Tips for Making Great Coffee When Traveling

by Christian Saechao
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You’re on vacation in a hotel room, making coffee that you know tastes kind of “meh” and you know is going to go cold in about 5 minutes. Just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you can’t have a great tasting cup of coffee! Whether out of a hotel room or an outdoor campsite, we have a few tips to help you make great coffee when traveling.  Let’s get into them.

Making great coffee when traveling is an essential for coffee lovers (Photo by Discover-Horizons on Unsplash

Bringing Your Own Brewing Device

Having to take something to brew coffee when you’re traveling might seem like a drag, but if you love coffee as much as us, it’ll always be worth it. Depending on how much space you have to pack something to brew with can totally change what you can bring with you.

If you have quite a bit of room, taking a small coffee maker is not totally out of the question as long as you have some way of getting to a power outlet.

Another option is using something that only requires water and coffee beans. You could pack an French Press, Pourover, or AeroPress device. What’s great about these is that they are pretty small and you can use them in a lot of situations.

You can definitely make better coffee with your own brewer than someone else’s.

french press

A French press is one of the preferred methods for making great coffee when traveling (Photo by Christian Saechao)

Using Bottled Water

This might seem like it doesn’t matter that much, but can actually make a heck of a difference. Having bottled water with you on your trip can really enhance your coffee’s flavor.

Using tap water or a water source you’re not sure of wherever you are, can really ruin your cup of coffee. There’s no good way to tell the pH balance or mineral levels in the water and it probably isn’t the same as when you’re at home.

Having a couple water bottles with you to make coffee will always help you brew better tasting coffee. You’ll know that the water is clean and won’t have any funky flavors that’ll change how your coffee tastes.

Taking Your Coffee On The Trip

Bringing your favorite coffee with you can make a world of a difference no matter where you’re at. The question for you is, should you grind them beforehand or bring them as whole beans?

If you’re taking them as whole beans, you’re going to need to bring a grinder along with you. Fortunately for you, most hand grinders out there can fit into your luggage and won’t take up too much space. You could even keep the coffee beans inside your grinder to save even more space.

Now if you don’t want to bring a grinder, you can pre-grind your beans. The easiest way to pack pre-ground coffee is in a zip lock bag. Just push out any extra air and you’re good to go!

coffee when traveling

Christian Saechao’s coffee kit (Photo by Christian Saechao)

Coffee In A Travel Mug

Taking a travel mug with you can keep your coffee hot longer. If you’re camping, hiking, or just have a busy day, you’ll want to keep your coffee at its freshly brewed temp. No one likes hot coffee going cold and stale in 10 minutes!

The easiest way to improve any cup of coffee is to add some flavoring to it. Flavored syrup is an easy and affordable way to do this. So if you’re stuck with some cheap hotel or someone’s poorly made coffee, you’ll have the option to put in a few ounces of flavoring to make it a bit more  enjoyable.

coffee when traveling

Another essential is a good stainless steel coffee mug (Photo by Christian Saechao)

Packing Your Own Kit

Now that you know of a few tips that’ll help with your coffee on your next travels, you might be wondering “what should I actually take with me?” Depending on how much space you have for extra coffee stuff will ultimately decide what you should take. We like to take the bare minimum with us to make a good tasting cup of coffee.

Here’s a kit we came up with:

  • Coarsely Ground Coffee – bring only what you need
  • Bottled Water
  • French Press – can be swapped with whatever device you have on hand (as long as it fits in your bag!)

With this setup you’ll be able to make coffee anywhere. A French Press can make coffee with hot or cold water. If you don’t have a way to heat up your water, you can still make cold brewed coffee, which is extremely easy to do. A big plus is this kit will take only a little bit of room in any sized travel bag.

coffee when traveling

Coffee kit packed and ready to go. (Photo by Christian Saechao)

Enjoy Great Coffee When Traveling

No one should be forced to drink unpleasant tasting coffee! Using some of the tips, hopefully the next time you’re out and about in the world, it’ll make your coffee taste a bit better.

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-All photos as credited. Cover photo by Annie Spratt on

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