AeroPress (Camping Edition)

AeroPress (Camping Edition)

Well hello brave traveler.  
Here's the pared down, minimal pack-weight version of the AeroPress.

Begin by gathering everything you need: 
-Bear Spray (just be sure you hang your coffee and coffee prep materials with your food)
-AeroPress (but don't worry about the paddle and funnel... you're camping... be creative)
-Paper filters for the AeroPress (measure out one per day... then triple it.  If you're reading a coffee blog, chances are you drink more than one AeroPress's worth of coffee a day, even when camping, so good on you!)
-Your camping stove, pot, etc will serve just fine for water.  Boil it.  Try not to burn yourself in the process.
-This Particular Grinder because it's light, extremely quiet, durable, an fantastic.

Here are a few things you'll want to do before you hit the trail-head to make your camping coffee experience quick, easy, and delicious.

  1. Measure out 18g of coffee into your AeroPress with the plunger just at the bottom of the #4 dot.  Take a piece of duct tape and mark the tube where the coffee measures out to at 18g.   
  2. Figure out the grind-setting that works best for you for 18g of coffee (we do it a little finer than you would grind for a Kalita Wave... or, a little finer than table salt).
  3. Decide how many times you'd like to make coffee on your trip and make sure you've got that much coffee packed.  Then pack a little extra.  
  4. Make an AeroPress before you head out on the trip.  Trust me, it's worth going through the process once with all the comforts of home available.  No shame in doing a test-run.
OK, with those things in mind, you're ready to go camping!  Here's the breakdown of how to brew it while camping (spoiler alert: it's pretty much the same process from here on out).
  1. Begin boiling water.  This will take a while, especially if you're at altitude.
  2. Invert the AeroPress, remove the mesh-screen and place a paper filter in the mesh-screen; place plunger at the bottom of the #4 dot.
  3. Measure enough coffee so it's at the duct tape mark you made before you hit the trail-head.  
  4. Grind that coffee up.  
  5. Preheat the AeroPress, mesh-screen (with paper-filter in it), and carafe by rinsing with boiling water... but you're camping... so if you skip the pre-heat step, nobody's going to blame you and nobody will judge you.
  6. Pour your grounds into the cylinder, and be careful, because you didn't pack your funnel (don't worry, you can do it.  I believe in you).

Now double check that everything's prepped and ready to go BEFORE you put water to grounds.  

  1. Double check that the press is on a very stable surface so when you pour water from a pot on it, it will not tip over (I'm speaking from experience here).  
  2. Pour a little hot water (just off the boil*) over grounds and stir using a stick that is near you.  Preferably this is a stick that doesn't have ash from the fire or urine from you, or your friend, or an animal (really any urine) on it.
  3. Carefully pour water (just off the boil*) into the AeroPress ensuring all the grounds are wet and caught up in a circular wave until you're almost to the top of the AeroPress
  4. Put the mesh-screen back on the AeroPress, making sure you’ve turned it to lock in place.  
  5. Put the AeroPress right-side-up on your cup so it is ready to have the plunger depressed and the mesh-screen is ready to have lots of hot liquid come out of it.
  6. Take roughly seven deep, thoughtful breaths--exhaling slowly--because you're out in the midst of beautiful, clean, forest air (also, you need to wait about 50 seconds before you can press that plunger).  Once that's done press down gently on the plunger.  If you hear a harsh fizzing/hissing sound from the mesh-screen, you’re pushing too hard.  
  7. Once the liquid is out, take your AeroPress to the fire and remove the mesh screen.  Fully depress the AeroPress to eject the puck of grounds and paper filter into the fire.
  8. Continue breathing in the beautiful morning and enjoy your coffee!

And that's about it.  Hopefully this helps you enjoy a lovely cup of coffee while taking in some really great views with that sweet, crisp air that only comes from those Douglas Furs.  
Cheers, and happy trails!  


*I'm using the phrase "just off the boil" because hopefully your camping experience brings you somewhere high in the mountains, and you'll need to make that water boil if you're going to get to a good water temp.  If you're camping somewhere a little lower in altitude, you might want to let your water rest for a minute or so after its boiled.