New Coffee Thread

3:27 p.m. on February 22, 2017 (EST)
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Whether it is the French press, Starbucks VIA, or Greek style, I'm always adapting how I'm preparing my plain 'ole JOE. Lately, I've been putting my whole roasted beans in the freezer to solidify the oils for a finer grind...


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I always remember meeting a fella on the trail who added a little cold water to his cowboy style to settle the grinds... But I want all of the caffeine!


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I've been pretty successful getting the grinder at home to get things where I want it. I've heard high power blenders set on 'flour' mode really get the job done. I might have to plug in the Blend-Tec soon for a report...

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I have long abandoned the press, it simply is too consumptive using my filtered water with cleaning and all...


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I've never had a concern with grounds, only an enjoyable cup of strong coffee! Have a great day everybody, I hope you're out there happy & often!

4:32 p.m. on February 22, 2017 (EST)
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I took Starbucks instant sweetened iced coffee on my last trip. Tasted pretty good and let me skip heating anything for breakfast which saved me some time and weight.

7:40 p.m. on February 22, 2017 (EST)
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The GSI Java drip is my new fav.

Are you grinding on the trail?  Not sure I'd like to bear the extra weight. 

For freshness I'll vacuum seal the ground coffee sometimes.  Instead of grinding finer, I just let it soak longer.  I dip the filter of the GSI Java Drip into the water like an open-top teabag. 

I am finding out how much difference high quality beans (I have a source of inexpensive shade-frown, single source beans) make in the final product more than anything else IMO.

I just wish I hadn't waited till my 30s to get into coffee.

1:28 a.m. on February 23, 2017 (EST)
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Forget Starbucks, any coffee but Starbucks Please.

7:11 a.m. on February 23, 2017 (EST)
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7:15 a.m. on February 23, 2017 (EST)
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I been freezing coffee beans for years and grinding...I own the Java drip and been trying to profect it for myself...I think Jeff gave me some good insight...But yeah short trips I try and use the java drip...

9:35 a.m. on February 23, 2017 (EST)
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I've stopped doing business with Starbucks and sold my SBUX stock due to their over-the-top political activism. Not that I disagree with some of their positions, I've just never liked a company trying to tell their consumers how to feel about social, personal issues .... just serve me what I came for and nothing else please .... I digress.

Around the home, for daily use, we purchase whole bean coffee from Costco, divide it into two-cup portions, vacuum seal each portion, and place into the freezer.  I've found this keeps the beans fresh and preserves the essential oils.  My favorites are the beans from Seattle Coffee Company (Columbia Supremo, Guatemalan)

For the trail, we grind the beans in a burr grinder at home, and package into pre-measured ziplock snack-size bags for use on the trail. I utilize the Aerorbee AeroPress (see reviews) coffee press on the trail.  Very lightweight, easy to use, extremely easy to keep clean , and best of all it makes a great cup of coffee. So much so, that I frequently use the same rig at home to make coffee.

Nothing better than catching the sunrise with a hot cup of good, rich joe .....

10:55 a.m. on February 23, 2017 (EST)
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Jeff- I grind at home, then pour boiling water over the coffee grinds Greek style... I typically acquire my whole roasted beans from Aldi. Their sources are fair-trade, and it is quite a bargain. 

I haven't in a while, but I was roasting my own beans for a long time. I've got to get back into it! 

12:37 p.m. on February 23, 2017 (EST)
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At home I've got several methods of brewing from our over to vacuum siphon. But on the trail I use a combo of Folgers, and either/both Cafe Bustello/Medaglia D'Oro. Since I can't find Medaglia D'Oro in convenient packets, I mix the CB packets into small pill bags with 3 demitasse spoons of Folgers instant, and 1.5 of MDO. Tastes great, gives me a great boost and gets me awake. I should also mention that I sweeten my joe with honey.

At home I roast my own and use a siphon, press, espresso pot, or pour over filter. Very rarely ever use my little drip as you lose too much flavor with it.

Cheers!

1:26 p.m. on February 23, 2017 (EST)
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I need to get back into coffee perfection and this thread has me re-evaluating my setup for this weekend. I used the GSI drip for a while but too finicky for me prior to coffee (ironic).  I need something quick and simple (just an IV please) for the first cup, so was using Via but now went with the Tasters Choice tubes similar to Via.  Strong enough if you don't use a full mug of water.  Too much travel for work has me drinking coffee from many gas stations (the higher end ones with selections) so my tastes tend toward strong black coffee and no additives.  You guys are making me rethink this.

