Keeping calm and caffeinated on the road

Making coffee in the morning. Above all, this is the thing that grounds me (ha!) and gets me ready for the day. The Chemex pour over is my go-to method.

  1. Heat .75l of water
  2. Weigh 37.5g of beans
  3. Grind the beans
  4. Get the Chemex paper filter a bit damp
  5. Pour the 200°F water onto the grounds (bloom first)

This works great at home, but I found whenever I used to travel (especially internationally), everything fell apart. The espresso-based drinks the rest of the world favors get old pretty quick for me. I like my coffee black and do not enjoy Americanos. So, I decided to do what’s probably the most hipster thing I do: assembled a sick coffee travel kit!

My coffee travel kit

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The grinder

Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Grinder
This hand-crank burr grinder makes a nice, adjustable coarseness, grind. There’s an indentation in the top compartment that roughly measures out 20g of beans, perfect for a largish (~.4l) cup. No need for a scale on the road! Also, using the hand crank seems like an appropriate amount of exercise in the morning when you’re traveling, at least for me.

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The cone

Melitta Ready Set Joe Single Cup Coffee Brewer
Simple, light, durable, cheap. They have ceramic versions, but don’t buy something that’ll break so easily when it’s moving around in your luggage. I made that mistake at first and wound up giving it away on my last Beijing trip.

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The filters

Hario V60 Coffee Paper Filter
Nothing crazy here. Just make sure you’ve got enough for you and the friends you’ll make when you start brewing awesome coffee.

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The beans

Whatever works for you, but my favorite beans come from La Colombe. Maybe it’s the nostalgia of my years in NYC drinking at their fantastic cafes, but I feel good when drinking their coffee, so that’s what matters to me.

That’s it. Most hotels seem to have kettles and cups. If yours doesn’t, ask.

I also found it to be fun to bring this kit into the Uber offices I visit in China, India, and elsewhere. Brewing coffee in a unique way is always a good conversation starter and you may make good friends with another discreet coffee lover in the office. They’ll probably have some beans you can sample and you can introduce them to what you’ve got.

Enjoy the simple things in life!

Written by

Head of Design at Lime | Ex-Uber

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