If you’re anything like me, you can’t get by without a cup of coffee in the morning.
During the work week, it’s typically not a problem, I’ve got lots of options for getting my fix. I can brew up joe before I head out for the day or stop by Starbucks on my way into work.
When camping it’s not as easy to get my morning caffeine fix. Sure, I could always make a cup of cowboy coffee but a mouthful of grounds at the bottom of my cup isn’t what I would call appetizing.
There are plenty of camping solutions out there for us coffee addicts. My favorite so far is the AeroPress Espresso maker.
A few winters back, my sister gave me an AeroPress for Christmas. She an I share an addiction to a certain caffeinated bean.
The AeroPress functions much like a French press, but unlike a French press, the AeroPress is self cleaning, can be used to make various brews and takes up a fraction of the space in your pack.
How it works
AeroPress: What you need
The inverted method
There are a few ways to make coffee using the AeroPress. The standard method involves fitting a filter in the basket and filling the tube with the appropriate amount of water and coffee. The plunger is then used to press the water through the filter.
The problem with this method is that while pouring the water into the AeroPress a significant amount goes through the filter before it can steep in the grounds.
My favorite method, and the one I would recommend, inverts this.
Sometimes called the inverted method, this way of using the Aeropress allows the coffee to bloom, releasing the oils from the grounds.
Heat up the water
Start by heating a cup of water to just before boiling. Don’t boil the water. It’s not good for the plastic and does nothing to improve the taste of the coffee. Coffee from the press is similar, but not quite as strong as an espresso. It really depends on how much water you use in the press. You may wish to heat up a little more water than needed to water down the coffee, kind of like an Americano.
Set up the press
While the water is warming up, insert the plunger into the top of the AeroPress. The top of the plunger should be visible at the top of the four on the press. For a strong, but small cup of coffee press the plunger up to the two or three mark.
Add grounds and hot water
With the opening facing up and the press resting on the top of the plunger, use the provided measuring spoon to measure a spoonful of fine ground coffee into the opening of the press.
Poor the the hot water into the press and stir it up. The AeroPress comes with a large stir stick, but I prefer to save space and use the end of the measuring spoon, it works just as well.
Seal it up
Next, fit a filter into the filter basket and secure it on the top of the press. The top of the basket should be snug, but too not snug that it will be hard to remove later. Whatever you do, don’t forget the filter or you’ll have a mess to clean up. Believe me, I’ve been there.
Time to press
As it’s name would suggest, the last step to a great cup of coffee is to press the coffee through the filter. Tip the press over onto the top of your cup. Press the plunger down firmly and slowly until all the coffee has been dispensed.
Add additional water, sugar, non-dairy creamer, etc… to taste.
There’s nothing like waking up to a good cup of coffee.
In my mind, clean up is really the final step in using any coffee maker, and for a single serve one like the AeroPress, it could make or break it. No one wants to use something that’s a pain in the butt to clean up when their done.
Thankfully, cleaning up after using the AeroPress is as easy as removing the filter basket and pressing the hockey puck of grounds, filter included, into your trash bag. The rubber at the end of the plunger forms a seal that cleans the press out after you use it.
If you’re in the market for a camp coffee maker, you could do a lot worse than the AeroPress. It’s a simple to use and easy to clean, no fuss way to get your beloved caffeine fix.