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Coffee on the Trail

What are you all using to make your coffee on the trail.  I'm thinking of getting a coffee press. Any recommendations.  

Via. Simple, light, and easy. 

Thumbs up with the Via.  I've tried Folgers also with similar packaging as the Via but it didn't taste as good.

I've tried all sorts of techniques and equipment.  I assume you are not feeling the love for coffee bags, K-cup, and liquid or dry instants.   

I use one of those reusable filters made for drip makers.  When the water boils, I cut the flame, place grounds in the filter basket, then lower the basket into the pot of water.  My system makes about 20oz, and is VERY easy to both use and clean.  You may get a better joe from a press but they are tedious to use under field conditions.  Likewise field grinding is not with the effort.




Is it time for a new New Coffee Thread already? This discussion from the Camp Kitchen Forum had a lot of good and varied responses.

I prefer drip unless I'm camping below 20°F because it cools off too much in the process of getting into the cup. Instant just doesn't work for me any more, though it did for years.

This works for me, when I can afford the weight and minor hassle of ground coffee:

Regarding Via, I think it's overpriced and overhyped -- it's just instant coffee with a pinch of microground. I looked into several instant coffee taste tests online, and found that Mount Hagen Organic rates about as well as Via. We tried it out on our Wind Rivers hike last summer, and both my skeptical wife and I agreed it was about as good as instant gets. We bought a couple little jars but it also comes in single serves.

I also have a collapsible silicone drip cone, but it's heavy and uses paper filters, not a good choice for anything longer than weekend trips.

I came across this technique as I was experimenting with cold brew coffee.   I wasn't about to pay $10-20 for a simple dripping mechanism.  It might seem like a lot of things to add to your pack, but they're light.  This makes cold coffee, but if you need it heated up, throw it in your pot after following these steps.

You need:

1)  water bottle (I like a wide mouth bottle for mixing and cleaning purposes)

2)  funnel (I use the top of a 2-liter plastic bottle cut off)

3)  #4 coffee filter

Before you go to bed for the night, combine coffee and water in your water bottle and shake.  If you happen to get up, or stay up reading etc, give the bottle a shake every once in a while.  You can go to cold brew blogs for different philosophies for ratio and grind.  I like a strong coffee, so I've used up to 4TB of espresso grind for 12oz of coffee.  Not always, but sometimes you need the rocket fuel.

Place the funnel over a cup or other water bottle.  Place the filter inside the funnel.  Shake up your coffee bottle one more time to get as many of the grounds suspended in the coffee as possible (easier to wash out that bottle afterwards).  Pour the coffee from your first bottle through the filter and allow gravity to do its thing.  It'll only take a minute.  It makes a great cup of coffee, and cold brew coffee does taste different than using heat or steam to make coffee.  People who burp traditionally hot coffee might find this more to their liking, too.  Same amount of flavor with fewer oils.

SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT: I recently reviewed Alpine Start instant coffee for the TRC, found here:

I'd say it's a step above VIA, which is already pretty darn good. I have yet to try the Mount Hagen stuff.

Vince, yeah man, you sold me on trying it with that review. I'm like LS, hard to go back to instant but sometimes it's better than nothing and if I'm trying to really go minimal I'll still bring Via.




Fascinating thanks for sharing that. Might try that too.

I've always thought that if I ever do a thru-hike I would wean myself off coffee first just to not mess with it.

Definitely need to plan ahead on that Pat. I skipped morning coffee on day two of my last trip and had a killer headache by mid afternoon. Need to remember to stop for mid morning coffee on days I race out of camp I guess.

On the JMT I planned to get it down to one cup in the morning, but I'm a 24/7 caffeine junkie. I was actually fine during the days but got headaches at night, then as soon as I started having and after dinner cuppa they went away. The morning dose eventually escalated to 2 doses. There are worse habits on and off the trail, and the ritual and warmth of a hot drink are comforting.

Absolutely Big Red! I carry soup, cocoa and tea in addition to coffee on snow trips just in case. If I ever find some poor sucker freezing to death in the snow I can offer him his choice of life saving beverages. I rarely touch the soup and tea for myself, but after a cold, wet hike they have come in handy.

I too will drink coffee all day at home if I let myself. Out on trail one cup in the morning is enough though I have to be careful not to fall asleep during afternoon breaks heh.

I am catching up on this thread while having a cup of Java at 430...on the trail I have two cups in the morning and usually another at lunch. Switch to tea in the afternoon or evening.

I go cold turkey about 1 week a year to see how long the headache lasts...wouldn't want to try that on the trail.

I say napping on a break is the only real rest stop!

pillowthread said:

SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT: I recently reviewed Alpine Start instant coffee for the TRC, found here:

I'd say it's a step above VIA, which is already pretty darn good. I have yet to try the Mount Hagen stuff.

 Read you review before you hit this thread..Going to order a little this weekend when I am off..Your right the price is pretty high...

Denis I just splurged on two boxes. my total with shipping was $21.44 so with 8 packets per box that's $1.34 per packet. Pretty darn pricey for sure.

My best local price on Via is Target which sells it for $5.99 for an 8 count or $.74 per packet.

But hey, I wanna try it.

I neglected to mention you want 12-18 hours "brew" time with my cold brew method.  The longer the better.  Get it going while you're cooking supper.

For the trail, chocolate covered coffee beans. 

Haven't tried the choco covered coffee beans but that sounds great

October 21, 2020
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