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8 November 2021

Best Aeropress and other portable coffee makers

Find out what is the best portable coffee maker to take to work or camping from brands including Aeropress, Bodum, and Barista & Co
Joey Willoughby-Rainsford

In June 2021 we tested 10 portable coffee makers including the iconic Aeropress, as well as products from brands such as Bodum, Barista & Co, and Wacaco, to find the best portable coffee maker to take on your commute or use while camping.

Having your own personal coffee maker reduces the risk of shared germs (no need to share a flask) and it means you can easily enjoy a hot - or cold - cup of coffee wherever you are.

In our results below you'll find out how easy the coffee makers are to use, how much mess they make and which leaves the most sediment in your coffee. We'll also tell you which are the most durable, so you shouldn't have to replace your portable coffee maker after just a few months of use. 

Pricing and availability last checked 8th November 2021.


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The best portable coffee makers

Only logged-in Which? members can view the portable coffee maker results below. 

If you're not yet a member, you'll see an alphabetically ordered list of the coffee makers we tested. Join Which? now to get instant access to our test results and Best Buy recommendations below. 

AeroPress Coffee Maker

AeroPress Coffee Maker

Cheapest price: £28 available at Pact Coffee. Also available at AeroPress, Amazon, Whittards

Capacity: 250ml

Dishwasher safe: Yes

Includes scoop: Yes

Travel mug: No

Thermos flask: No

Leakproof: No

AeroPress claims its coffee brewing process yields the smoothest and richest coffee you'll ever taste. 

It has a simple design,  consisting of two tubes, one stuck inside the other. 

This coffee maker is a favourite of social media users on TicTok, Instagram and YouTube, but did we think this product lived up to the hype?

To read our full review log in or join Which? today for instant access. 

AeroPress Go

AeroPress Go

Cheapest price: £30.02 available at Amazon. Also available at AeroPress

Capacity: 220ml

Dishwasher safe: Yes

Includes scoop: Yes

Travel mug: Yes

Thermos flask: No

Leakproof: No

The AeroPress Go is a slightly smaller and more portable version of the already small and portable AeroPress. 

This coffee maker comes with a travel cup and silicone lid, which the whole maker can snugly fit into. 

It claims to make an espresso in only 30 seconds, but the key question is, is it a nice coffee? 

Log in or join Which? today to see how the AeroPress Go did in our tests.

ALLOMN French Press Travel Coffee Maker

Allomn French Press Travel Coffee Maker

Cheapest price: £17.99 available at Amazon

Capacity: 350ml

Dishwasher safe: No

Includes scoop: No

Travel mug: Yes

Thermos flask: No

Leakproof: Yes

This product is a French press within a travel mug, which makes it a traditional style of coffee maker in a very portable form. 

It's the cheapest coffee maker in our list, but how does it compare with the others? 

Find out if you need to spend big to get the best by logging in to your account or by joining Which? today. 

Barista & Co Twist Press Espresso Coffee Maker

Barista & Co Twist Press Espresso Coffee Maker

Cheapest price: £29.99 available at Lakeland

Capacity: 200ml

Dishwasher safe: Yes

Includes scoop: No

Travel mug: No

Thermos flask: No

Leakproof: No

This hand-powered device has a simple twist mechanism to press the coffee directly into your cup. 

Barista & Co says its twist press maker is a must-have gadget for serious coffee lovers. 

But what did our panel make of how easy it is to use and how much mess does it make?

To see how it fared in our tests log in or join Which? to read the full review. 

Bodum Travel Press Set Coffee Maker

Bodum Travel Press Set Coffee Maker

Cheapest price: £17.99 available at John Lewis. Also available at Amazon

Capacity: 350ml

Dishwasher safe: No

Includes scoop: No

Travel mug: Yes

Thermos flask: No

Leakproof: No

Bodum is a well-established name in the coffee making world. 

This coffee maker is a travel mug with a French press built into the lid. 

It also claims to have a double-wall construction that will keep your coffee hotter for longer and a spill-resistant lid.

Check out the full review by joining Which? or if you already are a member log in now. 

Delter Coffee Press

Delter Coffee Press

Cheapest price: £34.95 available at Amazon, Pact Coffee

Capacity: 400ml

Dishwasher safe: No

Includes scoop: Yes

Travel mug: No

Thermos flask: No

Leakproof: No

Using an 'injection' method of brewing, Delter says its coffee press makes a great cup of coffee. 

It's small and light and would easily fit into a rucksack if you're going hiking. 

This product sports a similar design to the Aeropress, but how did it compare? 

To find out read our full review by logging in or joining Which? now. 

Espro Stainless Steel Travel Coffee Press

Espro Stainless Steel Travel Coffee Press

Cheapest price: £33.64 available at Amazon

Capacity: 350ml

Dishwasher safe: No

Includes scoop: No

Travel mug: Yes

Thermos flask: Yes

Leakproof: Yes

Not only is this product a coffee maker, but it's also a travel mug. 

Espro claims it acts as a thermos flask and will keep beverages hot for four to six hours.

We put it to the test to see how well it keeps your coffee hot, as well as how easy it is to use and whether it is actually leakproof.

You can access the full review by logging in to your account or join Which? today. 

Huwaioury Mini Hand Held Coffee Maker

Huwaioury Mini Hand Held Coffee Maker

Cheapest price: £41.85 available at Amazon

Capacity: 150ml

Dishwasher safe: No

Includes scoop: Yes

Travel mug: No

Thermos flask: No

Leakproof: No

The Huwaioury mini coffee maker is a small and compact device that has a pump-action coffee filter. 

This product has a lot of parts that all work together to bring you fresh coffee. 

