There are so many camp coffee type you can make, from cowboy coffee to pour-over stands to portable espresso makers, we cover all the different ways to make a great cup of coffee while camping.
Coffee. Sweet, sweet coffee, the lifeblood of outdoor adventurers and campers everywhere. While we are willing to forgo a great many things while camping, a good cup of coffee is not one of them. Thankfully, there are countless ways to enjoy a good brew in the wild.
Here are a few of the many, many, ways to make coffee while camping. In case you are looking for best camping coffee pot for the best camping experience, we have some recommendation you can check.
This list is ordered from the lightest and simplest methods of brewing coffee to the heaviest and most elaborate. We have tried the majority of methods on this list, but not all of them. Where relevant we note our personal experiences with the products we’ve used as well as those we’ve researched.
Instant Camp Coffee
While instant coffee is lightweight, packable, and otherwise ideally suited for camping, it doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to taste. Thankfully, there has been a lot of innovative advancements in the instant coffee world over the past few years! If you haven’t tried instant coffee in a while, it’s worth checking a few of these brands out.
Ideal Use: Backpacking, bikepacking, and anyone else with an incentive to save space and reduce weight.
Method: While the exact instructions will vary from brand to brand, the general idea is to put the instant coffee grounds into a cup and add boiling water. Wait a few seconds until powder is dissolved and then enjoy. We can’t imagine a simpler brewing method.
Seeking instant coffee you actually look forward to in the morning? Search no more. Alpine Start instant coffee was created by a climber and a foodie to be the best on-the-go cup of joe you can get. In addition to their classic coffee, Alpine Start also offers an instant Dirty Chai Latte Coconut Creamer Latte . I drank Alpine Start for 19 days on the John Muir Trail and would definitely recommend it!
REI Mt. Hagan This German-brand of organic fair-trade instant coffee has been Megan’s go-to choice whenever we go backpacking. It’s reasonably priced but offers a very well-balanced cup of instant coffee. This is what she drank for 19 days on the John Muir Trail, and would drink it for 19 more!
Instant Coffee is now available. We can’t say enough amazing things about Voila, the finest gourmet instant coffee. They collaborate with local coffee roasters and employ a patented freeze-drying technology to create instant coffee that tastes just like a freshly brewed cup from your neighborhood coffee shop. This isn’t a joke. However, because this superb instant coffee is so expensive, we only use it on special occasions.
Voila. Laird SuperFood Instant Coffee by Coffee Laird This is one of the greatest instant coffee + creamer combinations we’ve tried, even though it doesn’t come in individual packets. Megan was literally obsessed to the bag we picked up to test a while back. It’s a coconut milk-based creamer, so it’s a wonderful alternative if you’re backpacking and want to add some extra calories to your morning cup of coffee.
Cowboy Camp Coffee
Simply dissolve the coffee grounds in boiling water. It doesn’t get any more straightforward than that. Cowboy coffee is the simplest way to brew coffee when camping in terms of equipment. Cleaning up can be a little messy because the grounds don’t dissolve in the water, so it’s not ideal for backpacking or anywhere else where you’d need to pack out your waste.
Ideal for people who want to project a harsh image. Also, those who left their sophisticated coffee-brewing equipment at home. Depending on the size of your kettle, this is suitable for small or large gatherings.
Method: There are a surprising number of methods to make cowboy coffee, even if it’s as easy as pouring coffee grounds in hot water. Adding broken eggshells or a whole raw egg to the coffee grounds is one popular method (at least according to the internet) ( no joke ). We’re going to avoid that one totally due to the high prevalence of salmonella in this country. However, there are a few less dangerous ways to make a perfect cup of cowboy coffee. It is suggested that you use fine grounds.
A cloth coffee sock, cheesecloth, or bandana is required for the Clean Cup Method. Bring water to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat. Place the coffee grounds in the cloth, then in the kettle. To steep, return to a low heat setting.
Using the sink down method, boil a pot of water. Remove the pot from the heat and add the coffee grinds. Return to a low heat setting and continue to cook. After a few minutes, the coffee grinds should sink to the bottom. If they don’t sink to the bottom, pour some cold water on top of them.
Scoop Top Method — Bring a pot of water to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the coffee grinds. Return to a low heat setting and continue to cook. Skim the coffee grounds off the surface with a spoon.
We’ve been making coffee with this kettle virtually every morning for the past two years and can’t say enough excellent things about it. The sturdy stainless steel may be used over a campfire or stove, the spout won’t drip, and the small size is ideal for 2-3 people.
Camp Coffee in a Bag
Steeping a teabag has a lovely simplicity to it. Why not use the same logic to coffee? For a long time, Folger’s singles were the only coffee-in-a-bag option, and they taste exactly as you’d expect. However, a few new businesses are attempting to resurrect the tried-and-true brew method and bring coffee-in-a-bag into the twenty-first century.
Short-trip hikers, bikepackers, and anyone who doesn’t want to go full instant but also doesn’t want to deal with a brewing gear can benefit from this product.
Fill a cup halfway with boiling water and place the brew bag inside. Steep until you achieve the desired strength, then strain. If you can steep a cup of tea, you can simply boil a bag of coffee.
We recently had the opportunity to sample the new High Side Brew Bag, and it was one of the most delicious cups of coffee we’d had in a long time. We can adjust the strength of the coffee by steeping it in a brew bag. Another significant bonus for us is that the packaging is recyclable, as well as the brew bag itself.
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