A Cup of Joe in the morning is a great way to start the day off but because we’re busy or late, we’re making the coffee and chucking it into a travel mug to drink on the way or picking one up. In comes a portable coffee press that allows you to press your coffee and drink it in one cup.
They’re conveniently sized for easy portability and some of the best travel coffee presses can keep your coffee hot for hours so it’s enough to see you all the way to your destination. Working in the same way as a common cafetiere press, they’re simple to use but is a lot lighter yet sturdier making it easy and safe to carry with you on your travels.
They work just as well with some giving an even better press that results in a fuller rich full bodied taste and it saves on washing up an extra cup or travel mug. To ensure you don’t end up with a poorly built coffee travel press, we’ve put together a buying guide as well as 5 of our favourite ones.Mobile and tablet users just swipe across...
|Colours||Standard||Black / White / Lime Green / Purple / Red||Black / White / Silver / Red||Grey / Blue / Red||Black / White / Silver / Red|
|Capacity||350 ml||350 ml||• 500 ml w/o Plunger|
• 300 ml Pressed Coffee
|300 ml||350 ml|
|Insulation||N/A||Double Wall||N/A||Double Wall||Triple Wall|
|Accessories||• Coffee Press Set|
• 350 Filters
• Travel Tote Bag
|Spare Lid||• Micro-Filters|
• Pack of Paper-Filters
|Dimensions||13 x 13 x 28 cm||9 x 8 x 18.5 cm||7 x 20cm||12.1 x 8.9 x 11.4 cm||15.2 x 8.5 cm|
Choosing a Travel Coffee Press
Before you rush out to buy any portable coffee press, consider what features you will need to suit your needs:
Being able to hold more liquid in the drinking cup obviously means the more coffee you can drink. However, this also results in the coffee press size being bigger. If you’re an espresso drinker only, then you won’t need such a large capacity.
Full name known as Bisphenol-A, it’s a type of chemical that’s used in many plastic materials. Investing in one that’s made with BPA free materials is safer as there have been health warnings on products with BPA which is considered to be toxic and harmful to our health. Look for labels such as ‘BPA free’, ‘FDA approved’ or ‘food safe’. The use of silicone is considered safe and BPA free as well.
Spill and Leak Proof
Taking your coffee on the go means you’ll be moving around a lot and a likely chance of spillage as it sloshes around in the cup. To prevent leakage of your freshly brewed coffee and the risk of hot liquid scalding you, look for a travel coffee mug that has a lid fitted with a rubber ring for maximum sealant. However, make sure the lid isn’t hard to take off either otherwise when you finally manage to pop it open, it could spill out.
Using the same construction as a thermos flask, the heat of your coffee is sealed inside the coffee press so it stays hot for hours on end. Some of the best thermos flasks are known to keep water hot for up to 12 hours so if you plan on spreading your coffee out throughout your day or drinking it later, then opt for a vacuum insulated one.
Having the option to pop it in the dishwasher makes cleaning up easy especially at the end of a long day. Then it’s ready to go again the next day. If the travel mug doesn’t have this option, most should be pretty simple to clean anyway with a bit of soap and water.
Double Wall Construction
This refers to the thickness of the coffee mug walls and the layers of insulation surrounding it. If the coffee press you want doesn’t have vacuum insulation, this is the next best thing. It’s often designed in travel mugs that have a cap lid. The more wall construction the mini coffee press has, the longer the coffee will stay hot for. Some of the best travel coffee presses are constructed with triple layer wall insulation which allows coffee to stay hot for hours.
Type of Material
Common coffee presses are typically constructed out of glass which has the potential to break or crack if handled incorrectly. Taking a glass coffee travel press on the go isn’t really ideal because of this. Most portable ones are usually made from stainless steel which is more sturdy and can withstand knocks and bumps without denting so it can be stored away in your bag once you’re done with it.
Despite what the overall material used is, the exterior should be made with a grippable material especially as most travel coffee presses are quite wide to hold easily in one hand. Being able to hold your coffee mug comfortably and securely when you’re out and about is pretty important if you don’t want to spill any of it.
Make sure the external material is rubber like or smooth without any slippery feel to ensure you can grip it firmly in one hand. A few mugs may be designed with a handle to make it easier to hold too.
Type of Lid
Something that’s usually not considered but will actually affect how the heat of your coffee will be retained. Most travel coffee press lids typically have a rubber ring around it to keep the heat in but more importantly, to prevent leakage.
