Finding a morning coffee on the road is often a struggle. You might try the stale instant in your room or the old-and-cold in the lobby. Or you could venture into the unknown, half-conscious, searching for a decent cup that inevitably costs too much. Fortunately, there are fixes to this conundrum, whatever your morning java preferences. Here are six ways you can take your coffee with you.
Stoked Roasters and Coffeehouse Stoked Stix ($9)
Normally, we have to be pretty desperate to chug instant, but this is a different bean. Founded by ultrarunner Jax Mariash, Stoked is a boutique coffee roaster based in Hood River, Oregon, that also processes some of its custom blends into instant. Rip open a package, dump the contents into an eight-ounce cup, pour in boiling water, and drink. The medium roast is smooth and almost chocolaty, while the dark roast has a slightly nutty, balanced zing. Varieties come by the box, with eight packages in each, and are ideal for camping.
Go Cubes ($40 for 80 Chews)
This is indisputably the most travel-friendly delivery system. Just pop two of these gummies into your mouth, no lineups, boiling, or percolating required. Made from cold-pressed coffee, the cubes come in three flavors—mocha, latte, and pure drip—and go down easy, almost melting in your mouth. Each cube contains 50 milligrams of caffeine, about as much as half a cup of regular coffee, in addition to B vitamins and L-theanine, an amino acid.
Ember Mug ($150)
The average cup of coffee lands in a cup at 160 degrees—hot enough to scald your tongue—and rapidly cools to lukewarm. The admittedly pricey Ember mug gets around this problem with walls that cool your drink to a preset temperature by absorbing some of the heat, plus a heating coil that fires up to keep your brew at just the right temperature. The leakproof lid and two-hour battery life make it ideal for slow sippers and long drives.
TightPac TV2 Spicevac ($10)
TightPac is known mostly to cooks and other hobbyists who want to keep herbs fresh. But the company’s vacuum-sealing containers are also great for coffee. A two-way valve allows air out but not in, keeping your coffee fresher for longer.
Snow Peak Cafe Latte Set ($111)
This camp stove barista set allows you to heat and froth your milk while you brew with the titanium French press. The hand pump makes impressively peaky foam, and the entire system comes in a sleek carrying case that weighs only 13 ounces total.
Timbuk2 Blue Bottle Weekender Travel Kit ($125)
A collaboration between stylish bag maker Timbuk2 and high-end coffee subscription service Blue Bottle, this kit includes a stainless-steel burr-style hand grinder, a drip feeder that perches on the two enamel mugs, felt koozies, hemp filters, and a healthy supply of Blue Bottle coffee, all of which nests comfortably in a waxed-canvas satchel. This is not for the casual coffee snob, but if you’re particular about your drip coffee, this kit will fulfill your needs almost anywhere you go.