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The 10 Best Coffee Grinders for Travel in 2023 [Espresso, French Press, Pour Over & More]

Amar Hussain's image
Amar Hussain
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Amar Hussain

Senior Content Contributor

768 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 63U.S. States Visited: 9

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications incl...
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Keri Stooksbury


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With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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If you consider yourself to be a true coffee connoisseur, chances are you won’t want to run the risk of being served up a sub-standard coffee, no matter where you are headed. Thankfully, you are not alone, and in a world where coffee is everything, a travel coffee grinder could be precisely what you are looking for.

Do I Need a Coffee Grinder?

Coffee Grinder
A good coffee grinder will enhance your coffee-drinking experience. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

A coffee grinder helps you to get the very best out of the most humble of beans. It will change the taste and aroma of the blend and drastically enhance your overall coffee-drinking experience forever.

As well as helping you to feel like the king of your very own coffee kingdom, investing in a travel coffee grinder also means that:

Your Coffee Will Taste Better

Freshly ground coffee tastes so much better than regular old instant coffee. This is in part because beans can better keep all of their essential oils and other chemical constituents intact when they are freshly ground, giving them a fuller flavor and richer aroma.

Instant coffee loses many of these important compounds during the process of drying and freezing, meaning the flavor can diminish during the brewing process. In fact, by the time your jar of instant coffee has been on a supermarket shelf for a few months, it has already started to become stale.

Your Blend Will Be of a Better Quality All-around

The manufacturers of instant coffee often start by using cheaper and lower quality beans, such as the ever-popular Robusta bean, which can taste more bitter than some of the aromatic blends used to brew fresh coffee. When you grind your own, you have complete control over the bean you choose to use, meaning you can easily blend your best-ever beverage.

You Can Fine-tune Your Coffee Making Skills Over Time

Never mind begging your barista for an extra shot of the superstrong stuff to kickstart your day — brew your best coffee wherever and whenever you want. As you become more and more proficient at grinding and get to know which beans taste best, you can tweak every blend to suit your individual taste requirements.

You will also learn how to control the coffee extraction process and find ways to pull out those deeper notes and when to pour the perfect cup of coffee before those bitter tannins start to kick in.

Hot Tip: Looking for the perfect companion for your new travel grinder? Check out our post on the best portable travel coffee makers and the best travel mugs.

Burr Grinders vs. Blade Grinders

Once you decide to improve your coffee-drinking experience, you will soon discover a diverse world of flavors and different ways to make your favorite drink taste rich and smooth, just as it should.

You can choose from either a burr grinder or a blade grinder to make your perfect blend, and both will do a pretty good job of making the best cup of coffee you have ever tasted.

Before you decide which to buy, here is a quick guide to the pros and cons of both:

Burr Grinders

A burr grinder has 2 sets of abrasive surfaces — known as “burrs” — that are used to grind the coffee. Teeny, tiny bits of coffee get stuck in between the burrs, and the smaller the distance between them, the finer the grind.

While burr grinders can be more expensive to buy, they do pretty much guarantee a more uniform grind, giving you a richer, fuller flavor in every cup.

Bottom Line: Real coffee connoisseurs swear by the burr grinder for a more sophisticated taste and aroma.

Blade Grinders

A blade grinder has a central blade that is similar to a food blender. The rotating blades slice up the beans into grounds, offering a somewhat crude but effective cutting process. This process can also create dust that can make your coffee taste a little bitter.

While a blade grinder will give you coffee that is a step up from that pre-ground instant stuff, a burr grinder enables you to get all the best bits of the bean.

coffee beans
Image Credit: Janko Ferlic via Pexels

Things To Consider With a Coffee Grinder

Before you commit to a new coffee grinder for your next adventure, consider the following:

Size and Weight

Coffee Grinder Size
A travel coffee grinder should be compact and easy to carry. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

When you are out on the road, size does matter. Your travel coffee grinder will need to be small enough to fit into your bag or suitcase, and light enough to never weigh you down. The shape is also important as narrow and compact grinders are much easier to shoehorn into tight spaces than curvy-looking hourglass models.

It is also worth noting that despite their small stature, their moving components and sturdy build can make them a little on the heavy side.

