Love camping? You’re not alone.
Every year, millions of Americans head out into the wilderness with their tents and sleeping bags, ready to enjoy a night or two under the stars.
If you are a camping enthusiast, then you’ll know that there are few things better than when you’re relaxing in front of your campfire. Of course, a lot of people tend to miss out on the luxury of freshly-brewed coffee when they go camping because they convince themselves that making an incredible cup is too difficult when they’re away from the utensils and machines of their kitchen.
The truth is that creating a delicious brew of camping coffee doesn’t have to be as complex as you think. You don’t need to bring a hefty machine with you or find an electrical outlet just to get your morning espresso. By the time you’ve finished reading this article, you’ll know how to have fantastic coffee when you camp.
Before you Leave for your Trip: Preparation Tips
Before we begin looking at the methods you can use to create delicious coffee with nothing but a campfire and a few simple tools, it’s important to make sure you’re equipped with the right supplies. This means that you’re going to need fresh coffee beans, water, and any extras you might want like sugar and creamer too.
Ideally, it’ll be worth taking a portable grinder with you on your trip so you can get the freshest possible taste from your Java. Make sure you pick a grinder that’s lightweight and easy to transport. Additionally, think about the kind of coffee you want to make when you’re away. Will you be hoping for a strong hit of espresso, or do you love your French press? Knowing what kind of coffee, you want to make in advance will help you to decide which extra equipment you need to take with you.
Remember, regardless of what your preferences are, you’ll need to keep the amount of space you have in your backpack in mind and the nature of your journey. If you’re going to be hiking for several miles before you settle down to camp, then you won’t want to add any unnecessary weight to your bags.
Coffee Making Techniques: How to Get the Best Brew When you Camp
Once you’ve picked the coffee beans, travel mugs, and other essentials you need to take with you on your camping trip, you’ll need to decide how you’ll be making your drinks when you’re out there getting back in touch with nature.
There’s a surprisingly broad selection of different ways that you can make coffee when you’re camping. Some methods are so simple that you’ll wonder why you haven’t used them before – others require some specialist equipment and patience. One thing’s for sure – you don’t have to settle for stale or flavorless instant coffee.
Here are some of our favorite methods for getting the perfect brew.
1. The Cowboy Method
If you’re looking for a simple way to make coffee at a campfire, then you can try the cowboy method. Importantly, while you can make a decent cup of coffee this way, it takes practice to make sure that you get the brew just right – and you’ll need to find a way of straining your drink so that you don’t end up with a mouthful of grounds.
The cowboy method involves simply immersing your coffee directly into hot or boiling water, instead of pouring water over the grounds. It’s easy to leave the coffee beans brewing for too long when you use this method, which could mean that you end up with something bitter or burnt. To avoid this, let the water boil first before you stir the coffee in.
2. The Pour Over Method
The “Pour over” method is a little bit more modern than the cowboy strategy, and it’ll probably feel a lot closer to making a cup of coffee at home. To use the pour over method, you’ll need an additional pour over cup made out of metal or plastic. All you need to do is boil some water over your campfire, then place your grounds into a filter and pour the water through. You should get a delicious cup of coffee in minutes – and you can make it as strong as you like.
If you’re a fan of the pour over method, all you’ll need to bring with you is the pour over dripper, a cup, and some filters. All of these tools should be pretty lightweight, so you won’t have to worry about exchanging a great cup of coffee for a painful back.
3. French Press
Most people associate French press coffee with cafes and fancy hotels. However, a French press can also be a great thing to take with you when you’re camping, because it’s incredibly versatile. You can make a couple of cups of hot coffee in the morning, and steep tea leaves in the afternoon if you want a change of flavor throughout the day.
A French press is naturally designed to give you a better quality of coffee because steeping your beans in hot water allows you to capture all their unique flavors. What’s more, with a French press, you don’t have to worry about accidentally burning the grounds, like you might with the cowboy method.
Of course, there is a possibility that you could end up cracking or breaking your French press when you take it with you on your camping trip. To avoid this issue, look for a metal model that abandons glass entirely. This will allow you to place your French press safely alongside all the rest of your camping equipment.
Want to get a little more scientific with your coffee making strategy? Why not try an Aeropress? These simple devices are a fantastic choice for those who want to enjoy java on the go. You barely need any water to produce a delicious cup of coffee, and the tool itself weighs very little – usually much less than a French press.
Aeropress machines work similarly to a French press, but your beans won’t need as much time to steep. With an Aeropress, you can easily enjoy making beverages with both fine, and coarse-ground coffees, and you may even be able to get the perfect espresso without hiking for miles to find a nearby café.
If you’ve been looking for the ultimate way to take coffee camping with you, then the Aeropress could be a perfect choice, as it’s a lot like bringing a drip machine, espresso machine, and French press with you wherever you go. The only problem is that you’ll only be able to make one cup at a time. Of course, this is a small price to pay when you get to watch the sunrise with the perfect brew each morning.
Finally, if you’re interested in trying a more old-fashioned and traditional method of brewing, then you could always invest in a percolator. It takes quite some time to make a great cup of coffee with a percolator, but enthusiasts claim that the device will give you a more robust flavor – particularly when you’re out camping.
With a percolator, all you need to do is place water into the device, put a filter on top, and add your grounds, then put the percolator over the campfire to boil. The water needs to boil consistently before it’s ready to pour, which means that a Percolator isn’t as fast as some other options.
The great thing about a Percolator is that it’s simple, sturdy, and offers a delicious result. To get the best possible brew, make sure that you use coarser ground coffee, and be patient. Cranking up the heat on your campfire could cause the coffee to burn.
Enjoy the Ultimate Cup of Coffee at your Campsite
It’s easy to assume that you have to give up on luxuries like a delicious espresso or a smooth cup of coffee when you’re camping. While this might have been the case back in cowboy days, the invention of countless fantastic tools for creating amazing coffee on the go means that anyone can enjoy a wonderful brew – anywhere.
If you’ve been dreading the taste of instant coffee on your next trip, you now have everything you need to switch your store-bought packets for incredible, café-quality coffee.