5 WAYS TO MAKE COFFEE OUTDOORS
For many people, coffee is the highlight of the hike. Obviously, the easiest way to have coffee is to make it at home and bring it in a thermos but if you’re going to be out longer, or are a more distinguished coffee connoisseur, there are other options that work just as well outdoors as they do at home.
A lot of people think there’s no cozier way of making coffee than in a pot over the open fire, just like people did back in the day. Making a tasty coffee over the fire isn’t hard, as long as you don’t let it boil too long, because then it may become bitter.
How to make it: Measure coarsely ground coffee according to the directions on the package and add water. Then place the coffee pot over the fire with the lid on and bring the coffee to a boil. Remove the pot from the fire and stir, then wait a few minutes before pouring up the coffee, to let the grounds settle. To reduce the risk of grounds you can also fill a cup with coffee and then pour it back into the pot before serving.
A French press is easy enough to bring on a trip and doesn’t require any extra accessories, like filters. Plus, it washes up fairly easily. There are special coffee presses for outdoor use, and they work the same way as the ones you use at home, but are usually made of plastic or stainless steel, since glass isn’t suitable for camping.
How to make it: Measure coarsely ground coffee in the French press according to the directions on the package and add hot, but not boiling, water. Stir with a spork until the foam has dissolved and let sit for approximately 4 minutes. Then press down the filter to the bottom of the coffee press and serve.
Pour over is just a fancier way of saying manually filtered coffee and the name describes pretty well how it works. The good thing about a pour over coffee is that you can easily influence the flavour by adjusting the amount of coffee, the temperature of the water, the way you pour the water and the amount of time you let it soak. It’s a slower way of making coffee but the rich flavour makes it well worth waiting a few extra minutes.
How to make it: Place a filter in the dripper and put it on top of your thermos or coffee mug. (Some models don’t require a separate single-use filter but instead have a built-in filter that is rinsed out after use.) Measure the coffee in the filter according to the instructions on the package and pour over hot, but not boiling, water using a circular motion, starting from the outer edge of the dripper and moving in towards the middle. Then change directions and pour from the middle towards the edge. For perfect flavour, don’t pour too fast and make sure that all the coffee is soaked by the water.
Drip coffee bags
A somewhat newer trend among coffee lovers is drip coffee bags, which are a form of pour over. The coffee bags look similar to tea bags but come with a paper holder that is attached to the edges of the coffee cup to prevent the bag from slipping down. The coffee bags are a convenient all-in-one solution since the coffee is already pre-measured and no other equipment is needed.
How to make it: Attach the coffee bag to the edges of your cup and tear off the top of the bag. Pour hot, but not boiling, water over the coffee a little at a time and let it drip down into the cup until it’s full.
There’s probably no easier or faster outdoor coffee than instant coffee – all you need is coffee powder, hot water, a cup and a spoon. Instant coffee is controversial among coffee lovers and not everybody’s cup of tea, but if you like the flavour it’s an unbeatable drink for long treks.
How to make it: Measure the coffee powder in a cup according to the directions on the package and dilute it with a little bit of cold water to get rid of the acidity and bitter flavour that instant coffee is usually associated with. Then add hot water and stir. Done!
Whether you bring ready-made coffee powder or grind the beans on the go, it’s important that you store your coffee in an airtight container to keep it fresh and protect it from moisture. To ensure that your coffee will have perfect strength every time, you could even prepare ready-to-go servings in small, resealable plastic bags.