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Updated: 10 May 2022

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

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 you'll find out how easy the coffee makers are to use, how much mess they make and which leaves the most residue 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: 10 May 2022.


See our best coffee machines for help choosing between a pod, traditional espresso or bean-to-cup machine.


The best portable coffee makers from our test

Best Buy: Portable Coffee Maker by Staresso

Portable Coffee Maker by STARESSO

Only available at Amazon£65.99.

Capacity: 237ml

Dishwasher safe: No

Includes scoop: Yes

Travel mug: No

Thermos flask: No

Leakproof: No

Pros It produces a nice crema, easy to put together, very easy to use, made little mess, had very little residue in the coffee, includes a scoop

Cons Requires a bit more effort to clean than some of the others

Our verdict This Staresso is a star 

If you’re after a coffee maker that will transport you, in spirit at least, to a high-end café in a fancy Italian square, then this is the choice for you. 

With its unique and easy to use design, the Staresso portable coffee maker quickly became a favourite of our testers.

The pump-action produced a fancy, professional-looking crema on top and proved to be one of the easiest coffee makers to use.

The design of the maker protected the glass cup during our drop tests and so the coffee maker came out with only a few scuff marks. 

A small downside to this machine was the cleaning process. While not the hardest in our tests to clean, it was far from the easiest. 

Still, for those willing to put the effort in on cleaning, you'll be rewarded with a brilliant little device that would be great to take to work or camping.

Best Buy: AeroPress Go

AeroPress Go

Cheapest price: £29.33 available at Amazon, also available at AeroPress.

Capacity: 220ml

Dishwasher safe: Yes

Includes scoop: Yes

Travel mug: Yes

Thermos flask: No

Leakproof: No

Pros: Easy to put together, easy to use, makes very little mess, easy to clean, had very little residue in the coffee, includes a scoop

Cons: Requires replaceable filters

Our verdict: Mini me that more than measures up

This smaller and more compact version of the original Aeropress doesn't skimp on anything that made the original so great. 

You get the brewing capability of the original AeroPress with the convenience of an even more portable design. 

Accompanied by a set of simple and easy to understand step-by-step instructions, even the uninitiated will become a pro with this product in no time. 

It's ideal to take to work or bring with you on your hike, and it even comes with a portable filter holder which can hold up to 20 filters. 

In our drop test, this product was only lightly scuffed, so it should stand up to even the most extreme caffeine-fuelled expeditions.

It's slightly harder to use than the Staresso, but still an extremely worthy Best Buy. 

How the rest of the portable coffee makers fared

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

Pros: Easy to put together, easy to use, easy to clean, had very little residue in the coffee, includes a scoop

Cons: A little messier than our Best Buys, requires replaceable filters

Our verdict: We preferred its little friend

The AeroPress Coffee Maker is a social media favourite with a dedicated following, and we can see why this bestselling coffee maker is so popular. 

AeroPress claims to be a revolutionary way to make the perfect cup of coffee every time. On this promise, it delivers; however, we found that the Best Buy AeroPress Go created less mess and left less residue in the bottom of our cup. 

The Aeropress Go is also more portable, but this original Aeropress this is still a worthy addition to the countertop of any coffee lover. 

The simple design of both ensures you're able to make a fast but still brilliant cup of coffee. 

Similar to the AeroPress Go, this AeroPress was only slightly scuffed by our drop test.

Allomn French Press Travel Coffee Maker

ALLOMN French Press Travel Coffee Maker

Only available at Amazon£19.99.

Capacity: 350ml

Dishwasher safe: No

Includes scoop: No

Travel mug: Yes

Thermos flask: No

Leakproof: Yes

Pros: Easy to put together, easy to use, easy to clean, made very little mess

Cons: Had more residue in the coffee than our Best Buys, doesn't include a scoop

Our verdict: Great if you don't mind some coffee grounds in your drink

This coffee maker from Allomn combines the ease of use of a French press in the convenience of a leakproof travel mug. 

The rubber grip near the top protects your hand from the hot coffee inside and feels comfortable to hold. 

The only thing that let this coffee maker down is the amount of residue left in the bottom of our drinks – though it wasn't as bad as some of the others from our test. 

If you're looking for a cheap and easy-to-use coffee maker with a travel mug for your walks or commute, this might be just what you're looking for. 

Barista & Co Twist Press Espresso Coffee Maker

Barista & Co Twist Press Espresso Coffee Maker

Only available at Lakeland£29.99.

Capacity: 200ml

Dishwasher safe: Yes

Includes scoop: No

Travel mug: No

Thermos flask: No

Leakproof: No

Pros: Easy to clean

Cons: Fiddly to put together, not the easiest to use, made a bit of a mess, left residue in the coffee, doesn't include a scoop, requires replaceable filters

Our verdict: Tricky

This coffee maker from Barista & Co has two handles you twist together to make the coffee. 

