You’re a lone wolf. You live on your own, frequently travel at work, spend long hours in meetings or the car, but you don’t want to give up the pleasure of your coffee, anywhere and at any time. If you see yourself reflected in this profile, then don’t hesitate: you need to buy a portable coffee maker.
Portable coffee makers also called travel coffee makers or individual coffee makers (although not the same), are coffee machines specially designed for use by one person in any situation and place. They are usually mini coffee makers, easy to use, work with single doses and do not allow the water to heat on its own.
Before we continue, let’s take a look at the main individual coffee makers, or portable coffee makers, that you can currently buy on Amazon:
- 1 Types of portable coffee machines
- 2 What is an individual coffee maker?
- 3 The best portable coffee machines on the market 2021
- 4 How does a portable coffee machine work?
- 5 Are there portable coffee machines for the car?
- 6 Top-selling portable coffee machines from 2021
Types of portable coffee machines
We can establish two types of primary portable coffee machines: the small filter machines and the classic Nespresso capsule portable coffee maker (or another capsule, but usually Nespresso).
The former use ground coffee and function as a regular drip coffee maker (but in mini size). The Nespresso portable coffee machines use, as we have already said, single doses. They have a characteristic tube or cylindrical shape and are generally black.
What is an individual coffee maker?
When buying an individual coffee maker, it is essential to be clear about its qualities and the differences it presents concerning traditional coffeemakers.
An individual coffee maker is a coffee machine with particular characteristics. It is not a closed type, but most models usually meet some (or all) of the following specifications:
- These are very small appliances, typically capable of making just one cup of coffee at a time.
- They are designed to be used away from home, in many cases with a pressure system that does not need electricity to operate.
- Many include with the machine a thermal glass to be able to take the hot coffee in any place (Coffee-To-Go).
- Some have a 12-volt connector for use in the car’s cigarette lighter (car coffee machines).
- Others connect via USB only to any computer or device with a USB socket. You can read more about them in our guide to portable USB coffee machines.
As you can see, most portable coffee machines are individual (they only serve one person at a time), but not vice versa: not all individual coffee machines are also portable coffee machines. Some are designed to set up in your kitchen and prepare a cup of American filter coffee to drink on the street when you leave home.
The best portable coffee machines on the market 2021
As you can see, there are many options to buy a portable coffee machine on Amazon, but we are going to highlight four models that we think are worthy of mention.
MiniPresso: the Nespresso portable coffee maker
The MiniPresso coffee maker is one of the first references that we always find when looking for information about portable coffee makers for Nespresso. Although we must point out that it is not a machine of this brand, but works with capsules of this format.
It is a portable mini coffee machine for Nespresso capsules, which has a capacity of 120 millilitres (for making one long espresso or two traditional espressos) and also works with ground coffee (it admits doses of up to 7 grams).
The MiniPresso NS portable coffee maker is capable of distributing a pressure of 8 bars and comes with a matching carrying bag that can also be purchased apart if needed. It could resemble a portable Nespresso machine (worth the simile), but we reiterate that it does not belong to the famed Nestlé brand.
It’s easy to confuse this MiniPresso portable coffee maker with the popular Handpresso Auto, both in design and operation. However, the difference between the two is obvious: the Handpresso is a coffee machine that works with electricity (connected to the socket of the car’s cigarette lighter). At the same time, the MiniPresso is 100% manual, without any electrical intervention.
- [ENCAPSULATED ESPRESSO] Compatible with NS CAPSULES*, in which the coffee is ground, measured and tamped with high precision, there is very little left for error. It's also more convenient, mess free...
- [MANUAL OPERATION ONLY] Add any compatible capsules into the outlet head. Add hot water into the water tank. Unlock the piston from its travel position and pump a few strokes to pressurize and extract...
- [GREAT PARTNER FOR TRAVEL] Minipresso NS is your best choice to quickly and efficiently enjoy delicious espresso wherever you are. Your espresso looks great and taste fantastic every time.
- [COMPATIBILITY NOTE] NS CAPSULES refers to Nespresso** Original capsules and compatibles. Note that some non Original capsules might not work well with our machines.
- NOTE: Accessories are sold separately! You can purchase Minipresso Tank+ or Minipresso Case accessories separately in order to prepare longer espresso (100ml) and protect Minipresso NS from any bumps,...
The Staresso coffee maker is the recipient of the 2016 Reddot Design Award, thanks in part to its spectacular staging. It’s an entirely manual portable coffee machine (without electricity) with an included glass cup, 15 bar pressure and also allows infusions or any drink with hot water – not just coffee. In the field of portable mini coffee machines, this would perhaps be the model of a higher level.
The Staresso SP-200 model is specially designed to make ColdBrew espresso in just a few minutes. With all these qualities, you may have already imagined that the Staresso express coffee maker works like a charm as a coffee maker for travel, excursions, vacations, business trips, and so on.
It is effortless to clean, really versatile (it allows you to make multiple types of drinks and coffees), and has a reasonably low price for everything it offers.
- ☕【High Quality Manual Coffee Maker】With 15~25 bar pressure, STARESSO professional coffee maker brews hot water through ground coffee quickly to produce an espresso coffee which has more cream,...
- ☕【Portable Hand Held Espresso Machine】This minipresso espresso maker is portable and doesn't take up much space. Every hand operated coffee machine comes free with a carrying bag for the coffee...
