Any time we’re away from our kitchens’, we’re sure to have a plan for how to drink delicious coffee at our destination. So if, like Holly Hunter and Team Trade, you’re going home for the holidays, check out these travel tips so you’re not without something tasty to counteract that tryptophan.
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- Choose Your Weapon: The AeroPress is still the champ when it comes to portable brewers. It folds into itself, making it easy to pack. It’s plastic, so it’s light and you don’t have to worry about it breaking. And, most importantly, if you follow our simple AeroPress recipe, it makes delicious coffee. That’s especially the case if you’re mostly worried about making coffee for yourself.
- Go Back to the Grind: If you have the room, a small grinder like the Porlex Mini Grinder will really improve the quality of your coffee compared to using pre-ground beans, or using a blade grinder. Grinding fresh will help keep the aromatics in your coffee lively and stop it from getting stale, while using a burr grinder will make sure your coffee grounds are even, for a sweet and balanced cup. No matter how and when you choose to grind, our full grind size guide has you covered.
- Keep Your Eyes Open: If you’re staying with family, check out those back shelves and storage closets. Think: Chemexes, pour overs, French presses — remember that all these brewers we love aren’t newfangled inventions, but rather brew methods that predate Mr. Coffee. A few years ago I found a French press at my parents’ house that had been sitting unused for decades. Now it’s the way I brew coffee every time I visit them.
- Get Crafty: Be ready to experiment. You didn’t have space to bring a brewer and the house you’re staying in has nothing but non-reusable pods? Luckily, you don’t really need fancy equipment to make a totally decent cup of coffee. Check out our guide to brewing coffee without a coffee maker to find out how.
- Do Some Exploring: Use your trip as an opportunity to visit some dope coffee shops. Wonderful specialty shops and roasteries are opening across the country, and while you probably don’t want to go out for coffee every day (and they might be closed on Thanksgiving), travel’s a great excuse for coffee shop tourism. Our travel guides have plenty of recommendations, and if we haven’t covered your area (yet!) just search your region or city for “specialty coffee” and do some exploring.
- Work the Room: If you’re making coffee for the whole family, bring some crowd-pleasing blends. If you happen to know that everyone at Thanksgiving loves natural Ethiopians or super-dark roasts, that’s great. But if you don’t have that data or know for a fact that their coffee tastes vary, check out our list of blends that should make everyone happy.
- Try to Blend in: Say you realize halfway through your trip that you haven’t brought enough coffee, and there’s nowhere around to get more delicious beans. You could just finish your bag and be sad. But why not experiment a little? Roasters blend together different coffees to create tastier things all the time, why not cut your super-high-quality coffee with a more run-of-the-mill one and see what happens? There are reasons that coffees roasted to different roast levels by different companies might be hard to work with as a blend, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be fun to see what happens.
- Accessorize Yourself: The easiest way to ensure great coffee on the road is to, well, bring great coffee on the road with you. Our travel tumblers are insulated to keep hot drinks hot well past your city limits.