From how to pack your portable espresso machine to using it in your hotel room, travel writer and Wacaco Ambassador Breanna Wilson shares her favorite hotel room coffee hacks.
You’ve read about my favorite camping espresso maker. And my best tips for how to make espresso when traveling, including my favorite overnight espresso chia seeds recipe, but today, with travel back on my mind (and probably everyone else’s, as well), I’m sharing my favorite hotel room coffee hacks. Because, pre-pandemic, as a person who spent about 330 days on the road a year reviewing hotels and other travel and adventure trends, I know a thing or two about hotel room coffee – and how to upgrade your room brew from the moment you check-in.
Lightweight Design = Easy Packing
Just because the Nanopresso is a low-cost, affordable espresso machine, that doesn’t mean it lacks quality. In fact, once you see it in person, you realize it’s precisely the opposite – a top quality brewer at a reasonable price. I like to consider it a brewer for the people – a brewer that’s within a lot of budgets, but still delivers an espresso that even the most sophisticated espresso drinkers would think came from a tabletop, ultra-fancy espresso machine with all the bells and whistles.
Weighing in at 336 grams/0.74 lbs., the Nanopresso is nowhere close to that, making it light, easy to pack, and even easier to brew with on-the-go. It’s no wonder I never leave home without it.
The Cuppamoka is even lighter at 316 grams/0.7 lbs. and the Octaroma, Wacaco’s new to-go travel tumbler, comes in at a notable 235 grams/0.5 lbs.
Even if you pack all three, you’re still not talking about a lot of added weight and space. You can easily throw one, or all three, in the top of your suitcase or travel bag, or they also fit nicely in the side sleeve of most backpacks. You can throw any one of them in your hiking boots (or other shoes) if you don’t have a case or if you want to save space.
If you’re tying your boots to your backpack, your mug will feel right at home in there when you’ve finished your brew – saving you space and the hassle of opening your bag back up.
Better, Cleaner Brewing for Germaphobes
These days we’re all too aware of germs. (Thanks, worldwide pandemic.) This means the more we can brew with our own brewers and drink from our own cups, the better. Now, this is just a personal preference (no offense, hotels around the world), but it’s one I’m likely to continue indulging myself in, even post-pandemic, because yes, the brewing is that good. And more importantly, that easy.
Plus, the best part about staying in a hotel is that depending on the hotel, coffee grounds or (easily wipe-downable) pods come with your room, so you don’t always need to pack your own. That also means your morning espresso or coffee won’t cost you anything.
In the instance your room comes with a coffee bar and coffee capsules, add your Nanopresso NS Adapter to your Nanopresso and start brewing.
For even fancier drinks on the road – and ones that look straight from the overpriced coffee shop downstairs – the DG Kit makes brewing macchiatos, cappuccinos, lattes, and more, possible using your Nanopresso. For this, you’ll need to pack your favorite DG-compatible capsules and then add hot water to the larger water tank that comes with the kit to start brewing.
Ways to Reuse Your Grounds and Pamper Yourself in Your Room
Now, we all love a five-star hotel experience, even if we’re only staying in a two-star spot. Here are a few ways to reuse your grounds and add a little extra pampering to your hotel room routine.
- Add your used grounds to your shower gel for extra exfoliation. Don’t forget to pay extra attention to your feet – they could use some extra love after a long travel day. Mix with peppermint oil for an extra calming and therapeutic effect.
- Massage used grounds into your scalp to add shine and stimulate growth. Just 60 seconds will make all the difference – and will get the blood circulating in your head. Plus, who doesn’t like any excuse for a scalp massage?
- Mix your used and dried coffee grounds with brown sugar and honey from the complimentary coffee and tea bar in your room to make an exfoliating lip scrub. Because we’ve all been the victim of dry lips when traveling.
- Put your used coffee grounds in your minibar fridge overnight and apply them with your favorite face cream under your eyes in the morning to reduce puffiness. Wet a washcloth or disposable (and might we add biodegradable) face wipes and put those in there too. If the hotel’s breakfast buffet has lemons for the water, steal some to add a bright, citrus scent to the washcloth. Same with cucumbers. Put the hotel body cream in there too, you know, for good measure. Use the hot water kettle to steam your face before applying this cold coffee treatment – it will open your pores, leaving you with a better effect.