I'm a sucker for French press coffee, but I'm also the first to admit that it's often not the most convenient way to brew coffee. If I'm in a rush in the morning, I'm more likely to set up the drip coffeemaker than go through the rigamarole of boiling water, stirring the grounds, waiting around for four minutes, then pressing it all down. But really, making coffee in the morning is always struggle. It's the last thing to do before I race out the door, so if I need to get to the subway, I'm apt to let that step of my routine slip, even though I know my commute is a thousand times more pleasant when I tackle it with a steaming hot thermos of coffee in my hands. And more often than not, stopping by the coffee shop before I get on the train is a luxury of time I cannot afford.
Enter Bodum's Travel Press, the answer to my morning coffee commute needs. I first learned about this invention from my coworker Alex Tepper, who strolled into the office one morning with this bad boy in his hands, and when I saw it, my mouth dropped.
Sure, at $20, this travel mug is slightly more expensive than a regular old travel mug. But this travel mug is special because it also makes coffee. As the Bodum website explains, you dump three or four tablespoons of coarse ground coffee into the mug, fill with hot water and stir, then screw on the lid with the plunger up. After four minutes, push the plunger down, and just like that, you've got a steaming hot travel mug of French press coffee, ready for the taking. If you don't take your coffee black, add milk and sugar to the travel mug before you screw the lid on, pre-plunge.
When I asked Tepper to tell me how much he loves this French press-in-a-travel mug, he told me, "It’s made the process faster, more economic and coffee saving, and then I have one less dish to wash." (You can wash it in the dishwasher if you have one, for the record, which is another step in convenience.) He added, "Well, the only downside is keeping your coffee too hot," which I don't see this as a real problem. Isn't that the baseline of what you want your travel mug to do, anyway?
The real beauty of this mug is that you can make French press coffee on-the-go, anywhere you go. You can quietly brew coffee while you're sitting in a subway car and going 35 miles per hour under the city. You can make it in the office, as long as you've got coffee grounds at your desk. You could even brew coffee while you're driving your car, a pinnacle of American convenience that our industrial forefathers dreamed of back in the 1950s.
Long story short, this travel mug will change your morning commute for the better, and there's nothing bad about that.