When camping, there is limited equipment you can pack, and in regards of food and beverages, you will choose to bring snacks that are easy to prepare and water as a beverage. However, most campers tend to warm up their bodies with caffeine, which is possible. You can have brewed coffee outdoors by looking at some tips on the ideal coffee making methods we’ll be discussing in this article.
Some people can’t function properly until they’ve had a cup of joe. If you’re one of those people, you don’t have to worry about your caffeine fix when you’re out camping because there are coffee makers made for the great outdoors. If you don’t know which one to get, choose one from our 15 suggestions of the best camping coffee makers.
Different ways to make coffee while camping
Below, we will be talking about the methods of coffee preparation for camping purposes. Ways to prepare camping coffee are categorized into different types: Cowboy Camping Coffee, Percolator, Espresso or Moka Pot, Instant Coffee, Pour Over Coffee, French Press Coffee, and Aeropress Coffee. To make these coffee, you can follow the following tips.
1. Cowboy camping coffee
Usually, you can witness this method by watching some cowboy films, in which characters heat their coffee, then share it with everyone around the campfire. Cowboy coffee is somehow similar to the taste of brewed coffee. It is black and strong, depending on how you prepare it.
Boil water — the quantity will depend on the amount of coffee you want to prepare.
There are two ways to make coffee this way. The first one is with a filter. You can use a cheesecloth or fabric filter that you can soak in the boiling water. Place the coffee grounds on the filter, then tie it up, then immerse it in the boiling water. Remove it from heat, and steep the filter with coffee grounds for 5 to 10 minutes.
The second method is to boil the coffee directly with the water, then remove it from the heat, then steep.
This technique is perfect for two people and does not require numerous pieces of equipment. Bear in mind that the downside of this method is the thick and powdery taste.
2. Percolator coffee
Cowboy coffee may serve a small number of people, but with a percolator, you can prepare coffee for all your camping companions. It measures more than 8 cups of coffee, which means you can have more than enough coffee for a large group.
Load the percolator container with cold water, which is more than half of the apparatus. Place the coffee grounds on the small canister, which is placed on top of the percolator. Close the kettle then heat it. After boiling for about 7 minutes, remove it from the heat. You will know the coffee’s boiling because of the sound. You can leave your kettle boiling for 10 minutes for a stronger coffee taste.
The use of a percolator is good if you want to prepare coffee for several people. It is easy to heat and clean, however, it has a similar disadvantage to that of the Cowboy coffee. Indeed, the flavor becomes powdery because of the intense extraction. Finally, this equipment is bulky, and therefore not ideal for lightweight backpacking.
3. Espresso or moka pot
The espresso maker, actually named a moka pot, is either designed to brew coffee on a stove or electric set up — of course, a stove is your only choice when camping. For preparation, remember to put water at the base, and coffee grounds in the center section. Leave the peak part empty.
To prepare your brewed coffee using a moka pot, you need to detach the top part and the coffee container. Fill the bottom division with water, then place the coffee grounds in the coffee filter — this is the middle part you detached earlier. The amount of grounds is supposed to reach a bit over half of the tray. The next step is to attach the coffee tray to the bottom body, then twist, and connect the top part.
It is advisable to use a camping stove to maintain the heat. The heating process is done when the boiling sound stops. At this point, take out your kettle, then serve the coffee.
The body is really durable, which is great to be used outdoors. It is recommended for solo campers since the amount of coffee it can serve is limited. Be careful when you heat it, because its handle might melt, and the coffee will taste powdery if not monitored properly.
4. Instant camping coffee
Instant coffee is the best and simplest choice you can have. You don’t need to buy any equipment to prepare your coffee this way. All you have to pack is instant coffee or coffee bags, and your mug or thermos tumbler. However, anticipate that the taste is totally different from brewed coffee that came from a vivid process.
For this method, just place the coffee bag in your cup with hot water, then let it stay the required time (as per instructions of the coffee you brought.) Don’t forget to remove the bag, because it will affect the taste of your coffee if you steep it.
On the other hand, for instant coffee, just apply the same steps you apply when preparing it at home or at work. Pour it on your mug with hot water, mix, then enjoy.
Packing instant coffee is one of the easiest choices to drink coffee while camping. It does not require you to bring any apparatus, and you’ll only have one utensil to clean: your mug. However, the taste is not as high quality compared to brewed coffee.
After you’ve had your coffee fix, you’ll be left with coffee grounds that needs to be disposed properly. Disposing coffee grounds improperly is harmful for the environment and is not in line with the Leave No Trace principle. As a responsible camper, you should know what to do with used coffee grounds.
5. Pour over camping coffee
This technique is usually used in coffee shops, and we have reviewed some coffee makers that are designed with this. This is a simple method that does not require you to use complicated equipment to make your coffee. If you want to achieve a positive product, then you need to be careful and follow the process. You can also check our review of the GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip for light backpacking.
First, place the dripper on top of your mug. Put the coffee grounds in the dripper. The taste differs depending on the amount of grounds you place in the dripper. Pour boiled water slowly into the dripper for a better and stronger taste. If your dripper has a separate filter, then damp the filter before you put the coffee grounds. Note that not all drippers have similar steps, so we certainly advise you to follow the manufacturer’s guide.
Drippers are great for light backpacking. The size of the pour-over dripper will affect the amount of coffee you can make. Some drippers are capable of serving coffee to large groups.
6. French press camping coffee
Another known method to prepare coffee is by using a French press. Most of us have seen the body of this equipment, and it is literally a small glass carafe with a pump. It is easy to use and quite portable, but brittle. For other choices, you can check the GSI Outdoor French Press for a more durable build.
Boil water, then pour coffee grounds in the carafe. Remove it from the heat, then put the plunger on top. Don’t press it down yet. Wait for half a minute, then stir the mixture. Leave it again for about 4 minutes, then it’s time for you to press the plunger gradually.
This technique lessens waste material because you don’t need to remove the coffee sediments while preparing it. Similarly to other coffee-making methods, the taste is powdery.
7. AeroPress coffee
The AeroPress coffee maker has made its way to our reviews as it is a notable equipment for camping. The body parts can be detached, but it is more compact if you assemble it before you pack it. With this, you can have your brewed coffee outdoors without packing a lot of cookware and equipment. For complete details, you can read our review on it.
Boil water. Place a filter into its cap and lock, then put the device on your mug. Dampen the filter with hot water to eliminate the paper taste, then throw the water in. Place the coffee grounds into the AeroPress. You can measure it with the spoon of the unit. Slowly pour the hot water on the grounds, then leave it for half a minute. Just like with the French press, stir the mixture. For 45 seconds, stir, pour water, then place the plunger again. Press it slowly for about 30 seconds.
Can serve up to 3 cups of coffee, however, the unit is plastic, which is vulnerable to damages. What we like are the measuring tools for the best mixture of your coffee.
If you’re like us, and couldn’t stand a day without a cup of coffee, even in the middle of the wilderness, then it’s important that you know the many different ways to make coffee. From one coffee lover to another, here are 10 techniques to make coffee while camping.
For light backpacking, we suggest you chose the simple and easiest way to prepare coffee. Bringing drippers, instant coffee, and coffee bags is recommended, but if you are going with a large number of people, maybe a percolator and AeroPress will work for you.
Always think of the type of camping and backpacking you are going to partake in, because it will affect everything in your adventure. Be attentive to the devices you plan to buy, because some are vulnerable and easy to break. If you’re going car camping, you can go all out with your coffee setup, but if you’re going to be backpacking for a couple of days, something simple will be your best bet.