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 machines specially designed for 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.
Types of portable coffee machines
We can establish two primary portable coffee machines types: 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 mini size). As we have already said, the Nespresso portable coffee machines use single doses. They have a characteristic tube or cylindrical shape and are generally black.
- Fdit 350ml Portable Mini Espresso Maker Hand Held Pressure Caffe Espresso Machine
- 2 In 1 Portable Espresso Maker | Nespresso Capsule Pod & Ground Coffee Compatible
What is an individual coffee maker?
When buying an individual coffee maker, it is essential to be clear about its qualities and differences 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 2023
As you can see, there are many options to buy a portable coffee machine on Amazon, but we will 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 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 can distribute the 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 car’s cigarette lighter). At the same time, the MiniPresso is 100% manual, without any electrical intervention.
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 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.
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 (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, allowing us to take the coffee with us by the street or by the office without the drink losing 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.
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!
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.
How does a portable coffee machine work?
Finally, we will 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 (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 discuss them in more detail in our guide to travel coffee machines.
Top-selling portable coffee machines from 2023
When buying a portable coffee machine, a useful reference is seeing the ranking of our country’s successes. This way, you will know which models are in fashion or which are trendy due to their quality or low price. We recommend buying your portable coffee maker at Amazon due to the variety of models you have there (it is still challenging to find them).