Coffee while camping tastes incomparable – especially in the morning. This list of 6 methods will help you to brew the perfect cup of coffee.
Whether you want a quick gas station coffee or a gourmet coffee, there’s a way to get it right.
For most of us, morning coffee sits somewhere between a habit and a sacred ritual.
The smell of a fresh cup is a wake-up call – a transition between that part of the day when we’re tired and blinking in our sleeping bags and the part when we come alive.
I’ve tried all kinds of brewing methods, from instant coffee brewed in bottled water to miniature espresso machines.
There’s really no “right” way to make your morning coffee: it depends on what you’re looking for and what your needs are.
Ultralight hikers (and most backpackers) prefer instant coffee, which has only gotten better over the years.
Other coffee lovers may be willing to pay a few extra grams for a higher-quality cup.
Below, I’ll show you six of the best ways to brew coffee while traveling and give you a few tips on how to make the most of it.
1.Instant Coffee – Made Quickly
The advantage is already in the name: instant coffee is easy to prepare when you are still tired and don’t have time. You don’t have to clean up afterwards or carry away the coffee grounds.
While traditionally you had to sacrifice a lot of taste with instant coffee, there are now great brands so that you can really enjoy your morning cup.
This coffee-drinking method is best suited for microlight hikers and hikers in a hurry.
The disadvantage is that the coffee mostly tastes like instant coffee.
My recommendation: try the Mount Hagen Bio Naturland Instant Coffee Sticks (2g x 25 sticks, 100% organic Fairtrade instant coffee) or, if you like sugar in it, the Jacobs coffee specialties 3 in 1 (1.8g x 10 sticks).
2. Cowboy Coffee – Like In The Old Days
Of all the coffee-making methods out there, this is sure to be the least likely to be used at home.
Just put a few spoonfuls of ground coffee in your pot or cup and brew it up. It’s easy and doesn’t require any additional equipment.
The downside: It’s also quite grainy, especially if you haven’t gotten the hang of it yet. You’ll pick the coffee grounds out of your teeth.
The method is best suited for large groups who do not want to carry brewing equipment.
Tips for preparation: Boil the water first, then remove from the heat and add the coffee (2 tablespoons per 250 ml). Stir briefly and leave covered for 4 minutes.
Remove the lid and sprinkle with cold water or tap the rim with a spoon to settle the ground coffee. Pour it over carefully so that the coffee is not stirred up and pour it out carefully. A ladle comes in handy if you’ve been cooking in a large pot.
3. French Press – For Moments Of Taste
This multi-step method makes for a strong, flavorful brew, and if you’re an avid devotee, you probably know how to make it.
But it also means lugging a single-use kitchen utensil into the wild and having to clean it up afterwards. Is it worth the trouble? I’ll let you decide.
The coffee brewing method is best suited for groups with sophisticated tastes.
Disadvantages is the cleaning, because it is a water-intensive matter.
Brewing Tips: I prefer the GSI Outdoor Commuter JavaPress coffee mugs for their weight and capacity. Put the coffee and water in the press (2 tablespoons per mug.), stir vigorously, leave for 4 minutes, then slowly slide the filter down. Finished.
4. Pouring Out – The Ritual
This simple brewing method makes a great cup of coffee without the weight and moving parts of a French press.
But like the French press, you’ll need to pack a few extra pieces of equipment. Also, only one cup can be brewed at a time, so this method is best for solo hikers or small groups.
This method is ideal for coffee lovers who like a little ritual. The downside is that you can only brew one cup at a time.
Here’s how: Place a coffee drip – like the GSI Outdoors Unisex Java Drip or Snow Peak’s Collapsible Coffee Drip – over a mug. Insert a filter and then add the coffee. Then pour the water (just before boiling point) in slow spirals until your cup is full (about 3 minutes).
This is my favorite backpacking coffee method.
5. Aeropress – The Finest Sieve For The Finest Coffee
Now it gets really elegant. If you’re used to having a double shot or latte in the morning, this is the easiest way to brew a strong, espresso-like coffee on the go.
This method also requires you to carry a disposable device, but if you’re a real coffee enthusiast, this might be something for you. This method is best suited for connoisseurs.
Portable espresso machines are expensive, not to mention bulky for the amount of coffee they make.
An alternative is the AeroPress , which brews similarly rich, strong coffee in less than a minute. It’s great that the AeroPress is easy to clean.
6. Portable Espresso Machine – The Creamy One
The outdoor industry is always inventing new things and the latest craze is a mini espresso machine to take with you on your travels.
If you love espresso, then you should try this mobile espresso machine.
The device is the size of a small thermos flask and works with muscle power. You will need espresso or coffee capsules (they are not really environmentally friendly).
You put the capsule in the WACACO Minipresso , fill it with water and press creamy espresso into your cup. Enjoy your meal.
Bonus Tip: Use Tea Bags As Diy Coffee Bags
Here’s a little trick for everyone who likes cowboy coffee but wants to do without the coffee grounds.
Place ground coffee in a paper tea bag, then tie it in a knot with unflavored dental floss. You can also try tying the teabag together if it’s big enough (always works for me).
Then, heat water to your desired brewing temperature, then drop the sachet into the cup or pot. Then leave the bag in the cup for 2-4+ minutes depending on how strong you like your coffee.
Alternatively, there are also ear drip coffee bags , but unfortunately you cannot prepare them. However, there are also already filled coffee bags (like the Pour Over Drip Coffee from Tribo ) that you just have to hang in the cup.
Summary: Coffee Lovers Get Their Money’s Worth Through A Variety Of Methods
Many coffee lovers are willing to make any effort to get their black juice.
Especially in the morning, when you come out of your tent , sit under the tarp or get out of the hammock , the coffee really motivates us to start the day.
I myself like the cowboy coffee because it is so easy to prepare and I only need coffee, cup and hot water. And since I’ve perfected the method, I never have coffee grounds in my mouth.
However, I’m also hooked on the French Press and I like the JavaPress mug from GSI Outdoor , even if it’s not cheap.
No matter what method you use, there’s always something for everyone when it comes to sipping your favorite beverage—whether in the wild or making your own at home.
Question AND Answers (Q&A) On The Topic
What’s the easiest way to make coffee for a group while camping?
Fill your pot with about 6 cups of water and bring it to a boil.
Take the water off the fire and add 1/2 cup (about two handfuls) of freshly ground coffee.
Stir, cover and let steep for three minutes, then add a tiny splash of cold water to settle the coffee grounds.
What is cowboy coffee?
Cowboy coffee is essentially French press coffee without a filter.
Typically, this drink is prepared over an open fire, out on the trail, or at a campground where a coffee maker (or electricity, for that matter) isn’t readily available.
Are there coffee bags like tea bags?
One of the latest trends in coffee is disposable coffee tea bags.
Yes, it sounds like a dream, but it’s a reality now.
And it’s about time, because coffee lovers don’t always have access to a French press or a coffee dripper.
That’s why this new product is so simple – but so ingenious.