Being outside is a great way to unwind and recharge after a long day at work. It allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and connect with nature.
One way to enhance this experience is by enjoying a good cup of coffee. Whether you're camping, hiking, or just relaxing in a park, being able to brew a hot cup of coffee can add a special touch to your outdoor experience.
With the right equipment and techniques, it's possible to make a delicious and satisfying cup of coffee while enjoying the great outdoors. From sachets to a French press, there are many ways to enjoy a good brew outside.
In this post, we'll cover everything you need to know about making the perfect coffee while camping. We’ll cover the following points:
- History of coffee
- Ways to make coffee outdoors
- Types of camping
- Other equipment needed
History of coffee
Coffee's origins are uncertain but it is said to have been discovered in Ethiopia by goat herder Kaldi. The energizing effect of the berries was noticed and spread to the Arabian Peninsula where it became a staple drink and spread across the world.
In Europe, the drink was met with suspicion but quickly became a popular social drink in coffee houses. The popularity of coffee increased and spread to the New World where it replaced tea as the favored drink.
In the 17th century, coffee was successfully cultivated outside of Arabia in the Dutch colonies of Java and Sumatra. Coffee was then brought to the Americas and is now the favorite drink of the world.
Nowadays, coffee is a morning habit globally, and there’s no better way to start your day than in nature enjoying your favorite brew.
Nevertheless, when outdoors it’s not always convenient to brew the perfect cup of coffee. So first let’s look at the options to have a coffee at the campsite.
Ways to make coffee outdoors
Instant sachets are a convenient option for making a quick cup of coffee. They come pre-packaged with a measured amount of instant coffee, sugar, and creamer for a hassle-free and quick brewing experience.
However, they often sacrifice quality and flavor in exchange for speed and ease of preparation. The process of freeze-drying or spray-drying coffee can strip it of its natural flavors, aroma, and oils that contribute to its taste.
The end result is often a bland, weak cup of coffee with little of the rich, complex flavors of freshly brewed coffee. While instant coffee sachets may be suitable for those in need of a quick pick-me-up, coffee lovers are likely to be disappointed by the lack of depth and complexity in the taste.
For the absolute ultralight adventurer, either sachets or the next option are worthwhile considerations as they don’t require anything more than a cup and a spoon to stir. If you want to you can use a branch to stir too.
Pour over coffee sachets
Pour-over coffee sachets involve using a pre-packaged coffee filter that contains ground coffee, which is placed over a cup, and hot water is poured over it to extract the coffee.
Although they’re both one-time use, unlike instant sachets, pour-over sachets generally provide a better flavor and quality compared to instant coffee.
The pour-over method is known for its simplicity and quickness, and the sachets are designed to make it even easier. The coffee is pre-ground, so all you need to do is find a good cup. A titanium cup will make your life easier if weight is a priority. A titanium double-wall coffee cup is the best option if you want a light cup that will keep your beverage hot for longer.
Pour-over sachets are a popular choice for those who value convenience and want a quick and easy way to make a good cup of coffee. For this method, you will need another pot or camping kettle to pour water into the sachet and cup.
Pour-over coffee is a method of brewing coffee in which hot water is poured over ground coffee in a filter, usually with filter paper or a reusable filter, allowing the flavor and aroma of the coffee to be extracted.
Pour-over coffee can be made with a specialized pour-over kettle or a standard camping kettle with a reusable coffee filter. It is recommended to pre-grind the coffee grounds before leaving on a trip to make the brewing process easier. You don’t want to carry a grinder too!
The pour-over method provides a clean, balanced, and consistent cup of coffee, giving you the ability to control the brewing process and adjust the water-to-coffee ratio to your taste preference.
The pour-over method may take longer than coffee sachets, but the end result is really worth the wait. So, next time you're on a camping trip or simply looking for a different coffee-making method, give pour-over coffee a try!
The Aeropress is a compact, lightweight, and long-lasting coffee-making device that is ideal for outdoor coffee lovers. It consists of a cylindrical chamber that's filled with coffee grounds, a filter, and a plunger.
To use, simply pour hot water over the pre-ground coffee and press the plunger to extract the coffee. As a result, the coffee is smooth and rich, free of the bitterness and grit associated with other outdoor brewing methods.
Despite the extra weight, it's totally worth it for the delicious and fresh coffee it produces in the morning with a view.
If you can’t do without high-quality coffee then the Aeropress is for you. With this consideration make sure you research and find a durable Aeropress, as being outdoors your gear can get abused.
A French press, also known as a press pot or plunger pot, is a manual coffee brewing device. It consists of a cylindrical container with a plunger and metal or nylon mesh filter.
