Online Sales & Marketing, Kendon Shaw and Head Roaster and Green Buyer, Dennis Peseau
How do I make a good cup of coffee while camping?
Unless you are glamping, excellent coffee while camping can be tricky, but it is absolutely doable. The first determination must be how much you are willing to carry. Space and weight make a big difference when ultra-light backpacking vs car camping, however, there is never a need to compromise your standards for great coffee. Our experts weigh in on how to make the perfect camping cup of joe:
- The container: Need something light? Use a mesh pour-over system. AeroPress, for example is smallish, durable, and lightweight. You can even pack your coffee and filter inside of the cylinder for transport. Have space for more? A durable, plastic French press is perfect. The cylinder is bulkier but the brewing process is more forgiving.
- The coffee: Grinding fresh is always better. There are lots of portable hand grinders out there, so bring beans if you can. Pro tip – If you only have space for ground, let the scenery sweeten your coffee.
- The temperature: Typically, once you remove your kettle from the heat for 45 seconds, water temperature drops to between 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit. If it’s cold outside, however, that temperature will drop quicker, so shorten the time between the heat and the pour accordingly.
- The experience: Don’t forget to strap a couple of tin cups to your backpack, then hit the trails. It may be a less forgiving environment for brewing, but the drinking ambience more than makes up for it.
What grind size should be used for different coffee preparations?
We hope to give you the Alton Brown version of this request one day, but in the meantime our CliffsNotes edition is top notch. Remember this always: The rule of thumb for coffee grind size is, the longer your water will be in contact with your coffee, the coarser your grind should be.
- For a French Press or other immersion method with 4-5-minute brew times: Grind should be a heavy and coarse table salt size.
- For a pour-over, when the water will only be in contact with the coffee as long as it takes gravity to pull it through: Grind should be finer and even in distribution, kosher salt size.
- For espresso, when water is pushed through the grinds very quickly with pressure: Grind should be a fine beach sand size
We’d love to hear about your coffee quandaries. Please write in to firstname.lastname@example.org, or DM us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and we’ll answer either on the show or via e-mail. We’ll send you a free t-shirt if we answer your question on the show!