Last Updated: 30-07-2019

10 Best Portable and Travel Coffee Mugs 2019

Whether you want something which you can take on the train during your morning commute, or a dedicated brewing machine which you can pop in your rucksack when you are camping, there is a wide scope of portable coffee makers out there, suitable for various eventualities.

We have tried and tested ten of the best (with options for every possible occasion) and reviewed them, so you don’t have to:

 

The Best Portable/Travel Coffee Makers

BEST FOR: Coffee On-The-Go

These mugs are all-in-one coffee makers. More than just a travel mug, they act as portable filter cafetières requiring some coffee grounds and hot water. You can drink the coffee straight out of them, so there’s no need for extra mugs.

1.
Cafflano Klassic

Specifications

  • Size: One Serving/0.47L
  • Type: Drip/Filter/Portable
  • Coffee: Ground

Described as the world’s first all-in-one pour-over coffeemaker which provides expert bean-to-cup brewing for coffee lovers. That is a lot to take in, so to put it simply, it can grind your beans, then make your coffee without the need for any extra items.

The ceramic burr grinder will turn your beans into grounds, then the lid of the unit acts as a pouring kettle with a dedicated spout. You just need to boil the water separately. There are bean level markers for 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 grams, so you don’t need to take any weights or try and guess the amounts. The water can drip through the grounds using the dedicated stainless steel filter dripper, so there’s no need for paper or cloth filters. The coffee is presented in the insulated tumbler, and it all fits together again to act as a carry mug which you can safely carry around with you.

It weighs just 470g on its own, so isn’t going to be a pain to carry around. It makes such good coffee that you can even use it at home, if you want something which makes the freshest coffee possible yet takes up barely any space.

The Cafflano Klassic was launched through a KickStarter campaign, and it is easy to see why it has so many backers. It is also easy to see why it has won various awards, such as Best Domestic Coffee Equipment (SCAE World of Coffee) and Most Innovative Product (New York Coffee Festival & Autumn Fair). You could say it is a little costly versus the other travel mugs we have on here, but it makes the most decent coffee by far and there will be many people reading this who can’t put a price on decent coffee, even when they are away from home.

Reasons to Buy

  • Everything you need is included
  • Can grind beans
  • Comfortable to hold

Reasons to Avoid

  • Price – but makes the best coffee by far

2.
BODUM Travel French Press Coffee Maker – Best Overall Travel Mug

Specifications

  • Size: One Serving/0.35L
  • Type: French Press/Portable
  • Coffee: Ground

Bodum is a name synonymous with coffee, thanks to their expertise and wide range of products such as vacuum coffee makers, travel flasks and cafetières.

This travel French Press combines the latter two products into one handy on-the-go coffee maker. Pop the coffee in, add boiling water and let it brew before using the filter to separate the liquid from the grounds. The non-stick rubber base and silicone band around the press makes it easy to set down and hold without burning yourself/risking it slipping, and it feels really comfortable to grip as a bonus too.

We really liked that the vacuum aspect of this maker kept the coffee warm for around an hour, which is something a lot of other portable makers struggle with a bit due to lightweight materials. There is a stopper at the close which you can make use of in between sips, which retains the heat but also prevents large spillages when it is in your bag, or you’re dashing for the train.

Drinking or pouring from a travel flask is also something we understand to be a bit hit-and-miss from past experience. You either seem to get a dribble at a time, or it comes out so fast you’re faced with a mouthful of burning coffee. Just turn the lid of this one, and you can adjust the flow speed and force to suit.

If you add milk, this can go into the drinking slot (the shape of which stops it spilling), or pre-plunge. Cleaning is straightforward – a rinse will keep it clean, and deeper washes can be done by hand with a bit of dish soap to keep it looking new and prevent product build-up.

All in all, a super handy bit of kit for all those coffee lovers who don’t have enough time for a sit-down in the morning before they head out for the day.

Reasons to Buy

  • Good grip and cool to touch
  • Coffee stays warm for ages
  • Stainless steel prevents metallic taste/stains forming

Reasons to Avoid

  • Leaks slightly if lid isn’t really tight

3.
ESPRO Stainless Steel Travel Coffee Press

Specifications

  • Size: Two Serving
  • Type: French Press/Portable
  • Coffee: Ground

With a double layered extraction filter, brewing stops as soon as the screen is pressed down, which will please anybody with previous experience of press coffee makers who don’t like the fact it continues to brew once pressed.

While the microfilters work to give you a great brew, Espro has also included a pack of paper filters if you want a more mellow taste, or a slower drip. These are perfect for finer grinds, as they can trap more, but also for a weaker taste as they’ll trap more oils.

