Bodum Travel French Press Review

by Kieran MacRae | Last Updated: July 1, 2020

I’d not been convinced of the utility of a travel French press, until I bought one!

Reviewing the Bodum Travel Press I found it is the fastest way to make good coffee and take it on the go, the seal around the filter stops grounds escaping while you drink and the double walled insulation keeps your coffee hotter for longer.

I’ve actually found myself making coffee in this instead of my normal French press if I know I’m going to be busy, having the coffee stay hot and having one less dish to wash is ideal.

Quick Bodum Travel Press Review

Bodum Insulated Plastic Travel French Press Coffee Mug and Maker
  • Double walled to stay hot longer
  • Rubber seal filter to stop grounds escaping
  • Durable plastic so can be thrown in a bag
  • Cost efficient and convenient

Price & Reviews at Amazon

I love it, I’m a complete convert to its usefulness and it makes a really tasty cup of coffee. It’s strange that the plunger stops so far from the bottom but it’s not the end of the world, by far the quickest way to take good coffee on the go in the morning.

Can You Put Milk In It?

Let’s start with one of the more important questions, can you put milk directly into it?

I’m pleased to say that yes, you can put milk directly into the Bodum Travel Press, in fact they tell you to put milk and any sweetener in the bottom with the coffee before you add hot water.

The problem with this is it alters how the coffee brews because the milk will lower the overall temperature of the water you add to the flask. But if you’re only adding a little milk it won’t actually change that much, you’ll just need to add water that’s closer to the boil instead of leaving it for a few minutes.

You can add any type of milk you see fit to it, almond, oat, coconut you name it.

Pros and Cons

What review is complete without a pros and cons section?

Pros

Very convenient, I don’t commute to work any more but I did have a few errands to run in the car one morning so I made a coffee in this and took it with me to see how it would hold up being sloshed around in the car. It did really well! It stayed hot all morning, tasted good, fit in my cup holder, ideal.

Rubber Seal to stop grounds escapingI – was pleasantly surprised that no grounds made it through the filter and the coffee under the filter is sort of trapped there so even though it will continue to brew it doesn’t mix with the coffee above the press. It actually let through less fines than my regular french press does which was interesting, definitely a cleaner cup.

The only time it failed was when I held it fully upside down to see what would happen, the grounds came through and it was disgusting but as long as you don’t drink it like you’re downing a beer you’ll be fine.

Hardy Construction – The double wall outer is for insulation to keep it hot but I must say that it makes it very sturdy at the same time. This would easily handle a beating and being dropped without being properly damaged.

Ergonomic Design – Generally I hate the word ergonomic, it belongs in design labs not real life. But damn the lid is comfortable to use. The press fits down flush with the rest of the lid, the mouthpiece gently clips into place and doesn’t fall on your nose while you drink, but nor is it hard to open and close. Great design, very comfortable.

Low Price – It’s under $20 and for that you get a convenient way to take coffee with you to make in the office or to drink on the go.

Cons

Filter Doesn’t Unscrew – I would have liked to be able to take apart the filter at the bottom of the plunger to clean it but you can’t. I understand this is to make sure the rubber seal stays completely efficient but I like taking my french press apart.

Large Gap at Bottom – There is supposed to be a space at the bottom of a french press, the plunger is meant to stop to leave a space to allow the coffee grounds to sit so they don’t get squeezed through the mesh or over extracted.

But this has a huge gap, way bigger than it needs for the size of it, I can’t figure out why they would have done this but it’s a bit annoying. Not the end of the world but it’s a strange design feature.

The 2 Best Ways To Use It


Having been using this myself and looking into how other people use it I can say there are two efficient ways to use the travel press.

1. Take Coffee to Make At Work

If you’re pressed for time in the morning (pun intended) and don’t have time to make coffee you can throw the grounds into the bottom of this, screw the lid on and put it in your bag to take to work.

It’s sturdy enough to make the trip and once you get there you can get hot water and make your coffee. Then you have a quick empty of the grounds at work and you can take it home to make sure you properly wash it.

This saves you having to have an at work french press that keeps getting miss-used by others and left dirty in the sink.

It also saves boiling water in the morning and cleaning a french press before you leave and cleaning a thermos when you get to work.

2. Make Coffee Before Work

Slightly more prep but this is how I use it and the standard way most people use it, you weigh out your coffee and your boiling water, you press it down and you take it with you when you leave the house.

You need to keep it upright so you’ll have to hold it rather than put it in a bag when it’s full of coffee otherwise it will slowly start to leak out the mouthpiece and as I said if it goes full upside down the grounds will start to escape.

But the double wall both keeps it hot inside and keeps it comfortable to hold on the outside, no burning your hand required.

Doesn’t It Over Brew?

I wondered this initially too, if you leave the coffee in it won’t it over brew and keep getting stronger and more bitter?

Fortunately it won’t, the coffee doesn’t really escape back past the filter once it’s been pressed down, if you poured it for long enough it eventually would but you don’t want it too. Once it’s pressed down it won’t extract any more flavor.

Interestingly coffee tastes different at different temperatures so if the last of your coffee tastes different it might be because it’s colder rather than extracted more.

F.A.Qs

Is It Dishwasher Safe?

Yes the bodum travel press is completely dishwasher safe, it should be kept on the top shelf of course but this does make clean up easier. But because it can’t be unscrewed you’ll get surprisingly far with a solid rinsing of it.

Can you microwave it?

I’ve hunted high and low for this information and unfortunately, I can’t say for certain. It does have metal components such as the filter. I’m certain that you definitely don’t want to microwave metal.

So I assume it wouldn’t be safe which is good because microwaved coffee is not a good time.

Does it come with a second lid?

The UK model comes with a second lid that doesn’t have a plunger in it but this model is no longer available in the USA unfortunately.

Does the plunger go all the way down?

No, as I said there is quite a large gap at the bottom, which is strange and a bit annoying but 15 oz is still big enough to give you a good amount of fresh delicious coffee.

Final Verdict

The Bodum Travel Press is a great weapon in your coffee arsenal. It would also be a great gift for a coffee lover incidentally. Surprisingly useful and surprisingly effective, a great buy in my opinion.

Kieran MacRae tried getting into wine but didn't like it, tried getting into whiskey and it was too expensive, then thought "I really love coffee. I wonder if you can get really into coffee?" Turns out you can!