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Best Portable Espresso Machine For Travel Reviewed & Tested

Disclaimer: Outin sent this product to us for free for a review. That does not affect our opinion about the product. In this article, we list both what we like and dislike. Read more about this here.

What Makes An Espresso Machine Good For Travel?

Coffee and travel go hand in hand. Whether you’re out for a day of shopping, or headed somewhere far away, coffee is a great way to stay alert and get a little comfort anywhere.

So what makes a coffee maker or espresso machine good for travel?

Portability is absolutely number one. It needs to be small enough to pack away easily and also have a 12 volt or independent power source.

The Outin Nano Espresso Machine has both qualities. It’s the size of a thermos and it’s powered with a built in USB-C rechargeable battery.

Here’s my full review of the Outin and why I think it’s one of the best portable espresso machine for travel.

Outin Nano Features & Highlights

outin portable coffee maker battery powered espresso machine

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Main Features

  • Compact Design
  • Fast Heating
  • 20 bars of Pressure
  • 198°F/92°C Brew Temperature
  • Brews 2-3 80 ml Espresso Shots per Charge
  • Made with European Certified Materials
  • Water Resistant
  • Charges Via USB-C
  • Use ground coffee or capsules.
  • Hot Water Compatible
  • Easy to Clean
filling the outin portable coffee maker espresso machine with water while it sits in a car cup holder
The Outin portable espresso maker is small enough to fit in a standard car cup holder.

Size

The good news for travelers is the Outin Nano is about the same size as a 24 oz (700 ml) thermos. It actually weighs less than one that’s full of water.

It’s around 92.5 inches (23.5 cm) tall and 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter at the widest point. It fits in a standard size cup holder.

So you’re not losing any space or even weight if you bring the Outin Nano instead of a thermos full of coffee.

If you get the gift set (click to view on outin.com), a protective case is included. It has storage for the Outin Nano, 4 coffee capsules, the coffee grounds brewing nozzle, and a zipper pocket for the USB-C charging cable and manual.

The case outer measurements are 10.25 inches (26 cm) long, 6.1 inches (15.5 cm) wide, and 3.5 inches (9 cm) tall.

outin portable espresso maker in the trunk of a car being protected by the gift set storage case
The storage case protects the Outin Nano enough to leave it in the trunk of a car, backpack, or suitcase.

Battery Life

This portable coffee maker is battery powered, so you’ll need to make sure it’s charged before you use it.

The total charge time from 0% to 100% is around 3 hours. That’s a long time to wait for a cup of coffee, so make sure you recharge after every use so it’s always ready.

Heating takes a lot of energy. So even though the battery is a decent size (7,500 mAh), it can only brew 2-3 full 80 ml cups of espresso before needed to be recharged.

The power usage depends on a lot of things like outside temperature and especially water temperature. If you’re using ice cold water, it’s definitely only going to heat 2 80 ml cups of coffee.

One nice thing is you can just use the espresso brewing part if you already have hot water. It uses hardly any battery power to push water through the grounds or coffee pod.

So if you’re in a hotel with an electric kettle or have a stove with boiling water, the Outin becomes a convenient way to brew coffee that’s easy to clean up and doesn’t require a paper filter.

espresso crema from the outin portable espresso maker
The Outin portable espresso maker brews fantastic coffee with Crema on top.

Fast Heating

The brew time really sets the Outin portable coffee maker apart from other battery powered or 12 volt powered coffee makers for travel.

Instead of taking the standard 20-30 minutes, the Outin espresso maker can heat water and brew espresso in under 7 minutes.

The time depends on the initial water temperature. When using cold water bottle water, it takes around 6.5 minutes to fully heat and brew.

That’s still quick when compared to other types of portable coffee maker. The espresso comes out of the nozzle very hot as well.

I measured temperatures as high as 182°F (83°C) coming out of the nozzle. When brewing was done, the espresso was 158°F (70°C). Coffee is at a good drinking temperature when it’s under 150°F (66°C).

The espresso is still a little too hot to drink when the Outin is done brewing, which is the way you want it.

outin portable espresso machine coffee maker brewing espresso coffee in a car during a road drip
The Outin portable espresso maker brews tasty hot espresso anywhere!

Does the Outin Coffee Maker Actually Work?

I’m happy to report that after a month of fairly regular use, the Outin portable espresso maker works really well, and it makes excellent espresso.

From my experience, it takes about 6-7 minutes to brew espresso from start to finish, but that’s mostly because the water from my water bottle is cold.

6-7 minutes is still fast for heating water with a battery. On my last road trip, I started the coffee maker when I sat down to eat lunch.

It started brewing coffee right when I was done eating and ready for my after lunch coffee. It was perfect.

making coffee while traveling in a car with the outin portable espresso maker
The Outin portable espresso maker is easy to set up, even in a small car!

Why Buy An Outin Espresso Maker For Travel?

At first I wasn’t sure if an espresso maker would be my thing since I’m a dedicated drip coffee drinker. I can’t live without my morning cup of coffee.

When I travel, I normally bring a thermos full of coffee I brewed at home. Naturally, I have an excellent thermos I spent a lot of money on.

It’s extra insulated and keeps coffee hot all day. But one thing it can’t stop is the coffee from going stale.

I’ll take fresh coffee over hot but old coffee any day.

Now I know I’d also rather have piping hot, fresh espresso over a big cup of stale coffee when I’m out and about.

I actually think it’s more convenient to have a quick shot of espresso over a big mug of hot coffee that could spill and get cold fast.

I already bring a water bottle I can use to brew coffee with me everywhere, so I don’t even need to pack any extra water.

If you love coffee, the Outin espresso maker is a must-have!

using nespresso coffee capsules in the outin portable espresso maker during travel
Using coffee capsules makes brewing espresso on the go with the Outin Nano clean and fast.

Outin Travel Hacks

I wanted to include a few of the little hacks and things I do to make traveling and making coffee with the Outin easier.

  • Get the Storage Case – The Outin is built tough, it’s even water resistant, but the case is so nice to have for storing in the car, a suitcase, or backpack. Everything stays together, it has capsule storage, and there’s space for a power bank, which I’ll talk about next.
  • Use A Portable Power Bank – The Outin requires a charger that can output 15 watts (5V/3A) minimum. So you’ll need a power bank that’s a little better than some of the basic phone chargers. Luckily, most power banks with a USB-C port output over 15 watts. My large, 20,000mAh power bank can charge the Outin 2.5 times. It actually fits inside the storage case with the Outin, so I can charge it while I travel.
    • Note: if you charge the Outin with a power bank in the storage case, make sure the ports are facing each other so no pressure it put on them or the charging cable when the case is closed.
  • Always Rinse After Use – Outin recommends this as well, but to clean the Outin quickly, I remove the pod, put the nozzle back on, fill the water reservoir with a little cold water, then double click the button to start the brew function. This runs clean water through the system to clear out any leftover coffee grounds.
  • Make Sure It’s Dry – I try to let the Outin air dry for about an hour after I’ve used it. I loosely put the nozzle back on and leave the cup outside the case. I also leave the case a little open so air can get inside. If I have the time, I let all the parts sit out until they’re dry, but I usually need to keep going, so I have to put it back in the case.
  • Capsules Over Grounds – Grounds are more budget friendly, but if you can score a sweet deal of some Nespresso style coffee capsules, I highly recommend using those when traveling. The grounds nozzle works really well and makes great coffee, but it takes longer to set up and clean. The capsules are fast, simple, and make no mess.

Have questions? Leave a comment below.

by Jenni
Jenni grew up in a small town in Idaho. With a family that loves camping, she has been towing trailers since a very young age.

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