How to make Coffee in a Van? 7 Simple Options

Coffee and Vanlife - what options do you have?

Coffee and Van life, this goes really hand in hand. At least for me. There is a tons of different ways to make your own coffee in your campervan and while travelling.

I poured myself a nice cup of ambition and Vietnamese coffee to have a closer look.

  1. French Press
  2. Vietnamese Coffee
  3. Aeropress
  4. Moka Pot / Stovetop espresso brewing
  5. The SoftBrew
  6. Clever Dripper
  7. Turkish Coffee

In this guide I do not cover anything around coffee trucks, coffee trailer or mobile coffee vans. It’s really just a simple overview on how you can brew your own coffee in your own home with 4 wheels.

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Coffee, then adulting!

1. French Press

Most likely, the french press is the most common way to brew coffee in a van. All it needs is hot water and grounded beans, a timer and a spoon. It is very simple and you get some cups out of it.

But, before you run off to make yourself a nice cup of awakener, you might want to watch the video below. It shows how the frensh press is properly treated and its coffee served.

It is really no magic involved, and the items you need are most likely in you van anyways.

2. Vietnamese Dripper/ Phin (best for hot weather)

Most likely, this is the one many van lifers won’t know. Vietnamese coffee is not too popular and known. The robusta beans, mostly from Vietnam are more heavy in its taste and has twice the caffeeine. It’s really not for everyone, from the bean-point of view. Personally, it’s one of my favorites.

While it’s harder to get to reasonably priced coffee beans from Vietnam, any other bean will do. We won’t go too much into detail about the beans itself.

The Vietnamese Dripper is incredibly easy to handle and produced no waste as it comes with its own filter, like the french press.

All you need is hot water, a cup of coffee, grinded beans and the Vietnamese Dripper. This is easy to purchase on Amazon, for instance. For a campervan, this way to brew your coffee is one of the easiest, smallest and lightest.

The Vietnamese Style Dripper only provides you with 1 cup of coffee. It’s not really the best if you plan to make coffee for more than one person. The french press will get you more. However, in my opinion it is one of the most stylish ways to make coffee. Very hipster-ish, if you will.

Here’s another video that shows how to use the Vietnamese Dripper. Please note, you can drink the Vietnamese coffee with or without condensed milk. It is very tasty with its condensend milk, yet it’s quite heavy.

And by the way, why did I mention it’s best for hot weather and summer time? Well, the vietnamese dripper is a great way to make cold coffee with ice cubes. Watch the video below to get a better idea.

3. Aeropress

I have to admit, I’ve been quite late to the Aeropress party and I never understood the fuzz about it. So it’s a piece of plastic and you press your coffee through it? Why should I bother, it’s most likely the same coffee?!

Well, so I thought.

The Aeropress is designed to make you an Espresso-style coffee.

The pros in an overview:

  • Taste is more smooth and less acid – probably the biggest plus!
  • Acid level of the brew is much lower than conventional brewers
  • Your own “Air” pressure gently squeezes the last bits from the grounds, further enriching the flavor.

Here’s another cool video on how to use Aeropress; even within our lifestyle. yay!

One thing though; we use metal filters and not the paper filters. Also, we prepare the Aeropress coffee by using it upside down first. There is really a whole world out there on how to use the Aeroporess, not even mentioning the incredibly competitive tournaments…yes, really. taks about 2 different way to prepare Aeropress coffee.

4. Moka Pot

5. The Soft Brew

6. Clever Dripper

7. Turkish Coffee

Number 7 on this list is the famous Turkish coffee. Personally, it’s really not my favorite, but it is a valid and simple option to go with.

Infographic about Brewing Coffee

Coffee Brewing Methods Infographic

All credit to Alex from


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Travel, coffee, van life, and hats - I do like hats! Wanna-Be Mechanic. Wanna-Be Magician. On Van Things to do I share my 2 cents on van life.