Saturday, 24 September 2011

Bodum Travel Press Review

Whilst on work experience with Dominic and Rose Prince recently, I was struck by the power people such as these can have. Rose, you see, writes a weekly column for the Telegraph called Tried and Tested, in which different food and kitchenware products are tested and written about. For this week, she was writing about drink warmers and flasks. She asked me to have a browse of the world wide web and see what I could find in the way of useful/innovative/functional drinks warmers, which I did.

One of the ones I found was the Bodum Coffee Travel Press. Rose thought it was good, so I called Bodum's press people, explained what we were doing, and that was it. The next very day, sent by courier and at absolutely no cost, said Travel Press arrived at the Prince household. Just like that. £27 worth of kit arriving next day for nowt.

Come the end of the day, Rose offered me the Bodum to take home and test, which I happily did. The following is the result of that very test.

The Concept

The concept of the Bodum Travel Press is simple but ingenious. It's a flask and a cafetiere at once, so the idea is that you can brew fresh coffee (and tea) whilst out and about, meaning you'll never again have to suffer the perils of instant coffee in a flask when on the go. It also comes with a free extra lid without a press, meaning you can use it as an ordinary flask.

The Design

The Travel Press is certainly something for the eye to behold. The shiny stainless steel body will hold 350ml liquid (about 1 ½ mugs worth) and is finished with an eye-catching rubber grip, available in six different colours and emblazoned with the sleek Bodum logo. The lid comes in a matching colour too. I cannot lie, I did feel pretty cool sitting on the 170 towards Victoria with my bright red and stainless steel Bodum.

The Performance

So far so good. Unfortunately though, this is where things start to go downhill a bit. You see, the concept of brewing fresh coffee or tea on the go is great, but in practise, unless you like your morning caffeine kick black and sugarless, it doesn't really work. Once you have pushed the plunger down, there is a tiny hole through which you must tip your milk/cream and sugar. Doing this on a stationary surface requires a sniper's accuracy in itself, let alone when in a car, train or bus. And of course, unless you wait until you are at your destination, this design also means that you would have to bring milk and sugar with you in your bag/glove box, which is slightly less than convenient. 

Finally, once you have added your 'condiments' (for want of a better word) how do you mix them (as you cannot stir)? Shake the Bodum, I fear, is the only answer. Do it gently though; I discovered, at the cost of a magazine and the cleanliness of my bag, that the lid is not watertight and will leak if turned on its side.

It seemed to me that the best way to use this flask is to brew fresh coffee in a cafetiere at home, add your milk and sugar there, and then just use the normal lid. But that kind of defeats the object, doesn't it?

The Verdict

A fantastic concept that sadly falls short of glory, unless you like your tea and coffee black and sugarless. It still looks great and works well as a normal flask though, but the leak is unforgivable.



  1. Thanks for your interesting post.
    I just bought my Bodum Travel Press and so far, I love it.

    This may be a little late, but I found the best way to add sugar was instead of putting it in through the mouth piece (impossible without making a mess!) I put the sugar in with the tea or coffee (before you add water and screw the lid on and press).

    I've had no problems pouring milk through the mouth piece. But, then again, I don't often have milk with it.

  2. Hi J!

    Thanks for reading! I'm glad you're enjoying the press; good idea RE the sugar - should have thought of that sooner! Have you had any leakages yet?


  3. this is so good and informative blog.

  4. Just bought one and I am one of the lucky people who love their coffee black and sugarless.

    This works like the C-Bomb!

    1. Glad it works well for you! A great idea and beautiful product, just unfortunate it didn't quite cut the mustard for me...


    loving my travel press!