Hotel coffeemaker question

We’re about to stay a few nights in a hotel. We don’t care for drip coffee, and we’d like to bring some of our own grind and make French press coffee in our room. However, I don’t really know if the in-room coffeemaker would heat water hot enough to do this.

What do you think? Should I get one of those wire coil water heater thingys instead?

The water should get pretty hot coming off the drip, but the thing is you only get what two cups out it?

WOuld you use the coil in the carafe of the french press, then add your coffee and stir?

What about your water source, tap or bottled? :wink:

Nuke the water/ bring an electric kettle?

You may have better luck to hope that the hotel has a hot water tap somewhere around the lobby or breakfast area for making tea. As **chela **said, those in-room brewers are tiny and only make enough hot water at one shot for about one cup in a press.

Those pots tend to run a little small. Personally, I’d just deal with the drip coffee if I needed a fix. And then find a good coffee shop to hit in the morning once I was out and about. Thinking outside the box for a moment… is the a microwave in the room? I’ve found that the room cost/quality usually has little bearing on if there’s a microwave. If anything, I think cheaper rooms tend to have them more often. If no microwave in the room, how about in the lobby?

Oh! one other idea… how about obtaining hot water somewhere the night before and putting it into a good Thermos? If you pre-heat the Thermos (by adding hot water to bring it up to temp then dumping it and adding new hot water), you may be able to keep it hot enough. Or, just use the drip machine as your heater and then store the water in the Thermos until you have enough for the French press.

Well, we’re usually espresso drinkers. When we travel, we do the French press thing because we can brew it viciously strong so that it’s essentially espresso. So the size thing isn’t an issue; one cup each of very strong French press coffee is fine.

If I bought and brought a coil, I’d heat bottled water in the in-room coffee mug, then pour it onto the grounds in the press.

We’re going to be staying on the Kona coast on the big island of Hawaii, home of kickbutt coffee, so I was hoping to buy some local beans, have them ground and drink them in our room in preference to going to a Starbucks or something.

Some hotels have those stupid one-cup coffee makers now which are even worse than the ones with the 4-cup pots. Maybe you’ll luck out and have a microwave in your room. Or maybe the hotel has a restaurant/room service and you can ask for a thermo-carafe of hot water? When I go on long road trips that include hotels and camping, I sneak my backpacking stove into the room and make espresso.

Ah, makes perfect sense to me now. Have a great time!

You’re an espresso geek after my own heart. Wow, a backpacking stove. What do you have, one of those metal “mocha” Italian stove-top espresso makers?

::going to the hotel’s website to check::

Nope, no microwave. Another complicating factor is the time difference. Travelers still on mainland time wake up in the wee hours when they travel to Hawaii. I know I’ll be up at 3 a.m. and snarling for my espresso. I don’t think room service would send us hot water at that hour, nor would it be hot enough to brew in a French press. I also don’t fancy shuffling around the lobby in my robe at that hour looking for a hot water source.

It’s looking like either the coil or slogging into a Starbucks at 6 a.m. with the other mainland travelers. Har - folks from the east coast of the U.S. wake up even earlier than Californians when they’re in Hawaii. I’m an early bird and used to being first one awake, so this’ll be a change.

Very cool idea!

I have only seen 4-cup coffee makers in hotels and they do get the water hot enough for a French press. It should also be plenty of water.

I’d talk to the hotel staff too. Every hotel I’ve stayed at has had someone (often several someones) on duty 24/7 and getting you hot water at 3 am is the kind of thing they’ll bend over backwards to do. (I don’t stay at fancy hotels either. Even the Motel 6’s I’ve used have this kind of attitude).

That is what I need!!

Where can I get one of those ?

(I dont see them in the usual stores anymore)

The key problem with the little heaters is you have to watch them because when the water boils they can be bubbled out of the cup. Or you can trip on the wire, etc. I’ve used them a lot and had many accidents, put little mars in many tables, spilled many cups of boiling water onto my paperwork.

Susanann - they are in every drugstore. They look like this :http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_0_12?url=search-alias%3Dapparel&field-keywords=travel+water+heater&x=0&y=0&sprefix=travel+water

They’re a lot easier to keep clean. I’ve seen some coffeepots in hotels that I thought people had cooked meth in.

You mean like CVS? Walgreens? Rite-aid?

Where in the drug store would they be?

Just a quick note. Carrying a stove with fuel in it or even just carrying the fuel on board an aircraft violates a bunch of regulations from the FAA, the TSA and who knows what other departments that are known by their initials.
Plus it is probably a very bad idea.

Run the water through the hotel coffee maker twice? With a stop in the press to preheat it?

De-zombifying this thread so that I can post test results.

I found data online that says that water for French press coffee should ideally be about 205 degrees, which is only a few degrees short of boiling, so unless you can get your water actively boiling, a French press is out.

We bought a higher-quality coil water heater thing, and I experimented in our kitchen with it first. I put it in a mug of water, according to the instructions, and after twenty minutes I couldn’t get the average temperature of water in the mug over 160 degrees. I was ready to give up on the whole idea, but my husband insisted that the water from a room coffeemaker might be hot enough. So we brought along coffee and my French press, and I tried it out.

Result: no, the room coffeemaker doesn’t get the water hot enough either. I made a pot of French press from it, and it should have been as strong as espresso due to the amount of grounds I put in. It only tasted as strong as regular, rather blah muddy coffee.

We schlepped over to the nearby Starbucks with the rest of the tourists and got our espresso fix there. Good thing they opened at 5 a.m.

Hmm … looks like maybe the nanny state has struck again. I looked at some of the immersion coils on Amazon and most of them say “For warming liquids.” I’m going to guess it is a safety factor thing.

That may not be all bad. I have one I bought over 20 years ago and, like Never Say Dice reported, I too have marred many a hotel counter top when the thing boiled itself right out of the mug.

However, the product description for this one reads “Boils water in minutes for all kinds of instant beverages”, so maybe on your next trip …

Just adding to the note: My stove is the kind that doesn’t have a fuel tank: it hooks up to a separate fuel bottle. I’ve taken it in checked luggage without incident, but I’ve heeded the advice to not take fuel bottles even in checked luggage, even if it’s empty and you’ve washed it six times since any fuel was in it.

A little pain to have to buy a new fuel bottle at the destination, but since you have to buy fuel anyway, not that big a deal.