8 Best Small Coffee Makers (Travel Size) – Our 2021 reviews

/ / / 8 Best Small Coffee Makers (Travel Size) – Our 2021 reviews

If you’re a coffee addict like most of us, and you’re low on space or traveling soon, you’ve got to figure out your caffeine situation. 

Having a portable coffee maker is a must so that you can get a hot cup of java whenever you want. You choose between single-serve machines, pour-over coffee makers, and so on. 

The best small coffee maker for you will depend on where you’re going and how much space you have available in your luggage. If you’re not heading anywhere, but you’re working with a smaller amount of counter space, you too can benefit from a coffeemaker with a small frame. 

Our Top Pick: Keurig K-Mini Plus Coffee Maker

The Keurig K-Mini Plus Coffee Maker is at the top of our list with the following features that make it the best overall small coffee maker:

  • Lightweight
  • Makes 6-12 ounces
  • Strong brew button
  • Less than five inches wide
  • Removable drip tray
  • Portable

Why We Chose the Keurig K-Mini Plus 

We chose the K-Mini Plus as the best small coffee maker because it checks all the boxes that make it the perfect candidate for small spaces and traveling. 

Not only does it fit in with any decor with a sleek, black finish, but it also brews you a delicious cup of coffee in a few minutes. If you’re on the go, you don’t have a lot of time to set up a coffee maker. 

With the K-Mini Plus, the upgrades make it easy to use, easy to clean, and easy to store once you finish. It’s a single-serve coffee machine with additional storage for your pods built into the device. 

Read more on the K-Mini Plus below.

Other Top Picks 

Here are the other top picks for the best small coffee makers, each with an area where it excels. 

Best For Simple Use: The Bonavita 5-Cup One-Touch Coffee Brewer 

Material: Stainless Steel 

Capacity: 5 cups

Item Weight: 5 pounds

The Bonavita One-Touch Coffee Brewer is the perfect addition to your luggage. You can keep this at home in the corner of the counter or pack it with you to take on a trip or to the office. 

The coffee maker has a durable construction of stainless steel, it only weighs five pounds, and it’s easy to use with one-touch functions. It has a heating plate that reaches the perfect brewing temperature of 195°F-205°F, and it doesn’t stop there. 

In about six minutes, you’ll have a carafe with a five-cup capacity. It begins with the unique design of the showerhead, which evenly coats the coffee beans. There is even a pre-infusion mode, which allows the beans to become saturated, encouraging a more robust cup of joe. 

Lastly, the filter, carafe lid, and showerhead are all dishwasher safe.

Pros

  • The durable stainless steel carafe and overall build can stand up to the wear and tear of transportation.
  • A simplistic design without all the bells and whistles makes this coffee maker easy to use.
  • The showerhead allows for more even water distribution.
  • The pre-infusion mode helps to bring out the more intense flavor in the coffee beans through saturation.

Cons

  • Some buyers report that the water filter leakers sometimes.
  • The pre-infusion mode can make the paper filter too wet, causing the beans to get into the cup of coffee from the filter rips.

Best For Value: Black and Decker 5-Cup Coffee Maker 

Material: Plastic

Capacity: 5 cups

Item Weight: 1.79 pounds

This brewer is one of the most lightweight coffee brewers on the list, coming in under two pounds. You can pack it easily if you need to leave for a while, and you’ll still get a quality cup of coffee each morning. 

It has a handy sneak-a-cup feature that lets you temporarily halt the flow of your coffee and pour a cup before it’s done brewing process. This is the perfect coffee maker for a dorm room, someone who doesn’t need much coffee, or if you need to move it from place to place occasionally. 

It has one-touch controls that make operating easy, including the ON/OFF switch with a light indicator. One flip of the switch, and the water immediately starts rising to the ideal temperature to get the full flavor. 

Black and Decker is a trusted company that didn’t disappoint with the compact coffee maker that delivers full-size flavor and convenience. 

Pros

  • This coffee maker comes with a permanent grounds filter, meaning no need to get paper filters.
  • The whole machine is easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
  • It comes with a carafe to make five, five-ounce cups of coffee.
  • The construction of the carafe ensures mess-free pouring.

Cons

  • The frame may get cracked because it’s made of plastic.
  • The sneak a cup feature doesn’t always work.

Best Overall: Keurig K-Mini Plus Single Serve Coffee Maker 

Material: Plastic

Capacity: 6-12 ounces 

Item Weight: 4.6 pounds

This machine is one of the best coffee makers that you can get because it gives you a little bit of everything. The K-Mini Plus is an upgrade from the previous model, and it includes new features like the removable chrome drip tray.

It makes room to fill a tall travel mug, and you can even take advantage of the strong brew time button to make your coffee more intense. The K-Mini Plus is less than five inches wide and is less than five pounds. It is a single-serve machine with a 6-12 ounce capacity. 

It even has an automatic shut-off feature that stops the machine one minute and thirty seconds after finishing your last brew. Keurig is a trusted brand that consistently produces convenient and top-quality machines, and this is no exception. 

