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Last Updated on December 9, 2023
Coffee machines are usually bulky devices requiring a dedicated power source. But what if you’re trying to make cups of coffee on the go? In that case, a portable coffee maker makes a lot more sense.
Overall, while a battery-powered coffee maker may not be suitable for everyday use, it can work well for vacations and day trips when you’re not sure if or where you’ll get your next cup.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the top three battery-operated coffee machines to keep in your cupboard.
3 Best Battery-Powered Coffee Makers at a Glance
What Is a Battery-Powered Coffee Maker?
As the name suggests, this machine type uses batteries instead of electricity from a home outlet to brew coffee. Because the device uses rechargeable batteries, it often has a compact design, making it easier to store in luggage or a briefcase. Some models are handheld, while others have sizes that are similar to a regular coffee maker.
As we’ll discuss later, there are several features and benefits to pay attention to when comparing these machines. However, keep in mind that none of the devices on this list works both ways. For example, we aren’t looking at coffee machines that plug in regularly and have battery backup power for when you need it.
Pros and Cons of Using a Battery-Powered Coffee Machine
If you already have a coffee maker or are looking to buy one, you may wonder if a portable machine is worth the investment. Here are some advantages (and disadvantages) of these devices:
|Fast and Efficient. Using a handheld coffee maker means you can get your next cup of coffee in less time than it would take with a traditional machine. Also, since these devices often only brew one cup at a time, you don't have to wait as long for the water to heat up.
|Limited Capacity. If you're only drinking one cup of coffee on the go, a portable machine will work perfectly. However, if you drink multiple cups of coffee, you need something that can handle a larger order. Unfortunately, big devices require more power than most batteries, so you might be out of luck.
|Coffee on the Go. Usually, traveling means buying coffee wherever you go. While many hotels come with a coffee maker, they may not work correctly, or you might not want to make so much at once. With a battery-operated device, you can get that boost of energy and flavor wherever you are, even if you're not at a hotel or kitchen.
|Requires Recharging. One potential issue with using a battery-powered coffee maker is that you may forget to keep it charged. Some models may lose their charge when unplugged. The best way to avoid this problem is to keep the device charging at all times, but that may not be feasible, especially while traveling.
Top 3 Battery-Powered Portable Coffee Makers
If you’re familiar with the Makita brand, you may be surprised to see it on this list. However, the company doesn’t just specialize in power tools—it also makes one of the best battery-operated coffee makers. Whether you’re drinking on a job site or at home, the Makita Cordless Coffee Maker works well for practically all situations.
Brews a Cup of Coffee in 5 Minutes
If you’re going through the trouble of buying a portable, battery-operated coffee maker, you want something that will be extra efficient and convenient. Fortunately, this model works fast even though it’s not plugged in. You can get a five-ounce cup of hot coffee in about five minutes, and the whole machine can brew three cups on a single charge.
That said, if you like to drink more than 15 ounces in one sitting, you’ll have to wait for the machine to recharge. Alternatively, you can buy a secondary battery to swap in while the other one charges.
Built-in Drip Filter
Usually, coffee makers use a paper filter so that you don’t get coffee grounds in your mug. Thankfully, you don’t have to spend money on filters with this device because it has its own filter built in. That said, this feature is both convenient and time-consuming. On the one hand, you can pour your coffee grounds into the pot directly. On the other hand, you’ll need to clean out those grounds once you’re done brewing coffee.
One way this machine could be better is if it used individual coffee pods, but Makita doesn’t offer that setting.
- Fast and efficient coffee maker works in five minutes
- Can brew up to three cups of quality coffee on a single charge
- Compact design
- No paper filters are necessary
- Works with individual coffee packets or ground coffee
- No battery pack included
- Only makes 5-ounce cups of coffee
One challenge of using a battery coffee machine is that you get relatively little liquid. To help compensate for that, you can use more potent coffee, such as espresso. This coffee maker from CONQUECO only makes 1.5 ounces, but since you’re getting a lot of caffeine in such a small dose, it should do the trick.
Works With 12-Volt Car Charger
Typically, if you’re going to recharge a battery coffee maker, you need to plug it into an electrical outlet. This model from Conqueco is even more portable because it only needs a vehicle’s 12-volt charger. This feature is both convenient and kind of a hassle if you’re not in your car. However, if you’re on a long-distance road trip or going on a car-camping trip, this machine can work wonders.
Carrying Case Provided
If you like to take care of your belongings, you’ll love that this coffee machine comes with its own carrying case. This way, you can protect the device itself and have a place to store your charging cord and extra coffee pods.
