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Need suggestions for a travel kit
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Discussions > Coffee > Machines > Need suggestions...  
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flygrl
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Feb 2013
Posts: 17
Location: Long Beach
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:09pm
Subject: Need suggestions for a travel kit
 

Hi, I am a total newbie when it comes to coffee but I am learning.  I am a flight attendant and have been stuck drinking airplane, hotel and starbucks coffee and I'm at my limit.  Its so awful I can't stand it any longer.  I am rarely home but when I am, I usually go to the coffee shop by my house that has great coffee. I have short layovers so I don't have much time to explore the city and find a good cup of coffee.  I am looking to put together a kit that I can bring with me.  I have nothing and will be starting from scratch.  I have been researching online different options but its all a bit overwhelming.  I just need simple and the least amount of items to carry as possible.  The hotels I stay in don't usually have a microwave or any way to heat water so I will need something for that.  I know I need a grinder but with my salary the Lido and Porlex are not an option unless maybe I can find a used one? I am trying to decide between the aeropress, a small french press or using the pour over method, which would you recommend?  I am looking to just brew 10oz at a time which is what fits in my travel mug and leaves room for cream if I decide to use it.  I don't want to waste money on cheap stuff, I am looking to spend around $100 total, but am flexible if I can get a better products. I appreciate any advice you can offer..I figure no matter what I end up with it can't be worse then what I've been drinking.  LOL...Thanks in advance Tina
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,947
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:19pm
Subject: Re: Need suggestions for a travel kit
 

You can pick up an Aeropress and a Hario Skerton or Slim for under budget.  They're portable and will give you what you're looking for.

Here's a little story, for example...

I was in New Orleans last Fall for a conference.  I tried to recon cafes ahead of time though the good 'ol www and found my options were dismal (confirmed in a thread here on CG where I looked to locals for help).  I brought an Aeropress, an OE Lido and some good quality fresh beans.  My hotel room had a lousy drip machine in it, so I used it to heat water for the press while I was grinding.  I poured bottled water into the reservoir, put the carafe under the basket and turned it on.  While the unhindered water was heating and dispensing into the carafe, I ground my beans and put them in the Aeropress.  As it turned out, the water was ready at about the same time as I needed it.  The coffee I made that week was great!

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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dyqik
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Oct 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Cambridge, MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07 PM
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso...
Vac Pot: Cona D
Drip: Bona-Vita, CCD, Aeropress.
Roaster: Gene Cafe, Modded Poppers
Posted Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:42pm
Subject: Re: Need suggestions for a travel kit
 

+1 to the Aeropress.  I use mine with a Porlex Tall grinder.  The Porlex Tall or Mini will slip inside the plunger of the Aeropress to pack down pretty small - about the same size as a bag of coffee.

The cheap drip machines in hotel rooms can heat the water adequately for use with an Aeropress, although you at the lower end of the temperature range that's best for brewing by the time the water has got into the carafe.  I fortunate in that much of my travel is to Asia where there tends to be electric kettles in rooms for making tea, and which obviously do well for coffee brewing as well.

The one other thing to beware of is that carrying coffee beans through security checks can sometimes cause hold ups as for some reason there's an urban myth that the smell of coffee beans can put sniffer dogs off the scent of drugs.  Expect to be searched more often.  My bag is often checked by the TSA for this reason - I'm thinking of leaving a note for the agents next time  ;)
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Lee_M
Senior Member
Lee_M
Joined: 2 Dec 2012
Posts: 51
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Baratza Encore
Drip: V60
Roaster: Popper
Posted Thu Feb 7, 2013, 1:01pm
Subject: Re: Need suggestions for a travel kit
 

Hario Slim Mill + Aeropress + Bonavita electric travel kettle (http://prima-coffee.com/bonavita/electric-travel-kettle)

Total cost: $88. Virtually unbreakable.

You could also use an immersion water heater to heat the water in your mug, which would be less convenient but more compact.
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scjavadr
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Feb 2010
Posts: 50
Location: SC
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Feb 7, 2013, 2:17pm
Subject: Re: Need suggestions for a travel kit
 

Agreed with the others.  I use an Aeropress + Hario Skerton + fresh beans.  I have a travel kettle for the US, and in Europe the hotels usually have the kettles in the rooms (or at least so far).  I've also used the immersion heaters when necessary.  The last week I was in Germany, having my homeroast brewed to my liking got me through the week.  :-)
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,667
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu Feb 7, 2013, 2:39pm
Subject: Re: Need suggestions for a travel kit
 

It is darn hard to not agree with the Aeropress! My travel kit has a small electric grinder (solis 166) and aeropress. To that a my pressi twist. For espresso, I use the pressurized insert in the twist so that the grinder can feed it.

