufacturer Makita makes plenty of heavy duty products that are well received by it’s users. It’s completely wireless, heavy-duty coffee maker that you can take fishhh…I mean to the job site.

9 inches tall, 8.6 inches in length and weighs in at 3 lbs, it’s smaller than other wired coffee makers on this list.

The removable water reservoir can hold up to 1 cup of water.  It doesn’t come with a battery, but a lithium ion 18V BL 1860 can make 5 cups of coffee (see section intro explaining energy consumption).

Use any kind of ground coffee.

Pros

  • Completely battery operated
  • Rugged design & durable
  • Compatible with 18V, 14.4V, and 10.4V batteries

Cons

  • Batteries sold separately
  • Bigger than other options

The instructions are in Japanese and this caught buyers off guard. Other users claim it’s really easy to use and you can find the Mikita coffee maker instructions in English here.

Another common complaint were the expensive batteries. This was made for people who already have heavy duty lithium ion batteries that work with Makita power tools. Makita makes commonly used construction power tools. If you work outdoors or in construction, you know Mikita.

Keep in mind there is no power cord.

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