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Coffee while touring

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Coffee while touring

Old 02-17-11, 11:22 AM
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tip
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Coffee while touring

I don't know about everyone here, but I need coffee in the morning. I know, bad habit , but it is what it is. I spent quite a while digging up old threads related to this, but didn't find much in terms of all the ways to make it.

When I camp, I usually just bring a glass french press, or an old percolator. Obviously none of these would be suitable for touring...

So, for those of you that drink coffee, how do you make your coffee while touring? What is a light set-up, that still makes decent coffee? I'm definitely no coffee snob, so cowboy coffee is not off the table for me. I've also used GSI's french press setup, which worked okay - but just another thing to pack.

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Old 02-17-11, 11:47 AM
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freeze dried instant has always been my camping and bike touring brew.
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Old 02-17-11, 11:51 AM
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This might work for you......

http://www.gsioutdoors.com/activitie...t_backpacking/
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Old 02-17-11, 12:09 PM
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Usually when backpacking/touring and I want coffee, I just make some cowboy coffee. Actually doesnt taste too bad, and really easy to make. Gets the job done, and you dont have to pack a bunch of stuff.
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Old 02-17-11, 12:09 PM
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I am a bit of a coffee snob, and pretty much need my morning two cups. But I couldn't figure out a way to get cream in my coffee reliably (someone suggested Bailey's Irish Cream as an alternative, which is an interesting idea—not sure I would want to start every day with booze though). I went cold turkey on my big tour and didn't have any problems. Less gear to pack, too. I think my body was taken so far out of its routine that the lack of coffee couldn't rise above the din of other unaccustomed inputs.
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Old 02-17-11, 12:22 PM
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I take packets of this instant coffee from Vietnam, it's so good. I know, instant coffee is never as good, but this is really good, and comes in single cup packets.

Here's the link, be sure and read customer comments. http://www.amazon.com/VinaCafe-Insta.../dp/B000DN8EZW
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Old 02-17-11, 12:27 PM
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I carry a plastic coffee cone and paper filters. Many bigger grocery stores sell coffee in bulk, so you can buy & carry only as much as you'll need until the next resupply location. That said, I often buy a whole pound, that's how important coffee is to me.



Starbucks Via is really quite good as instant coffee goes. Expensive, but very light, and no equipment needed. I discovered this recently, haven't decided yet if I can rely on it for a longer tour, it's not in that many stores.
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Old 02-17-11, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
Starbucks Via is really quite good as instant coffee goes. Expensive, but very light, and no equipment needed. I discovered this recently, haven't decided yet if I can rely on it for a longer tour, it's not in that many stores.
+1 on Via. Best instant I've ever had.

Taster's Choice is another instant that isn't too bad.

For a longer tour, where you are not sure you can find more, I'd suggest you just buy more to begin with. It doesn't take up much space and weighs next to nothing.

I haven't decided what I'm going to do for my upcoming week-long tour. I may just spring for the extra and get Via. It's better and I may need a morning reward to keep me going.
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Old 02-17-11, 12:46 PM
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I take a small (9 cup) camping percolator with me (like this http://www.meijer.com/s/coleman-9-cu...&cmpid=****ase) and brew coffee every morning. The percolator is not heavy, and can be used to boil water when needed for other meals. When packing up, you can pack your coffee (and other items) inside the percolator. Nothing beats a fresh cup of brewed coffee in the morning in camp.
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Old 02-17-11, 12:48 PM
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A couple of large mugs of very strong black instant while I am packing up followed by Le Gran Cafe Noir as soon I find a decent vendor on the road
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Old 02-17-11, 12:54 PM
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I use the MSR Mug Mate Coffee, which is just a small,light metal coffee filter that fits in a mug. Pour in the hot water, let sit a few minutes, remove the Mug Mate from the mug and voila, coffee!
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Old 02-17-11, 01:03 PM
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I have been thinking about the "how" for my morning coffee as well. I'm going to try the littlel red and white canned (Maxwell House) coffees. They come in an assortment of flavors...I was going to go with the mocha, or cappuccino. I'll be boiling some water for my first breakfast oatmeal most mornings, so I figure a cup of this type coffee will hold me over until I get my second breakfast at a cafe along my route.
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Old 02-17-11, 01:08 PM
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Starbuck's VIA, better than I had expected
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Old 02-17-11, 01:21 PM
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Ortlieb nails it. folding coffee cone, you hold it over the cup
with tent stakes, twigs etc, thru the sleeves on the cone.
http://www.ortlieb.de/_prod.php?lang...rholder&pf=12a
I bought a reusable cotton fabric cone filter at the co op ,
rather than single use paper ones, (or just use paper towel)
then bought small Vacuum packed sample sizes of ground coffee as I went.
~o)
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Old 02-17-11, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by texas2wheel View Post
One of the riders on the tour I was on last summer had one of those. It took a long time for the water to filter through with fine ground coffee. I have a polycarbonate french press/travel mug that would work if ground coffee was the only thing available (and if I remembered to pack it). Since I have a cup holder on the handlebar of my LHT, I can stick a travel mug in it. Once empty of coffee or tea, the mug can serve as a water carrier as well.
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Old 02-17-11, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by PomPilot View Post
One of the riders on the tour I was on last summer had one of those. It took a long time for the water to filter through with fine ground coffee. I have a polycarbonate french press/travel mug that would work if ground coffee was the only thing available (and if I remembered to pack it). Since I have a cup holder on the handlebar of my LHT, I can stick a travel mug in it. Once empty of coffee or tea, the mug can serve as a water carrier as well.
Was he using some special fine ground (esspresso grind) coffee?
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Old 02-17-11, 02:00 PM
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duh... I never thought of instant coffee. I've had the Via stuff a couple times, also lots of the maxwell house instant. Might be a possibility...
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Old 02-17-11, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Ortlieb nails it. folding coffee cone, you hold it over the cup
with tent stakes, twigs etc, thru the sleeves on the cone.
http://www.ortlieb.de/_prod.php?lang...rholder&pf=12a
I bought a reusable cotton fabric cone filter at the co op ,
rather than single use paper ones, (or just use paper towel)
then bought small Vacuum packed sample sizes of ground coffee as I went.
~o)
The Ortlieb filter holder works but it is a bit of a pain to use...have to hold it up to fill the cup. I found this at REI last year. It's a bit heavier but it works better. I use paper filters. It's not too much more weight to carry because I only make coffee once a day. I also buy coffee from my favorite local shop and have it ground for a Melita filter. The time it takes to brew and filter with a paper filter isn't much of an issue with me. Since I live at over 5000', coffee anywhere else is just way too hot. I have to let the stuff cool for an inordinate amount of time so that I can drink it any way.

