Bill and I are beverage nerds. I have a whole section on MetaCookbook dedicated to “beer”, but it’s where I put anything beverage-related. While beer IS the beverage I obsess about most, coffee is the beverage Bill obsesses on the most. And I can’t blame him; now that I’ve had a ton of exposure, I realize it can be a damn fine beverage.
I won’t lie. I am far pickier about coffee than Bill is. That said, he is far more capable of understanding the nuances of coffee. Either way, we both appreciate good coffee. Bill’s favorite way to consume it is “at someplace new”. My favorite way to consume it is while still in my PJs, discussing the plans for the day.
Thus, despite the fact that we probably try every coffee shop near where we stay, we always carry beans and a brewing method for me. Not that Bill doesn’t partake too. Just saying.
You might be surprised to learn what the most important piece of equipment is, as far as I’m concerned.
Yup. The immersion heater. I’m sure you expected it to be the Aeropress, but that’s secondary to the immersion heater. Why? Because I also like tea (more than coffee, in fact), and it’s shockingly hard to get hot water in a hotel room. And when you can get hot water, it’s usually coffee-flavored. That makes tea terrible.
Everything else is important, but secondary. And, frankly, all of the rest of it is about equally necessary. I can’t brew coffee if I can’t grind beans, nor if I don’t have a coffee maker. The coffee maker doesn’t function without filters.
The most optional thing is the metal filter. Personally, I like to carry it. Bill isn’t a fan of it, but doesn’t mind carrying it. It allows a bit more acidity through, as well as more sediment and oil than the paper filters. If you prefer a french press at home, this might be the better option for you than paper filters. If you’re a Chemex or drip machine drinker, the paper filters might be for you.
Either way, have some coffee. I suggest some in your pajamas and some out in the world. Others? They might say only go out in the world. Up to you, but I do agree with those others; don’t miss what the world is offering. That’s part of the fun of travel, after all.
Update: I have already had to improve this list, specifically with a mug.