- ☕【2016 Reddot Award Winner】STARESSO mini espresso maker has an elegant textured design. You get the benefits of great functionality in a small space. You can prepare your coffee drinks even when...
- ☕【Creative Functions】You can make milk foam and quick cold brew, and experiment with different styles of coffee. Mini Espresso Machine froths milk by air pressure, without water (avoiding...
- ☕【Simple Regular Cleaning】Driven crazy about cleaning your coffee machine after making coffee? This one doesn’t need any special maintenance. Its open design makes regular cleaning simple and...
Arendo OneCup: the portable coffee maker that heats water
The Arendo OneCup is a filter coffee maker, much more traditional than the previous one. It works with electricity (it is therefore not suitable for travel), and its greatest virtue lies in its small size: it is a coffee machine for a single cup, barely half a kilogram in weight.
It includes a thermal glass of 300 millilitres of capacity, with a double-wall, that allows us to take the coffee with us by the street or by the office without the drink loses temperature.
It is one of the cheapest coffee machines you can find right now in the Spanish market. And it has a substantial advantage over the other machines we see in this report: a portable coffee maker that heats the water.
- Brews real coffee from fresh grounds or soft filter coffee pods into a stainless steel travel mug that you can take with you
- 400 ml capacity stainless steel travel mug included
- 24 hour programmable timer - Your coffee is ready for when you want it
- Adjustable drip tray fits travel mugs and standard sized cups - Reduces splashes or spills
- Permanent coffee filter - No paper filters required
Coffee maker Domo Partner
And this is another CoffeeToGo electric coffee maker, which also honours 100% of its nickname. As you can see in the image, the Domo Partner is a dripper that reduces the piece to the minimum expression. It includes a cup and 400 ml — capacity thermal glass, which fit perfectly in the coaster holder of any vehicle.
The thermal glass is made of stainless steel and has a non-slip rubber grip in the same colour as the main body of the machine. The Domo travel coffee maker is available in various colours (black, red, orange) and has a permanent filter that makes it possible to use, in a revolutionary way, both ground coffee and single-dose sachets to prepare coffee. Something new in a filter coffee maker!
- 1TASSEN Coffee Machine for pads + Coffee Powder with a capacity up to 400 ml
- Coffee to go Coffee Dispenser boils Coffee directly into the drinking cup, so you can your personal coffee to go cooking
- Stainless steel thermal mug with rubberised heat resistant safety handle for a provide extra grip.
- Tip: you can matching Replacement Drinking Cups in the colours black, red, orange and green order
- Ideal for the little kitchen or the Single house
Wacaco Nanopresso: Opinions
This Wacaco Nanopresso is the updated and improved version of the Minipresso that we have seen before presents a design. It features similar to those of other car coffee machines that we have seen in this guide. It has an adapter for capsules (it can be purchased as a set or separately), which allows us to use single-dose or ground coffee as we prefer.
When buying the coffee machine Nanopresso on Amazon, we must emphasize that it has 18 bars of pressure and admits a dose of up to 7 grams of ground coffee. And best of all: take the glass and the spoon to stir the coffee already integrated into the body of the coffee maker!
The dimensions of this individual Nanopresso coffee machine are 15 x 7 x 6 cms, and the tank can hold up to 80 ml of water.
- [SUPER PUMPING SYSTEM] Built around a newly patented pumping system and no battery/electric need, the Nanopresso is powerful. With the help of your hands, a maximum of 18 bars (261 PSI) of stable...
- [EASIER THAN EVER] The Nanopresso works best with all varieties of ground coffee. Add the boiling water to its tank and pump manually, it is delightfully easy to operate and easy to prepare your...
- [SMALLEST AND LIGHTEST] Nanopresso's ergonomic design and shorter length makes it your travel companion of choice. Nanopresso is engineered to be extremely light. Yet, designed to go wherever you go,...
- [MORE WATER CAPACITY] Nanopresso water tank can hold up to 80ml of water. It's lined and protected by the detachable cup. Both parts feature a heatsink pattern to absorb and protect the hands from the...
- [GREAT ACCESSORY] The addition of the NS Adaptor allows the Nanopresso to use NS CAPSULES* to prepare espresso. So you can enjoy your favorite Nespresso** Original capsules or compatibles even while...
How does a portable coffee machine work?
Finally, we are going to see in detail how a portable manual coffee machine works, in this case, with the example of the Staresso SP-200 that we have already reviewed in this guide.
In short, all these portable mini-coffee makers of capsules work in the same way:
- You must add the hot water beforehand (the coffeemaker does not heat the water).
- Introduce the single dose in the interior (in some models, you can also use ground coffee).
- Assemble and close the coffee maker well.
- You manually press the lever or button that serves to inflate pressure through the ground coffee.
Are there portable coffee machines for the car?
Yes, a portable coffee machine for cars is nothing more than a small machine (it can be a capsule machine or a filter machine) whose electricity outlet is a 12v outlet that is plugged into the connector of the car cigarette lighter.
Although they are still portable coffee machines, we talk about them in more detail in our guide to travel coffee machines.
Top-selling portable coffee machines from 2021
When buying a portable coffee machine, a useful reference is to see the ranking of successes in our country. This way, you will be able to know which models are in fashion or which are trendy due to their quality or their low price. We recommend buying your portable coffee maker at Amazon due to the variety of models you have there (in traditional stores, it is still challenging to find them).