Just because you’re camping, hiking, or simply just relaxing outdoors doesn’t mean your access to coffee should suffer. How to make coffee while camping is now an art in itself. In fact, unwinding in nature while sipping a cup of freshly prepared, delicious, aromatic coffee is just the reason you may have decided to embark upon that very adventure.
Fortunately, in this day and age, preparing coffee outdoors can be done in plenty of ways. And it’s our responsibility, as coffee connoisseurs, to bring to you the best of all methods.
Coffee Brewing Methods for Camping
1. Instant Coffee
While this may be the most convenient, hence the most common brewing technique, we at Coffee Style Today don’t favor it in terms of taste. But that doesn’t mean instant coffee is a bad choice.
There has to be a valid reason why it’s so popular among campers, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts. You go about adding instant coffee into your cup that contains boiling water. And that’s it – the reason for the popularity is quite obvious here.
2. Coffee Bag
Yes, there are coffee bags (for example, by Folgers). And the taste of this form of camping coffee is just what you might expect from tea bags.
You just put the bag into your mug filled with hot water. Let it steep and then discard. So, in a way, it’s the next best alternative to instant coffee.
3. Cowboy Coffee
All you have to do for this particular method is to add your favorite coffee grounds into hot water. But there are different methods as well for preparing cowboy coffee.
Needless to say, cowboy coffee is the simplest of all coffee brewing techniques. The only setback is the messy clean-up since coffee grounds do not dissolve completely in water, which makes it a slightly less suitable choice for camping.
Definitely one of the most favorite camp coffee preparation methods, it’s the combination of French Press, pneumatic press, and pour-over. And you get deliciously smooth, rich coffee, no doubt.
For this, you require fine espresso coffee grounds. One method consists of using a top-down AeroPress while the other includes an inverted AeroPress. The first method involves inserting the filter, placing the bottom over your mug, dumping grounds into that base, adding some hot water to facilitate degassing, and then filling till the top.
All this should take not more than 10 to 15 seconds before you depress the plunger, much like the pour-over technique. While in the case of an inverted AeroPress, just backtrack the process like you’re using a French Press.
5. Single-Serve Pour-Over
The pour-over method is one step ahead than cowboy and instant coffee. And thanks to the easy, quick clean-up as well that this seems like the perfect choice for campers and hikers. But then you have to pack up the wet grounds and paper filter. However, if this comes at the cost of savoring rich-tasting coffee, then bring it on!
The single-serve pour-over coffee makers are nothing but pouches with a paper frame. You fill it with your favorite coffee grounds. Naturally, at this point, the frame expands. So place it over your mug and then pour boiling water through the grounds.
6. Pour-Over Stand
If you’re concerned more about cost than ease of use, then how about non-disposable pour-over stands? These are easily available at coffee shops. These types of coffee makers are made of ceramic and have a compact, lightweight body. Therefore, very suitable for outdoor activities like camping, hiking, etc.
You use a cloth or paper filter, which contains your coffee grounds over the cup. Then slowly pour boiling water into it. And you’re done!
7. Moka Pot
For all those coffee drinkers who simply can’t get enough of strong Italian-style coffee, be it indoors or outdoors, the Moka Pot feels like a blessing in disguise. It’s actually a stovetop espresso coffee maker. You can devour Italian-style coffee as is or prepare an Americano using hot water.
The filter basket is made of metal, which means no more wastage of paper filters. Above the filter rests the serving carafe and below it is the reservoir. Water goes below and coffee grounds are placed into the metal filter. Then, over the camping stove or campfire, the water, upon reaching boiling point, steams upward through your favorite coffee grounds to collect the result at the top.
An innovative coffee brewing method indeed, Bripe is a quick way of devouring coffee while on the go.
You add your coffee grounds and water into the pipe. Then, with the help of a stove or even a lighter, bring the water to a boil. And sip through from the straw attached to the coffee maker once the coffee reaches a safe temperature.
9. French Press
Moving on to the classic way of preparing coffee, the French Press may not be for outdoor brewing but it definitely makes the best-tasting brew with coarse coffee grounds.
Add the grounds into the bottom, pour a little hot water for degassing the coffee, and then fill the whole container with hot water. Now let the coffee sit for around 8 to 10 minutes before depressing the plunger.
It’s the old-fashioned way of preparing camp coffee, isn’t it? The percolator is nothing but a coffee maker that consists of a metal tube and metal basket. When the water reaches the boiling point, it travels upward from the tube into the basket. It’s the perfect coffee maker for brewing strong coffee over a campfire or camping stove.
11. Portable Espresso Maker
This is a hand-powered espresso coffee maker that more and more outdoor enthusiasts are seen carrying these days. It’s the perfect tool for those who love coffee, being outdoors, and also have a thing for using fancy gadgets.
So if you’re a caffeine addict who simply enjoys downing espresso shots, then you should consider buying a portable espresso maker.
All you have to do is add your fine-sized coffee grounds and hot water into their respective chambers. And wait for the pressure to build, which pushes steam through the coffee grounds to pull the shot.
Fundamental Rules for Camp Brewing
Do not underestimate the power of basics when it comes to brewing outdoors…
Use Only High-Quality Coffee
If you buy cheap, low-quality coffee, then don’t expect the outcome to be the opposite. Only premium, high-quality coffee, which is often also a little expensive, can give you the msot delicious, aromatic, and complex brew.
Use Whole Bean Coffee
By that, we mean, grind your coffee beans right before brewing. But doesn’t this mean that you’re now compelled to carry a coffee grinder as well? To be honest, it doesn’t really matter if you’re a genuine coffee lover. Ground coffee, with its larger surface area, tends to degrade faster than coffee beans.
Avoid Over-Boiling the Coffee
To prevent a tragedy like this from taking place, carry a thermometer. The optimal temperature for brewing coffee is between 200 degrees and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything below welcomes under-extracted, weak-tasting coffee. While anything above ends up adding a burnt flavor and taste to your brew.
Extra Coffee-Making Gear for Camping
Even the smallest, lightest additions can truly transform your coffee sipping experience outdoors. So here are a few very useful suggestions…
Manual Burr Coffee Grinder
Like we mentioned before, it’s better to grind coffee beans right before brewing for a fresher, richer, and more aromatic experience. So how about carrying a hand/manual grinder? After all, it comes in camping-inspired sizes and shapes with integrated tools for making the grinding process much more convenient on the go.
What these do is give you the optimal coffee-to-water ratio perfect for accurate extraction. This way, you can also minimize the waste produced.
Outdoor Coffee Kit
Lucky for you, you now live in a world that offers convenient outdoor camping coffee kits. These include an AeroPress, mini burr grinder, enamel mugs, etc. – all packed in a canvas bag.
So we have discussed enough number of ways for preparing coffee when outdoors. So you can just pick the technique that appears to be the most convenient to you. You may also want to take into account that not every method here delivers the best-tasting brew. Some are just the quickest in order to simply satisfy your caffeine cravings.
Another thing we would like to mention is that a coffee thermos goes a long way when it comes to keeping your freshly prepared brew hot for longer. So don’t forget to include that as well into your camping kit.
The article has been composed by professional coffee reviewers who have tasted more coffee than you could ever imagine. At Coffee Style Today, they bring together your love for coffee and the best at-home coffee gear.