PS The grounds are the best part! 

1:30 p.m. on February 23, 2017 (EST)
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Apparently, a never ending topic of discussion. I grind my coffee beans at home and bring them on my trips in a plastic bottle. To brew a cup I boil water in a titanium cup then put it into an insulating sleeve (reflectix) and drop a few spoons of coffee grounds on top. I cover the cup with a lid and let the grounds steep until they fully submerged. Usually it takes about 5 minutes give or take. To drink I could pour the brew over to another cup or use a french press from Jetboil to keep the grounds on the bottom. The coffee prepared this way is as good as your grounds. Works fine for me and is my favorite method for the last couple of years after trying all kinds of various products, devices, processes.

2:03 p.m. on February 23, 2017 (EST)
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I, too, have stopped with the Starbucks.  I use a GSI java drip but bring some number 2 unbleached coffee filters.  Don't like cleaning the drip, so just pack out grounds with filters.  Much better coffee than instant. 

2:47 p.m. on February 23, 2017 (EST)
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I just happened to have taken a picture of my coffee this morning so I was amused to come home to find this discussion.


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A nice blend of Kenyan and Ethiopian beans that can be brewed strong without scaring the taste buds at home. Using the GSI drip basket the flavor was more subtle, perfect for drinking while gazing at the summit over head and deciding which way to go when leaving camp :) The coffee said go up, but the weather report said go down. Perhaps a second cup might have gotten me over my aversion to climbing down snowy mountains in the rain.

My last trip I used some my emergency instant supply because I was in a hurry on a couple of mornings. I can't believe I used to drink that every day on trail. Once you get used to real coffee it is hard to go back.

I bring my coffee portioned out into single servings and put the grounds back into the bag when done to make transferring to my garbage bag easier. Might have to try that filter trick out Vicky to make that process faster. If it keeps me from using the instant again it would be worth it.

10:02 a.m. on February 24, 2017 (EST)
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I never roasted my own coffee...I been ordering from a high cost coffee company for awhile for over a year for some of my stash..LOL Black rifle coffee company and they roast when you order it,..They have a 2 week delay in shipping now since they made a public statement and others found out about them...But I buy beans from a local coffee company near me as well as Sams club...I'll hit up Aldi soon thanks for the suggestion,,,

4:03 p.m. on February 24, 2017 (EST)
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Steeping things in hot water must be the common thread uniting the world. I love this.

Here's what I use when I want the good stuff in the backcountry...

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The Cafejo manual press draws fat pulls anywhere you can boil water, cleans up super easy, and is a managable size and weight. Will pull pods, K-cups, or loose coffee. I pull about 5 ounces of water through the Caffe Borbone pods and get espressos/americanos that'll make you cry.

8:59 p.m. on February 24, 2017 (EST)
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Well if we are getting all foo foo about mud...

Fellow campers rave over my brew,  but I think they exaggerate somewhat.

The bean
I am not going to recommend a brand; suffice there is a good assortment that will yield excellent Joe.  But what you do to that bean does have significant affect. 

Storage
The best way to store bean is as a dry good.  Oxygen, light and moisture are the enemy; heat somewhat less so. The foil bag many good beans come in is a good storage solution.  At home we use a stainless canister with a lid.  On trail the convenience of zip locks prevails over other considerations.  If you cycle through a bag of beans on a regular basis, room temp storage is fine.  Do not freeze your beans, as just the process of exposing the beans to room temps, then returning them to the freezer after issuing the day's ration will cause moisture to condense on the stored beans (remember moisture is worse than heat for the beans).

Grinding
Reduce exposure to the elements by grinding just before brewing whenever possible.  But truthfully repeated tests by Moi have concluded beans ground prior to a trip will remain fresh enough as to be almost impossible to distinguish from beans ground in camp. The grind size is based on how long the coffee brews, and how bitter you like your Joe.  Flash brewing (e.g. espresso process) uses a fine ground, while longer soaks (e.g. drips and presses) use a course grind.  I have seen no data on cowboy coffee - I would assume based on the above logic that it would use the most course grind of all, given the brew process continues until the last drop consumed.

Brew temp
I forgot the idea temp, but it was just below 200 F.  I let my home brewer control this.  On the trail, a pint of boiling water will cool to just about right in the morning chill, in the amount of time it takes to remove from heat, extinguish the stove, and set up to engage beans and water.

