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Coffee in Hotel Rooms

We often stay at hotels with in room coffee makers that use flat round filters filled with coffee. Unfortunately the coffee is sometimes really bad. Wondered if anyone had found a way to bring your own better coffee and still use their 2-4 cup coffee makers?

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  1. Melitta makes a small coffee filter called the Junior that would fit into the basket of most of these coffee makers.

    Just an observation...if the coffee maker is never cleaned out, its liable to produce "sometimes really bad" coffee.

    1. Pack your own coffee maker. I've been known to stop at walgreens and buy one if I was going to be staying more than a night or two.

      1. Get the #4 basket filters at the supermarket and through them into your luggage along with your favorite coffee and some bottled water. Much better than the "gourmet" coffee packets the hotels use.

        1. Those crappy in-room coffee makers don't get the water hot enough to brew a decent cup even if you use quality whole beans and grind it fresh.

          2 Replies
          1. re: grampart

            That is definitely the case. I'm a tea drinker, not coffee, and I've tried to use the hotel coffee makers to make tea a few times. It's supposed to work - they stock a few tea bags along with the coffee packets - but it comes out terrible. The water isn't hot enough to properly brew tea, and it usually has a faint flavor of stale coffee since, as someone else said, those coffee makes never get cleaned.

            1. re: cookie monster

              My kid sis is also a tea drinker. When she checks in at any major hotel, the first thing she does is call housekeeping and request a kettle (and a plate, a bowl, full set of cutlery). She is rarely disappointed.
              The only time I've not been able to get a kettle was in Turin, Italy; the hotel cited safety concerns. So now I just pack an immersion heater, and pick up a large mug at a flea market.

          2. Hotel coffee is easily the most vile kind.
            Buy a plastic gizmo like this (usually $5 or so):
            Pack filters and your coffee, microwave water until its actually really hot, and pour over.
            At least 100xs better than hotel coffee

            11 Replies
            1. re: Ttrockwood

              Where would you find a microwave in a typical hotel room?

                1. re: Ttrockwood

                  Well yes, that is where you would typically find one if your room had one. I rarely see them unless it's a hotel room that also has a kitchenette in it. I travel a lot for work and I'm very happy when any room I'm in has a mini fridge in it instead of a mini bar that I'll never use.

                  1. re: Ttrockwood

                    I have rarely seen microwaves as standard equipment. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen microwaves in a room. Ever in all my travels.

                    Even the suites that I have stayed in kitchens do not have microwaves, even though they'll have a stove and an oven. Would've traded both for a microwave, however.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      You and SaraAshley are just spoiled and staying at expensive hotels. Most of the mid-range places aimed at business travelers have a mini fridge and microwave as standard, along with the free breakfast, and a happy hour if you are lucky. :)

                      When you get to the better hotels then you just get the mini-bar and they want you to order room service.

                      10+ years of business travel all over the US, lots and lots of microwaves.

                      1. re: pamf

                        Lol. Most of my travels for work are in big cities and I think most hotels in big cities are like this. The 6 floor hotels in more suburban cities are more likely to have microwaves.

                        1. re: SaraAshley

                          Many of the hotels are now switching to espresso machines with Nespresso pods.

                          Good stuff. For a hotel.

                          1. re: SaraAshley

                            Exactly. I can't remember the last time I was in a downtown metro hotel that had a microwave. We usually bring one of these, along with a plastic Melitta cone:

                            Speaking of nasty in-room coffee machines, etc., we also bring our own coffee mugs and plastic cups. We've seen the way maids use dirty washrags to "clean" the house mugs and water glasses.

                            1. re: Steve Green

                              and yet, my DH wonders why I wash the glasses and mugs when we unpack

                          2. re: pamf

                            Haha, I think you may have something there. I spend 100-150 nights in hotel rooms each year, many times just one night in any one place, and these days I am rarely without a microwave and mini fridge. Your average Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Inn/Comfort Suites, Best Western, etc is equipped in such a manner.

                    2. re: Ttrockwood

                      Agreed. If I were wanting to have good (or at least consistent) coffee in my hotel room, I'd pack my AeroPress and coffee, and heat the water in the microwave.

                    3. Honestly, you're better off just going to a nearby coffee shop. Even a place like Denny's will have better coffee than what you can brew with an in-room hotel coffee maker and your own beans.

                      An alternative would be to bring single-packs of instant coffee (e.g. Starbucks Via) and use the coffee machine to "brew" hot water, and then combine, and have yourself a cup of instant coffee.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        My mom always took a small jar of Folgers instant coffee when she traveled.