A small electric kettle can be purchased for under $20 at places like Wallmart, that will take care of hot water for you. The Aeropress is very forgiving as to water temp so it makes a very good travel brewer, along with it being plastic and very tough.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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Buckley
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 423
Location: Internet
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Feb 7, 2013, 3:01pm
Subject: Re: Need suggestions for a travel kit
 

Dear Tina,
I use the Hario mini grinder.  I have traveled with both the Aeropress and the Hario pourover V60 (with cloth filters).  I like pourover brew better than the aeropress for any given roast of bean.  Since you are used to brew-style coffees, you might want to stick to brew (pourover) initially and later buy an aeropress to try at home when you find one on sale.  Several months to years 'down the road' as your tastes for good coffee mature, you might want to consider a Mypressi handheld espresso maker.  I have been using one for 1-1/2 years now, and I love the convenience of it.  I am still using my Hario v60 but the aeropress is in storage; it makes a moka, not a brew and not an espresso.
The electric kettle was the sticking point for me.  We used to be able to buy teeny, cheap boiling kettles made out of tin, on the order of 500-600 watts.  Now the only products that get shipped to the U.S.A. are ginormous 1300 watt boiling kettles with fancy plastic outers.  These are too big for what I want, they are too expensive and they will blow the circuits at some rural monasteries where I often stay.  Its one thing to have a nice bonavita on the kitchen counter, it is quite another to pack and travel with it.  If you are assigned to an overseas flight, then you can look for a more reasonably-sized cheapy boiling kettle.  I found mine at a Laotian market.  Cost me all of 4 bucks.  The voltage transformer from 220 to 110v was more expensive (5 bucks).  It works quickly and cleanly, but I do not expect it to last.  I am looking for the backup purchase now.
I use a paper or styrofoam cup from the hotel lobby and make a small pencil- or pen-punched hole in the bottom for a controllable pourover stream when I am traveling.  I just fill the cup with water off the boil and hold it over the grounds.  It is not possible to get good pourover control using a cheapy water kettle and all of the other boiling kettles available.  And as for a dedicated pourover kettle, I would not pack one; the slender gooseneck spout would break off after being packed a few times.

Best of luck to you, and safe travels.
Buckley
P.S.  Immersion water boiling coils are out of the question.  Their lives are measured in days to weeks.
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Sam21
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Sep 2011
Posts: 409
Location: Northwest, CT
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Siphon, Aeropress, CCD
Drip: Kalita Wave, Beehouse,...
Roaster: Hottop KN-8828B-2K
Posted Thu Feb 7, 2013, 7:08pm
Subject: Re: Need suggestions for a travel kit
 

Aeropress, skerton, Bonavita Bon Voyage kettle, pocket scale, and thermometer. That gives you ALL of the tools necessary to monitor variables, if that is what you want, and in an easy to use and space friendly package.

I use my aeropress when I travel and love it. I use a slightly larger kettle, but really love the coffee I make with the aeropress.
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flygrl
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Feb 2013
Posts: 17
Location: Long Beach
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Feb 13, 2013, 1:48am
Subject: Re: Need suggestions for a travel kit
 

Thanks everyone for your suggestions!! I bought the aeropress and I'm still trying to get the right water measurement to coffee grinds ratio for my tastes.   I haven't got my grinder or kettle yet, gotta wait for payday. I do have a question as to which grinder I should get.  I only make one to two cups of coffee a day at once.  So a small one would be fine.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you :)
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jpender
Senior Member
jpender
Joined: 11 Jul 2011
Posts: 693
Location: California
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: OE LIDO
Vac Pot: S/S Moka Pot
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Wed Feb 13, 2013, 8:16am
Subject: Re: Need suggestions for a travel kit
 

I think the least expensive choice for you would be the Hario Mini Slim which can be purchased from Amazon for $33. The stainless steel Porlex Mini is $13 more and it looks and feels nicer but I believe it has the same burrs and so probably won't grind any better. Using an Aeropress you don't really need a kettle, just some way to heat up a cup of water. A plastic cup and a microwave oven is one way to do it. What is useful is a decent thermometer to figure out how hot the water is before you pour it, something like this: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU=17953265

Also, a pocket scale that weighs to 0.1g resolution is worth carrying. You can get one for under $10.
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