It comes in a variety of colors, and the water reservoir is also removable. You can use k-pods with this machine and then store them inside the machine for extra space-saving. These pods can also make specialty beverages and coffee drinks like hot cocoa or an intense brew. 

Pros

  • The potent brew button gives you a choice between a regular cup of coffee and that extra push.
  • The ON/OFF switch has a light indication.
  • It takes up a minimal amount of space on your counter or in your luggage.

Cons

  • Some users say the coffee is not as hot as you want when it comes off the heating plate.
  • It leaks water sometimes.

Best Espresso Maker: Nespresso Inissia Espresso Maker by De’Longhi 

Material: Plastic

Capacity: 9 cups 

Item Weight: 5.29 pounds

The Nespresso Inissia model by De’Longhi has pulled out all the stops to bring you a barista-grade machine to make a premium espresso. 

It has automatic functions and a top-of-the-line extraction system, utilizing 19 bars of pressure. 

It only takes 25 seconds for the water temperature to reach the optimal level of about 195°F. You can brew up to nine cups of coffee in one sitting, with no need to refill the water tank. It holds 24 ounces and is easy to clean. 

You can adjust the cup size that you want from espresso size (1.35-ounce) to single-serve size or large serve size (5-ounce). The drip tray folds to accommodate the larger size and is great for preventing a mess on the counter. After nine minutes, the energy-saving mode kicks in, and the machine will automatically turn off. 

Lastly, the Aeroccino milk frother is a game-changer. It puts the finishing touches on a latte or cappuccino, and it takes your drink to the next level. The Nespresso Inissia doesn’t weigh much, doesn’t take up much space, and is easy to transport. Who says you can’t be fancy on the road?

Pros

  • The water reaches the ideal temperature after only 25 seconds, making it easy to get a quick espresso or cup of coffee.
  • The water reservoir holds 24 ounces and delivers nine cups of coffee at once
  • Each machine comes with a complimentary pack of espresso starter capsules
  • It comes with a milk frother

Cons

  • The load mechanism jams if you don’t align it properly
  • The milk frother is somewhat weak and doesn’t steam the milk as well each time; it only froths the top layer 

Best Mid-Sized Coffee Maker: Cuisinart DCC-450BK 4-Cup Coffee Maker 

Material: Stainless Steel

Capacity: 4 cups 

Item Weight: 3.25 pounds

The Cuisinart 4-cup Coffee maker is an energy-efficient midsize coffee maker that makes coffee on the go a breeze. 

Known for making excellent kitchen appliances, Cuisinart has created a lightweight and portable coffee machine that delivers hot and fresh coffee in under ten minutes. 

It also has a pause feature that lets you stop the brewing so that you can grab a cup before it’s finished. Additionally, this machine is durable and stain-resistant. The stainless steel construction ensures that you can move it around from room to room and take it on trips without worrying that it’ll get cracked. 

It has a light indicator for when the machine is powered on, helping to avoid electrical incidents or power waste. It cuts off after thirty minutes as well.

The carafe has a dripless design and a knuckle guard to prevent burns and spills. The Cuisinart coffee maker is easy to use, won’t take up too much of your space, and it’s consistent. It may not have a ton of features, but it gets the job done. 

Pros

  • The brew-pause feature is perfect for quickly grabbing a cup of hot coffee while still preparing your morning pot.
  • The machine automatically cuts off at 30 minutes, avoiding incidents.
  • The dripless design prevents spills.
  • It’s lightweight and doesn’t take up much space in a suitcase or on the counter.

Cons

  • The paint on the heating paint may start to chip after about six months of use.
  • Some buyers report that the coffee will spill out of the top of the machine is not pushed down all the way.

Best Drip Coffee Maker: Zutto 5-Cup Drip Coffee Maker 

Material: Plastic

Capacity: 5 cups 

Item Weight: 4.66 pounds

The ZUTTO Coffee Maker is equipped with a water filter that lasts for two years with regular use. It also has a removable water tank. The ZUTTO Coffee Maker can brew five cups of coffee and has an automatic keep-warm button to boot. 

The charcoal water filter is a great addition that purifies water efficiently, which helps to produce some of the best-tasting coffee. Other times, you may find that you have to use filtered water not to have a slight metallic taste in your beverage. 

Furthermore, if you don’t have much space to dedicate too much of anything else, the sleek and compact design of the cone-shaped basket is made to be housed within the glass carafe, which keeps the entire unit compact. 

Also, the pleasant addition of the warming plate serves to keep your coffee warm far past when you initially pour it. This coffee maker is terrific for times where you need to top off a great cup of coffee with a bit of extra.

Pros

  • It features a convenient removable water container.
  • The filter is quality and can last for up to two years, provided that there’s only regular use.
  • It can brew up to five cups of coffee.
  • It has a sleek and compact design that won’t take up much space on the kitchen counter. 

Cons

  • There’s no automatic turn-off feature, so you must turn it off directly after the coffee brews.
  • The glass carafe is fragile and could easily crack.

