If you are a coffee enthusiast then you will not find anything absurd about taking a small travel coffee maker on the road with you when you travel. There is only so much ‘tar’ that one can stomach from service stations at the side of the freeway. The thing is with small travel coffee makers, people have different interpretations of them. Some people think of the travel coffee maker as a cheap or ‘make do’ alternative to the small coffee maker you might have at home. Others view it as a must have piece of equipment in its own right that is far from a sacrificial means of making coffee.
A lot of the coffee brewing process has to do with the type or brand of coffee that you use as opposed to the type of coffee machine; the same as whether or not you ground your own coffee beans, which makes for a fuller and fresher flavored coffee. So before you think about which type of travel coffee maker to buy, consider whether you will take pre-ground coffee beans with you on your travels or will you plan on taking the coffee grinder with you? What kind of space do you have is another important issue, though having said that the travel coffee maker is small enough to take anywhere with you.
So onto the types of travel coffee maker that most people use; first up is the French press. This is a plunger type coffee maker, usually with a plastic carafe. Ground coffee is poured into the carafe followed by freshly boiled water; push down the plunger slowly all the way to the bottom and allow to brew for a few minutes or so depending on the intensity of the flavor you require. Cleaning the French press is easy (just rinse it out with water) but you have to have access to boiled water to be able to make coffee with it.
Then we have the paper filter cones. These are placed on the top of a mug and you place coffee grounds into the filter then pour some water that is just off the boil through. The coffee drips down through the filter into the mug and the coffee grounds remain inside the cone. Simply dispose of the paper filter when you are finished and remember to bring a supply with you on your travels; otherwise no coffee!
Lastly there are small thermal coffee makers that you can plug into the cigarette lighter compartment in your vehicle. These are a little bigger and a bit more expensive than the aforementioned coffee makers but the beauty of them is that you don’t need to have access to freshly boiled water as the machine does that for you.