An Espresso Travel Kit: Taking charge of your coffee when away.

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
ladalet

#1: Post by ladalet »

I recently purchased a Gaggia Factory 8 cup espresso machine to take with me when I travel. It is fairly light weight and has a small footprint. I paired it up with my Solis Maestro Plus which is also fairly small and light. I also brought a brush, group brush, 2 shot shot glass, 2 demitasse cups, 12 oz pitcher, tamper (crappy aluminum one that needs emidiate replacement), and an extension cord. I roasted two batches of coffee 2 days apart to give them time to degass properly by the time I would use them. The case has wheels to make it easier to haul around.

The pictures below are of the kit I put together to take with me on my trip to Yellowstone. The proprietor of the B&B was very gracious in letting me set it up in the dining room on a cool old mission sideboard.







This setup worked very well.
Lance Goffinet
LMWDP #019

User avatar
jesawdy

#2: Post by jesawdy »

Very nice setup... I have seen a few others posted here as well.

So far for me, I throw the Rocky in the trunk and a press pot.... No espresso but better than most alternatives. I then attempt to find something decent at a cafe with the obvious mixed results. The worst was in Little Italy in Cleveland. The place with a gift shop with coffee and tea. Yes, I know, a gift shop, but hey, Little Italy right? Also, they were selling bags of Intelligentsia Coffee that was roasted within a week or so. The little old lady proceeded to go to the back where I was prepared a watered down "pod" "espresso" in a very LONG lungo! Blech!

-Jeff

mattwells

#3: Post by mattwells »

Tony Levin (a famous bass player of Peter Gabriel, et. al.) also has a road setup that is quite impressive: http://tonylevin.com/tlevcoffee.htm

Image

Kinda puts the rest of us to shame. Custom road case with all the essentials.

Matt

Ladalet - great job with your travel setup, I love the rolling case. Is this for driving only or are you planning on flying with it as well? (My uncle always has to check baggage because his Pavoni is his carry-on).
Matt Wells

LMWDP #160

doleeo

#4: Post by doleeo »

haha, Tony Levin is the reason i got into coffee. I wanted to be just like him and almost got an Estro Profi.

ladalet

#5: Post by ladalet »

jesawdy wrote:I throw the Rocky in the trunk and a press pot.... No espresso but better than most alternatives. I then attempt to find something decent at a cafe with the obvious mixed results. The worst was in Little Italy in Cleveland. The place with a gift shop with coffee and tea. Yes, I know, a gift shop, but hey, Little Italy right? Also, they were selling bags of Intelligentsia Coffee that was roasted within a week or so. The little old lady proceeded to go to the back where I was prepared a watered down "pod" "espresso" in a very LONG lungo! Blech!

-Jeff
I made this kit to avoid the very experience you describe above. I think I would have been fooled as well seeing the fresh Intelligentsia there. I would rather have no coffee than bad coffee. Even regular store bought drip is ok as long as it is fresh, uses good water, is not too weak, and the brew temp is high enough. Oh wait, that almost never all happens at the same time. What was I thinking?


I would love to have a Rocky to take with me. It would be worth the extra weight and size. The Maestro generates a little too much powder and is a maintenance nightmare when grinding for espresso. I usually use it to grind for vacuum pot coffee.
mattwells wrote:Tony Levin (a famous bass player of Peter Gabriel, et. al.) also has a road setup that is quite impressive: http://tonylevin.com/tlevcoffee.htm


Kinda puts the rest of us to shame. Custom road case with all the essentials.
That is quite a setup. However, I am shooting for a more compact setup since I have no roadies to haul mine around.

mattwells wrote:Ladalet - great job with your travel setup, I love the rolling case. Is this for driving only or are you planning on flying with it as well? (My uncle always has to check baggage because his Pavoni is his carry-on).
Thanks, it works very well.

Yes, I will be using it when flying. I think it may be too heavy for carry on though. It is a hard plastic case with thick foam padding. I think it will survive air travel just fine.

Best wishes,
Lance
Lance Goffinet
LMWDP #019

User avatar
oofnik

#6: Post by oofnik »

Hi Lance,
This is precisely what I have in mind to do. I'm glad I found your thread! :)
I have one question. What material did you use for padding, and how did you form fit it so well?

Thanks!

User avatar
RegulatorJohnson

#7: Post by RegulatorJohnson »

looks like a pelican case..or a knock off of a pelican case

it has a grid of perforated foam that you tear out the cavity for what you want to put in there. you can lay out all the items and trace with a marker then tear out holes. its fun.

i dont travel much but id love to have a lever and use the zass on the road. love the pelicancase. now i have an excuse to go buy some stuff. oh and a place to go.

jon
2012 BGA SW region rep. Roaster@cognoscenti LA

User avatar
narc

#8: Post by narc »

ladalet, Nice organized setup. You have inspired me on a future travel setup. Ponte Vecchio Export & a quality hand grinder packaged similar to what you have done.

Right now due to the type & where I travel to minimal gear & light is right. Have to give up the espresso unless I get real lucky. Have taken a "camping" presspot, a GSR grinder (junk) and a pound of my own roast. After the first week I end up drinking tea. Beats bad coffee. Have you or anyone else tried any of the Zassehaus or any other quality hand grinders for traveling? Was wondering if the wooden Zassehaus grinders could be tossed into a backpack and withstand a few bumps?
LMWDP #151

User avatar
Psyd

#9: Post by Psyd »

narc wrote:SR grinder (junk) and a pound of my own roast. After the first week I end up drinking tea. Beats bad coffee. Have you or anyone else tried any of the Zassehaus or any other quality hand grinders for traveling?
I chucked an old PeDe into an ole recycled recycling bin along with a mokapot, a butane stovetop, three or four kinds of rum and the rest of my camping kit, and chucked the whole kit and kaboodle in the back of my pickup and left the grid for a weekend with a couple hundred pals, and it did just fine. Even with the, "Sure I'll make you some! Here's the grinder" policy!
Espresso Sniper
One Shot, One Kill

LMWDP #175

User avatar
mrgnomer

#10: Post by mrgnomer »

If you don't mind hand grinding I found a Zassenhaus kneemill did a fine job for espresso with a Cremina. I'm thinking about getting a Europiccola for road trips and pairing it with the kneemill to keep down the weight and space. An unbreakable Bodum French press will come along as well as some jars of fresh home roast, a frothing pitcher and assesories like a scoop, Pallo brush, clean up rag and a brush for sweeping out grinds. Oh yeah, and a small knockbox.
Kirk
LMWDP #116