Some lids are designed to screw on which makes it easier to open the coffee press and then there are cap lids too. These can be hard to open which can result in it popping open and potentially spilling hot coffee everywhere so it’s a good idea to test how the lid will open before filling it up. However, the ideal type of lid should have a flap that opens for you to easily drink from but to prevent burning your mouth, look for a non-metallic lid.
Type of Filter Used
The filters used in a portable coffee press are typically made in a fine micro-filter mesh to give the best extraction. A paper filter can give an even purer extraction but usually coffee filter machines use these.
There are a few of the best travel coffee presses that offer the optional use of paper filters to get an ultra clean grit free coffee extraction. If you’re very particular about this, look for models that have this option and whether it will include a pack for you to test out.
Our Top 5 Best Travel Coffee Presses Reviewed
1. Aerobie AeroPress Coffee Maker
For the ultimate coffee extraction to get that full bodied and bold taste without the bitterness, the Aerobie AeroPress Coffee Maker uses gentle pressure within its brewing system to do just that. With the ability to make perfect coffee every time, it uses a special vacuum filter system with paper filters to get a super smooth and clean extraction with no grit. Included is a generous pack of 350 paper filters that will see you through an entire year if you’re on a Cup of Joe a day.
Unlike any of the other coffee travel presses in our top 5, this one doesn’t come attached to a travel mug so it can be used with your current one and will fit any standard sized mug. It can make up to 4 shots of espresso. Instructions are included on how much coffee grounds to use and for mixing. For ease of cleaning, all the included parts are removable which consist of:
- Mixing chamber – the main tube in which the ground coffee and hot water goes into.
- Filter cap – to place the paper filters in for separating the coffee grounds from the coffee extracted.
- Plunger – fits into the mixing chamber for pushing the coffee down.
- Filter holder – holds the paper filters.
- Funnel – for the mixing chamber to sit on top of for a cleaner flow of the coffee into your cup during extraction.
- Stir stick
- Coffee scoop
It’s simple to use and takes just 30 seconds brewing time to make a delicious cup of coffee that’s close enough to an excellent tasting coffee shop. With the compact size, it’s easy to take around with you making it ideal to use wherever you are whether you’re commuting, at the office or camping. Simple to operate and works impeccably every time without fail, it’s hard to go wrong with this mini coffee press. There’s a tote bag included to store it in too.
2. Bodum Travel Press
The Bodum Travel Press is constructed with a vacuum sealed and double walled insulation to keep your coffee hot for hours. Fitted with a silicone lid with the plunger built into it, the seal is tight enough to prevent leaks and it has an opening flap on the edge for you to drink from. There’s also an extra lid included to use without the plunger. With the super fine mesh filter and silicone ring, it works effectively in preventing coffee sediments from floating into the extracted coffee.
Made with a stainless steel exterior, it has a silicone sleeve fitted in the middle marked with the brand name and a stylish yet simple bold statement. This sleeve is quite wide to provide a comfortable hold and grip on the travel press no matter how big your hand is. Additionally, the colour of the sleeve matches the lid and stop on the plunger and is available in a few different colours to choose from including red, blue, green, black and grey.
With a fill capacity of 350 ml, it’s an average size but there’s no room to add any extra water. Overfilling the mug will only result in a leakage from the plunger and mouthpiece. This mini coffee press is great in keeping drinks hot for a long time and because of its non-slip rubber base, it’s safe to keep on your desk without risk of spillage. Not only can it be used for coffee but is also ideal for other hot drinks too thanks to the standard lid included.
3. Espro Travel Press
With a cleverly designed double walled, vacuum insulation and stainless steel flask that keeps your extracted coffee hot for up to 6 hours, the Espro Travel Press uses a two-stage BPA free micro-filter system that grinds 9-12 times finer than most typical coffee presses. Fitted with a silicone ring around the filter, it prevents the majority of coffee grounds from escaping into your coffee so it gives a purer extraction.
There’s the option of the Paper Filter Pressed Coffee method which uses a paper filter in between the two removable filters to get an even cleaner extraction for the clean taste of pour-over coffee. The result is a grit free smooth texture and a flavour that’s very rich and bold enough to rival the best coffee houses. Conveniently, a pack is included so you could try this out to taste the difference.
For extra prevention against leakages, the screw on lid also has a silicone ring fitted around it and as it’s designed with a no drip pour, this enables you to drink directly from the flask. Without the plunger, the flask has a 500 ml capacity so it can be used to hold other hot drinks too otherwise it makes 300 ml of coffee after pressing. Each part is removable for ease of cleaning and even better, it can be placed in the dishwasher too.
