AUTHOR, DARREN OLIVER, BREWTORIA STAFF WRITER
Getting away from the city lights and back to nature can restore your perspective and renew your energy. If your tent doesn’t collapse in a rainstorm and no hungry bear (or, in my experience, skunk) steals your food, you can call the trip a success. But, can you fully enjoy watching the sunrise without a warm cup of coffee in your hands?
Luckily, whether you are a “glamper” or a camper, you don’t have to give up good coffee just because you are off the grid. You can achieve that “perfect cup” with a high-quality portable coffee maker.
The AeroPress and Expedition Brewer are popular among campers for their portability and durability. However, they have a few key differences.
Let’s see how these two unique brewers compare. Then, you can decide which one to take with you on your next outdoor adventure.
Espresso yourself: The AeroPress Go
What is the AeroPress Go?
The AeroPress Go is a simple and compact way to brew coffee at a campsite. The kit includes everything you need to brew coffee–including a mug! The Aeropress uses a brewing method similar to a French press. However, the water passes through the grounds instead of steeping.
This coffee maker is much quicker than the average French press and can brew 10 ounces of coffee in about a minute.
- Kit includes Aeropress, travel mug, scoop, non-slip base, and 350 paper filters
- BPA-free plastic
- 10-ounce capacity
- Weighs less than one pound
- Packs compactly
- Brews regular coffee, espresso-style, or cold brew
- Compatible with Aeropress coffee pod adapter
How to use it:
Add a heaping scoop (about 14 grams) of medium-fine coffee grounds per cup. To make espresso-style coffee, add hot water until you reach the “1” measuring mark. For American-style coffee, add water until the “3” line. If you can’t heat water because your camp pot is full of soup, you can make cold brew coffee in two minutes.
Photo Credit: Calin Charles Media
This coffee maker can press out 10 ounces of coffee, so you can drink a large mug on your own or share it with a friend.
Pour-over perfection: The Expedition Brewer
What is the Expedition Brewer?
The Expedition Coffee Brewer is one of the most portable coffee brewers on the market. The simple design includes a laminated copper cone with a canvas exterior, a wooden base, and paper filters. All the pieces fit inside the canvas jacket, and a snap closure secures them.
This unique pour-over coffee maker weighs less than two ounces and fits easily into a backpack or pocket. The Expedition Brewer proves that you don’t have to fill your bag with cumbersome gear to get great-tasting coffee on the go.
- Kit includes canvas jacket, laminated copper cone, paper filter, and wooden support
- Pour-over brew method
- Weighs less than two ounces
- Copper snap closure keeps all pieces in one place
- Packs flat
How to use it
Choose your favorite mug and place the Expedition Brewer’s wooden support over the mouth of it. Place the laminated copper cone into the canvas jacket. Add a paper cone filter and measure your coffee grounds.
Slowly pour water over the medium-coarse grounds. Pour in a circular motion from the filter’s outer edge to its center. Make sure you wet the coffee grounds evenly. At about 30-second intervals, pause to allow the water to filter through. The entire pour time should last from three to four minutes.
How to find the best portable coffee maker for camping: Buyer’s guide
Camping and a great-tasting cup of coffee go hand in hand (or, hand in handle?). However, if you want to brew in the middle of no man’s land, you want a coffee maker that you won’t have to baby. So, how do you know which coffee maker can withstand the trail? We’ll share pointers from our checklist.
Is it durable?
At home, a glass French press is nice. You can see your coffee brewing and enjoy the color darkening as the aroma becomes stronger. However, no one wants to pack their glass brewer in bubble wrap to camp.
Materials like durable BPA-free plastic, stainless steel, and even enamelware are campers’ friends. If you backpack often, choose a sturdy coffee maker that you can throw in a backpack with the rest of your hiking gear.
How many people will you serve?
Check to see how many ounces the coffee maker can brew. You may need a larger brewer if you serve several people at once. However, a smaller coffee maker is easier to pack.
Does it require an outlet or battery?
Unless you are glamping in an RV with electricity, you’ll want to leave your favorite pod machine at home. If the coffee maker uses a battery and recharges with a USB cable, you can take it camping. However, these battery-powered coffee makers may be sensitive to rainy weather.
Is it compact and lightweight?
No one wants to choose between packing the emergency kit and the coffee maker. This is why small coffee makers such as the Aeropress and pour-over filters are popular with campers. If you plan to hike a trail, you also want the coffee maker you choose to be relatively lightweight.
Coffee for Campers: Tips for making a portable (and perfect) cup of coffee on the go
Waking up to fresh air and the smell of coffee is a perfect way to start your morning at camp. However, you may have to prepare your coffee differently outdoors than you do at home. Here are a few pro coffee-making tips to keep in mind.
Make sure you have all the supplies you need
Before you leave home, check your bag twice to make sure you have your bear deterrent and everything you need to make coffee. Here are some things you may consider packing for your coffee:
- A manual coffee grinder (Fresh coffee is always best!)
- Filters (If your brewing method requires them.)
- A pot dedicated to heating water
- A scoop or portable scale for measuring coffee
- A cooking thermometer
- High-quality coffee
- A travel-friendly coffee maker of your choice
Don’t heat the water past its boiling point
When you make coffee with boiling water, it tends to taste over-extracted and bitter. And, you didn’t come to camp to drink bad coffee!
The Specialty Coffee Association recommends using a water temperature between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it’s difficult to know if you are in range when boiling water over a fire.
You can get the exact temperature using a thermometer. Or, you can wait until the water boils, then let it rest for 45 seconds to achieve this temperature range.
Make sure you use the proper grind size for your brewing method
Did you know that grind size impacts your coffee’s flavor? You should always choose the grind size based on your brewing method. Generally, a short brew method (like espresso) requires a finer grind size, and a longer brew method (like French press) requires a larger grind size.
Which portable brewer is best for you?
Once you set up your tent and bear-proof your food supply, you can relax with a warm cup of coffee. You may not have an outlet handy, but campers can still make delicious coffee with the AeroPress Go or the Expedition Brewer.
The Aeropress Go and the Expedition Brewer are compact and portable, allowing you to brew a perfect cup of coffee in wide open spaces. They are easy to pack and make excellent-tasting coffee.
Now, which portable coffee maker will you take to camp?