Travel Coffee??

Created by nickoborn on Aug. 17, 2013, 3 a.m.
  • I work away from home, where all I can get for coffee is freeze dried dodgy stuff and powdered milk.

    Just wondering if people have any solutions to storing and making some good fresh coffee.

    Will need to be able to last 4 weeks+.

    I have access to boiling water, but everything else Ill have to bring myself.


  • That depends on a lot of things. What kind of coffee do you like and what's your preferred brew method? Is space a concern? Can you get deliveries (ie is a coffee club type option possible)? Do you want to get crazy enough to home roast your coffee while you're away or maybe just roast at home and take with you?

    I would suggest the hario mini mill as a grinder unless you're going to be making coffee for more than 2 people at a time. Takes 1-2 minutes to grind enough for a cup. I like the design better than the larger hario skerton - specifically the mini mill fits better in your hand while you grind, has a lid on the bean hopper, and I like the grind adjust better.

  • Space when packing is a concern, but I have a fair bit of room. Deliveries are not possible (im as close to the middle of no where as you can get). Not looking at anything really crazy or overly precise, just want some good coffee that I can take with me. Im quite new to the coffee world so I dont mind trying something new brewing wise, although I would prefer it to be quick. Im looking for 1-4 cups.

  • For brewing I would go aeropress if you're only making 1-2 cups at a time or a french press for 2+. From my experience those are the two easiest brewing methods that produce consistently good coffee with the least amount of gear. French presses are usually glass which is obviously fragile for heavy traveling. Stumptown has an awesome brew guide if you still haven't figured that part out -

    For actual coffee, it depends a lot on what's available around you. If you have a coffee shop that roasts in house that would be your best bet. I would pick up a few different types so you can start determining what you like - roast level, origin, flavor profiles, etc. If you're in the midwest, Caribou makes good coffee that is easy to find. Get some quality coffee, grind right before you brew, and you'll end up with a better cup of coffee than most of the big chains offer.

    Some coffee shops package in bags just meant to get you home (brown paper bags without a gas release valve), but you can purchase longer term storage bags if you care about keeping things as fresh as possible. Sweet Maria's sells bags ( and also sells batches of roasted coffee every couple of weeks. You can also use just about any opaque jar with a tight fitting lid, but the bags are more travel friendly.

    If you really want to start going down the rabbit hole you can also start roasting coffee at home then bag it up for yourself. You only need a popcorn popper, green beans, and some trial/error to get started. Sweet Maria's has guides on this. Each batch takes ~10 minutes from start to finish and yields 3-4 ounces. It takes a few batches until you figure things out, but it's extremely satisfying once you get the hang of it.

  • When I used to do a fair amount of hiking (which might be my only comparable experience to your situation), I would always carry a Moka pot with me. A lot of times they are referred to as 'stove top espresso.' But that is a horrible misnomer. Moka's are really inexpensive, come in a lot of different sizes, and it is a 'self-contained' brewing process. But if you don't have access to a gas stove top, it gets very easy to make a bad cup of coffee.

    My personal preference is to use a city roast, ground fine. It still gives a nice chocolate note. Just visit a few local shops (before you head out) that use different roasters, and see if they sell their beans in 1/4 pound bags. Then you could set up some taste comparisons while you find yourself out in the ether. You may find that you like different roasts at different times of the day.

    I know that I like a darker roast later in the day - mostly because the deeper flavor perks me up. And the fact that a darker roast has a bit less caffeine that a lighter roast, also allows me to still go to bed at a decent hour.

  • I've found that the Starbuck Vias are not horrible.

    I take them with me on race weekends when the track is not near a coffee shop and motel coffee is universally, epically, bad.

  • @johndeere97 said:

    I've found that the Starbuck Vias are not horrible.

    I take them with me on race weekends when the track is not near a coffee shop and motel coffee is universally, epically, bad.

    I agree these are almost better than the actual coffee. I travel with an aeropress and bring my own freshly ground beans when I get sent for work travel ( about 21 days) beats hotel coffee. I also bring a temp gauge to see how long it takes each hotel microwave to get to the right temp as they vary.

  • I use an Aeropress and a Porlex Mini hand grinder which I regularly bring around with me either into work or on weekend trips. I think that's about as small as you can get for self-contained if you want to grind yourself. The Porlex grinders (they have two sizes, mine is the smaller one with the black rubber ring) have the same circular cross section as the internal space within the Aeropress plunger, so it can fit inside for smaller packing (aside from the grinder handle).

    Porlex jp-30 (LEFT) and PORLEX MINI (RIGHT)
  • @midnitegin Yeah another walker that carries a moka with them. I love my little moka pot I brought just for hiking. I am also sad enough to carry a proper china mug with me, well wrapped up in a tea-towel, Coffee out of an aluminium or plastic mug just aint the same. Walk into a bothy with some already wet and cold (I live in Wales it always rains here) walkers in there, finishing a luke warm flask of tea Then I break out the Moka very jealous fellows, especially if I am having cheese and biscuits as well. My view is The walking is meant to be hard, carrying an extra 2lbs of luxury on my back dose not bother me, but when I stop for lunch, I want to enjoy it not have a limp sandwich, and a tepid drink, why make yourself miserable for the sake of it? For the original post, If you have access to boiling water you can get insulated french presses, pack a few different GROUND coffees and alternate or do waht I do Make your own mix up out of what you have, my favorite at the moment is ILLY..

  • @nickoborn if you looking for instant coffee, you must try Inventi-icedcoffee product.

    Fast and easy to use...