Any camping experience requires a steaming cup of coffee to get the day started off right. Whether it be a day full of hiking, canoeing, or swimming, any seasoned camper understands the necessity of coffee to their trip. Depending on your equipment, there are numerous ways to enjoy a cup of coffee out in the wilderness.
The easiest way to quickly make a cup of coffee while camping is with instant coffee. This coffee is extremely lightweight and a wonderful option for backpacking campers with limited space. All you need is some boiling water and a package of instant coffee grounds to jump start your day. Cowboy coffee is an even simpler way to whip up some quick coffee. Instead of using instant coffee, you just add coffee grounds to hot water. However, the coffee grounds don’t dissolve into the water and can make for a messy clean up. This option is for those looking to toughen up their camping image.
If you’re looking for something a bit more traditional, you may want to turn your attention to the kettle. A stainless steel kettle can be heated over a campfire or stove and makes enough coffee to energize multiple people. You may also consider purchasing a pour-over stand for higher quality coffee. The fresh coffee brews directly into your mug and can make multiple servings.
The AeroPress may be the fanciest option for a camping trip but it delivers on flavor. An AeroPress combines a pour-over, French press, and a pneumatic press to deliver a smooth, rich coffee. The coffee grounds are compressed into a small puck, making for an easy cleanup. This is more feasible with car camping or RV camping, but the most dedicated backpackers can make it work!
For an Italian style coffee, try bringing a Moka Pot to use over the fire. This device creates a strong coffee that is similar to espresso without the use of filter paper. A French press is also available option for camping. Bringing a glass press is risky, but there are plenty of durable French
press’s available. A French press makes a larger quantity of coffee, but requires lots of coarse grounds. Try it out while car camping!
The percolator is a classic coffee vessel when it comes to camping. Campers have been using the percolator for years as an easy way to make strong coffee over the campfire. This device has a metal tube that runs up into a metal basket full of coffee grounds. When the water begins to boil, it percolates up the tube and into the basket. This is a traditional, more rewarding way to make delicious coffee while camping.
Bonus Round: Cold Brew or Iced Coffee
You may have noticed that your favorite coffee shop offers both cold brew and iced coffee. You also may have noticed that cold brew is typically more expensive than iced coffee. But what’s the difference? Well, the main distinction is in water temperature and brewing time. Cold brew
beans are ground and then soaked in room temperature water for at least 12 hours. This creates an incredibly smooth, highly caffeinated, less acidic coffee concentrate. Soaking the grounds for an extended period of time extracts all of the caffeine, sugars and oils. Another largely unknown fact about cold brew is that you don’t have to drink it cold. That’s right, you can heat it up for a steaming cup of highly concentrated coffee with an extra caffeine boost.
Iced coffee is brewed with hot water, which is then cooled and poured over ice. This creates a diluted coffee with less caffeine, which is why most coffee houses offer their iced coffee for a lower price than cold brew. Iced coffee provides a thinner taste due to the melting ice. Cold brew contains about half the acidity, making it easier on the stomach.
So it seems that cold brew is the best way to go. Not only is it packed full of caffeine, it gives a smooth, bold flavor due to the extended brewing process. If you want to save a couple bucks or simply prefer to drink your coffee cold, save your own hot coffee, cool it off, and pour it over ice! Otherwise, keep your cold brew cravings up during the warm summer months, it’s worth it!