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backcountry coffee
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Justin Chaussee
(judach) - F

Locale: Earth
backcountry coffee on 12/31/2008 23:18:57 MST Print View

I tried searching the forums to see if anyone posted this question before but didn't find anything. Hopefully, I'm not repeating anything...

I was just wondering how other people prepared their backcountry coffee?

My way is a "cowboy-coffee-meets-turkish-coffee" kind of preparation. I like to get really finely ground beans and put some of the grinds into my coffee cup. Then bring water to a boil and pour into my cup with the grinds inside. I stir the mixture with a very thin stick just on the surface (less than 1/2 inch from the top of the water) in a zig zag pattern until all the grinds sink to the bottom (usually about 2 minutes or so). Then enjoy! The sludge usually stays at the bottom of the cup so you're not chewing your coffee as long as you don't jostle your cup too much and stir the grinds up from the bottom. I personally think this makes the best cup of backcountry coffee in my opinion. But I am interested in how other people prepare their coffee.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
RE:backcountry coffee on 01/01/2009 00:04:38 MST Print View

Look at this.

Scott McClure
(scottmphoto) - F

Locale: The beautiful Arkansas River Valley
Coffee on 01/01/2009 00:55:44 MST Print View

I have carried an old aluminum percolator coffee pot for a long time. I know it's not the lightest, but it works for me and has never let me down.

Charles Grier
(Rincon) - M

Locale: Desert Southwest
Instant on 01/03/2009 10:51:50 MST Print View

I just take along a good quality instant coffee. Sure it is not quite as good as brewed coffee but there is no sludge, no grounds and no hassle to make. It is lighter too and if you get a good brand, surprisingly tasty. To me the reduced fuss is well worth the slight loss of flavor. For you coffee snobs out there this may be heresy; sorry about that!

Edited by Rincon on 01/03/2009 10:54:46 MST.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Instant on 01/03/2009 11:21:45 MST Print View

Nescafé Clasico, in the 'Mexican' section.

Simon Wurster
(Einstein) - F

Locale: Big Apple
Re: Instant on 01/03/2009 11:24:39 MST Print View

Yup, instant coffee for me too. And although I enjoy my French press, Starbucks' Utopia,
and Keurig brewers, this is only at home, not in the field. Besides, 30% of a good cup of an enjoyable cup of coffee is the milk (OK, half-n-half), and w/o that, all backcountry coffee kind of stinks (no sense brewing with grinds). Still, the instant coffee I recommend is Nescafe Taster's Choice Gourmet Roast, which you can find here.

Edited by Einstein on 01/03/2009 11:25:24 MST.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: backcountry coffee on 01/03/2009 11:42:03 MST Print View

Real coffee ground just before the trip. Put MSR coffee filter into cup and pour in hot (not boiling) water, cover and steep. Bury the grounds in a cat hole. Can't leave home without it!

Jason Klass
(jasonklass) - F

Locale: Parker, CO
Coffee on 01/04/2009 17:06:07 MST Print View

I'm lazy so I usually use Folgers Coffee Singles. They're basically tea bags with coffee in them. It's not Starbucks, but good enough to get me going in the morning. I store sugar and powdered creamer in small ziplock-style bags.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Coffee on 01/04/2009 17:25:25 MST Print View

Coffee singles from Folgers here. It's just too easy.
And black, the way coffee was intended.

Dennis Hiorns

Locale: Michigan
Instant Coffee on 01/04/2009 19:34:28 MST Print View

Instant coffee for me too. Sure it doesn't taste the best, but it's better than no coffee. And not only is it easy to pack and make, but there is nothing to throw away afterwards...

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Backcountry Coffee on 01/04/2009 19:47:52 MST Print View

I combine a Folgers Instant single with Pure Java Extract. A very good combination and simple!!!!!


