Espresso while on vacation

Talk about your favorite cafes, local barista events, or plan your own get-together.

What's your "espresso while on vacation" strategy?

Bring travel kit
16
31%
Visit local cafes
20
38%
Go without espresso
4
8%
Enjoy alternative drinks (e.g., tea, presspot)
9
17%
Other (explain)
3
6%
 
Total votes: 52

User avatar
HB
Admin

#1: Post by HB »

If I'm traveling on business, the choices for espresso are limited. Typically I go without, try something different besides coffee like tea, or venture to a cafe if there's a reputable one in the area. But if it's vacation and the destination will be reached by car, I like to pack up my espresso travel kit. My kit is composed of a Elektra Microcasa a Leva, Mazzer Mini, and French press (*).

With the Microcasa, Mini, and some great coffees, I look forward to mornings like this:

Image
WBC Blend by Coffee Klatch Roasting

Previous threads like Coffee on the road quandary and An Espresso Travel Kit discuss options, but I'm curious what a poll may reveal. So, assuming that you're road tripping to your destination, what's your "espresso while on vacation" strategy?

(*) I even sprung for the custom Elektra travel case, which weighs at least as much as the Microcasa itself. My lovely wife used to roll her eyes as I packed it into the van. Nowadays she doesn't give the burgeoning space it demands a moment's notice. If that's not true love, I don't know what is. :D
Dan Kehn

User avatar
RapidCoffee
Team HB

#2: Post by RapidCoffee »

  • * Bring travel kit
    * Visit local cafes
    * Go without espresso
    * Enjoy alternative drinks (e.g., tea, presspot)
    * Other (explain)
How about "all of the above"? When traveling, I start with promising cafes. After the near-inevitable disappointment sets in, I stop ordering espresso drinks and switch to drip coffee. In places where tea is likely to be superior (China, India), that's what I'll drink. I'd much rather have good tea than bad coffee! When backpacking, I take preground coffee (I know, I know, but it's still far better than instant) and either an AeroPress or a one-cup filter device.

Love the idea of a espresso travel kit, but I prefer to travel light...
John

User avatar
Randy G.

#3: Post by Randy G. »

It depends on how long I am gone. Circumstances make it difficult for us to be away from home for very long together, so most holidays (that "vacation" in metric) are for three or four days when we are lucky. For ease of use we pack an Aeropress and a Baratza Virtuoso. I also bring enough home roast to last. If we ever get lucky enough to go for some longer trips, I will pack the Krups 863 and a Hottop!
Espresso! My Espresso! - http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
LMWDP #644

User avatar
another_jim
Team HB

#4: Post by another_jim »

I want a guaranteed decent morning cup; and even if a town has great espresso, they are unlikely to be next to the bed I roll out in the morning. For the rest of the day, I'll try cafes. So I have a Lux Grinder I always take. If there's space or weight constraints, I'll take a strainer (steep the coffee like for a press pot, then strain). Otherwise a Europiccolo (around 8 pounds) and frothing pitcher. Lever machines are nice in that they'll do the morning cappa just as fast as an HX.

Obviously, if I'm visiting other coffee people, this is completely unnecessary
Jim Schulman

User avatar
Jepy

#5: Post by Jepy »

I usually risk trying local places. Maybe this already exists, but how about a simple database with quality shops experienced by members of HB. I know regular cities around US are sometimes easy to read about, but what about some out of the way places like vacation spots. I was surprised to find a great cafe for straight shots steps from the beach called Honolulu Coffee Company adjacent to the Sheraton Moana Surfrider on Waikiki. Very upscale cafe, they use a Kees Mistral at this location, but also use Synessos at other locations near by

Beezer

#6: Post by Beezer »

I usually bring a travel espresso kit, consisting of a Gaggia Coffee espresso machine and Gaggia MDF grinder. This is much better than most shops I'm likely to find wherever I'm going. Last week, my wife and I went to Mammoth Lakes to go mountain biking, and I actually brought the Quickmill Anita and Macap M4 grinder. Maybe it was overkill, but it sure was nice to have a good machine ready whenever I wanted a shot. Pulling shots at 8,000 feet was a bit challenging though. Water boils at a much lower temperature at that elevation.
Lock and load!

User avatar
espressme

#7: Post by espressme »

Travel kit= LaPeppina, Sputnik Moka, Zass Mocha mill, Butane stove if I'm not flying.
richard
PS. Then I try the local spots!
richard penney LMWDP #090,

User avatar
woodchuck

#8: Post by woodchuck »

I spend most of my travels in small countries that have great diving and lousy espresso. The funny thing is many grow great coffee - Indonesia (Bali and Sumatra), New Guinea, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Hawaii. When I'm in the US I still enjoy getting out and searching for a good cup. More often than not I am disappointed with the coffee but still enjoy the hunt.

Ian

User avatar
HB
Admin

#9: Post by HB »

Jepy wrote:Maybe this already exists, but how about a simple database with quality shops experienced by members of HB.
CoffeeGeek has regional and cafe review forums worth checking out. The easy to navigate espressomap has over 100 vetted choices in the USA.
Dan Kehn

User avatar
cannonfodder
Team HB

#10: Post by cannonfodder »

woodchuck wrote:I spend most of my travels in small countries that have great diving and lousy espresso. The funny thing is many grow great coffee - Indonesia (Bali and Sumatra), New Guinea, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Hawaii.

Ian
Most countries that produce good coffee only have c grade swill. The good beans are exported since they produce a premium price and the poor grade coffee that is culled out, and the triage coffee (broken bits and pieces) are kept for in country consumption.
Dave Stephens