Camp Coffee

How do I make camp coffee?

Camp coffee – I was asked last night, had I got a recommendation for a “camping gadget” for making fresh camp coffee when hiking or camping? I do have one, but my answer was unexpected. My friend was expecting me to recommend something from GSI or some other ultralight gear manufacturer. Instead I suggested a plastic tea strainer.

Making camp coffee in my Crusader Mug

Here is a photo from a trip to Wales – fresh camp coffee whilst camping on the Welsh coast. I am dripping the coffee into some milk that I have already heated in my steel British Army Crusader mug.

The coffee filter

I use the tea strainer as a coffee filter. It is not as fine as commercial filters but it does a good job – but there will be a few grounds in the final brew.

It is very lightweight, simple to use and pack. It is also far cheaper than the commercial camp/backpacking coffee makers.

I chose a strainer with a plastic mesh because it is easier to pack, as it can be crushed, and it has a finer mesh than the metal models.

How I make camp coffee

I make my camp coffee in two ways:

Make in the pot method

I measure the grounds into cold water and then bring the mixture to almost the boil, stirring occasionally. I leave the coffee to stand for three or four minutes before gently pouring it into a mug through the strainer. I am careful not to stir up the grounds once they have settled. With this method I can make more than one serving of coffee and can make a stronger brew if I want.

Drip method

I pack the coffee into the strainer to cover the mesh and press it down firmly with the back of a spoon. I drip/slowly pour through, nearly boiling water. The strainer holds enough grounds to make one mug of coffee.

This method makes less washing up so is my favourite when wild camping.

Making camp coffee in my MSR titanium mug on the summit of The Old Man of Coniston
Early morning coffee on the summit of The Old Man of Coniston – read the full story here.

My “coffee maker” is an essential part of my backpacking and camping cooking gear and I use it on most trips. I bought mine a few years ago and it cost 20p at the time. Asda and The Range sell suitable tea strainers, today, at about 50p. I’d recommend anyone to try one out before spending more money on a coffee gadget.

There are other coffee makers on the market!

Jeremy and I saw this portable coffee maker when we were in Truro last year. Click this link to read the blog post.


Fresh Coffee Update

To make packing easier I have cut the handle down on the tea strainer – see the story here.

Fresh coffe - summer 2016
Breakfast in bed – Scotland August 2016

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