When you’re used to making great coffee at home or stopping by your favorite local shop, then finding coffee of comparable quality when you’re traveling can be difficult. Gas station and airport coffee can often leave you wanting more. But there’s a far better solution to this problem than loading up on cream and sugar. With a minimal amount of effort, you can brew great coffee on the go!
The first thing you’ll need is a portable brew method. I would say that aside from specialty instant coffee, this is really the only way to brew coffee on the go. The aeropress is light and compact, so it won’t take up much space in your bag. It’s also easy to use, easy to clean, and made from BPA free plastic. Most of the time we recommend using a scale to weigh out your brewing water, but the Aeropress is marked on the side to denote volume, which makes it possible to make well measured and delicious coffee without a scale. The Aeropress is an immersion brew method (coffee and water steep together during brewing), so it yields and bold cup that’s typically lower in perceived acidity. Whether you’re camping, on a road trip, or in an airport, the aeropress is great.
When brewing on the go, it can be tempting to just get your coffee pre-ground before you leave so you don’t have to find a grinder every time you want to brew. Although this is the more convenient option, preground coffee starts to go stale within about an hour. The best way to make sure your coffee stays fresh when you’re brewing on the go is to use a hand grinder. Making sure that this is a burr grinder (ie Porlex Mini, Hario Slim Mill, etc), in order to maintain consistency while you’re grinding. These hand grinders are adjustable, and maintain a similar level of consistency to a home burr grinder.
The last thing you’ll need to brew great coffee on the go is great coffee. Because the Aeropress is an Immersion Brew method, it’s probably best to pick a coffee that is bolder and more full bodied. Immersion brew methods tend to highlight these things, and if you use a coffee that is a bit lighter or fruitier, these qualities may not shine through quite as well. We recommend using a full bodied South/Central American coffee, or a chocolatey blend.
If you’re trying to make great coffee while traveling, you don’t have to settle for airport or gas station coffee. All you need is an Aeropress, a hand grinder, and a great tasting bag of coffee! As long as you can find hot water, you can brew great coffee on the go.