I’m often in a hurry and don’t have enough time to make a cup of coffee and get it into a travel mug to go

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I always try to wake up on time, but I can’t manage it – and the coffee is probably to blame.

But, I still need my morning coffee, and I’m quite bummed out when I can’t get it. But what if I could brew it in my car, on the way to work? Is it even possible?

Well, it is, and there are a lot of in-car coffee machines on the market recently, which is great. However, finding the best one is a bit difficult, but I managed to figure it out. In this article, I’ll tell you exactly what you should look for.
Brewing Coffee in Your Car? Yes, it’s Possible – Here’s How to Find the Best In-car Coffee Makers How to Use a Coffee Maker in Your Car The Type The Size Safety The Materials The Power Source The Bottom Line How to Use a Coffee Maker in Your Car
Before I get into the specifics of how to pick the right coffee maker for your car, here’s how to use them properly. You might think it’s difficult, but it is quite simple.
First, you plug in the machine into your cigarette lighter. Next, you add the water and the coffee grinds or pods that you’re using. Press the on the button to turn on the machine. Once the coffee is done the machine will make a signal of some sort. Turn it off and enjoy your coffee!
You can easily do all of this while waiting at a red light or even while driving – though I don’t recommend that, I had a few mishaps while trying it.

Now I’ll move on to the things you need to consider when buying a coffee maker for your car.
The Type
There are many different sorts of coffee makers for your car – some have existed for a while, but others are newer inventions. Most of them can plug-in into your 12-volt cigarette lighter, though some can also plug into your USB port if you have one.

French Press Coffee Makers – These coffee makers have existed for a while, and they are probably the most complex ones out there. This makes them difficult to clean and maintain, but it is worth it since they can get the most flavor out of your coffee grinds. However, some grinds might get into the coffee due to their unique construction.

Espresso Makers – Machines made for making espresso, the delicious and highly concentrated dark coffee. If you like espresso, this is the type you ought to get. They are the most expensive type out there, though, and they can only make one type of coffee. Since they need to apply a lot of pressure, they tend to be large as well.

Pour-over Coffee Makers – If you want something light, cheap and easy to use, these drip machines are the thing to buy. However, if you want your coffee to be done quickly, they’re probably the worst choice. The quality of coffee is also noticeably worse.

All-in-one Coffee Makers – These machines vary wildly in terms of price and the quality of the coffee, but they can do it all – grind the coffee beans and make the coffee. This, of course, makes them bulkier than the rest.

You should choose the type which fits your needs the best.
The Size
The size of your coffee maker relative to the space you have in your car is an important factor. For starters, it can impact your safety – if you can’t move around comfortably and risk spilling coffee on yourself, you’re not going to drive safely.

Espresso makers and all-in-one machines are the largest and if you have a relatively small car, avoid them, no matter how much you like espresso. However, they could still be fine if you happen to be one of the lucky ones with a large, roomy car. They are also a good choice for people who want to brew coffee in their truck or RV.

There are also small coffee makers that may fit in your car cup holders. Whatever you choose, make sure to be safe when using them. M
Power Requirements

Most coffee makers are not meant to be used in the car. If you have special adapters in your vehicle that can handle a 120V outlet, then you may be OK with using a regular coffee maker in your car. An RV is most likely to have the power and outlets you need to brew coffee. 

Regular coffee makers may strain a car battery and alternator. They require a lot of electricity to keep up a consistent temperature for the coffee. So getting a car specific coffee maker or kettle is best.

Secure Area

If you do want to brew coffee without a regular out let you'll need to make sure you have a safe place to heat water in your vehicle. Some hot water kettles can fit into a cup holder and some can not. 

Can fit in car cup holder.

Can not fit in car cup holder.

You don't want hot water accidentally getting on you while you drive. Using a sealed container that can both hold the kettle and hold it upright would be needed for a kettle that is not secure.

People spill hot coffee on them while driving all the time. I can cause very bad burns and scars. You can avoid this by avoiding any brewing, handling , pouring, or drinking while you are operating the vehicle. Wait til you are parked to do any part of the coffee making process or drinking it. 

Of course you can always boil and make your coffee while your car is parked before even getting on the road. This is the safest way to brew coffee unless you have a self contained coffee brewer.

Self Container Brewer

A self container brewer doesn't require a lot of steps while driving. You plug it in and wait for it to get hot before you drink your coffee. 

Before driving or while parked, you would add the coffee and water in the container according to it's instructions, and drive while the container heats up. 

Here's a couple of examples of self contained brewers. You may not get much coffee with these expresso makers but for so that's all you may want. 

The nice thin about these coffee makers is that they can usually fit into a car cup holder and you can take it with you wherever you are going because it is so small. 
The Materials
This is important for many reasons, including durability, but the most important one is your safety while driving. If a coffee maker is made out of shoddy materials, there’s a real risk that it might break while you’re driving and pour hot coffee all over you.

Coffee makers that have glass carafes are the most dangerous ones. Sure, they look nice and the coffee tastes better than in a plastic carafe, but the risk is huge. You should most likely avoid these types.
The Power Source
As I mentioned, most portable coffee makers will plug straight into your 12-volt cigarette lighter and use the power provided by your car.

However, there are other options. Some of the coffee makers can plug into your USB jack, which is a good choice if your cigarette lighter is occupied by a different gadget that you’re using.

Some coffee makers don’t plug into anything at all and run on batteries. These are a good choice if you don’t have anything to plug a coffee maker into, or you just don’t have enough space near your cigarette lighter and want to place your coffee maker elsewhere. I prefer these myself since my car is a bit on the smaller side.

There are also models that don’t use any power at all, but you’ll have to stop and operate those by hand which might not be something you want to do.
The Bottom Line
Machines like these are great for making some coffee on the go and saving yourself some time in the morning or on a trip. However, you should be careful when using them and make sure that you pick an appropriate machine for your car.

If you’re a chronically late coffee addict like me, you will surely like them.

Meta Description: Making coffee in your car is easier than you might think and you can do it with one of these machines. If you don’t know enough about them, this article will tell you everything you need to know about them and more. With the information presented here, you’ll be able to pick the best coffee machine for your car.

Revised (4/2020)

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