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The Best Ways to Brew Camp Coffee That Actually Taste Good

05.17.20

Camping Coffee

We all need our morning fix and learning how to make coffee while camping can be the difference between a good or bad day. Camping coffee isn’t exactly hard to make, but it’s difficult to make good coffee when you’re out in the middle of nowhere. There are many methods to help you do this.

The best way to make coffee camping outside is to bring your Keurig and find somewhere to plug it in, so you have perfect hot coffee whenever you want it.

Okay, that’s not a possibility, we get it. Here are six great other methods to make camping coffee while you’re roughing it in the great outdoors.

1. Cowboy Coffee

Cowboy coffee is an excellent method for making coffee while on a camping trip. You’ll want to grind some coffee and pack that along with a stainless kettle, and plenty of water. You can brew your coffee with a limited number of items, so this method is great for backpacking.

To get your morning fix, boil the water, and then let it cool a bit. Don’t let it become cold water but give it around two to three minutes. Pour in the coffee grounds and let them sit for a little bit. You might notice that the coffee starts to foam, and that is perfectly normal as well.

At this point, you can stir your Cowboy coffee and start to incorporate everything together. This coffee tastes great when it’s piping hot. The final step requires you to pour the coffee water into a cup and give it a taste. You’ve got yourself a delicious cup of backwoods joe.

Pros

  • Easy to pack for
  • Great for backpacking
  • Simple to make

Cons

  • Doesn’t have the taste quality of other methods

2. Coffee Percolator

If you’re looking for a cup of coffee with a bit more taste, you might want to try using a cup percolator. I use an Enamelware percolator, but you can use any glass or stainless steel percolator you like.

To make this coffee, you’ll need to grind some beans and pack them along with a percolator, and plenty of water. The percolator creates a quality coffee taste that will please most hot coffee drinkers. If you’re looking for a better-tasting cup while you’re in the woods, this is your method.

The coffee gets made by running water through the grounds over and over until you reach your desired taste. You’ll fill the bottom with water and add about a teaspoon of coffee to the top. Place the percolator over your campfire and wait for the water to heat up.

After a little while, you’ll notice the percolator starting to make a bubbling noise. That is how you know the coffee is starting to percolate. At this point, you can take a look at it and even stir it around if you want. This method is primarily hands of so you want to wait a few minutes once it starts percolating before you pour it.

Next thing you know you’ll be enjoying a delicious cup of coffee percolated in the middle of the woods.

Pros

  • Good tasting coffee
  • Different strengths for different tastes

Cons

  • Requires more equipment
  • Takes longer

3. Homemade Pour-Over Coffee Maker

If you’re in search of that traditional drip coffee maker, taste you’ve come to the right place. This method offers that coffee drip flavor in a portable backpacking travel application. For this, you’ll need to pack a filter cone, a kettle or carafe, water, and coffee grounds.

Open up the cone and put a coffee filter inside. Next, put the coffee inside. Start boiling some water over the campfire and once it’s boiling, let it cool down for a bit. Pour the hot water over the coffee grounds and let it bloom for a minute.

Once you have a nice color in the coffee pot below, you’ve got yourself a delicious cup of freshly brewed camping coffee. This method is a great choice for people who are looking for a good tasting coffee without having to bring much equipment with them. Out of all the techniques we talk about in this article, this one is one of the simplest.

Making homemade coffee in the woods is not always a small task, and it can get difficult sometimes, as most cooking does when camping. When you can minimize the amount of work, you need to do throughout the day you make everything more effortless in the long run.

Pros

  • Makes delicious coffee
  • Simple to complete
  • Portable
  • Durable method

Cons

  • Takes a bit of time

4. Aerobie Aeropress

For all your coffee connoisseurs out there that are chasing the delicious taste of your french press coffee, here’s a method for you. You’ll have to pack an Aeropress, carafe, water, and coffee grounds. When you’re out in the woods, you won’t be able to get a perfect french press, but this combines some of its elements with some of the pour-over coffee methods.

You’ll want to add two scoops of your coffee grounds to the large tube of your Aeropress. Soak the grounds in water and let it bloom for a few minutes. While this is happening you want to start giving your water some heat over the camping fire until the water boils.

Once you have boiling water, you want to let that sit for a minute. You could add some cold water to it to speed up the process. Add the hot water until you fill the chamber and stir the coffee grounds around.

Insert the plunger and start pressing down. You want to make sure you have a durable coffee mug underneath the press when you are pressing it down because you never know where you’ll be when you’re making this cup of camping coffee. Making coffee while camping is fun, but it’s not if you’re breaking things.

Pros

  • Doesn’t require coffee bags or filters
  • Makes delicious coffee
  • French press taste

Cons

  • Requires extra steps
  • You need to pack an Aeropress

5. Collapsible Pour Over Coffee

Simpler is sometimes better when you’re out roughing it, and you want an easy method to make your morning coffee. The best backpacking coffee maker is one that doesn’t take up a lot of space, is durable, and makes it easy to get your fix. This method requires you to use a plastic collapsible coffee cone.

The coffee cone makes making coffee simple because all you have to do is put the filter in the pour spout and pour boiling water through it. You want to make sure you saturate the coffee grounds when you do this and give them plenty of time to bloom.

Once you think they’ve had enough time you can proceed to pour the rest of the water into the cone. This method is incredibly simple for the savvy backpacker, and you still get to have your coffee as well. How can you go wrong?

When you’ve had your coffee, and everything is wrapping up you can remove the filter from the cone, rinse it out in some water, and it will collapse down to a completely flat piece of plastic. This method is excellent for people who are looking to travel light, but they still want to have their morning coffee.

Pros

  • Great for backpacking
  • Takes up no space
  • Simple to make coffee

Cons

  • Lacking quality coffee taste
  • May soak up the plastic taste

6. Primula Pour Over Method

For our last camping coffee method, we have another pour-over style choice for you. This method involves the use of a single-serve coffee maker where you pour the water directly into the cups filter and end up with one cup of coffee. This method is not ideal if you’re trying to make hot coffee to serve ten people, but there are some advantages.

It works well if you’re by yourself or with another person because the method is great for those who are traveling light and looking for portability. The Primula pour over also doesn’t require any paper filters because it has a filter built right into the cup. Making this coffee is easy, and it only requires you to boil some water over your campfire and pour it into the grounds.

Give your coffee a minute to bloom in between pours and start pouring some water into the drip cone again. Keep giving it a taste throughout the process to determine how dark you want the coffee.

This method of making camping coffee is great for a single person or two people roughing it in the great outdoors.

Pros

  • Doesn’t require camping coffee filter
  • Similar to drip coffee
  • Portable
  • Cup comes with a handle

Cons

  • May have a plastic taste

Taking your coffee maker out into the woods isn’t an option, right? So sometimes in life, we need to improvise. Some of these methods above make as good a cup of coffee as I could make anywhere, whether I’m at home or not.

That said, you want to find the method that works best for you and your style of camping. If you plan on being pretty stationary in one location, you might want to choose a process like a percolator or Aeropress. When you use this, you don’t want to move around too much because they might be fragile and they take up a lot of space in a backpack.

If you’re backpacking or traveling from site to site, you want to go for one of the pour-over methods or even the cowboy coffee strategy if you’re really hardcore. That method doesn’t require any equipment besides a kettle and coffee. Of course, the taste of the coffee will suffer, and you might end up chewing it a little.

Choosing one of the pour-over methods is my recommendation if you’re backpacking because they still offer a high-quality coffee taste without the need for any equipment.

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