I've spent 10 years in the coffee industry (barista, roaster, etc) previously. My preferred way of making coffee while out hiking or bikepacking is using either immersion brewing (americans know it as cowboy coffee
) or an aeropress if weight is less of an issue.
As with all coffee making, the most important part is the coffee. I use filter roasted coffee, mostly from either Market Lane
or Small Batch Roasters
(both based in Melbourne, but ship). Before I go out I weigh, grind and vacuum seal portions—individual or for however many people I will be making coffee for if not using the Aeropress.
While freshly ground coffee is better in theory, most hand grinders anyone would feasibly take with them fall short of their electric counterparts for a variety of reasons, so in compromising I choose grind quality and convenience over freshly ground (and for the grind levels you'll be using for these two brew methods, even 24 hours isn't a big deal).Immersion Brew (for 2-3)
1. Boil 600ml water, remove from heat
2. Add 38g coarsely ground (a little coarser than a french press grind, but not by much) coffee to the water
3. Stir to make sure all the coffee is wet; 10 big swirls with a spoon or so.
4. Put a lid on
X. (Place container in cozy if you're using one)
5. After one minute, gently push down the raft of coffee grounds now sitting at the surface. Don't disturb the water too much
X. (Set up a GSI Ultralight Java Drip filter on your receiving vessel if you, like me, enjoy a cleaner tasting cup)
6. After 5 minutes, take the lid off and very gingerly (like you're decanting an old bottle of wine) pour the coffee into the receiving vessel (optionally through the java drip filter). By not agitating the brew you should be able to pour off nearly all the water without getting a clump of wet grounds coming out.
Notes: the best thing to do is to pour everything into one container, as there will be an extraction gradient in the liquid, stir it all together and then pour it into individual containersAeropress brew (for 1)
1. Boil 300ml water, remove from heat
2. Set up the Aeropress with the paper filter in the holder on top of your cup
3. Pour a little bit of water to wet the filter (it improves flavour and preheats your cup)
4. Once the rinsing water is through, flick the Aeropress dry and remove the rinse water from your cup
5. Pour 15g of ground coffee (slightly finer than a percolator grind) into the brew cylinder
6. Pour the water over until it reaches up to ~1cm from the top of the cylinder (230-260ml depending on how much co2 is in the beans)
7. Stir 8 or so times to wet and agitate the grounds
8. Insert the piston at an angle and—while having an edge seal—gently adjust the piston so it sits parallel to the filter. This creates negative pressure inside the Aeropress, which will stop most of the coffee from dripping down through the filter while it extracts.*
9. Wait a minute
10. Remove piston
11. Stir 4 or so times
13. While holding the Aeropress filter side up, pull the piston out ever so slightly (1cm or so)
14. Remove the filter holder. Because you pulled the piston out, the paper filter should sit on top of the ground coffee, and not be stuck to the inside of the filter holder
15. Peel the paper filter off (for reuse or disposal)
16. Push the ground coffee puck out wherever you want to dispose of it
*Does not work with metal filters
Pretty simple in the end. I'm particularly fond of the GSI-filtered immersion brew. The filter is originally intended for you to do pour over coffee, but doing that with a pot holder on a pot without a pouring spout squatting on the ground for 2-3 minutes straight is an exercise in frustration. So yeah, no. Great little filter I can see a ton of uses for aside from coffee.