Here is my philosophy on great coffee: drink it if you can get it, and don’t be a snob if you can only get something basic. But I have my limits on what I’ll accept, and those limits are well above what’s usually available in the little basket in your typical American hotel room. I am currently sitting in my first hotel room in over a year and figure a few of you might be doing the same soon, so here’s my guide for how to make the best coffee.
The obvious option is to locate the nearest coffee shop where you’re traveling, but that would necessitate leaving your hotel room, and the whole point of coffee is to build up the wherewithal to face the world in the first place. Instead, I prefer to make the coffee myself in the most convenient way given the limitations and options usually available in a hotel room.
The best portable coffee brewer: AeroPress Go
Of all the coffee makers in all the travel bags in all the world, the AeroPress Go is the best for travel. It comes with a bunch of pieces of equipment that you’ll want on hand. There’s the basic system itself, which consists of a tube and plunger, of course. But it also packs itself into its own plastic cup and comes with a little container for filters, a scoop, and a stir stick.
There are a few reasons the AeroPress Go is so great for travel. First, it’s indestructible. Everything is plastic and can be knocked around. It’s also light, self-contained, and easy to clean. Most importantly for me, it’s an incredibly forgiving coffee maker. Conditions in a hotel room are going to vary from your home setup: unless you’re willing to devote space to a proper kettle and scale, you will be using smaller and simpler methods for getting hot water and measuring your ratios. Given that you can’t do everything exactly as you might like, the AeroPress has the best Good Coffee To No Fuss Ratio I’ve found.
It comes with a coffee scoop and stir stick, if you like using those when you brew your coffee. (I don’t bother with either.)
Prices taken at time of publishing.
The AeroPress is the simplest way to make great coffee on the go. It comes with extra accessories that make life a little easier, too, including a filter holder, scoop, stir stick, and cup. It all packs up into a compact, clean package.