The sun is rising, birds are chirping, and you can feel that brisk morning frost on your cheeks. Two things are missing, a morning fire and a hot cup of coffee. Let’s face it, is there anything better than that morning coffee in the woods? To round out that experience, here are some tips on making the best camp coffee:
Buy quality beans from a local roaster
If you’re looking for tips on making good camp coffee, I think it’s a fair assumption that you’re probably someone who buys quality beans. If you’re not one of those people, this might be a good time to check out a local roaster in your area or near the campsite you’re heading towards. It’s an excellent way to explore and support your community. And trust me, the beans are usually much better than just buying the Starbucks (or Folgers, does anyone buy Folgers anymore?) beans from your grocery store. Oh, and please don’t use instant coffee. Supposedly, some brands out now make a decent instant coffee, but I’m not so sure I’d risk it.
Pre-grind your coffee
There are two types of people in the world, those who buy already ground coffee beans and those who grind their beans at home. If you’re the former, you’re all set. If you’re the latter, you might be wondering what on earth you can do for your camping trip. But pre-grinding your coffee is one of those shortcuts that is just necessary for a camping trip. Sure some quality hand grinders work well enough, but do you really want to hand-grind coffee when you wake up at dawn after likely not the best sleep? No, no, you do not. Plus, if you’re backpacking or weight is a concern, a coffee grinder is just more bulk to carry. Grinding a couple days ahead of time isn’t really going to diminish the flavor that much, I promise. Just make sure you portion out exactly how much you’ll need ahead of time; running out of coffee mid-camping trip will be pretty miserable.
Get an Aeropress
The Aeropress is probably the best coffee maker out there for home or camping use (level up with the Prismo attachment). It makes one of the richest, most well-rounded cups of coffee you’re going to find and takes all of 2 minutes. There are even Aeropress competitions out there! Additionally, it’s lightweight, easy to use, and virtually indestructible, all of which are good for any kind of camping. The only downside is that it only makes a single cup at a time. So, if you’re the camp cook and prepping coffee for the group (or really more than three people), then something like a French press will be less time-intensive. Even still, I’d still include the Aeropress in your camping repertoire.
Bowl water in a small propane stove
This might be obvious, but it’s surprising how many people try to bowl water over the campfire. In all honesty, it’s going to take forever, which is definitely not something you want to wait for on a brisk, coffee-less morning. You can grab one of those propane stoves, either the small backpacking kind or those large tabletop Coleman stoves. Either option isn’t too expensive and will boil water infinitely faster.
Follow these steps, and you’ll be enjoying a quality cup of Joe and the serenity of the great outdoors.