Which coffee machine makes the best coffee on the go, and what options are there anyway? From the 12V coffee machine for the mobile home, the coffee maker for camping and outdoors, to the fully automatic machine or the pad machine – which makes delicious coffee but needs an inverter. I have tried most of these preparations myself over the last few years.
Opinions about the perfect coffee couldn’t be further apart. The Germans love their filter coffee. The Italians drink espresso. Other southerners even drink mocha. So it doesn’t matter what I think is good coffee, but your taste. Linked to this is how much coffee you would like to make: a cup or a liter – the amount makes the difference.
Coffee machines, according to the energy supply
The technical circumstances when traveling differ on which vehicle you are traveling with. The coffee machine, which can be used at all, is also based on this.
Motorhome: usually 12 volt battery and gas stove, possibly 230 volts via voltage converter or shore power
Truck: 24v battery, possibly a camping stove
Car: 12v battery, possibly a camping stove
Wild camping in a tent: camping stove and possibly a campfire
12v coffee machine for camper van or car
The top dog among the 12V coffee machines is called Dometic (formerly Waeco). They specialize in motorhomes, and many have a 12V Waeco coffee machine
The 12V mains voltage has a problem: performance like an old horse. There needs to be more electricity coming through the line for you to be able to make yourself a cup of coffee. Nevertheless, a 12V coffee maker works if you have some time.
These machines prepare filter coffee. If you like to drink it in a mobile home, a 12V coffee machine is a good solution! For those who drink little, there is the model that only brews a single cup of coffee. Otherwise, there is a variant that makes up to five cups. Which, by the way, can take up to 25 minutes. This long time is due to the 12V voltage.
One more note: The 12V socket must be able to handle the current! Fourteen amps (170W: 12V) for 20 minutes or longer, the cable cross-section and fuse must be designed accordingly! So if the fuse blows when you turn on the new 12V coffee machine, please don’t just replace the fuse, but first, check whether a sufficiently thick cable has been laid.
Waeco coffee machines. It’ll take a while. I don’t know if printing is possible. Pay attention to the cable cross-section!
24V COFFEE MACHINE FOR TRUCKS (LONG HOUR OR CAMPER VAN)
Twenty-four volts are better than 12 – more precisely, twice as good. This is also noticeable when making coffee. But it also takes a little longer here. Dometic offers its coffee machines in 12V as well as 24V.
The small 24V coffee machine for just one cup, for the coffee in between. And the slightly larger machine for half a liter of coffee with a thermos jug. You can at least get a refill on the way. The same applies to trucks: operate the coffee machine only in a 24V socket designed accordingly! At 300 watts at 24V, 13 amperes flow.
230v coffee making with inverter
Let’s get down to the kind of coffee making that doesn’t just make coffee that keeps you awake. It also makes good-tasting coffee. Coffee machines that are supposed to make decent espresso need a little more power. Whether pad machine, capsule machine, or fully automatic – here is a 1,300 – 1,600 watts flow.
Voltage converter for the coffee machine
What you also need for this is electricity, namely 230 volts. Now it depends on what you already have installed. Do you only make coffee when shore power is connected, or also when you are out and about, for example, when you take a break from driving, when you are free, or when the current place to stay doesn’t have a socket to offer?
It would help if you had an battery inverter to get a voltage of 230 volts out of the 12V battery. And not a small one, but a big one – a voltage converter 12V > 230V with 1,500 watts. So that this does not bring the battery to its knees, the battery should be generously dimensioned. In addition, care should be taken to ensure that it is a SINE voltage converter!
Of course, you get really good coffee in return. With the right machine. And a good coffee
Capsule coffee for on the go
The fact that capsule machines are fundamentally ecologically stupid and uneconomical is not up for discussion here. Especially since there are refill capsules made of stainless steel that refute this point of criticism. Capsule and pad machines work with pressure. As does the fully automatic machine, the water is pressed through the coffee powder. This means fewer bitter substances are in the coffee, as with filter coffee. If you have such a machine, you should take it into the mobile home. Or place a new capsule coffee machine in the mobile home. But be careful: there are differences in the maximum number of watts such a capsule machine draws! The Dolce Gusto even forces a 2,000-voltage converter to its knees. The Nespresso, on the other hand, requires significantly less electricity.
Pad coffee maker
Coffee pods are the predecessors of coffee capsules – and are still widespread, especially in Germany. While you can almost only find capsules in supermarkets in the rest of Europe, we probably still like to drink coffee from coffee pads. I also had a Senseo once, and it’s great for brewing a good cup for a moment.
I’m sorry, dear motorhome owners, there is no 12-volt pad coffee machine. Because here, too, pressure is used for brewing, which cannot be done with 12V.
Brew filter coffee with 230V
A normal coffee machine for filter coffee requires little power – but only a little. These machines also draw around 1,000 watts – some even less.
One argument for the filter coffee is the purchase price compared to a fully automatic machine. You can also set the voltage converter one level lower. Above all, however, it is easier with such a “normal” coffee machine to let a liter of coffee run through. I’ve been busy with my fully automatic machine at a coffee party with several people for a few minutes.
Fully automatic coffee machine: the best coffee machine in the motorhome so far
We have a coffee machine in the mobile home that we think makes damn good coffee: a Philips EP5335/10. The special feature here is the LatteGo system: one push of a button and milk coffee or cappuccino comes out. After that, the milk system will clean itself, and you can put it back in the fridge. A filter can be inserted in the water tank, which makes regular decalcification superfluous. Since our last coffee machine in the mobile home probably died due to a lack of maintenance and care, an important point. So: no hoses, cleaning, or calcification, but good coffee.
And the best coffee is the coffee that sticks in your memory. That doesn’t necessarily have to be the 10€ coffee on St. Mark’s Square in Venice. But it can, as you can see from my memory. It can be the Starbucks in Lisbon, right next to the store with the legendary Pasteis de Belem. Or the break during a city tour, with a typical Portuguese coffee, which costs five times as much as usual despite the only mediocre view over Lisbon. Okay, it seems to me that the expensive coffees, in particular, are good memories.