The coffee will stay warm for a good while thanks to the stainless steel; we thought it was still perfectly drinkable after 3 hours. It is probably very unlikely you’ll last that long without needing a caffeine fix, though.

Cleaning it all is pretty straightforward – the filter is removable, and it can all be washed by hand. The only thing we would say is that the filter compacts the used coffee grounds right to the bottom of the flask to trap them, so if they are left for a while to dry this can be quite hard to remove. We would recommend cleaning it straight away if possible.

You may be thinking it is a lot of money compared to some of the others we have featured, for seemingly no difference in quality. But there was no sediment creeping through to the coffee, it feels sturdy which should last quite a few years if you take good care of it, and it genuinely doesn’t leak. We couldn’t get it to leak even just a little bit once everything was tightly in place. Obviously, it’s impossible to guarantee this won’t happen to you, but we would say there is little chance.

So it may be expensive, but you can’t deny you’re not getting what you are paying for.

Reasons to Buy

  • No leaks
  • Keeps warm for long

Reasons to Avoid

  • 10oz rather than 12oz with filter fitted

4.
Coffee Gator Personal Coffee Brewing Travel Mug

Specifications

  • Size: One Serving/500ml
  • Type: Pour Over/Portable
  • Coffee: Ground

A travel mug which uses a mesh filter as a pour over brewer as opposed to a French Press style operation, this Coffee Gator model is a popular choice for anyone after a portable option which will keep the contents warm.

Vacuum layered and made from military-grade 304 stainless steel, heat is trapped for longer than average. That is the same material they use to manufacture hip replacements and spacecraft, just in case you’re wondering about its efficiency.

There is also copper in between the vacuumed walls, so heat has virtually no way of escaping. The metal filter is also a much cleaner, eco-friendly alternative to paper filters which can’t be reused or cleaned. It also has a little handle on, making it easy to put on and take off without burning your hands or touching any leftover residue.

The pour on method also makes it slightly easier to cater your cup to your exact tastes, using the pouring method and allowing it to drip rather than forcing pressure upon it.

Of course, you don’t need to use the filter. It will keep any drinks warm (or cold) without needing to make them, so in a sense, it is a bit of a 2-in-1 product.

Just with any ‘pour over’ system, it suffers from its complications. Take time to choose the right coffee, get the right temperature and wait for the right amount of time to let it brew. You also have to take the filter out of the cup to drink, which seems unproblematic but you’ll need to keep it somewhere safe and possibly give it a rinse before putting it away – prepare yourself before you board the train.

None of these things would put us off buying such a product though. For the amount of time it keeps the drink hot and how comfortable it is to carry, we will take the slight annoyances.

Reasons to Buy

  • Clean design
  • Easy to wash
  • Coffee stays hot for ages

Reasons to Avoid

  • Occasionally difficult to properly seal the closure

5.
The Oomph Advanced Coffee Maker

Specifications

  • Size: Two Serving
  • Type: Piston Press/Portable
  • Coffee: Ground

A portable hot beverage maker which brews consistently good coffee in under two minutes, the Oomph Coffee Maker branched out after securing funding on Kickstarter and Dragon’s Den and has gained thousands of fans since.

Whether you are commuting, off for a picnic, camping or just at home, it boasts that it is the fastest maker on the market at the moment and we don’t think they’re far off the mark. Just fill with the coffee, hot water and plunge, letting the machine do the rest of the work.

Once it has been plunged, the Anti-Bitterness Lock keeps any additional brewing at bay. This is a problem with not only travel coffee makers, but home cafetières as well. The grounds are held at the bottom of the jug, but the flavour still gets through, which can result in a bitter taste after some time. Thankfully, Oomph has answered our prayers here.

Not only is the flavour top-notch, but there is no electricity or batteries needed. Everything is done manually, and the material is really durable and damage-resistant, so we think it is one to last for years. It is dishwasher safe too, so you don’t have to let it lose any efficiency if you can’t be bothered to clean it for a few days.

Unlike the majority of other portable/manual coffee makers, this one isn’t an espresso maker. It doesn’t reach the necessary pressure for this, but any other form of coffee will be perfect.

It isn’t completely leak proof if you will be running with it, tipping it upside down or popping it in your bag. But for something that will sit on your work desk or will keep you company on the train, it is ideal. The manufacturers do make this clear in the description.

