Whether you prefer an automatic drip coffee maker or the meditation of a perfect...
Ah, the joys of coffee! Today, you can buy the finest coffee technology for your home and enjoy coffee shop quality coffee in your own kitchen. But what happens when you go on the road? Are you doomed to instant coffee stirred up in your cup or stuck with carting along a Box of Joe from Dunkin Donuts? Thanks to some neat applications of technology, you can actually take some pretty fancy coffee making devices on the road with you. These portable coffee makers don’t require a standard electrical hookup to run, so you can use them on the trail, on a hike or just about anywhere else you want a fresh, away-from-home cup of coffee.
Make coffee in your car? Yes, you can, with a coffee maker that plug’s into your vehicle’s 12v lighter socket. It will take a bit longer to brew, since 12 volts is considerably less power than a typical electrical outlet, but you will get coffee. The 12 volt portable coffee makers range in price from about $25 to just over $100, and come in 2 cup to 12 cup models. They all have stainless steel carafes to prevent breakage and some have mounts so that you can mount them in your vehicle. Pack this one in your car for cross country travel or give one as a gift to your favorite cross-country trucker.
Camping manufacturer Brunton loves coffee lovers, if the Flip n Drip portable coffee maker is any indicator. At just under 12 inches long and 4.5 inches in diameter, and weighing in at just about a pound, it’s light and easy to pack for hikers. It’s also simple to use. You just boil water in the carafe, screw on the filter and coffee mug, turn it over and wait. In just about ten minutes, you’ll have 16 ounces of fresh-brewed, delicious coffee ready for your sipping pleasure.
Coleman is easily one of the best known names in camping equipment, so it should come as no surprise that they make a portable coffee maker. The propane powered 10-cup Coleman coffee maker looks pretty much the way you’d expect a coffee maker to look — it would be quite at home sitting on your kitchen counter. It includes a carafe, operates on a 16-ounce propane tank and makes up to ten cups of coffee. You don’t need a stove, an electrical outlet or even a campfire, making it ideal to take along for family outings at picnics at the beach, the woods or the lakeside. To operate, just fill the water reservoir and filter basket, press the button and wait for the carafe to fill with steamy, delicious hot coffee.
On the high end of the portable coffee maker market — but not the top of it, by any means — the Handpresso Wild is a nifty little gadget that makes a perfect shot of espresso without electricity. It requires ESE coffee pods and some muscle power to operate, but it’s the essence of simplicity. You put the ESE pod in place, fill the Handpresso with boiling water and pump to express one perfect shot of espresso to enjoy anywhere.
With a list price of $289, the Stelton Simply Espresso is pretty pricey for a portable coffee maker, but its sleek good looks are as expensive as its price tag. Like the Handpresso, it requires that you use ESE pods, and the reviews of the coffee it makes aren’t terrific, but it is one pretty little machine.