P. P.
(toesnorth) - F

Locale: PNW
GOOD "backcountry coffee" on 01/04/2009 19:49:05 MST Print View

I believe that we have found the best solution to good coffee in the backcountry with no mess, no fuss.
It starts with an Aeropress, an inexpensive coffee press thingy. We make a concentrate with it at home using freshly ground beans (though you can use ground) and the results have no bitterness.
We pack along the concentrate on trips. We can make iced coffee by adding water from cold mountain streams or hot coffee in the morning by heating a bit of water with our stove to add to it. No grounds to dispose of, just smooth, rich coffee. Woo-Hoo!
I guess it is like Java Juice but much cheaper (sorry BPL) and better tasting.
We also use it this way at home.

Edited by toesnorth on 01/04/2009 19:50:05 MST.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
backcountry coffee on 01/05/2009 11:38:14 MST Print View

> I guess it is like Java Juice but much cheaper (sorry BPL) and better tasting.

Hey, no worries from us. We provide Java Juice because it's a good product and an easy way for people to get obtain something they may not be willing to take the time to make themselves.

We're all for hearing about other ways to brew up backcountry coffee so keep the ideas coming. This conversation happens to be well-timed also. Keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming video some staff members put together this summer.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
backcountry coffee on 01/05/2009 16:01:15 MST Print View

I've given up on backpacking coffee. At home I make cafe au lait with nonfat milk (I dislike milk with fat in it). I haven't yet found a brand of non-fat dry milk that tastes halfway decent with coffee (I can stand it with cold cereal, but the milk/coffee combination gets a horrible taste hot, and it often lumps). Having given up the coffee, I have dispensed with a hot beverage altogether in the mornings. I just eat cold cereal (usually meusli or grapenuts with extra fruit) and am on my way. Less fuss, less fuel. I take along a couple of tea bags in case I do need a jump start in the morning.

That being said, I have found Mount Hagen Organic Instant Coffee (a German brand) far superior to any US brand or (ugh) Nescafe. It's available in organic food stores in the US (at least in the west) but is not cheap! Not as good as brewed, but far better than the competition, IMHO.

In my younger years, I preferred "cowboy coffee" (a dash of cold water goes a long way towards settling the grounds), but now I don't want the fuss and bother of dealing with the grounds, or the weight of packing them out wet.

Christopher Holden
(back2basics) - F - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: backcountry coffee on 01/05/2009 18:26:37 MST Print View

I've tried a few methods, but I keep going back to my French press to steep for about 3-4 minutes. Sometimes with a little Nido and raw sugar, but usually just straight up!

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: backcountry coffee on 01/05/2009 19:05:57 MST Print View

Coffee blasphemy, I know, but I switched to hot tea when I backpack. At home, I usually only drink one cup of coffee in the morning - sometimes two on weekend mornings - so I don't go into withdrawals if I skip coffee for a week or so when backpacking.

The different teas I like have a little caffeine, but a lot of flavor. Try it, you'll like it (maybe). My wife becomes very dangerous when just talking about not drinking plenty of coffee. So the tea alternative is not for everyone.

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
backcountry coffee on 01/05/2009 23:21:54 MST Print View

i still use my trusty BonJour french press (the only real luxury item i will carry, at almost 5oz) to avoid being a grumpy and lazy bastardo with a headache. Toss the grounds in the nearest bush, it is an excellent fertilizer.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: backcountry coffee on 01/06/2009 18:40:08 MST Print View

Like George I carry tea for most days, with a couple of packets of Java Juice for mornings when the beast is sitting on my chest.

Patrick Matte
(JPMatte) - M

Locale: N. Georgia
Coffee on 01/06/2009 20:50:37 MST Print View

I used to carry those coffee/tea bag type things.... they're okay.I love Java Juice! It taste the way is supposed to... strong and bitter.I am wary of trying the flavored ones though. Most flavored coffees taste so weird.


Justin Chaussee
(judach) - F

Locale: Earth
Re: Coffee on 01/06/2009 21:25:42 MST Print View

I couldn't agree more patrick. I'm just not down with the flavered stuff. In my humble opinion, if you have to flavor your coffee with something other than coffee flavor, you are drinking the wrong coffee. Then again, I'm one of those annoying "coffee purists" who's entire day is based on my morning cup of coffee. I like it fresh, black, and strong. Havn't tried the java juice yet though. Maybe I'll bring a few packs along on my next trip in a few weeks.