Coffee For The Picky Traveler

The cheapest, easiest way to get your morning coffee.

Paul writes periodic travel and tech articles on  Follow his travel blog,, to read more about his adventures.

Some of us are particular about our morning routines.  We like our coffee just so.  We need it just so.  If we don’t have it just so, we may not be able to function.

Arrange on top of mug, pour hot water over grounds.

Coffee can be tricky while traveling.  Not every trip passes through Seattle.  Some will pass through Utah.  Try getting coffee in a small Utah town.  It won’t happen.

What then to do?  I started with a Bodum French press mug combo thing.  It worked OK (but not great) and was impossible to clean.  I love my French press normally, but as a transportable device, it sucks.  There’s just too much going on.  Most of the big ones are glass, the screen thing doesn’t rinse well.  It just doesn’t work out unless you travel with a dishwasher.  Most of us don’t.

Instant is another option.  You could bootleg those little Starbucks packets.  But what if you don’t like Starbucks?

Well, there’s this, the Melitta single-cup funnel.  It’s perfect.  It’s a single piece of plastic – no moving parts, easy to rinse clean.  Bring a Ziploc of coffee and a couple filters and you’re set.  You will, of course, need hot water and a cup.  Bring a mug too if you are driving (and a camp stove for the water if you’re camping).  Score both the mug and the water from the motel if you’re flying (balancing on the smallest sized Styrofoam cups can be a bit tricky, especially pre-coffee).

Note: the Melitta is also a Keurig-beater in the home.  Pass on that over-engineered counter-top robber and save yourself a boatload.  Get one of these instead.  The landfills will thank you as well.