Travel coffee makers

If you like to drink a nice fresh cup of coffee you probably also would like to do this when you are travelling. Many hotels will equip the room with a water cooker and some instant coffee. But if you want a more advanced cup of coffee you need to take a look at other devices: Travel Coffee Makers.

This movie about some different portable coffee making devices by Donny Outdoors catches the essence of travel coffee making systems perfect. Make nice coffee wherever you go, relax and enjoy the moment ….. ..  

 

Heating the water
Unless you take a small coffee making machine with you you need to heat up the water first. On a camping it is most likely that you do this by a gas or alcohol burner. A popular example of this is the Swedish Army Trangia Stove. In a hotel room it is easier and safer to heat water with a electrical water boiler. This can be done with a portable immersion water boiling coil or with a small water cooker. A vintage example of a water cooker and drip filter coffee system is the Philips Travel Duo (sold in north America as Norelco Hot Stuff or Norelco Voyager) made during the 80’s. Nowadays you can still buy them on 2nd hand websites like Ebay. More information about this water boiling and drip coffee system can be found on www.worththewhisk.com.

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The Swedish Army Trangia alcohol burner (brown) and kettle on a wind shield. Source: www.surplusandoutdoors.com
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Portable submersible water boiling coil.
Philips Travel Duo 01
The Philips Travel Duo water kettle and filter coffee system. The cups can be folded over the kettle. The cable and black coffee filter can be stored inside the kettle.

Hand grinders
If you prefer freshly grinded coffee beans over pre grinded coffee beans than you need to bring your own small and lightweight device for breaking the whole beans into smaller parts. Examples are the Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder, Hario Mini Mill and Brew Global Rhinoware Compact Hand Grinder. A portable coffee making system with a integrated hand grinder is the Cafflano® Klassic. This is a coffee mug with a drip filter and a bean grinder all placed on top of each other.

More about hand grinders on www.roastycoffee.com/10-best-hand-coffee-grinders.

Cafflano Klassic
The Cafflano Klassic filter coffee system with integrated hand-mill grinder. Source: www.cafflano.com

 

Pour over (drip filter)
Although the principle is very simple (a paper filter in a funnel) there are many systems for travelling on the market. Example are the fouldable stainless steel funnel from Snow Peak and the collapsible silicone Java Drip from GSI Outdoors. There are also special filters that can hang in your coffee cup on the market. A international available example is the Coghlans One Cup Coffee Filter. Some Thai coffee brands like Doi Tung and Black Canyon Coffee sell pre packed one cup filters with coffee grounds inside. These can be hanged in a coffee cup by paper wings. If the filter with coffee grounds touches the water surface it is also suitable for cold brew coffee. Cold brew coffee requires an extreme long contact time between the coffee grounds and water. Best way is to let it stand overnight. An example of a cold and hot brewing system is the Brumi made out of heat resistant glass.

These Youtube movies will give you some advise and tips for pour over coffee brewing.
9 Quick Tips for World’s Best Pour Over Coffee
10 mistakes you may make while making pour over coffee

Coghlans Coffee Filters

Brumi Pour Over and Cold Brew Coffee system
The Brumi pour over & cold brew system in action. Source: www.food52.com

Portable espresso makers
Espresso is coffee brewed by pressing the water under (high) pressure through a bed with coffee grounds. There are travel coffee making devices that can pump pre heated water through a bed of coffee grounds by hand force. Examples of this are the AeroPress, Minipresso, Cafflano® Kompresso and the Handpresso.

French press systems
A French press is a cylinder with a metal filter that can be pushed down while the coffee grounds are under it. The coffee above the metal filter can be decanted in a coffee mug. An example is the Impress Coffee Brewer. Another example specially made for traveling and outdoor is the Snow Peaks Titanium French Press.

How to use a French-Press coffee maker
User instructions for a French Press coffee maker. Source: www.ctinstyle.com/how-to-use-a-french-press

Moka pot coffee makers
A moka pot coffee maker (aka percolator) has a water reservoir that is heated by a direct flame of with a electrical heating plate. The heat will create pressure and steam. This drives the hot water through a filter with coffee grounds. This system was invented in 1933 in Italy and is still popular today. Example of percolators designed for outdoor and travelling are the stainless percolator from Snow Peak and the Camping percolator coffee maker from Winterial. The company Esbit makes outdoor cooking systems and they also have a coffee maker that is almost similar to this principle.

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Working principle of a Mokka pot. Source: Wikimedia
Esbit Coffee Maker
The Esbit coffee maker on a portable solid fuel stove. Source: www.urbanadventureleague.blogspot.nl

More backgrounds and info:
www.travelsauro.com/best-travel-coffee-maker
www.snarkynomad.com/best-portable-coffee-makers-for-travel-junkies
www.independent.co.uk

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Coffee culture in Thailand

Royal Projects
The relatively cool mountains in the north of Thailand (close to Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai) are very suitable for coffee and tea production. The royal family launched several projects to support the hill tribes who lived in these mountains. One of the things was the introduction of coffee growing as a replacement for the opium growing. The small coffee farms try to focus on the production of high quality (single estate) coffees rather than big volumes of cheaper blend coffees. Some brands are Doi Tung, Phu kha, Doi Chaang, Nacha Coffee and Akha Ama.

More info about Thai Royal Projects
Travel review by Mark Wiens: Doi Chaang – How To Visit Thailand’s Coffee Paradise.
Travel report: Coffee Journey: A tour to a remote coffee village in Thailand.

Coffee shops
Coffee shops in Thailand can be found in all sizes and shapes. From simple street vendors to luxury bakeries with a shady garden. One of the biggest Thai coffee shop chains is Black Canyon Coffee. Besides coffee you can also buy food here. When you are exhausted from the heat, look around for a shop with a glass front window and door. This is very often a coffee shop with air conditioning inside ! Sometimes you can also recognize coffee shops by the drying of used coffee powder outside the shop. This is used as a natural skin scrubbing agent. Especially in the smaller streets (sois) this can be seen.

Top 5 Specialty Coffee Shops to Visit in Thailand.
Best little coffee shops in thailand.
The 8 best coffee shops in Bangkok

Picture source: GRAPH CAFÉ in Chiang Mai.

Iced coffee
Iced coffees in Thailand are usually prepared with condensed milk and a lot of sugar. It is so popular that there is even a page about it on Wikipedia. Pailin “Pai” Chongchitnant from www.hot-thai-kitchen.com shows how you can prepare these coffees by yourself.

Canned and instant coffee from the 7-Eleven supermarket
In every supermarket from 7-Eleven you can buy instant coffee and canned ice coffee. Usually it comes with milk and lots of sugar.

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Canned ice coffee. Source: Tripque

More information:
Coffee culture in Thailand blog by www.gogoflorist.com