Reasons to Buy

  • Re-brew, grind correction and active stirring functions
  • Good price
  • Cafetière standard yet on-the-go

Reasons to Avoid

  • Leaks slightly

BEST FOR: Days Out

Whether you be off on a big walk, going for a picnic or off camping for the weekend, taking some coffee with you won’t only be warming but will keep you going too. There are machines which use vacuum power to work, small cups which can make the coffee and be used to drink out of, as well as some stovetop options if you have an adequate campfire set up.

1.
Aerobie AeroPress 801701 – Best Overall

Specifications

  • Size: One Serving
  • Type: Vacuum Press/Portable
  • Coffee: Ground

Lightweight and simple to use, this is the perfect companion for any trips or travelling, but the coffee it produces tastes so good that there’s nothing to stop you using it at home too.

It simply uses gentle air pressure to produce a smooth, consistent brew in under 30 seconds. Unlike pour on/drip coffee makers which may miss some of the flavours by only concentrating on extracting the central grounds, the extraction from the AeroPress is uniform. There is no over-brewing or overheating to damage the taste, either.

Just put a paper filter into the little holder, put this in the chamber and pop your grounds in. Place over a cup or mug, and add hot water to the chamber. Then press down, and the water will go through the coffee grounds and into your cup. Easy, pretty foolproof and no mess created.

Because of the quickness, there is no bitterness caused by it sitting for too long. You don’t have to wait for it to warm up as you pour already heated water into the chamber, and it diffuses as you push so you don’t have to sit and wait for it to mix by itself.

It does use paper filters, which may put some people off due to the fact they aren’t reusable, and you throw them away. But there are some compatible metal filters out there if you want something a bit more permanent you can care for and reuse.

It takes a bit of experimentation to get just right too. The recommended coffee use is one spoonful, but if you prefer something with a bit more kick, then two may be better. Finer ground coffee is also recommended, but you may prefer the taste of coarser. The good news is, it is open to your choice.

Reasons to Buy

  • Easy to use
  • Simple to clean
  • Lightweight for transporting
  • Good price

Reasons to Avoid

  • Plunging force can be a bit strenuous until you get used to it

2.
Wacaco Nanopresso With NS Adaptor – Best Portable Pod Coffee Machine

Specifications

  • Size: One Serving
  • Type: Piston/Portable
  • Coffee: Ground/Pods

The Wacaco Minipresso has long been a firm favourite for anyone who loves to have coffee on the go, and it has now been given a modern upgrade.

The Nanopresso is an upgraded version of the original Minipresso, needing 15% less force to pump and being smaller and lighter yet higher capacity.

The original version of this model was used solely with coffee grounds, and the pre-heated water would mix with the grounds with a few presses of the piston on the side of the tube. This version comes with an adaptor which can house Nespresso coffee pods instead, so you have the choice of both or have a back up if you run out of one.

There are also versions available which only take grounds or only pods, but we think this option is the best value for every eventuality. With plenty of accessories also available, such as carry cases and barista kits offering larger capacities, you can truly make it your own.

It is one of the smallest, lightest and toughest portable coffee makers on the market, so great for anyone who might be burdened if they were to carry around a large mug or cafetière to do their coffee mixing.

The coffee it makes tastes great, too. With a possible 18 bars of pressure, it is delivered at a coffee-shop-standard level, without the fancy steam and unnecessary waiting times.

You don’t have to be going travelling to make use of this machine. It has so many fans who purely use it at home, as it helps them avoid bulky coffee machines in tiny kitchens or adding money to electricity bills. We agreed that we’d certainly be happy having our daily morning brews served up by the Nanopresso.

Reasons to Buy

  • Great size
  • Easy to operate and pour from
  • Nespresso pod coffee without the machine

Reasons to Avoid

  • Coffee served is not kept warm for long

3.
Bialetti Set Mini Express with 2 Espresso Cups – Best Travel Moka Pot

Specifications

  • Size: 2 Servings/50ml Each
  • Type: Stovetop/Travel
  • Coffee: Ground

For anybody going camping and taking a little stove with them, this espresso set complete with two cups is the perfect choice of coffee companion.

It works in the same way as a traditional Moka/Stovetop espresso maker, using heat to mix the boiling water up into the coffee granules. The fact that two cups can be made at the same time and pour straight into the little mugs is really handy and requires little effort from you. Just fill with water and granules.

Coffee doesn’t take long to make at all, only a matter of minutes over the right heat, and the coffee stays warm in the cup for long enough to enjoy the drink fully.

It is available in three colours – red, orange and black – if you want to match it alongside any of your other camping or cooking equipment or pick something that will stand out on site.

