I travel a lot for work and I do my very best to take specialty coffee with me wherever I go. I’ve tried to brew it every possible way; from my hotel bathroom to the base of a waterfall, using a takeout cup lid in an attempt to regulate water flow to smuggling butane into unnamed countries to power up my camping kettle. Although I try my best to simulate my home brewing routine on the road, I never seem to get it quite right. Somethings always missing or just a little off, and I never feel as comfortable as I do at home.
Some other folks were experiencing the same problem as me. They looked around for the best barista-quality brewing solution for travel and they came to the same conclusion that I have - there wasn’t one to be found. The difference between me and my friends at Pakt is that they are innovators, and with one wildly successful Kickstarter campaign under their belts they decided to create a complete brewing system for travel.
When I pulled the Pakt Coffee Kit out of the box, I held a sleek, black case in one hand, but I was looking for something else to grab out of the box for my other hand. “Surely it can’t all be in this case?” I honestly thought to myself.
I unzipped the ruggedly built case to reveal what can best be described as a Russian Nesting Brewing Doll. Designed intentionally to save space for travel, every bit of gear you need for brewing is nested within an ingeniously engineered kettle. Inside the kettle is a travel mug, a coffee container, and the dripper itself nests on top of all of it.
Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to get on the road with this setup.
My first trip with the Pakt Coffee Kit was to a cottage on a lake for a long weekend getaway. My friends are always eager to see what kind of coffee contraption I’ll pull out of my sleeve on the road, and this one got the most audible gasps. “That’s a kettle too?” they asked, “I can’t believe how small it is!”
Amidst their ooh’s and ah’s, I unpacked my kit and started my first brew.
Inside the kettle I found handy fill lines for quick and easy reference. 250, 300, 350, and 400ml respectively. I always bring a scale with me, but with the help of these lines you don’t need one if you don’t have one. I filled the kettle up to the max fill line of 400ml and turned the kettle on by pressing the button in the base. A ring light immediately illuminated to confirm that my water was heating, and within a few minutes the water in the stainless steel cylinder had finished heating up to 205º. I’m pretty picky about my kettles when it comes to feel and control, but I can honestly say the Pakt kettle exceeded my expectations. I had all the control I needed to pour carefully and at the exact pace I wanted. The silicone exterior not only kept my hands safe from the heat but gave me the grip I needed to keep my pour steady.
When you first open the kit you’ll see a clever pour over dripper nestled neatly into the top of the kettle. To expand it from its packed position, simply twist and lock into position. Shaped like the common Hario V60 with an open bottom, the Pakt dripper felt very familiar to what I see when I brew at home. There’s a reusable metal filter included (extra points for reusable materials!) but I opted for the standard Hario V60 filters. I’m picky about most things, and paper filters is definitely one of them. The metal filter brews just fine, though! It’s a handy little addition.
The Travel Mug
If you’re brewing into a travel mug to take your coffee on the go, the included travel mug is a great addition to this kit. Similar to the kettle, it’s constructed of double-walled stainless steel on the inside and fitted with a cool touch silicone sleeve on the outside. It’ll keep your coffee warm while keeping your hands cool. The 12oz mug is the perfect size for one cup of your favourite coffee!
The Coffee Container
The travel mug’s little brother keeps your coffee safe and sound whether it’s in the case or on the counter. The included coffee container can hold about 110g of ground coffee, or about 5 cups worth.
There’s no grinder included in the kit, and I actually appreciate that about it. Cheap grinders do a great job of making great coffee taste bad, so it just wasn’t worth it for Pakt to try and include one. I’d recommend bringing a Porlex Mini hand grinder along whenever you’re on the road, or grinding your coffee fresh immediately before you travel.
In addition to the Pakt Coffee Kit packing everything you need to brew specialty coffee in a travel-sized case that’s sleek as heck, Pakt as a company is committed to making sustainable products for a sustainable future. All Pakt product packaging is 100% plastic free, and their sister company is devoted to keeping plastic out of our oceans. Not only is this coffee kit built to last, if anything goes wrong over years of use the parts are designed to be individually serviceable so you don’t have to discard the whole kit. Not only is this kit conscious of the earth’s health, but it’s also safe for your health. There are only a few pieces of plastic in this entire brewing system, and none of them every come in contact with your hot beverage.
The Pakt Coffee Kit is everything I didn’t know I needed. I’m travelling with more confidence than ever now, knowing that I can brew barista quality on the road. It makes the road feel a little more like home. You can find the Pakt Coffee Kit on Kickstarter for a couple more weeks, and you can save off the retail value by backing the project today! Expect kits to start shipping later this year.