Bottom Line: Before you commit, gauge the size and weight to make sure it is portable before you get swept away by a grinder’s good looks and swanky glass and metal design.

Material and Durability

Coffee Grinder Material
Stainless steel grinders are strong and durable. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Fancy-looking coffee grinders may look awesome in the kitchen but could be a potential disaster when tucked away inside your luggage. When you are buying a coffee grinder to take on your travels with you, it needs to be strong and durable and made from materials that will last the distance.

Stainless steel grinders are a good bet, provided that they are not super heavy. BPA-free plastic grinders are also an excellent choice for taking away with you, provided that they do not contain glass pieces to make them look pretty.

Manual vs. Electric

Manual versus electric coffee grinder
Electric and manual grinders both have their pros and cons. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Electric coffee grinders are a useful addition to your state-of-the-art kitchen, but they may not be of much help to you when you are on vacation. When it comes to life on the open road, manual or rechargeable grinders are what you will need.

Rechargeable grinders come complete with a small cable and a rechargeable battery. They are lightweight, hold their charge pretty efficiently, and can be plugged into a USB phone charger or similar. Good old-fashioned manual grinders will let you create brilliant beans, even out in the wilds, and are powered by elbow grease alone.

Noise and Speed

The sound of your grinder working away can be reassuring to some, as they know something good is coming, or an annoyance to others, as they can be a little on the noisy side.

A manual grinder will usually be quieter than an all-singing-all-dancing electronic one, but at the same time, manual appliances are more likely to bounce around on your countertop or makeshift work surface.

The speed at which you get your brew will depend very much on the type of grinder you go for. Blade grinders have 1 continual blender that goes quite fast, giving them a slight advantage over manual burr grinders, but in general, a great cup of coffee should only take between 2 to 3 minutes to grind to perfection.

Grind Options

Grind options
Manual grinders often have adjustable grind options. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

French pressed, finely ground, or coarse — the way you grind can make a massive difference in the way your coffee looks, tastes, and smells. Most grinders will offer adjustable settings so you can grind it just the way you like it.

Bottom Line: Some grinders are designed purely with 1 type of grind in mind, like the French presses, for example, while others will give you a whole host of grind-type options.

The 10 Best Coffee Grinders for Travel

Because not all coffee grinders are made equal, here is our guide to some of the very best out there:

1. Ceramic Burrs for a Better Blend

JavaPresse Conical Burr Mill

Made from brushed stainless steel metal, this great-looking and incredibly portable coffee grinder offers over 18 click settings to ensure that you have complete control over the coarseness of your coffee beans. The crank handle is smooth and quiet, and it is so easy to use that you will always be able to grind on the go.

Complete with the JavaPresse-patented ceramic combo burrs, this extremely high-quality conical burr mill is designed to last up to 5 times as long as regular stainless steel grinders.

Perfect for plane journeys, long drives, and even camping trips, this little grinder is energy efficient and quiet as a mouse, while still being able to grind your beans to perfection, wherever you may be.

What We Like

  • Quiet to grind and doesn’t require a power source

What We Don’t Like

  • No indicator to identify the different grind settings

2. Adjustable Burrs for Precision Grinding

Check on Sears

1Zpresso JX Manual Coffee Grinder

Designed to offer an even grind, every time, this burr coffee grinder is perfect for smooth blends on the go. Adjustable with over 40 click settings, you’re able to grind to the exact level of coarseness that you are looking for. Choose from the French press and cold brew, pour-over, or even Turkish blends for excellent coffee both at home and away.

Being cordless and completely portable, you can take this anywhere with you, and it is perfect for grinding fresh, delicious, whole-bean coffee that tastes and smells so much better than a regular instant cup of joe.

The estimated life of this grinder is 300 kilograms of general use, and it comes with a 1-year warranty for peace of mind.

What We Like

  • Grind settings are numbered

What We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t include any instructions

3. Quiet Manual Grinds for Great Coffee on the Go

Silva Manual Coffee Grinder

For precise brewing, even on the move, this travel manual coffee grinder comes complete with a built-in adjustable grind selector to help you find your perfect level of coarseness from 18 click settings. Small, completely compact, and with no need for a battery, this is a great grinder for anyone who wants coffee on their next camping trip, long-haul journey, or trip outdoors.

