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This guest post comes from Matt Heaton, guitarist/singer/recording artist who is a master Irish musician, has played with surf rock bands in Chicago and Boston, and performs his own brand of clever “toddlerbilly” songs for kids as a soloist and with acclaimed trio The Outside Toys (rockabilly, surf, american roots/traditional music):

Many things about traveling have gotten easier over the years. From Trip Tiks to Mapquest to GPS to GPS on my phone; from trying to send emails by tethering a laptop to a cell phone to having it all on the phone. Yeah, many of the tedious aspects of traveling have been much improved by smart phones.

Except one.


The double edged sword of being a coffee addict (can’t get through the morning without it) and a coffee snob (gas station coffee?? I’d rather drink turpentine!) has made many a remote rural morning extremely painful. “Let’s just get on the road,” we’d say. “I”m sure there will be some decent coffee along this underutilized state highway soon…”

For a while, we tried carrying a french press. And a french press does make some fine coffee, but the thing I hate about them is the cleanup. Always stuck with a massive thing of grounds in the bottom of the glass, afraid to put it down the sink for fear of clogging a pipe, unable to fully clean out the bottom of the pitcher–nightmare.

But not anymore.

Enter the Aerobie Aeropress. Amazingly, this thing was invented by the guy who made the aerobie, a sort of geeky improvement on the frisbee flying disc. It it basically a very fat syringe, so the water is forced through the grounds like an expresso shot. The result is kind of in between a drip coffee and an espresso, quite delicious.

The kicker is cleanup: just pop out the resulting “cake” and wipe the plunger. (of course, wash with soap and water when you can, but still). I use this thing for camping, hotels, relatives who don’t love coffee as much as I do–you name it.

If you want to make it more complicated, you can carry a grinder and scale to weigh your grounds. But I find eyeballing it works just fine. And if you really get into it, there is even a world aeropress championship.

There you go. One more travel worry solved by technology. But you can’t carry this one on your phone.

Learn more about Matt Heaton’s work

  • Duo with Shannon:
  • Kid Music Site:
  • Kid Music Page:
  • Surf Music Page:
Leap, Little Frog

a musician's musings on nesting, being creative, traveling, and parenting