Author Topic: coffee coffee  (Read 6304 times)

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Offline misterflask

coffee coffee
« on: October 30, 2021, 01:21:01 pm »
I used to travel with instant coffee which was a part of every morning and evening.  I recently took my Aeropress Go travel press on a car-camping trip, and oh gosh, I'm never going back to bad coffee.  But -12 ounces!- I won't be taking it backpacking and it gives one pause for bike touring. 

I once traveled with a cyclist who carried a Moka pot as his singular luxury, but that seems likely even heavier and cleanup looks a nuisance (the aeropress cleans up in moments with a dash from a water bottle). I have some light french presses, but just not a french press fan.  And again, cleanup.

It occurs to me that a Chemex style coffee maker might be a good compromise.  I don't make pourover at home because I'm far too important and busy (haha, no, but I do have a short attention span), but traveling I'm more in so-what-else-am-I-doing mode, or should be.

Recommendations, comments?

Offline canalligators

Re: coffee coffee
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2021, 04:31:12 pm »
If you are ok with instant, then you have a simple solution.

People make coffee too complicated and too expensive. All you need is hot water, coffee, and either a press or a Melita-type drip funnel.  With either of these machines, you can easily control strength and water temperature.  Use your coffee blend of choice, and with very little practice you get a good cuppa.

Recently I’m travelling with a group that makes coffee in a press (Adventure Cycling).  Not my fave, but ok. By myself, I prefer the Melita.  My biggest issue is that I really want real cream or half-and-half.  Can’t stand powdered creamer.  Fortunately, AC groups usually have real cream.

Offline staehpj1

Re: coffee coffee
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2021, 04:47:19 pm »
French press coffee is good and there are setups that work with some of the titainium pots.  There are also a number of pour over setups ranging from under half an ounce to 4 ounces.  I think I'd buy a Primula or an MSR Mugmate if I wasn't okay with Via or some other premium instant.

Instant can be terrible but Starbucks Via is actually pretty good.  I have heard that Alpine Start is also good, but haven't tried it yet.  It is about a buck per packet.

By the way, for those who like whole milk in their coffee, on cereal, in oatmeal, or whatever Nido freeze dried whole milk is a good option.  It is often found in the ethnic food aisle.  It keeps forever in the unopened can and a pretty long once opened.  I vacuum seal small amounts individually for backpacking or touring so it keeps a bit longer.  At some point it gets clumpy and doesn't dissolve easily.  At that point I pitch it and get a fresh can.  I have never carried any long enough that it went bad during a trip.  At home I use half and half, but Nido is a decent substitute when it isn't available.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2021, 04:49:33 pm by staehpj1 »

Offline ray b

Re: coffee coffee
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2021, 10:11:48 pm »
Right. Life is too short for bad coffee.

At one point or another, I have brought along espresso makers, French presses, percolators, and what they now call "the pour over." There's also cowboy coffee, which simply requires a boiling pot of water.  Using a hand grinder/mill is always a good way to warm up for the day.

If you like filtered coffee then a 4-minute pour-over seems reasonable. No one said you had to lug a fancy carafe to have filtered ciffee. There are several  filters made to fit your camping mug, or alternatively, you can simply bag your freshly ground coffee in a filter paper sac and throw it in the pot.

 I should note that as much as I like coffee, on this summer's run of the GDMBR, I did not bring a stove.  If you want really good coffee, go a few days without and then stop at a small town coffee house. Nothing like a few days of abstinence to wake up those taste buds.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2021, 10:48:42 am by ray b »
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline jamawani

Re: coffee coffee
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2021, 11:50:02 pm »
Coffee? Who needs coffee??  ;)
A nice bottle of night-chilled water is the ticket.

Offline staehpj1

Re: coffee coffee
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2021, 06:58:41 am »
Coffee? Who needs coffee??  ;)
A nice bottle of night-chilled water is the ticket.
Well since you brought that up...  I often don't make coffee on tours.  I absolutely love my coffee and wondered if I was physically addicted so I tried a week in the back country without (before I was bike touring) and I was fine.  I realized I didn't need coffee to get going in the morning.  If I skipped it entirely I'd miss it but it wouldn't be the end of the world.  If I packed up and left camp without it.  It saved time and I could enjoy it at a stop 20 or 30 miles down the road at a diner.

So on road tours I often rely on diner coffee at second breakfast where first breakfast was a granola bar and water.

BTW, I guess I am the opposite of a coffee snob.  I prefer diner coffee.  I much prefer to get my coffee somewhere that no "lingo" is required.  If asking for a large coffee with cream and sugar leads to a session of multiple questions with inexplicable foreign words for the sizes and numerous other options, it defitinately puts me off.

It is better yet if I can just ask for coffee and they automatically bring cream and sugar to the table (or counter) and a smiling waitress comes by to refill my cup as needed.

Offline jamawani

Re: coffee coffee
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2021, 08:02:29 am »
So on road tours I often rely on diner coffee at second breakfast where first breakfast was a granola bar and water.

BTW, I guess I am the opposite of a coffee snob.  I prefer diner coffee.  I much prefer to get my coffee somewhere that no "lingo" is required.  If asking for a large coffee with cream and sugar leads to a session of multiple questions with inexplicable foreign words for the sizes and numerous other options, it defitinately puts me off.

It is better yet if I can just ask for coffee and they automatically bring cream and sugar to the table (or counter) and a smiling waitress comes by to refill my cup as needed.