Made with high-grade stainless steel and ceramic combo burrs, the components are built to last, are rust-proof, and are strong enough to withstand the general wear and tear of travel. Manually operated, this little beauty is much quieter than using an electric grinder.

Just right for anyone looking to blend their own French press, espresso, Turkish, cold brew, Chemex, Keurig K-Cup, percolator, or AeroPress coffee, this is an affordable and effortlessly cool travel coffee grinder.

What We Like

  • It’s small and portable

What We Don’t Like

  • Can take a while to grind your coffee

4. Instant Results After Each Grind Rotation

KONA Manual Coffee Grinder

Offering over 18 click settings to ensure you always have absolute control over your perfect brew, this KONA Manual Coffee Grinder is a great choice for even greater coffee on the go. Control the precision of your pour-over, drip, cold brew, French press, percolator, or espresso just by stowing this incredibly compact and easy-to-use grinder with you on your next adventure.

Without the need for batteries or power cables, you can be free to brew your ground coffee beans when you go camping, take a long journey, or have just a weekend away.

With a clear, glass jar to capture your ground beans, you can instantly see the results after each grind rotation, and when you’re done, the ergonomically-designed handle detaches for easy and compact storage.

What We Like

  • Has 18 grind settings for varying coarseness

What We Don’t Like

  • The clear glass bottom can be easily broken when traveling

5. Stainless Steel Perfection for Perfect Coffee

Check on Walmart

Bretani Manual Coffee Grinder

This inexpensive, portable coffee grinder has a brushed finish stainless steel body and ceramic burrs for highly durable coffee grinding. It also comes with a velvet travel bag to keep it safe from scratches in transit and a handy grinder cleaning brush.

Whether you are camping or backpacking, this compact grinder is up to 90% quieter than an electric grinder, so you enjoy your coffee without disturbing those around you.

Each grinder includes a chart with popular grind settings, and you can use the built-in adjustable grind selector to fine-tune to the right level of coarseness.

What We Like

  • Comes with a bag for easy storage

What We Don’t Like

  • The plastic handle on the grinding arm can sometimes break

6. A Tiny Grinder That Creates Big Flavors

Check on Walmart

Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill “Mini-Slim Plus”

This compact portable coffee grinder is small in stature but big on taste. The new and improved design offers a unique, reinforced hexagonal adapter that allows for an increased grind consistency and reduces wear and tear on the coffee mill.

Easy to adjust to find the right grind coarseness to suit your tastes, you can choose from coarse ground French press to supersmooth Turkish blends and everything in between with this little grinder.

The small, lightweight, and incredibly slim design makes this a good choice for making great-tasting coffee on the go, and it works well for long journeys, camping trips, and even at work or away from home. It can be used to make up to 2 delicious cups of coffee, and it can also be stored without the handle, making it even easier to stow away on the go.

What We Like

  • Made of sturdy materials for travel

What We Don’t Like

  • Can be some inconsistencies in the grind

7. Big Brand Quality in Compact Proportions

Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder

The Porlex coffee grinder remains one of the most popular portable coffee grinders on the market. This latest edition comes complete with a new shape handle connector to prevent wear and slippage, and perfectly circular ceramic burrs that ensure consistent grinds, whatever the setting.

The stainless steel outer casing is incredibly easy to clean, sturdy, and resilient, making it perfect for use on the road. The new and improved handle is designed to produce supersmooth grinds, and the grinder is adjusted by twisting the locking nut on the bottom to find the perfect grind setting.

Packaged with a rubber sleeve for easy storage in transit, this is a great little coffee grinder to take with you on your next camping trip, vacation, or business trip.

What We Like

  • Great value coffee grinder

What We Don’t Like

  • Grind adjustment nut often requires tightening

8. The Iconic Skerton in Travel Size

Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill – “Skerton”

The iconic “Skerton” grinder from Hario continues to be another of the most popular grinders on the market. Offering the ultimate taste experience for lovers of fresh coffee, you can make great grinds, even on the go.

