While some might say we’ve been roughing it over the past four months, Adam and I would both argue we are actually living rather luxuriously. Yes, we spent more nights in our tent than anywhere else, but our sleeping bags and hand-me-down sleeping pads are quite comfy, and waking up to the sounds of nature, or other campers when car camping, still beats the old alarm clock. However, as I’ve said before, a morning is NOT a good morning without coffee.
Early on in the trip, we went the standard camping route of instant coffee. We found instant to be really unenjoyable at all possible levels of strength, and we tried them all, from coffee scented hot water to shit-your-pants strong.
Adam discovered the AeroPress coffee maker, a small, plastic coffee maker that could be used at camp. We had to try it, because it supposedly made the best tasting coffee, even compared with “real” home coffee makers. The coffee was fantastic. (Here’s one review of other camping coffee makers from Outdoor Gear Labs.) The system is also relatively lightweight at about 8oz for essential parts, and made of sturdy plastic.
The key parts of the brewing system are a chamber and a plunger, and works like a high pressure french press. To brew, add grounds to the chamber, add hot water, stir for 10 seconds, then plunge. The plunging forces water through the grounds at high pressure. If done correctly, you end up with a perfect shot of espresso, which you can upsize into a coffee by adding hot water or fancy-up into a latte by adding heated milk.
In addition to being great for backpacking, the AeroPress is also a very effective and tasty single cup brewing system, and baristas love it for the flexibility and control it provides. We’ve been using it at “home” while staying with friends and family, and while house-sitting. As an even higher standard, if we were still living in Chicago with our one-in-one-out kitchen, this would be our #1 coffee choice.
The only downside is that it only brews one cup at a time. Fortunately for me, Adam does most of the coffee brewing. It’s a rough life I lead.
Finally, those of you who know Adam and me know that we’re not really big on “stuff” or “shopping”, so please know that I will only post links to products that we really, really love. Your clicks support the blog. And, indirectly our loving marriage through beer money.