Making Great Coffee in the Great Outdoors

The simple guide to brewing in nature

featuring Daniel Castro | April 29, 2016
HOME Places Making Great Coffee in the Great Outdoors

If you’re like Starbucks barista Daniel Castro, nothing beats freshly brewed coffee in the fresh air of the outdoors. Whether you’re car camping, backpacking, or heading out on an epic excursion, making great coffee on the go is easier than you might think. Just follow this simple guide, and you’ll be brewing like a pro in no time.

01
Pick your brewer
Car Camping Road Trips Hiking Backpacking
Moka Pot Learn More 1 - 12 cups Four out of four stars One out of four stars

Pros: Comes in multiple sizes, durable

Cons: Heavier, takes time to cool

Coffee Press Learn More 1 - 4 cups Three out of four stars Two out of four stars

Pros: Durable, no filters

Cons: More cleaning

Aeropress® Learn More 1 cup Four out of four stars Three out of four stars

Pros: Lightweight, easy to clean

Cons: Requires filters, lots of pieces

Pour Over Learn More 1 cup Four out of four stars Three out of four stars

Pros: Simple, lightweight, packable

Cons: Requires filters

Starbucks VIA® Instant Coffee Learn More 1 cup Three out of four stars Four out of four stars

Pros: Lightest weight, packable, simple

Cons: Takes the fun out of brewing

Staff Ratings Staff Ratings, based on portability and convenience
02
Get your gear
Must-haves

• Camp stove: Bring extra fuel
• Coffee: Whole bean or ground
• Hand grinder: For whole bean coffee
• Quality thermos: Keeps brew hot for up to 12 hours
• Water: Pack filtered water, or bring a water filter

Nice-to-haves

• Coffee scoop: Take the guesswork out
• Cream & sugar: Pack in unbreakable containers

03
Pro Tips

• Pre-measure portions of whole or ground coffee at home to simplify brewing.
• Save to-go packets of sugar and creamer for trips.
• For day trips, brew at home and pack in a good thermos.

moka pot

The moka pot comes in a variety of sizes. We like it because it makes rich, flavorful coffee with minimal effort. Because it’s made of metal with sharp angles, we don’t love it for lightweight backpacking.

coffee press


Many camp stoves have integrated coffee press attachments you can buy. They work just like your coffee press at home for strong, full-bodied coffee.

AeroPress®

Made of plastic, the AeroPress® is light, portable and makes incredible, espresso-like coffee with crema. Because it makes one cup at a time, you may find yourself playing barista in groups.

Pour Over


The timeless way to make gourmet coffee. All you need is near boiling water and a filter. Look for a lightweight plastic or aluminum camp model for portability, especially one that collapses flat.

Starbucks VIA® Instant Coffee

If you want to save weight or don’t want to fuss with gear, Starbucks VIA® Instant Coffee is delicious and quick. All you need is a camp stove and water and you’re good to go. It also makes a great backup to your regular brew.


Contributor
Daniel Castro
barista

AeroPress® is a registered trademark of Aerobie, Inc.
PIKE PLACE IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF THE PIKE PLACE MARKET PDA, USED UNDER LICENSE.

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