High-quality ceramic burrs offer superior durability over traditional steel ones, and the adjustable grind size makes it super easy to find the precise grind for your perfect blend. The well-built design, with a robust glass chamber and ergonomic grips, makes this little grinder strong enough to take the knocks of travel while being compact enough to stow in your luggage.

Affordable and easy to use, the Skerton is a great grinder for anyone who loves good coffee. The powerful ceramic burrs won’t overheat your grounds no matter how long you grind, and the large capacity means anyone can find a way to make great coffee using this little grinder.

What We Like

  • Parts are easy to clean

What We Don’t Like

  • The handle can come loose when using

9. Easy Grinding on the Move

Cordless USB Rechargeable Coffee Grinder

Perfect for making great coffee on the go, this electric coffee grinder is cordless for when there’s no electricity and is USB-chargeable for up to 3 hours of grinding on a full charge. The handy battery indicator will ensure that you’ll never be caught out, and with a USB connection, you can charge up your coffee grinder using your laptop, power bank, or even your car.

Although not as small as most manual grinders, it’s still compact and sturdy enough to pop in your luggage, and there are no power cords that need tucking away.

The food-grade, stainless steel blade is powered by a low-noise motor, meaning you won’t wake your fellow travelers until their boiling hot coffee is ready. For lovers of a French press, pour-over, or espresso, this portable coffee grinder comes with recommended grinding times to achieve your desired coarseness.

What We Like

  • Holds its charge very well

What We Don’t Like

  • No adjustable grind settings

10. Grind Your Coffee Anytime, Anywhere

DmofwHi USB Rechargeable Cordless Coffee Grinder

This portable little coffee grinder is perfect for a camping trip, at the office, or just for quick use at home without the need to be plugged in. Measuring just 3.5 x 3.5 x 7.48 inches, it’s small enough to take on your travels, and the USB rechargeable battery allows you to whip it out whenever you’re in the mood for a cup of coffee.

With a one-touch operation, you can grind your beans how you need them simply by altering the duration from 10 to 15 seconds. If you’re an early bird, you don’t need to worry about waking up your fellow campers as the low-noise motor makes for quieter grinding.

It comes with a removable grinding bowl that can hold over 5 ounces of coffee to make around 12 cups. Cleaning after use is a breeze by rinsing out the stainless steel bowl or using the brush that comes with this grinder.

What We Like

  • Easy to clean

What We Don’t Like

  •  Could hold its charge for longer

Final Thoughts

The ability to grind great coffee on the go should be a priority for any true coffee connoisseur. Never be at the mercy of your barista ever again with a travel grinder that lets you blend the perfect brew wherever you may be — as well as fit easily into your carry-on or checked bag!

Burr grinders have the edge over their blade-heavy counterparts, and a truly travel-friendly grinder is one that makes very little noise, can be operated without the need for pesky electricity, and offers you complete control over your grind power.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are manual coffee grinders good?

Many coffee experts believe that manual coffee grinders have the edge over their electric counterparts. This is because you can control your grind speed easier, which means that you create far less heat during the grinding process. Manual coffee grinders also tend to make far less noise.

What is the difference between a burr grinder and blade grinder?

Burr grinders are considered better, yet are slightly more expensive than blade grinders. Blade grinders work similarly to a food processor with blades that chop or slice up the beans. This can lead to dust being created during the grinding process and create a bitter coffee.

Burr grinders on the other hand use burrs which are abrasive surfaces that the coffee is ground between. Burr grinders give a more uniform grind, and the best coffee grinders will have up to 18 different grind settings.

Is a coffee grinder worth it?

Some might argue that a coffee grinder is the most important piece of equipment for making great coffee. A coffee grinder means that you can make better-tasting coffee and get the best out of each bean. A coffee grinder will also allow you greater control of how your coffee is ground, meaning you can refine your coffee to your specific tastes.

Are manual coffee grinders better than electric?

Manual coffee grinders are usually small and portable, so they are perfect for grinding coffee on your travels. Although they require some elbow grease, they can be significantly cheaper than purchasing an electric grinder and often provide the same results.

What is the best hand coffee grinder?

The iconic “Skerton” grinder from Hario continues to be one of the most popular grinders on the market. Offering the ultimate taste experience for lovers of fresh coffee, you can make great grinds even on the go.

Amar Hussain's image

About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.


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