Being quite slim and light, it’s easy to hold this flask despite there being no grippable material on the exterior. It feels flimsy because of the weight but it’s actually very durable thanks to its sturdy stainless steel construction. It’s built to endure and survive anything and there’s a 1 year no nonsense warranty included to back this up too. Well designed to give excellent tasting homemade coffee, it’s easy to use and keeps coffee hot for hours.
4. Zyliss Cafetiere Hot Mug
There’s no fancy buttons or parts to put together to use this travel cafetiere, it’s a simple matter of plunking in a few spoons of ground coffee, filling it up with hot water and pushing the fine mesh filter down for your freshly brewed cup of coffee. Conveniently, there’s a lid included so you can take your coffee on the go if needed. It has a sip hole on the edge so you can drink your coffee easily without having to remove the lid and risking a spill.
Double walled for insulation, your coffee stays hot up until about an hour later. Covered with a plastic exterior, it stays cool to the touch so you can hold it comfortably. The mug is quite wide making it slightly bulky but with the fitted handle on the side, it makes holding the cup easier. It has a 300 ml capacity – enough for a decent sized Cup of Joe for anyone.
With its fine mesh filter and rubber seal around it, it doesn’t require the use of paper filters as the majority of the coffee grounds are captured and pushed down underneath the filter. It works best when the amount of ground coffee added doesn’t exceed the marked fill line inside the mug and as long as the mug is completely dry. This is usually the case with any coffee press as coffee grounds can stick to wet patches on the side.
Overall the Zyliss Cafetiere Hot Mug is very easy to use as well as clean and is well constructed. Barely any coffee grounds remain floating around your coffee after it’s pressed. Other than using it for coffee, it’s suitable for all types of hot drinks including hot chocolate and teas. It works brilliantly like any of the other best travel coffee presses and at a very reasonable price too.
5. Bobble Presse
Taking just a few minutes to make your freshly brewed coffee, the Bobble Presse isn’t like any other coffee travel press. It has a unique and delicate micro-filter to separate the coffee grounds once pressed without getting all clogged up and ruining the filter making it easy to clean with a bit of soap and water. Made from stainless steel, there’s no risk of any glass breaking during the press.
Featuring a removable drinking cup inside along with a triple layer insulation, coffee is kept warm for hours and for even longer with the rubber seal lid on yet the outer body remains cool so you won’t end up burning your hands. With the well made grind, a nice crema is created along with a lovely rich and full bodied flavour that’s just as good as real coffee shops.
This mini coffee press is easy to operate with a generous fill capacity of 385 ml and unlike some coffee presses, it doesn’t squirt the hot water out and scald you when it’s pressed down. It makes great tasting clean coffee without the taste of the rubber seal on the lid which can sometimes be the case even when it comes to the best travel coffee presses.
How to Use a Coffee Press
Watch the video below to see the Espro Travel Press in action.
Although it’s pretty straightforward, you’d be surprised by the amount of people who get it wrong when it comes to using a coffee press. To ensure it’s done correctly to give the best extraction, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use a coffee press:
- Boil the water and let it sit for about a minute until it reaches the temperature of around 96 C which is the best temperature for coffee to avoid burning it.
- Before you put any coffee grounds in, check the coffee press is completely dry with no wet patches to avoid coffee grounds from sticking onto the sides. Scoop your coffee grounds in according to the instructions on the packet or to your taste. Coffee needs to steep for at least 4 minutes for the full flavour to come out so from the moment the water is poured in, that’s when the timer begins.
- Fill the french press halfway ensuring the coffee grounds are evenly covered and let it sit for 30 seconds. This allows the coffee to expand and release trapped air for the flavour and aromas to come through. During this, the coffee grounds will start to clump up but don’t touch it until the 30 seconds are up.
- Now it’s 30 seconds, grab your spoon and gently stir for 5 seconds to break up the clumps and mix them in evenly with the water.
- Pour the rest of your hot water into the coffee press until it reaches the top or the desired level. With the lid, make sure the plunger is pulled all the way up and secure onto the coffee press. Let it sit for the remaining 3 minutes and 25 seconds or however long is left of the 4 minutes.
- Once the time is up, push the plunger all the way down to the bottom slowly to prevent any squirt of the hot liquid from the spout. Then pour it out into a mug ready for drinking. If there’s any left over, don’t bother with it as it will only be bitter the longer it’s left in there.
You can save a bit of time and effort with a travel coffee press and they’re not even that expensive. Some of the best travel coffee presses are priced fairly low and gives great results. However, we highly recommend investing in one that’s durable and able to withstand daily usage as well as getting battered about inside your bag.