For my kettle, I use a Primus Litech kettle. It's a 0.9L (more than enough for a cup of coffee) that has a very low form (2" tall) and is light enough at 5.3 oz to be practical. An MSR Alpine (which I've also owned) has only slightly more volume (0.3L) but is 3.5" tall and takes up more space.

vs

You can also stuff other things into the kettles...some coffee and sugar and filters to save space.
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Old 02-17-11, 02:26 PM
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I've used the dark roast Via. It wasn't bad and much better than nothing. I've also used coffee that looks like tea bags, but I can't remember the brand. That was pretty good since it is actually brewed coffee.
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Old 02-17-11, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by sportridertex View Post
Starbuck's VIA, better than I had expected
It agree, and I don't like Starbucks' regular coffee.

A few years ago I got a plastic french press mug from REI. Light and works great. You brew and drink from the same vessel. One advantage is that it keeps the coffee hot longer because it's covered.

Just looked and it appears they don't offer it anymore. Go figure. Maybe you can find something similar at Campmor.
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Old 02-17-11, 02:50 PM
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I like cowboy coffe but I am a bit intrigued by via, I need to try it.
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Old 02-17-11, 02:50 PM
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what i have used and what i like and don't like:

melitta #4 cone,and snow peak folding coffee drip: they make a good cup of coffee, and cleanup is just throwing your filter and grounds away, but i don't like to deal with paper filters. if you want a longer brew time, you can make coffee cowboy style and let it steep for a bit, and then filter. if i was making coffee for more than 1 person, i think i would use either a melitta filter cone or a gold-plated permanent filter cone.

lexan presspot (french press) and mug with presspot lid: makes a strong, oily cup with a bit of sediment. i find them to be a bit tedious to clean, and they can be a bit awkwardly shaped and do not easily pack with the rest of my stuff. mugs with presspot lids tend to overbrew if you do not remove the grounds until you are finished drinking.

moka pot (stovetop espresso): imo, probably the most delicious coffee you can make in camp, but i find they generally do not make a large-enough serving to satisfy pathetic coffee addicts such as myself. again, size and awkward shape can cause packing issues.

msr mugmate: what i usually like to use when i travel. light, compact, easy to clean, and makes an adequately large, personal cup of coffee if you fill it nearly full of grounds. i think any sort of permanent filter does the same thing, but the mugmate seems to be the right size and shape for travel.

i like to make coffee before going to bed and storing it in a thermos so i can have warm-hot coffee as i wake up. i make another thermos during breakfast if time allows, and drink from that throughout the day. i bring caffeine pills when i travel so that if i am someplace where the coffee is lacking and don't want to pay 2 or 3 bucks for a monster drink, i can pop a 200mg caffeine pill. i buy "jet alert" caffeine pills from walmart (~$3/90*200mg) because they are cheap, but you can get vivarin or no-doz just about anywhere if you don't wanna give your money to walmart.

edit: matching your grind to your brewing method is as important as the beans and water you use. if you grind too fine, you will choke your filter (paper filter methods) or get a cup that is too muddy (presspot and cowboy.) i find supermarket grinders set to coarse or maybe slightly finer usually do a good grind for the above methods of brewing.

Last edited by jabantik00; 02-17-11 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 02-17-11, 02:57 PM
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I use a military cup to brew my coffee and store my homemade alcohol stove, matches and silverware.It's also handy to heat water for oatmeal etc.
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Old 02-17-11, 03:48 PM
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If you are not a coffee snob, you can just buy folgers or store brand in tea bag form at the grocery store. Seems like the easiest thing to me. I do like good coffee and have used a number of other methods. I have a small press type of thing from a Vietnamese store that sets on top of the cup and makes espresso or coffee, and I have also just used a permanent Melita style filter held over the cup while I pour hot water through it. No paper filter or holder. The cone shape directs the flow of the coffee into the cup/container.
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Old 02-17-11, 04:52 PM
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Freeze-dried instant in a ziploc bag. But I drink instant all the time so it's just like home. My friend calls it "battery acid" but what does he know.

In Central America it was so hot all the time that I actually got used to not drinking coffee at all. I still can't believe that happened. I'd been sucking down at least three cups every morning for the past 35 years or so.
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