What did we think of this easily portable device? To find out log into your account or join Which? now. 

Portable Coffee Maker by STARESSO

Portable Coffee Maker by Staresso

Cheapest price: £59.99 available at Amazon

Capacity: 237ml

Dishwasher safe: No

Includes scoop: Yes

Travel mug: No

Thermos flask: No

Leakproof: No

This sleek portable coffee maker is undoubtedly the most expensive product from our selection.

The portable glass cup is held within the device while you use the pump action to make the coffee. 

Staresso by name, but is it a star by design? To find out log in or join Which? to read our full review. 

WACACO Pipamoka Portable Coffee Maker

Wacaco Pipamoka Portable Coffee Maker

Cheapest price: £49.90 available at Amazon

Capacity: 300ml

Dishwasher safe: No

Includes scoop: Yes

Travel mug: Yes

Thermos flask: Yes

Leakproof: Yes

This product is an all-in-one coffee maker and travel mug that has a twist press design. 

The coffee granules are kept in a filter chamber to prevent gritty residue from ruining your drink. 

What did we make of this pricey portable coffee maker? 

To find out log in or join Which? now to see our full results. 

Coffee with crema

What is a coffee crema?

Crema is the flavourful, aromatic, caramel coloured froth that rests on top of a shot of espresso. 

It gives an espresso a full flavour and a longer aftertaste than drip coffee. 

It can also indicate an all-around quality shot of espresso. 

Person using an AeroPress on a hike

How to use an AeroPress or portable coffee maker 

Each of the products we tested came with a detailed set of instructions. 

As with any new product, we always recommend you read through the instructions in full before using it for the first time. 

Particularly with AeroPress but also with a lot of these items, we found there are lots of examples of 'how to use' videos on YouTube, as well as tips, tricks and hacks which can be fun to try out. 

Compost full of coffee

How to recycle coffee granules

Make sure you don't pour your used coffee grounds down your drain. If you do you're risking a blockage.

One of the best ways to get rid of used coffee granules is to add them to your compost heap or your food waste bin. 

They are both compostable and biodegradable, so why not return that goodness to the soil. 


Too late and you already have a blocked drain? Check out our guide on the best kitchen drain unblockers.


Watch: how to make iced coffee three ways using a portable coffee maker

The video below shows you three simple iced coffee recipes made using three of the portable coffee makers from our tests. 

Find out how to make a cold brew coffee, an iced latte and an espresso martini.

How we tested portable coffee makers

Lady enjoying coffee at sunset

To test these portable coffee makers we asked a panel of three experienced coffee makers to assess each one for ease of putting together, ease of making the coffee, the mess made, cleaning and the amount of residue left. 

Another researcher tested a select few coffee makers on their heat retention and how leakproof they were, as well as performing the drop test.

Due to postage delays, only one of our three testers was able to test the Huwaioury coffee maker. 

Ease of putting together

The testers were presented with each product and their instructions in a different order. They assessed how easy each product was to put together in comparison to the others. 

The easier a product was to get ready to use the better it did in the test. The easiest to put together products took less than a minute to get ready.

Ease of making the coffee

Each product was used by the testers to make a single espresso. The testers considered the instructions, the number of steps involved, how complicated each one was, as well as how stiff or user friendly the maker was. 

Consideration was also given to how easy each product would be to use at home, at work or outdoors and if it would be easy for those with different abilities. 

The best products were simple and smooth to use. The worst left our testers confused or with sore hands. 

Mess made

Once a coffee maker was used to make an espresso our testers examined and photographed the mess made. 

The testers considered if the maker caused spillage, leaked or if the design made it easy to spill granules.

The best makers in our selection left us with nothing to clean up, while the worst spilt across our countertops.

Cleaning

After the above tests were completed our testers washed each of the coffee makers in eight litres of warm tap water mixed with one teaspoon of washing-up liquid. 

Our testers considered how easy each product was to clean. They looked at any disassembling required, how easily the materials stained or took on a coffee odour.

Most of the products were pretty easy to clean, but some of them did take more effort. 

Residue

Each cup of coffee was poured through a metal filter mesh.

The mesh was then examined to see how much coffee granule residue had been lurking in the cup. 

Leakproof

Four products claimed to be leakproof:

  • Allomn French Press Travel Coffee Maker
  • Espro Stainless Steel Travel Coffee Press
  • Bodum Travel Press Set Coffee Maker
  • Wacaco Pipamoka Portable Coffee Maker

To test these claims, each coffee maker was filled to capacity with tap water mixed with blue food colouring. Each one was then wrapped in a kitchen roll before being placed in a large re-sealable plastic storage bag. 

Finally, each product was placed in a rucksack and taken on a one hour walk. 

After the walk was completed the kitchen roll was examined for any blue stains.

Heat retention

Only WACACO Pipamoka Portable Coffee Maker and Espro Stainless Steel Travel Coffee Press claimed to have heat-retaining flasks, so they were the only two which underwent this test. 

Each product was filled with 300ml of boiled water. The temperature was taken at the start of the test and then once every 30 minutes for a total of six hours. 

Drop test

Only after all other tests had been completed did we do the drop test. 

Each coffee maker was dropped from 90cm (about the average height of a countertop) onto a concrete paving stone five times. 

The best products survived with nothing worse than a scuff. The worse products shattered. 

How we chose our selection of coffee makers

To decide which portable coffee makers to test we searched for products that met the following criteria: 

  • Must be portable, so it can be used by a commuter or camper
  • Available from major retailers
  • No batteries or electricity needed, manual power only
  • Must use ground coffee, as it's better for the environment than pods

We purchased all the products we tested.