Brew process
The ideal drip and press brew time is four minutes, 7-8 grams of beans for the average strength cup of Joe.  Expresso process is timed by the pressure of the system; and cowboy coffee ignores the concept of brewing time.  If the end result is too bitter, use a larger grind; not bitter enough, use a finer grind.  If too weak, add more beans; too strong, use less.  At home I drip brew utilizing a fine mesh grounds basket.  On trail I use the same basket, simply immersing it in the pot of hot water.  My basket is matched to the pot such that the top lip of the basket clears the water level.  The basket is free standing. The basket weigh about 2.5 oz.  The fine mesh allows passage of the essential oils and esters into the brewed coffee.  I use insulated plastic, ceramic or titanium drink ware.  I do not like the odd taste imparted by stainless and aluminum metal drinking vessels.

And then there is cold brew processing - which I have not bothered looking into, since I like things simple and my Joe hot.

Ed

9:50 p.m. on February 24, 2017 (EST)
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That's beautiful prose, Ed. 

It seems I go from one end of the spectrum to the other. I used to just throw a bunch of coarse-ground beans in water, bring it to a boil, let it settle, and thoroughly enjoy the resulting mud. I still do if I'm making more than two or three cups at a time.

But if I'm just brewing for myself, the Cafejo (and its cousin the Aeropress) allows one to boil a single pot of water which can then be effectively split into both coffee and breakfast. The Cafejo works well with a brief infusion of about 20-30 seconds, and then a slow press for another 20-30 seconds, depending on what you want. The pods give the brightest cup, while the mesh-sieve adaptor lets things get nice and silty.

2:44 p.m. on March 2, 2017 (EST)
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Chimney Rock, sorry to break the soapbox. Seattle Coffee is owned by Starbucks.

2:13 p.m. on March 3, 2017 (EST)
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When it comes to coffee, context is everything. I now often mix up a batch of instant coffee with some powdered milk, sugar and spices in a plastic bag.  It only takes a few minutes to heat some water, and have that warm cup in the hands. It is very similar to Starbucks but with less sugar and more spices like cinammon and allspice. The ritual has gotten shorter, but it is no less satisfying.

3:55 p.m. on March 6, 2017 (EST)
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I'm using the GSI java drip like Lone Stranger. Only, I use paper filters with it or brews too weak.

8:59 p.m. on March 6, 2017 (EST)
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That seals the deal for me...stopped using the GSI java drip due to weak taste. Used to fill it all the way up with good grounds but still couldn't get a strong enough cup no matter how slow I added water. I even steeped it like a teabag. Went back to Via and others as the effort wasn't worth it.

Me and the missus are heading out tomorrow for a few days and I am packing the java drip again with paper filters to try it out and see if that solves the problem.

11:34 a.m. on March 7, 2017 (EST)
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I am going to give the paper filters a shot...

1:29 a.m. on March 9, 2017 (EST)
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denis daly said:

I am going to give the paper filters a shot...

I used to use paper filters.  Denis, you relate that you go through some effort to get good beans.  Using paper filters will defeat your efforts, as the paper prevents the oils of the beans from making it into your brew.  And these oils are what make a good cup stand out from ordinary mud.  Instead I suggest a fine mesh re-useable screen.

Ed 

2:32 a.m. on March 9, 2017 (EST)
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whomeworry said:

denis daly said:

I am going to give the paper filters a shot...

I used to use paper filters.  Denis, you relate that you go through some effort to get good beans.  Using paper filters will defeat your efforts, as the paper prevents the oils of the beans from making it into your brew.  And these oils are what make a good cup stand out from ordinary mud.  Instead I suggest a fine mesh re-useable screen.

Ed 

 Amen to that. At home I use an Aeropress with a stainless steel screen for some yummy coffee. On the trail I use the French press add-on to my MSR Windboiler if I can afford the extra weight it entails, otherwise just high quality instant to start my motor.

4:48 p.m. on March 10, 2017 (EST)
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You guys inspired me to try the Java drip again this week...paper filters definitely helped since it was way too weak when I didn't use those. My new problem...it comes out too cool. I like my coffee piping hot and around freezing both my wife and I found that even boiling water poured through the Java drip was just warm when we sipped it. Had to put it in a pot and heat it up which is getting too much work. Anyone else had this issue on colder trips?