In comparison to the previous brewing methods, ground coffee is steeped in boiling water and then separated from the water by pressing the plunger through the mesh filter. French press brewing results in a strong, full-bodied coffee with sediment. It's great for group use and offers a full taste experience.
However, if you are not careful, the longer steeping time can result in over-extraction and a bitter taste. Apart from that, remember to pregrind the coffee grounds.
Additionally, when choosing a French Press, it's important to consider the material it is made from. Ensure that the container, plunger, and mesh filter are anti-corrosive to avoid a metallic or off-flavor in your coffee. The best choice is a Titanium French Press. It will ensure a pure coffee taste without any flavor impairment.
The coffee-making methods mentioned above are the most commonly used when outdoors. You can consider your personal preferences and the type of trip you’re on to choose the best method for you.
Types of camping
For those who value an ultralight camping experience, single-serve pour-over sachets or instant coffee sachets can be a convenient and compact option for your morning coffee.
These sachets are compact, easy to pack, and do not require any additional equipment. Simply add hot water and you're ready to go. The only gear you need is a titanium mug and a pot or kettle to pour water if you prefer the ground coffee sachets over instant ones.
Coffee lovers’ camping
If you're a coffee lover who values a rich and flavorful cup of coffee, then consider indulging in a French press while camping. This traditional brewing method is ideal for those who appreciate the nuances of different coffee varieties and want to control the strength and flavor of their brew. There is a range of sizes available for a french press on the market. Do some thorough research but if you want a lightweight gear setup, titanium is the way to go.
Glamping & large group/family camping
If you're going on a glamping or camping trip with a large group or family, you could bring along an Aeropress or a pour-over kettle and coffee gear, as you will have a permanently fixed campsite.
With an Aeropress, you get a compact and lightweight option that delivers rich and smooth coffee, without sacrificing taste. The pour-over kettle is another great option, allowing you to use a reusable coffee filter and make a fresh cup of coffee each morning.
Both the Aeropress and pour-over kettle are great options for those who are looking for a more upscale camping coffee experience!
Which brews the better coffee we’ll leave that judgment to you!
Aeropress VS Coffee French Press
The Aeropress extracts coffee using air pressure, resulting in a clean and smooth taste. It's quick to prepare, simple to clean, and ideal for a single serving.
In contrast, the French press steeps coffee in a large carafe, producing a bold and heavy-bodied coffee. The coffee french press is ideal for sharing and provides a complete immersion experience.
The Aeropress is the way to go if you prefer a clean, smooth, and light-bodied coffee. The French press is ideal for those who enjoy a bold, full-bodied coffee with more texture.
French press Vs Pour over at the permanent campsite
The pour-over method has some advantages over the French press when it comes to brewing coffee at a permanent campsite.
One of the most significant advantages of pour-over coffee is that it produces a more flavorful cup than the French press. This is due to the fact that the pour-over method allows for more control over the extraction process, resulting in a cleaner and more nuanced flavor profile.
Additionally, the pour-over method eliminates the problem of coffee grinds in your cup, which is a common issue with the French press.
In a nutshell, the pour-over method is the way to go for those who value a great cup of coffee and want to avoid any unwanted coffee sediment. However, with the pour-over method, it does require more gear to make that delicious cup of coffee.
Other equipment needed for your morning coffee outdoors
To prepare your morning coffee while camping or trekking, you will also require a few extra supplies in addition to the coffee brewing equipment.
The first three items you need are a kettle to boil water, a cup or mug to drink from, and a container to store your coffee grounds or sachets that will keep them dry.
Second, you may want to buy a Jetboil coffee French press accessory if you use a French press or a similar complete product. If you prefer pour-over coffee, you can use a GSI coffee java drip filter or GSI collapsible pour-over silicon filter. These accessories are portable due to their small size and outdoor-use design.
Last but not least, the key to great coffee is quality beans, so pack some of your personal favorites from home and pre-grind them for use while outdoors. Keep in mind that adding milk or sugar to your coffee can increase the weight of your bag.
Keep your coffee-making supplies as basic and lightweight as you can. Purchasing high-quality, long-lasting gear will transform your cup of coffee into a luxury and pleasurable experience at the morning campsite.
Camping coffee options vary depending on individual preferences and camping styles. Ultralight campers can opt for single-serve sachets, while coffee lovers’ may prefer a French press.
Glampers and large groups can bring an Aeropress or pour-over kettle for a more upscale experience. The best option is just a matter of your personal preference.
I hope you found this post helpful, if you have any questions or comments leave a comment below.
To your next adventure!