Mike and I are both coffee lovers. On our nomad journey, we’ve quickly learned that not everyone feels the same. We’ve stayed at homes with no coffee maker at all. We’ve stayed at homes with pod coffeemakers that use instant coffee granules rather than coffee grounds. And everywhere we’ve gone, we’ve had great coffee – because we bring our Aeropress coffee maker around the world with us.

The Aeropress is no Mr. Coffee. It’s a small, completely manual espresso press, and it’s so easy to use even I can do it. And the coffee it produces is so good that even baristas love it.

Small, Light, No Power Adapters Needed

How small is it? I could fit the device and all its accessories in one of my boots, although I wouldn’t do that to it or our taste buds. (I’m under no illusions about how my feet smell.) 

Because it’s made of plastic and rubber it’s very light, about 10 ounces or 280 grams. You can toss this in your bag and still stay within your weight limit for most airlines.

It’s also entirely manual. So long as you have a way to boil water, you can use the Aeropress. Keep your power adapters for your digital devices.

Photo of Aeropress toolkit by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

How Does It Work?

There’s a few different ways to use the Aeropress. We use the inversion method: insert the plunger, pour in the coffee grounds, pour in hot water, wait four minutes, press out through filter. At this point it’s an espresso shot; we top it up with some hot water to make it an Americano. There’s many other methods. Pick the one that works best for you. (Here’s some winning methods from the World Aeropress Championships.)

The Aeropress also makes cleanup easy. The squeegee action of the plunger as you press out your espresso shot cleans out the inside. The grounds come out as a dried-out puck. A quick rinse and you’re ready to pack it away or make your next cup.

The Aeropress is most easy to use if you have some sort of a teakettle. But it will work with literally anything that boils water. We’ve used a microwave to boil our water in a pinch. 

You’ll also need ground coffee. If you’re in an emergency situation with whole beans and no grinder, a blender will grind your beans for you. This is not ideal and serious coffee geeks out there are reading the previous sentence with murder on their minds.

It’s Not Just A Last-Ditch Method

We originally bought the Aeropress for camping. When we took it on the road, we assumed we’d be using it as a method of last resort. To our surprise, we’ve often wound up using the Aeropress even when we’re looking after a house with a coffeemaker. Sometimes it’s because the coffeemaker uses a lot of grounds. Other times it’s because the coffeemaker is fussy, and the Aeropress just seems easier. It’s rare that it stays stashed in our bag.

The Aeropress is one vital part of our nomad kit. Do you have a different coffee making method on the road? Let us know in the comments!