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The 9 Best Small Coffee Makers for Home Use and Travel

four Pour over coffees dripping into each other.

Small coffee makers are great. Whether you’re trying to save counter space, embracing van life, or looking to add a coffee maker to your office or workspace, going small can often be the right choice. As coffee lovers, we at The Manual support any move that makes getting coffee into your mug easier. Of course, no matter how high-end your coffee maker, your java isn’t going to taste good unless you start with quality coffee beans. If you haven’t yet played around with coffee beans, grinds, water temperature, and brew time, check out our full guide on how to brew the perfect cup of coffee with any coffee maker you choose.

Let’s assume you’ve got your beans sorted out. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing a small coffee maker:

  • The style of the coffee maker. Do you want a pour-over, Keurig, French press, stove-top?
  • How small are you looking to go? Most of these coffee makers are single-cup but there are small coffee makers that will make multiple cups as well.
  • Water temperature. Some coffee makers brew at higher temperatures than others. French press or Aeropress coffee makers allow you to control the water temp. and adjust it for your beans.

Let’s walk through the best small coffee makers to help you make a decision.

Best Small Minimalist Coffee Maker: Aeropress

Aeropress coffee maker on a white backdrop.

The Aeropress is a simple, easy-to-use coffee maker perfect for at home, on the go, and camping. All you do is fill the chamber with ground coffee and hot water, let it steep, and then press the coffee out. This is a great option for one or two people. The Aeropress packs down small and is easy to clean. Check out the video below from our local Stumptown coffee roasters as they demonstrate how to use the Aeropress.

Some other benefits of the Aeropress: It works without electricity, though you will need a way to heat water. It’s super durable-perfect for backpacking trips or offroad adventures, and should be part of your camping gear essentials.

Best Small Pour-Over Coffee Maker For Travels: Kalita Wave

Kahlita Wave Pour Over on a white backdrop.

Pour-over coffee tastes great and gives the brewer a lot of control. Exact water temperature, coffee (measured in grams), and specific brew times can be achieved with a pour-over style coffee maker. It can still make a darn good cup of coffee even you’re not so exacting. The Kalita Wave is my first choice because of its durability. It’s a great coffee maker for at home that will hold up to use on the go. To get a demonstration of how to brew with a Kalita Wave, our friends at Stumptown come through again.

Best Small Pour-Over Coffee Maker For Home: Hario Ceramic Coffee Maker

If you’ll just be using your pour-over at home, you might consider a ceramic coffee maker. This ceramic coffee dripped from Hario is another great option.

Hario Pour Over Coffee Maker on a white backdrop.
Prima Coffee Equipment

Best Small French Press Coffee Maker: Bodum Caffettiera

Bodum Small French Press on a white backdrop.

A brunch party is only complete with a steaming hot French press on the table (and maybe a mimosa). But if you live alone or don’t drink coffee that often, a full-sized French press might take up more space than it’s worth. Small French presses are a great choice in that case. This one from Bodum, a well-known name in the coffee world, makes a single cup of coffee. Perfect for individuals and those without a ton of space to store kitchen gadgets.

Best Small Stovetop Coffee Maker: Bialetti Moka Express

Bialetti Moka Express on a white backdrop.

Made in Italy, the Bialetti Moka Express makes a fine cup of Italian coffee. Though branded an espresso maker by some, this coffee is somewhere in the middle of true espresso and your standard drip coffee. It doesn’t provide the crema you’d get with a true espresso maker but does make a stronger cup than your Mr. Coffee. You will need to buy finer, espresso ground coffee for this one.

Best Small Semi-Automatic Espresso Maker: Breville Bambino Plus

Breville bambino Plus Coffee Maker on a white backdrop.

The Breville Bambino Plus brings the coffeehouse into your kitchen without taking up a lot of space. Simple, quick, and easy to use, the Bambino Plus allows you to pull one shot at a time and steams milk manually or automatically.

Best Small Automatic Espresso Maker: Gaggia Anima Espresso Machine

Gaggia Anima Espresso Maker on a white backdrop.

The Anima from Gaggia removes all the work from your coffee-making routine. Beans are ground fresh before every brew and water temperature or coffee strength can be automatically set with the touch of a button.

Best Small Keurig Coffee Maker: Keurig K Mini

Keurig K Mini Coffee Maker and coffee cup on a white backdrop.

The Keurig K Mini is small in size while still delivering that Keurig coffee taste you enjoy. The downside of this Keurig coffee maker is you will need electricity to use it, so not the best for your outdoor adventures. But upsides include a compact footprint and tremendous ease of use.

Best Small Drip Coffee Maker: Black and Decker 5 Cup Drip Coffee Maker

Black and Decker 5 Cup Coffee Maker on a white backdrop.

If you’re looking for a simple, affordable, no-frills coffee maker, the Black and Decker 5 Cup Coffee Maker is for you. Unlike the other options on this list, this coffee maker allows you to make more than one cup at once. While it doesn’t make espresso or steam milk, if drip coffee is your thing, this coffee maker is the way to go.

You may have noticed the coffee makers on this list only brew coffee in one style. Maybe you like drip coffee in the morning but want an afternoon or post-dinner espresso shot. Monday morning might just mean getting coffee into your system, while the weekends offer more time to luxuriate in the coffee brewing process. Instead of buying multiple small machines to do different jobs, a combination coffee maker might be just what you need. Though it will have a larger footprint than any of these small coffee makers, a combination coffee maker can pack a lot of different coffee styles into one convenient package, saving you space in the long run.

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