Page 39 - The Noise August 2017
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S ummertime for a lot of folks means hitting the road and going camping. Any true coffee lover can appreciate having the luxury of good coffee on your adventure, and I think it’s pretty important stuff! Recently, some friends and I took a trip to our neighboring state of Colorado. Our accommodations were comfortable and quite domestic, so morning coffee was a breeze, but it did get me thinking about an ideal checklist for more
rustic outdoor excursions...
For coffeemakers that are light- weight and packable, I like the Aero- press Coffee Maker or the myriad of collapsible brew devices available
online or at most outdoor/camping stores. Some require paper filters, while others are equipped with a reusable mesh or cloth filter. The French Press is a camping classic, but I’d suggest one that isn’t made of glass. On a side-note, I wouldn’t be tempted by the ease of a percolator, as it over-extracts coffee, thus leaving you with a bitter cup in the end.
A hand grinder is highly recommended (check out the Hario Skerton or Mini-Mill). With one of these you’ll always have fresh ground coffee. You can experience a truly meditative state while grinding your coffee and overlooking a vast mountainous ex- panse, but if it’s simply too much to add to your pack, pre-grind your coffee at home or in the shop you bought it from — as close to your departure time as possible.
Hot water kettles are perfect for use on propane ranges big and small (check out the Hario Buono). Picnic kettles can work just fine, but often do not have a gooseneck spout for ease and accuracy of pouring. What’s more, you can get plenty of use out of a goose- neck kettle like the Buono at home on your gas or electric stove.
When you’re out there camping, a portable stove will come in handy for a lot beyond just making coffee. Camp stoves are easy to find in all kinds of price ranges. Do a little research and read online reviews (Coleman and Camp Chef are a great place to start) to find what might work best for your up-coming trip, as well as any future excursions. When you do fire up that stove for coffee, remember to always let your water come to a boil, but let it sit about 60 seconds before you begin pouring. This way your water tem- perature is right around 200°F (depending on elevation), and won’t scorch your coffee grounds.
Speaking of water, let’s not forget that a cup of coffee is made up of about 99% of it. Choosing a clean water that still has some mineral content is best. Pure distilled water can be great for automatic home brewers, but will leave a lot of coffee’s natural flavors behind when manually brewing in general.
Want a scientifically accurate measure for your grounds? Pack a small kitchen scale! You can find plenty of options for $20 or less (or if you heeded my advice from previous articles, you may already have one in your kitchen!). If this is going too far, a measuring cup or spoon will work just fine — 11⁄2 tablespoons of ground coffee per 16oz. of coffee is a decent starting place, but with experimentation you’re sure to find your own perfect camp coffee recipe. A small cup or tin for weighing coffee out is recommended, but it’s not absolutely necessary if you have something else packed that would serve this minor function.
You’ll want your favorite mugs to drink out of! I love me a good set of enamelware camping mugs, but if you’ll be taking your coffee anywhere away from your site, there are plenty of great travel mugs that’ll keep your coffee hot for hours and hours (check out Kleen Kanteen and Hydroflask).
If all of the above seems like way too much to pack and you only have a 24 hour jour- ney anyway, the simplest solution may just be to fill up a giant Stanley Thermos with cold brew from your favorite local coffee shop. This is also a solution if you’re worried about not having enough coffee on your trip, in which case packing in some cold brew is a nice addition to your fancy manual brew setup. | the NOISE arts & news | AUGUST 2017 • 39

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