The freshness of the air, the magic of the stars, it all vanishes when dewy mornings come and find you all frozen in your tent, craving for a cup of coffee. But how to brew like a barista when you’re out in the wilds?
Getting a cup of brown goodness could seem intimidating when you’re adventuring. If you want to learn how to make coffee while camping though, have a look at the 10 quick and easy methods below.
Starting off with the easiest method, instant coffee could seem like a freshly brewed espresso on those moments when the closest bar – or coffee machine – is at miles away. Instant coffee comes either in single portion bags or in cans.
The former is easier to carry, but you can ultimately take any kind of package with you.
To brew a cup, you’ll need:
One bag or a teaspoon of instant coffee
Kettle or small camping pot
Start a fire or light up your camping stove and bring the water to a boil. Pour the coffee in your cup, then add a little bit of water. Give it a good stir to obtain a smooth paste. Pour the rest of the water and stir again. Add sugar, sweetener, or condensed milk and enjoy.
Coffee bags are the equivalent of tea bags, and you can use them in the same way. Drop a bag in your cup, pour hot water on top, and wait for about 5 minutes for the ingredients to work their magic.
If you like stronger coffee, drop the coffee bag into a pot of cold water and leave it there as you bring the water to a boil. Pour in a cup and enjoy.
However, just like tea bags, coffee bags will not give you the real flavorful cup of coffee you might want to drink first thing in the morning. If we were to choose between instant coffee and coffee bags, we’d suggest the former.
Brew Coffee Cowboy Style
Whether you’re a fan of cowboy movies or not, if you’re serious about your camping game, then you must learn how to brew cowboy coffee. It really sounds fancier than it is, so don’t get frightened.
To brew your cup of goodness, you’ll need:
A tin coffee pot, at least if you want to play cool. Otherwise, any pot or pan could do.
Cheesecloth; okay you could get the same result with fabric coffee filters
A cowboy hat and scarf
Put your cowboy hat on and the scarf around your neck. Now, pour the water into the tin coffee pot and place over an open flame. Bring the water to a boil.
In the meantime, fill the cheesecloth with coffee. A fabric filter could also do, but be aware you may lose some cowboy points if you decide to go this route.
As soon as the water has reached the boiling point, pop the cheesecloth and the coffee into the boiling water. Leave for one minute, then take off the flame. Let the brew to rest for about five minutes, then remove the cloth. Pour brewed coffee into your cup and enjoy it like a true cowboy.
Another simple way to make coffee while camping is with brewing cones. These are simple paper filters available in various sizes. Single-serving sizes are ideal if you want to brew the coffee directly into cups. Otherwise, get bigger filters and brew in a pot.
The method is simple. Heat up the water until it reaches its boiling point. In the meantime, place the filter in a cup and fill it with ground coffee. Pour hot water over it, sit back, and relax.
The water will work its way out through the other side of the filter, transforming into delicious coffee in the process.
Stovetop Moka Pot
If you have a camping stove, a stovetop Moka pot could be the answer to your prayers. The main advantage of this method is that it produces espresso-quality coffee. How? Let’s delve into history.
Moka pots have been invented in Italy, way before the barista coffee machines, as a way to improve coffee brewing. If you’re a true coffee lover, you should know by now that baristas learn how to brew coffee according to the Italian brewing methods.
Which basically means that a Moka pot is truly the closest you can get to a delicious bar coffee while you’re camping.
Returning to our coffee though, all you have to do is to unscrew the upper side of the pot and remove the filter. Fill the lower side with cold water and put the filter back. Fill the filter with ground coffee – according to the Italian experts, you must make a “mountain” of coffee. Don’t press it, just screw the upper side of the pot in its place; this will press the coffee inside the filter.
Place the Moka pot over the open flame and wait for it to work its magic. The heat will push the steams of water through the coffee and into the upper pot. When it’s brewed, all you have to do is pour in your cup, then clean the stovetop espresso machine.
A French press is a bigger cup, usually made of glass, with an awkward whisk that serves as a filter. Using it is ridiculously simple though.
To brew your heavenly liquid, take the filter out and throw some ground coffee in. Pour boiling water and wait for a few minutes. Give it a stir, then with a firm movement, place the filter in and press.
This process will force all coffee grounds to remain trapped under the filter, while the delicious fresh coffee will remain on top of it, ready to be poured in another cup.
The Aeropress is one of the trickiest ways to make coffee while camping, but the system comes with a host of side advantages. The most important, it lets you know exactly how much coffee to add and how much water to pour in, so you won’t get too weak or too strong coffee.
To brew a cup though, you will need:
A cup large enough to hold the Aeropress
Insert a paper filter into the Aeropress cap and lock it into the brewing chamber, then place the unit into a cup with the cap facing down.
Pour some boiling water and let it run through. Discard water.
Scoop a generous amount of coffee into the brewing chamber using the Aeropress spoon, fill the brewing chamber with boiling water and wait for half a minute.
Give it a good stir, then place the Aeropress plunger over the brewing chamber. Wait for another 45 seconds, refill the water, then press the plunger down with a firm movement and keep it pressed for about 20 seconds.
Complicated, huh? Well, know that if you lose any of the Aeropress components on the first day, you can say bye-bye to coffee for the rest of your trip.
The coffee percolator uses more or less the same brewing principle as a Moka pot, but it’s shaped like a regular kettle. Easy to carry and easy to use on all types of fire, it’s one of the easiest ways to make coffee while camping.
Collapsible Silicone Filter
If traditional paper or fabric filters are not enough for you, a collapsible and reusable silicone filter may suit your needs.
These come in one-cup sizes and are very easy to use. Just fill the filter with ground coffee and place in a cup. Pour hot water on top, wait for it to drain through the coffee, get the filter out, and enjoy your delicious goodness.
Submersible Filter Cup
Last but not least, the submersible filter cup comes as a great alternative if you want to brew coffee for a larger group. These filter cups usually have a pot size and are very easy to use.
Fill the filter cup with ground coffee and close the lid. Place the filter inside a pot of boiling water and wait for a few minutes. When the liquid reached the desired brown shade, remove the filter from the pot and pour the coffee in cups.
That’s it! You now know how to make coffee while camping. So, what are you waiting for? With or without a cowboy hat, just brag with your ad-hoc barista skills in front of your friends.