                      2. Add some Godiva liquor or Smirnoff whipped cream vodka to it. The hotel coffee will taste just fine. ;)

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: mrsfury

                          That's surely the best way to start the day in Vegas!

                        2. I pack Via packets in my carry-on bag. It's "good enough" to get through my early-morning routine and get out the door for real coffee.
                          Or, pack an Aeropress and freshly (at home) ground beans. Then, pick up locally roasted beans at our destination -- ground by the vendor.

                          1. I'm staying at a Kimpton property currently and I don't have a coffee maker in my room. Instead, the hotel offers complimentary coffee in the lobby every morning. It's much better than any coffee you'll make with an in room coffee maker. I think more hotels should do this.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: SaraAshley

                              The Monaco is slow on the refills, and the coffee gets lukewarm rather quickly.

                              Plus, sometimes I want coffee in the evening.

                              Their wine happy hour is fun, however. As is their game room.

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                I Googled Monaco, I didn't know there are so many. I like the one in Denver with a huge sitting area with overstuffed furniture, and the daily complimentary wine happy hour.

                                1. re: Veggo

                                  They also give you a pet goldfish for your room during your stay.

                                  I asked for one once. It died.

                                  Checkout was a bit awkward.

                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    The goldfish was not intended to dwell in the coffee pot.

                              2. re: SaraAshley

                                I would feel a bit uneasy in wandering to the lobby in my robe, for early morning coffee...

                                1. re: KarenDW

                                  So would I. I leave early for work, so I just grab a cup on my way out the door and drink it in my cab. If I wanted a cup before I was dressed and ready to leave, I'd have no problems walking down to the lobby in a pair of sweat pants and a t shirt, which is what I typically wear to bed.

                              3. Bring a long an Aeropress and use the single serve pod machine to make hot water. If you have a 4 cup drip machine in the room you can bring your own coffee, filters cut to size and grinder if you want really fresh and brew decent coffee in tour room

                                1. Just stick your nose in the basket of the coffee maker. Usually the smell is enough to make you nearly drop it. And sometimes the pot itself hasn't been cleaned if you give it a sniff. Plastic grabs the oil in coffee and lets it stay until forever and rancidity. (I learned this with the insulated plastic coffee cups on patient trays - I was a nurse for umptyump years - and it made the tea made w/ tea bags in them awful, too, of course.)

                                  What's that line from the New Yorker cartoon? How about never? Is never good for you?

                                  1. Schkeeve factor of 10. Given the petri dish that is the remote and bedspread, I honestly would rather drink puddle water, than something that came out of a hotel in room coffee maker.

                                    1. I have NEVER and will NEVER use an in-room coffee machine. People pee in them! No way, never thank you very much I will call room service.

                                      1. Found that most of the higher end hotels that we stay at have replaced the 2-4 cup coffee maker with a Nespresso pods which make a decent cuppa.

                                        I'm always freaked about dbags that have messed with the coffee makers, so I will run some water through..sterilize the crap out of it!

                                        I've watched too many TV programs on what really is going on in your hotel room...the black light version.. : (

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. I bring my own filters...those machines in the rooms are usually the 2-4 cup flat-bottomed kind, but sometimes they are cone-shaped, so I bring some of each.
                                          I also take a Ziploc bag of freshly ground coffee from my stash, and whether the coffee maker is flat- or cone-shaped, it's still better than those industrial pods that the hotel provides.
                                          And if the machine needs cleaning...then we just go to the nearest Starbux.

                                          1. My BIL, who travels abroad quite a bit, is never without his French press. I am a tea drinker, and recently purchased an electric kettle for travel. I have one at home and one in my office. Love it!

                                            When my son was in college, and on the swim team, we traveled to his meets quite a bit. One of the on-line coffee site (Gevalia?) offered a free 4 cup coffee pot as a premium. That pot traveled more places!

                                            1. Hotel coffee is generally very bad.

                                              1. there's a couple of different versions -- there's a flat round and a flat square.

                                                Both make really shitty coffee....but I'm one of those people who can barely breathe until they've had coffee, so managing to stumble to the lobby for a freebie is simply more than I'm capable of.

                                                So as long as the first cup is warmer than body temperature, brown in color, and has caffeine, I don't complain too much.

                                                Best was a hotel in Chicago that had a Keurig, and one in Amsterdam that has a Nespresso.