Travel Coffee Tools for On-the-Go Caffeination
Getting your morning fix away from home doesn't have to mean bulk or a sad trip to the airport cafe.
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For many travelers, on-the-go coffee tools are just as important as comfortable shoes and a passport. But you can’t lug a Keurig around in your duffle. That’s when you need these 11 portable items designed to help you brew a perfect cup of joe—no matter where the road takes you.
Jiva Coffee Cubes ($5 for a 4-pack)
Add one family farm-sourced Colombian coffee cube—about the size of two sugar cubes—to four to six ounces of hot water or milk, wait 30 seconds, stir, and you’re good to go. Each Jiva Coffee Cube is vegan, gluten free, and kosher, and comes in flavors such as caramel, french vanilla and hazelnut. Choose your dose, as cubes range in strength from 35 to 110 milligrams of caffeine. (The average cup of coffe has 95 milligrams.) The company also offers a line of decadent hot chocolate cubes, made from criollo cacao beans and pre-sweetened with raw, unrefined cane sugar.
A small, plastic coffee maker, the AeroPress can churn out coffee and espresso drinks without electricity. For French press-style coffee, you’ll use a plunger to pump coffee grinds and hot water through a cap with an integrated filter. Tip: For an environmentally-friendly cup of joe, a stainless steel filter makes for a zero-waste beverage
Bonavita BonaVoyage Travel Kettle ($30)
You need hot water to make coffee on the road. That’s where the half-liter, stainless steel Bonavita BonaVoyage Travel Kettle comes in handy. The tool boils water in about four minutes, and weighs less than a pound-and-a-half—perfect for sliding into your carry-on. This also works great in conjunction with the above-mentioned AeroPress, which fits neatly inside of the kettle. Bonus: the kettle’s auto-shutoff capability saves energy when not in use. But get on the waiting list now: the Travel Kettle is out of stock until January.
Sprayable Energy ($15)
Want to skip the cup of morning joe, but still need the caffeine kick? Check out Sprayable Energy, a colorless, odorless caffeine vapor you spray onto your skin for an energy boost without the calories or crashes. Each lipstick-sized bottle contains 160 sprays—about 40 applications—and is TSA-approved for your carry-on.
Bonavita Immersion Dripper ($40)
French Press-meets-pour-over with the Bonavita Immersion Dripper, a porcelain single-cup brewing system that makes coffee in about three minutes. In a traditional pour-over coffee brewer, water runs through the coffee grinds. But with the Bonavita, the coffee stays submerged until you release the water with a lever. You’ll add water, coffee, and a filter.
Avex Autoseal Aria Stainless Travel Mug ($23)
Every traveler needs a reliable mug. We like the 16-ounce Avex Aria Stainless Travel Mug because it keeps coffee hot for up to five hours and the automatic button lock seals the lid so it’s 100-percent leak-proof. Best for road trips and throwing in your carry-on.
Handpresso Wild Hybrid ($129)
With the two-in-one Handpresso Wild Hybrid, you use either grounds or Easy Serving Espresso (or ESE) pods to make a great cup of coffee. The 16-bar pressure system, which weighs about a pound, features a pump with a vessel at the end where you place the espresso grounds or ESE pod. Just pour water in and let the liquid caffeine pour into your cup.
The Collapsible Java Drip ($13)
Thirsty? GSI Outdoors’s Collapsible Java Drip can make up to 12 cups of coffee. Fill a number-four filter with grounds, then place it in the conical tool. Nestle it over your mug or travel thermos, pour water over it, and voilà—coffee. The silicon device collapses into an one-inch-thick disk, and the cover does double duty as protector and lid.
Caffeinated Candy ($15)
Four of these marble-sized caffeinated candies contain 100 milligrams of caffeine—equivalent to about one cup of coffee. Satiate your java craving and your sweet tooth at the same time: the candies are made of milk chocolate and infused with caffeine.
Sea Salt & Coffee Scrub Natural Soap ($5)
No, you shouldn’t consume this and it likely won’t compare to your morning cup of coffee, but it will give you fragrant boost. Created by Black Mountain Soaps, the Sea Salt & Coffee Scrub is a coffee-infused soap that cleans skin and tightens pores—all thanks to those magic java properties. Skin absorbs 60 percent of what we use topically, according to the company, so if you feel more energized after your shower, thank the suds. Bonus: It’s also a natural insect repellent thanks to the eucalyptus and lemon oils.
KonaRed ($20 for 15 servings)
Hawaii-based KonaRed’s bottled coffee cherry juices are too large to fit in your carry-on, but its On-the-Go Powder Pack takes up no more room than a bag of Wet-Naps. Coffee cherry skins—the sweet and juicy outside of the coffee fruit that coffee beans grow inside of—are said to pack more antioxidants than blueberries. Tip: Hawaii locals sometimes use KonaRed for a healthy cocktail mixer.
Java Gum ($3)
Java Gum puts your daily caffeine jolt right in your pocket, with no spills or stained teeth to worry about. These dime-sized sugar-free gum tablets come in peppermint and spearmint flavors, containing 65 milligrams of caffeine in each. For those on a budget, think of it this way: A pack of Java Gum contains 8 pieces for $2.99. That’s 8 small coffees for less than $3.