Best Pour Over Coffee Maker: Chemex Classic Pour Over Glass Coffee Maker 

This Chemex coffee maker has a simple and elegant design. This coffee maker is timeless and relatively easy to use. The Chemex glass coffee maker is made with very high quality, borosilicate glass (non-porous) which does not absorb chemical residues or odors, for that matter. 

Furthermore, the Chemex coffee brewer has an elegant pour-over design that enables the coffee to get covered and refrigerated. You can reheat it later without compromising flavor. 

How to Use a Pour Over Coffee Maker 

Here are step-by-step instructions for those that have never used a pour-over coffee maker before:

Step 1: Grind your coffee beans. Using your choice of whole bean coffee and grind it to medium coarse ground. Note that a burr grinder is an excellent choice if you’re trying to get a fine powder. 

Step 2: Select the filter. You have to use the bonded coffee filter designed by Chemex and form it into a cone shape. Gently put it inside of the brewer.

Step 3: Add the coffee. Place a tablespoon of ground coffee in your filter cone for every 5-ounce cup of coffee that you want to make.  If you want it to be stronger, add more until it reaches your desired taste.

Step 4: Let it be. After it starts boiling, you’ll have to turn the fire down and allow the water to stop boiling. At this point, you have to add a bit of water to the ground coffee so it can start blooming. 

Step 5: Add your water. Without adding too much water and letting it spill over from the Chemex brewer, pour some of the water brewing directly onto the grounds.

Step 6: Keep brewing. Use the rest of the water to pour on your coffee grounds. Make sure you move your hand back and forth as you pour, and avoid pouring in one spot. That ensures an even coating.

Step 7: Throw the filter away. Once you brew the coffee, lift the filter and remove the used grounds.

Step 8: Enjoy Your Coffee! Pour your coffee and enjoy.

Pros

  • It’s compact with an elegant design.
  • It was designed with the highest quality of borosilicate glass.
  • It features a patented pull-over design.

Cons

  • The filters are not good.
  • It may start to mold if not cleaned properly.

What to Look for in Your Dual Coffee Maker

Sometimes most of the hassle when looking for a dual coffee maker is simply not knowing what to look for. That’s why below, we’ve taken the liberty of providing you with the information you need to purchase your dual coffee maker.

Size (Number of Servings)

Size is one of the most crucial variables to consider when mulling over which travel coffee maker to buy. The first factor to consider is the size of your luggage and just how much space you’re willing to allocate to your coffee maker.

Selecting the coffee maker with the perfect dimensions and weight is dependent on the size of your luggage, the weight restrictions of the airline, and the method of transportation.

Moreover, travel coffee makers are supposed to make a small amount of coffee, enough for two people at most. So make sure before making a purchase that your prospective coffee maker makes enough coffee.

For example, a person used to drinking a 12 oz mug of coffee in the morning shouldn’t buy a coffee maker that only produces 6 oz of coffee at a time.

Settings

Settings are some of the most important features to watch for when you’re looking for a quality coffee maker for travel or small spaces. 

Some of these settings are good because you can get close to the same quality coffee you would get if you had a full-sized machine with all the fixings. Others are essential from a practical standpoint, and some for convenience.

Self-Serve

Models with the “Self-Serve” setting hold the brewed coffee inside instead of pouring it into a mug or carafe. That allows you to fill the cup directly from the machine, which keeps the coffee hot. If you’re looking for the most efficient model, this would be a good option. 

Speed 

Sometimes you just can’t get to that fresh cup of brew fast enough. You want your coffee, and you want it as soon as possible without any hassle, just smooth sailing! 

So how long are you genuinely willing to wait for a fresh pot of coffee? While searching for your next travel coffee maker, the time it takes to brew the coffee is something you may want to consider.

The machines on this list all have varying amounts of time that it takes to make a cup of coffee, along with different ounces of coffee that it can brew at once. 

If you want to accommodate more than four people with your travel coffee maker, you may need to choose a different solution that could take up more space in your luggage. 

The time per cup is the measurement that you want to pay attention to when determining how long it takes to make a cup of coffee.

Be sure to choose a machine that takes between 30 seconds to 5 minutes to brew. Anything much longer, and you may feel like you’re waiting entirely too long for your coffee.

Ease of Cleaning 

It’s never fun to worry about something as mundane as how you’re going to clean your coffee maker as you’re traveling and trying to enjoy yourself. So it is essential to look into how easy your prospective coffee maker is to clean before purchasing it.

You can clean some machines with a routine rinse, and others require a little more elbow grease due to their components. Some coffee makers are dishwasher safe, which is always a plus and can save you a bit of time.

Conclusion

For all avid coffee drinkers that need a cup of mojo in the morning before starting the day, then a tiny coffee maker may be the thing you’ve been missing. No matter if you choose a sophisticated coffee maker or a modest pour-over, you can have coffee wherever you go without missing a beat.

If you’re on a budget or you’re on some sort of adventurous quest, choose a pour-over; the easy cleaning capabilities are sure to come in handy. 

If you’re looking for something a little more upscale, then an espresso maker may be what you need to add to your appliance arsenal. The best small coffee maker offers consistency and convenience.