7:17 p.m. on March 10, 2017 (EST)
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Cold weather is not the time to use the paper filter IMO. The extended drip time is the issue. In the cold I prefer to use my kettle and pour the water slowly over the coffee so it stays in the pot to keep hot until it comes out, then drips fast into the insulated mug. If you are brewing for flavor using a darker roast can help, but dark roasts have less caffeine. I just accept that my winter coffee will be weak, but at least it isn't instant :)

8:09 a.m. on March 11, 2017 (EST)
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Thanks for the confirmation LS. I thought it might be the filter. Choosing between cold or weak coffee is not something I plan to do much.Second morning I opted for instant...two packets instead of one gets the strength so I had hot, strong coffee but not the great flavor. I think I'll investigate switching to a Ti mug then put it on the stove while I use the java drip then maybe it will heat it up enough. Not giving up on the drip yet!

9:24 a.m. on March 11, 2017 (EST)
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Por que no los dos?

Quick filter some good stuff into a mug then hit it with a single dose of instant to give it some more heft? It will either be the best or worst of both worlds, but might be worth a shot to try out.

1:08 p.m. on March 11, 2017 (EST)
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Genius! I'll give that a try next trip. Unfortunately it will have to wait a few weeks.

11:28 a.m. on March 12, 2017 (EDT)
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madmarmot said:

Chimney Rock, sorry to break the soapbox. Seattle Coffee is owned by Starbucks.

 

Yup, I fumbled.   In my post above I stated "Seattle Coffee Company", which was an error.

I should have correctly stated "Seattle Mountain Coffee" at Costco ..... they are not affiliated with Starbucks, and to my knowledge they're owned and distributed by SFDC out of Austin, TX.  My apologies for the confusion ....

4:25 p.m. on March 13, 2017 (EDT)
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I reviewed this https://www.trailspace.com/gear/finum/brewing-basket/ a few years back, it's a good product for steeping whatever brand of coffee you drink.  You can find them on Amazon.  I'm still using the same ones I purchased years ago.  They're also good if you like tea.

5:36 p.m. on March 13, 2017 (EDT)
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barkndog said:

"I reviewed this https://www.trailspace.com/gear/finum/brewing-basket/ a few years back, it's a good product..."

That is a great single serve solution.  I use a similar reusable screen basket originally intended for poor-over drip brew machines.  It is a perfect match to my small cooking pot, for brewing about 24 oz.  LW, simple, cheap, and does a great brew.

Ed

11:59 a.m. on June 7, 2017 (EDT)
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I'm not a coffee snob. I do appreciate good coffee (my favourite is La Colombe in Philadelphia), but at home, I drink supermarket brand breakfast blend lighter roast for the most caffeine, and simply double up the amount of coffee grinds I use.

But on the trail and in the backcountry? Instant wins for me, hands down. No muss, no fuss, no wait, no cleanup.

9:25 a.m. on August 19, 2017 (EDT)
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If you really want to make a good cup of coffee - aeropress is the best option, but you've got to bring that in, and that takes up more space in your pack.
It's all a matter of economy of space.

10:44 a.m. on August 21, 2017 (EDT)
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It is official:  I am a coffee snob.

10:45 a.m. on August 21, 2017 (EDT)
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It is official:  I am a coffee snob.

Recently read about another instant that "does not take like instant"; Alpine Start. It had quite a few positive comments so I thought I would give it a try. Guess what? In what I thought was going to finally be the holy grail of trail coffee (based on trusted peer reviews) it turned out to be little better than commercial brands. 

Bottom line is that if it looks, feels, and smells like instant, it's instant!

That said, check out the coffee brew buddy.I do not think I have seen it promoted on any of the forums I frequent. It is a sweet unit; cheap, light, and packs well. From now on, i'll not be persuaded to read anymore "best coffee" threads. I am going grind it, pack it, and call it good using the brew buddy.

Happy Trails

11:39 p.m. on August 21, 2017 (EDT)
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Uncle Air said:

"It is official:  I am a coffee snob..."

"..check out the coffee brew buddy..."

That looks like a great one-cup solution.  Simple to use and clean.  Cowboy coffee without all the grinds.

Ed

10:17 p.m. on August 22, 2017 (EDT)
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I like good coffee at home (note, that is NOT Starburnt or Charbucks)

On the trail, I dump Folgers instant packets in a cup of water (or my oatmeal) and get hiking. I just need the caffeine to get me moving. 

10:52 a.m. on August 28, 2017 (EDT)
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Wine snob.  Coffee snob. Craft beer snob. Foodie snob. 

Take your pick. I have tried them all.   Now I don't care at all. In the outdoors it is a blessing to have anything to eat and drink.  It is the wrong time for your ego to get in the way.  Now I am more of a boat and car snob.  It is interesting to think hard about the choices we make and why they are so important. 

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