No matter where we are in the world, or on the road, coffee is a non-negotiable ritual and comfort for most of us. It’s our trusty companion on long travel days, it energizes us for a full day of adventures, and it’s the best way to enjoy a quiet, slow morning overlooking a beautiful landscape.
Making coffee on the road hasn’t always been so accessible, but now there are a number of ways to brew a rich and fragrant cup while traveling.
Whatever method you choose, make sure you have your basics on hand—like your favorite bag of coffee beans, a way to measure them, and a portable coffee grinder.
Let’s get to brewing!
Traveling light, but dedicated to a great cup of coffee? The portable and lightweight AeroPress brews a sweet, full-bodied cup of coffee. As a bonus, it’s compact and nearly indestructible. Without much effort, you can have a fresh brew in 3 to 4 minutes, which makes it ideal for car camping, RVing and even backpacking.There are a variety of brew methods, but we like the inverted method best.
- Measure and grind 17 grams of coffee grounds (about 2 1/2 tablespoons).
- Place plunger on a flat surface facing up.
- Place the back of the base on top of the plunger and insert slightly.
- Dump grounds into the base.
- Fill part way with 1 cup hot water and let sit for 20 seconds.
- Fill compartment and wait an additional 1.5 minutes.
- At 2 minutes, screw the filter to the top and place your cup upside down on top of the filter.
- Flip the Aeropress over and slowly press down on the plunger.
Voila! One strong cup ready for consumption.
Try It Out: AeroPress
Also known as fancy brewing on the go, this type of coffee has gained popularity with campers in the last few years due to its ease of use and portability. It tastes like a typical pour-over and some brands even include milk and sugar in their packages. Incredibly simplistic, all you need is hot water and you’re good to go.
Single-serving pour overs consist of a paper frame and pouch filled with coffee grounds.
- The frame expands to hook over the side of your mug.
- Set up the frame and pour an ounce of boiling water over the grounds, letting the filter rest for 15 to 30 seconds. (Note: The ounces and time may vary depending on the brand you’re using).
- Pour in the remaining ounces of hot water over the grounds, remove the frame and enjoy!
Try It Out:
3. French Press
The french press functions much like an AeroPress, but it makes multiple cups of coffee at a time. Quick, reliable, and super consistent, this coffee making method is a go-to for many. The typical glass carafe is beautiful, but if you’re worried about durability on the road, there are other models made of stainless steel or other shatter-resistant materials.
- Dump coarse coffee grounds (56 grams or about 8 tablespoons) into the press.
- Begin a timer and pour hot water halfway to the top.
- Make sure all the grounds are saturated.
- At 1 minute, break the top layer and then fill it all the way to the top with water.
- At 4 minutes, firmly push the press all the way down.
Share with friends or have multiple cups to yourself.
Try It Out: GSI Java Press
4. Moka Pot
Don’t be fooled. You don’t need fancy equipment to make a delicious espresso. In fact, if you use the moka pot, you don’t even need electricity. The Moka Pot produces a strong, viscous Italian-style coffee you can drink straight. Or just add hot water to if you prefer an Americano. Bonus: The built-in metal filter basket means you won’t need to purchase (or throw away) paper filters.
- Grind 20 to 22 grams of coffee.
- Fill the bottom reservoir with boiling water.
- Evenly fill the pot’s filter basket with ground coffee and place it into the bottom compartment.
- Screw on the spouted top and place the pot on a stove set to medium heat.
- Wait to hear a hissing sound—the announcement that it’s done and ready to drink.
Try It Out: Bialetti Moka Pot
Here’s a camp classic. If you want to add a dose of nostalgia to your camp or road trip scene, brew with this good old fashion method. The percolator comes with a few parts, but they’re easy enough to assemble and use. A metal tube runs up into a metal basket filled with coffee grounds. As the water boils, it percolates up the tube and into the basket. This is a great method for large groups.
- Assemble the percolator and fill it with water to just below the basket insert.
- Depending on the percolator, you may need to buy filters that fit your basket.
- Read through the manual to double check before using.
- If you don’t need a filter, add the coffee grounds (1 tablespoon per cup of water) into the basket and bring the percolator to a low boil. You can use a camp stove or campfire.
- Watch carefully and when it nears a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
- As it percolates, the color of the water in the translucent dome or “bubble spot” will continue to darken.
- Finally, pour and enjoy.
Try It Out: GSI Glacier Stainless Coffee Perk Cup
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