Aha! We are two peas in a pod.

I love to pack up early and be on my way.
The roads are mostly empty early on summer mornings -
and the sunlight is golden.

Then I come upon a little diner and have a great Second Breakfast.
With coffee. And the usual questions.
The cafe in Burlington, Wyo (pop. 250) is da best.

Offline staehpj1

Re: coffee coffee
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2021, 08:18:34 am »
So on road tours I often rely on diner coffee at second breakfast where first breakfast was a granola bar and water.

BTW, I guess I am the opposite of a coffee snob.  I prefer diner coffee.  I much prefer to get my coffee somewhere that no "lingo" is required.  If asking for a large coffee with cream and sugar leads to a session of multiple questions with inexplicable foreign words for the sizes and numerous other options, it defitinately puts me off.

It is better yet if I can just ask for coffee and they automatically bring cream and sugar to the table (or counter) and a smiling waitress comes by to refill my cup as needed.

Aha! We are two peas in a pod.

I love to pack up early and be on my way.
The roads are mostly empty early on summer mornings -
and the sunlight is golden.

Then I come upon a little diner and have a great Second Breakfast.
With coffee. And the usual questions.
The cafe in Burlington, Wyo (pop. 250) is da best.
Yep rolling out of camp quickly at or before sunrise with no fuss is great.  Stopping at a little diner for breakfast with some miles under your belt is so satisfying.  The one big drawback?  Too often there isn't a suitably located diner and second breakfast winds up not coming at 20-30 miles and winds up much later and being lunch.

Offline LouMelini

Re: coffee coffee
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2021, 09:51:25 am »
jamawani: thanks for the tip about Burlington. Unfortunately Julie and I went straight to Greybull (from Cody) on our September tour of the that part of Wyoming. I heard there is a great pizza place in Burlington as well.  I drink instant coffee, simple and quick; instant  makes me appreciate 2nd breakfast coffee in a cafe. I completely switched to instant on our Appalachian trail thru-hike when a campground host in Shenandoah made a big deal about coffee being a bear attractant.

Offline staehpj1

Re: coffee coffee
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2021, 10:27:34 am »
jamawani: thanks for the tip about Burlington. Unfortunately Julie and I went straight to Greybull (from Cody) on our September tour of the that part of Wyoming. I heard there is a great pizza place in Burlington as well.  I drink instant coffee, simple and quick; instant  makes me appreciate 2nd breakfast coffee in a cafe. I completely switched to instant on our Appalachian trail thru-hike when a campground host in Shenandoah made a big deal about coffee being a bear attractant.
I like your basic stuff when it comes to regular coffee for brewing.  Maxwell House or Folgers is great for brewing, but when it comes to instant I get picky.  I tried a few that weren't fit to drink.  Not that I have tried many, but I was so put off by the few that I tried that I went to premium stuff or nothing when it came to instant.  Maybe I just didn't give regular instant a fair trial, but I tried a couple that were truly awful and gave up.  I think it was one of the Nescafe products that totally put me off of instant.

Do you have a brand you particularly like?  I might consider trying one again otherwise I'll either probably use the buck a packet stuff or nothing.  I probably won't resort to actually brewing coffee on tour.   It doesn't really fit my touring style.  On a canoe trip I am more likely to since I might pack heavier and am likely to stay with a group who invariable will be slow in leave camp.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: coffee coffee
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2021, 10:45:35 am »
I use the coffee bags from Folgers and Maxwell House as well - Maxwell House is better IMHO. Typical routine is heat water in pot; dip out some for cereal, drop 2 coffee bags in pot to steep. When done rinse pot, bowl, and cup and wipe with a few clean sheets of TP. - Ready to pack & go. All biodegradable - you should dig a Cat Hole for your grinds unless you are off the grid. I also make boiled coffee or cowboy coffee which is quite good.

Much rather have run of the mill diner coffee over Starbucks burnt flavor coffee - as long as it is fresh - no more than 15 minutes on the burner. I ask and have even had them offer to brew a fresh pot, but usually a good (busy) dinner is making a fresh pot every 10-15 minutes in the morning.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline LouMelini

Re: coffee coffee
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2021, 10:50:59 am »
staehpj1: I don't have a favorite. I use Necafe Classico or Taster's Choice as it is generally stocked in my local grocery. I liked Maxwell house instant but it is hard to find locally vs. back east on the AT. From Target, I buy the individual servings of Hazelnut flavor to mix in. That helps but instant is always a compromise between taste vs. the convenience of instant coffee while packing up in the morning. It is hard to recommend any particular instant as one person's choice is another person's awful as you experienced.

Offline LouMelini

Re: coffee coffee
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2021, 10:58:20 am »
hikebikecook: A cat hole is a good idea for the grounds. Maybe I will go back to my small MSR filter for pour through coffee. When bike touring I try to stay in campgrounds (parks, forest service or commercial) where I could easily dump grounds into a trash can. Thanks.

For Staehpj1 I should have said hazelnut flavored instant coffee in individual packets.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: coffee coffee
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2021, 11:06:33 am »
If I cannot get "good" coffee and need a caffeine fix I drink a cup of Earl Gray tea. Full of flavor and a good shot of caffeine.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: coffee coffee
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2021, 09:39:53 am »
Bodum Travel Press combination French press and mug. You drink straight from it, and it's insulated well.  I believe GSI makes something similar.

And La Colombe coffee, of course.