Have kettle, will travel


To quote a line from the greatest air travel documentary of all time, I like my coffee like I like my men.* That is to say, sweet and easily located in the morning.

Which means that travel, with its inevitable trek down to a drafty/stuffy hotel breakfast room to forage for that first cup, which most likely is going to be sludgy, small and lukewarm, is not a prospect that appeals. (And paying something like $15 in room service fees for that same sludge only even more lukewarm AND you still have to be more or less dressed really chaps my hide.)

If you’re in a British/Ozzie/NZ hotel that is not too upscale you will have a little kit of tea-making gear with a packet of Nescafe, which while not exactly a gourmet dream does produce a caffeinated beverage reminiscent of actual coffee. Elsewhere, it’s iffy. (And what is it with the posh hotels not doing this? Do they think you have your butler installed next door and ready to pop down for the restoring cuppa in the a.m.?)

So, for my last trip abroad I took along a collapsible kettle. Pictured below.  (Yes, they don’t know how to spell collapsible but they know how to make a silicone kettle, by golly.) It also will run on either 110V (US) or 220V (pretty much everywhere else) so no need to carry along a converter; you just need a plug adaptor, I use this one, which is bright and big enough that (so far) I haven’t left it behind yet.

This type of kettle, there are a few makes available, folds up small—it takes a few tries to get

the hang of the collapsing part, but it does work. Basically, you just have to jettison a pair of shoes or something similar to make room for it if, like me, you limit yourself to carry-on luggage.

How fancy you want to get with the coffee is up to you. You could take a cone filter and ground coffee for a superior brew or settle for Starbucks Via. Whatever. I also took along a collapsible mug so I wouldn’t have to drink out of a teensy glass. Tuck in a few tea bags and/or hot chocolate mix and you have a reliable bedtime drink, too.

*OK, fine, man, singular. God, I’m boring.

Cheers, matinally.