Its design makes it slightly difficult to ensure the coffee maker is directly over the cup. This meant it was difficult to use and one of the messier coffee makers in our test. 

However, our biggest issues were how difficult it proved to be to put together and how much residue was left in the bottom of the cup. 

Bodum Travel Press Set Coffee Maker

Bodum Travel Press Set Coffee Maker

Cheapest price: £16.50 available at Amazon, also available at John Lewis

Capacity: 350ml

Dishwasher safe: No

Includes scoop: No

Travel mug: Yes

Thermos flask: No

Leakproof: No

Pros: Easy to put together, very easy to use to make a coffee, made almost no mess, very easy to clean

Cons: Left a lot of residue in the coffee, didn't survive our drop test, doesn't include a scoop

Our verdict: Spilled and shattered

A useful travel mug and French press, just be sure not to drop it or tip it over – it shattered during our drop tests. 

While this Bodum coffee maker was simple to use and easy to put together, the design did mean all the granules were loose at the bottom of the maker and easily leaked into the main drink. 

The lid is spill-resistant, which means it's leakproof only when upright. If rolled around or tipped on its side it quickly spills. 

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

Pros: Easy to put together, left very little residue in the coffee, includes a scoop

Cons: Not the easiest to use to make a coffee, made a bit of a mess, not the easiest to clean, requires replaceable filters

Our verdict: Decent but we found better at this price

The Delter Coffee Press isn't at all bad, but for the price you are better off getting the AeroPress, which has a very similar design. 

One of the messier coffee makers from our selection, it was also one of the least easy to clean and we found it to have somewhat confusing instructions. 

Espro Stainless Steel Travel Coffee Press

Espro Stainless Steel Travel Coffee Press

Only available at Amazon£42.26.

Capacity: 350ml

Dishwasher safe: No

Includes scoop: No

Travel mug: Yes

Thermos flask: Yes

Leakproof: Yes

Pros: Easy to put together, easy to make a coffee, made very little mess

Cons: Not the easiest to clean, left quite a bit of residue in the coffee, doesn't include a scoop

Our verdict: Great travel mug; too much residue left in coffee

Easy to use and easy to put together, this coffee maker initially impressed us with its simple and user-friendly design. 

It left very little mess, but it wasn't the easiest portable coffee maker from our selection to clean. 

While this coffee maker is indeed leakproof and retained its heat very well, we found it left the most coffee granule residue in the coffee out of all of those we tested. 

It's also worth noting this coffee press was only slightly scuffed in our drop test. 

Huwaioury Mini Hand Held Coffee Maker

Huwaioury Mini Hand Held Coffee Maker

Only available at Amazon£33.85.

Capacity: 150ml

Dishwasher safe: No

Includes scoop: Yes

Thermos flask: No

Leakproof: No

Pros: Easy to put together, easy to make a coffee, made very little mess, includes a scoop

Cons: Not the easiest to clean, left quite a bit of residue in the coffee

Our verdict: A small and portable device that produced a coffee with a good crema 

The Huwairoury was one of two coffee makers we tested that gave our espresso a crema – the other was our Best Buy Staresso Portable Coffee Maker.

This device was very easy to use with a soft pump action, but it was a bit of a faff to clean as it had so many parts. We felt some of these small parts could be easily lost, especially if you were out and about. 

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

Wacaco Pipamoka Portable Coffee Maker

WACACO Pipamoka Portable Coffee Maker

Only available at Amazon£49.90.

Capacity: 300ml

Dishwasher safe: No

Includes scoop: Yes

Travel mug: Yes

Thermos flask: Yes

Leakproof: Yes

Pros: Easy to put together, includes a scoop

Cons: Not easy to use, made a bit of a mess, not the easiest to clean, left some residue in the coffee, was badly dented in the drop test

Our verdict: A pricey option we'd not recommend 

The method this coffee maker uses to make the coffee involves the user twisting the orange ring around and around. This proved to be a long and arduous process that left our testers with aching hands. 

As a travel mug, this Wacaco Pipamoka was very useful. It retained the heat well and proved to be leakproof. 

It was a bit messy to use and we found it left some residue of coffee granules in the coffee itself. 

Our drop test was the final nemesis for this maker. The bottom of the coffee maker was so badly dented after the test that it could no longer stand up. 

How to use an AeroPress or portable coffee maker 

Person using an AeroPress on a hike

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. 

What is a coffee crema?

Coffee with crema

Crema is the flavoursome, 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-round quality shot of espresso. 

How to recycle coffee granules

Compost full of coffee

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? 


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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 with the others. 

The easier a product was to get ready to use the better it did in the test. The products that were easiest to put together 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 resealable 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.