- Sleek design and compact size
- Recharges via a car’s 12-volt adapter
- Makes espresso coffee
- Fully automatic operation
- Easy to clean
- Water doesn’t get super-hot
- Makes only 1.5 ounces of coffee
At first glance, the Gourmia Digital Coffee Maker looks like a traditional machine with a carafe and a funnel in which to pour your coffee grounds and water. However, this is a pour-over device, meaning you must add hot water yourself. Knowing this feature (or drawback, depending on how you look at it) ahead of time can save you a lot of hassle. Still, if you prefer pour-over coffee, this device works wonders.
Automatic and Manual Measurements
If you’re unfamiliar with pour-over coffee, it works by measuring precise amounts of coffee grounds and water. As these two components mix, they drip into the carafe, giving you the best blend of flavors possible.
The batteries are for the built-in scale, which tells you how much of each ingredient you have in the funnel. So if you know your measurements, you can use the manual mode. However, if you prefer not to think too hard about it, you can switch to automatic mode, meaning the machine will tell you how much water to add.
Makes Up to 4 Cups of Coffee
One advantage that this machine has over other battery-operated coffee makers is that it has an extra-large carafe. Most other devices are meant for a single cup, but you can make up to four cups at a time with this. Again, since this machine doesn’t heat the water, you’ll need to add your own and wait for it to drip down.
- Built-in scale for precise measuring
- Automatic and manual options available
- Runs on three AAA batteries
- Large carafe holds four cups of coffee
- Ribbed walls for maximum coffee extraction
- Doesn’t heat the water for you
- Only suitable for pour-over brewing
How To Choose the Best Battery-Operated Coffee Machine
Here are some factors to consider when looking at the different features and options for battery-operated coffee machines.
Do you like to drink one cup of coffee or three? The answer to that question will make a significant difference in your buying decision. Some handheld coffee makers only work for a single cup. So if you like to drink more than that, these devices are actually pretty inconvenient since you need to clean them out and start over every time.
The Makita Cordless Coffee Maker will give you three cups with a single charge:
Another point to consider is whether you’ll also be brewing for other coffee drinkers—when you’re traveling with your significant other, for example. It’s not realistic to each have an individual coffee maker, so you need something that can accommodate both of you. Otherwise, you’ll have to take turns on who’s drinking and who’s washing the machine.
Even if a coffee maker can brew multiple cups, you need to ensure you’re not going to run out of juice before it has time to heat the cold water. Unfortunately, because most people like their coffee hot, battery-powered models tend to die pretty quickly.
Regarding the batteries themselves, pay attention to whether you can buy multiple batteries and swap them out. For example, the Makita Coffee Maker uses an interchangeable battery. This way, you can use one to power the machine while charging the other. This process is a bit expensive, but it can save you a lot of time and hassle later.
Conversely, if the battery is not removable, you’ll have to wait awhile before you can use the coffee maker again. Also, since you need as much juice as possible, you can’t just let it get to 20% to brew a new cup. You’ll need to wait until it’s almost fully charged to make another cup of coffee.
As we’ve mentioned, one of the best reasons to buy a battery-operated coffee maker is to bring it with you when you travel. So portability is a huge defining factor when comparing different models. That said, you may also need to consider what your luggage situation will be like. If you have plenty of room in your bag or suitcase, buying a bigger coffee machine makes sense. However, if you’re short on space for anything extra, you’ll need something far more compact, like a portable travel coffee maker.
Another thing to think about with portability is whether or not the machine has its own carrying case. If not, you might want to buy something so it doesn’t get dinged up in transit. Otherwise, you may have to buy a new coffee maker sooner rather than later.
Cleaning and Maintenance
One of the primary downsides of buying such a compact coffee maker is that it’s much harder to clean. While you can purchase brushes and tools to make the job a little easier, you must also remember to bring them along when you travel.
Overall, smaller coffee makers can be a pain to clean thoroughly, especially because you must do that immediately after brewing. Otherwise, the coffee grounds could dry out and get stuck inside the machine, making your next cup taste weird or awful.
Typically, portable coffee makers use rechargeable batteries so that you don’t have to worry about buying more. However, smaller models may use AA or AAA batteries. Unfortunately, because these batteries experience a loss of power as they get drained, it may take longer to brew as the batteries wear down.
If you’re a coffee lover who’s looking for a sizable battery-powered coffee maker, the Makita model is actually pretty sturdy and reliable. That said, we don’t like that you have to buy a battery separately. If you use Makita tools, you might have a battery on hand already.
For extra-light and portable coffee machines, we like the CONQUECO Portable Coffee Maker. Not only is it the most highly rated compact machine, but it also brews a cup of espresso for that extra boost of energy.
Need a travel grinder for your coffee beans? We’ve got you covered.