It can’t be used as a single espresso maker, as both taps work at the same time, but there is nothing to stop both espressos being poured into one cup. As a plus, however, this makes preparing large coffees such as lattes or cappuccinos a lot easier and less time-consuming. Made from aluminium, it is durable and won’t be damaged easily wither in use or transit.

There are other versions of this model available on the market, some of which are cheaper, but having tested this one we don’t think the quality and coffee could be beaten.

Reasons to Buy

  • Looks traditional
  • Two espressos at once
  • Quick to boil

Reasons to Avoid

  • Takes a few run-throughs to distribute evenly

4.
Staresso Manual Espresso Coffee Machine

Specifications

  • Size: One Serving/80ml
  • Type: Press/Portable
  • Coffee: Pod/Ground

With the ability to prepare coffee from both pods and grounds, this Staresso machine should never let you down.

You build pressure by pressing down on a pump. The first five or so presses will yield no results, as it is just the correct pressure building up ready for the coffee. Then. once it is at least 9 bar pressure, the coffee will start pouring. No changing of settings or adapting the methodology.

It is ready to be used with both Nespresso pods and pre-ground coffee granules, so no matter your preference or what is readily available in the shops, you should be covered.

If the thought of going away camping for a weekend in the middle of nowhere and having to use a coffee device which doesn’t cater to your love of a daily cappuccino is simply bringing you down, then you’ll be pleased to know this little item will become your best friend. It can cope with frothing milk just as well as it can with making coffee; it uses the air pressure to create a light foam, rather than diluting it with steam and water as is the norm with frothers.

There is a little bag which comes with every purchase which is a nice touch for carrying it around, and it is available in black, white, pink and green. It is a bit pricier than some of the other options, and you won’t get the same taste as with electrical machines, but it seems like a sturdy and reliable piece of kit.

Reasons to Buy

  • Design

Reasons to Avoid

  • Nightmare to clean due to lots of small parts

5.
Zyliss Cafetiere Hot Mug – Best Budget

Specifications

  • Size: One Cup/300ml
  • Type: French Press/Travel
  • Coffee: Ground

With the function of a cafetière but in a handy transportable mug, the Zyliss Hot Mug is the perfect little coffee accompaniment for camping trips and picnics.

Just put in the ground coffee, pour on hot water and allow to infuse for a couple of minutes. Then, press down the mesh filter to separate the coffee from the sediment, and it is ready to drink. The lid will keep it warmer for longer, as well as allowing you to be on-the-go while you drink it.

It isn’t just coffee it can make, with any hot drink being possible. Whether it’s a warming cup of tea or a hot chocolate around the campfire, the easy function and storage make it possible.

When you get home, cleaning it all is as easy as popping it in the dishwasher, so you can get on with all the other things that come with having been away.

In theory, it should separate the coffee from the grounds, but a bit always got through when we tried it. It seems to come through a hole at the side of the plunger, which we guess is to relieve pressure when you push but seems a bit if a design flaw.

The filter also doesn’t stop the brewing process once it is pressed, like with some other models. This makes a bitter taste the longer you leave it.

It is available in grey, blue and red so that you can get one for all the family and everyone has their own to drink out of. It is plastic, and the handle doesn’t have the best grip, so this isn’t one for taking on your commute to work. But packing it along with your stuff for a day out at the beach or going on a camping trip is a great idea for no-hassle hot drinks.

Reasons to Buy

  • Easy to use
  • Good price

Reasons to Avoid

  • Filter isn’t great
  • Coffee grains still brew when it is sitting after filtering

Portable / Travel Coffee Cup Buying Guide

Which is the best travel/portable coffee maker for me?

It all boils down to what you need it for. Will you be commuting, so making your coffee before you hurry out of the door but needing it to stay warm and relatively spill-free? Or do you want something for your weekend hiking trips/occasional camping holidays/picnic lunches?

We have featured some travel mugs suitable for making the coffee and acting as cups to drink it out of, as well as some devices which purely make coffee which you then pour into a separate mug.

Some may also be suitable for home use if you want a device which will see you get your coffee no matter the event. There is an item for everyone above.

Price

As every item is quite different, there is no definitive price guide. Generally, travel mugs are cheaper than the portable machines which will make the coffee.

Also think about whether you will need to pay additional costs, such as filter papers, but also take into account the type of coffee it uses.

 

FAQs

What is the best coffee to use?

With each product review, there is the information about the coffee type it uses (ground or pods).

You can’t use beans with these types of machines, as there is no method to ground them so you must either use a grinder separately or buy pre-ground coffee.

It is usually recommended you purchase a slightly coarser grind, which would also be suitable for use in a French Press. This will give the best flavour without the grinds being pushed through the filters.

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