Java on the Open Trail

The sun’s finally out, the weather’s getting warmer and it’s that time of year to trek up the mountain to enjoy good ol’ Mother Nature. But make sure you fill up that pack with all the essentials — map, water, compass and … CAFFEINE! Yes, it’s possible to keep yourself buzzing with java as you hike through the forest. Check out some of our favorite on-the-go coffee makers that we throw in our packs before we hit the open trail.


Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Coffee Maker
As long as you have your whisper light, some water and your favorite coffee, you’ll be brewing up a strong cup o’ java in no time. Made of aluminum, this indestructible pot allows you to diffuse heat and get that same aromatic smell out of your coffee in the great outdoors. Simple and easy to use, just fill the lower chamber with water, add ground coffee to the filter and then  place it on your whisper light until the water boils your espresso to perfection.
AeroPress Light and easy to pack, the AeroPress is the next best thing to bringing the actual coffee maker on a hike. Made of BPA-free plastic, the AeroPress mixes grounds and water for ten second and then uses a micro-filter,  leaving your coffee silt and grit free. Smooth!
Handpresso Wild/Domepod Bike pump or espresso maker? The Handpresso may look like a bike pump but rather than pumping up your tire it’ll pump you up with caffeine. This hand held tool barely takes up any space and gives you an even easier option of using E.S.E. pods or your favorite ground coffee. All you need is hot water and your favorite coffee grounds or pods, then pump up the Handpresso and it’ll extract away.
Bodum Brazil French Press – 8 Cup – Polycarbonate Nearly indestructible, the polycarbonate version of Bodum’s popular French press is going to stick around for the long haul. Carry your favorite coarsely ground coffee, add hot water and let it hang out for a few minutes. Then serve up a rich brew for yourself and your favorite hiking partner — while watching the sunrise or set over the mountain side.

Cooking with Kaylie: Coffee Infused Bourbon BBQ Sauce

It’s still raining in Seattle, but I’ve heard it’s summer in other parts of the country. And what do people do in summer? They barbecue!

Also, there are technically two recipes in this blog post, so it’s your lucky day!


  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup coffee infused bourbon
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons liquid smoke
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon hot pepper sauce


  • In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine onion, garlic and bourbon
  • Cook until onion is tender (about 10 minutes)
  • Mix in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes

This BBQ sauce is pretty much amazing. Whether you’re using it for ribs or shredded chicken sandwiches, you really can’t go wrong!

If you don’t have coffee infused bourbon lying around your house (and really, who does?), you’ll need to make some. Simply add 1/2 cup whole coffee beans (I used Velton’s Three Ravens Blend Decaf Espresso) to a bottle of bourbon. Let sit 24 hours and then strain out the beans. How easy was that?

Now, go get your barbecue on!

Crew Review: Saeco Thermal Carafe for Exprelia & Xelsis

Better safe than sorry, no? Especially when it comes to your dairy products!

To assist you with keeping your milk fresh and cool, Saeco has released a thermal version of their one-touch carafe fro the Exprelia and Xelsis superautomatic espresso machines.

Watch Gail show off how it works!


Crew Review: Saeco Syntia – Certified Refurbished

What happens when someone picks up a new espresso machine and, after using it for a few weeks, decides it’s just not the right model for them? It is magically transformed into a Certified Refurbished version of its former self! Okay, maybe it’s not magic — there’s a lot of hard work that goes into testing and cleaning these machines — but their transformation does result in an excellent choice for anyone on the lookout for a superautomatic espresso machine that won’t break the bank.

Watch Gail talk to us about what to expect with a machine that is Certified Refurbished by Seattle Coffee Gear. Then she shows us the Saeco Syntia‘s standard features, demonstrates how to set up the machine and then makes us a lovely cup of coffee.


Keeping Women Healthy in Coffee Producing Communities

Sixteen years ago on a trip to Mexico with a good friend, Dan Cox, the president of  a U.S. Coffee company, discovered an ever growing problem in many coffee producing countries: Cervical cancer.

Visiting with good friend and retired OB/GYN Dr. Francis Fote, he explained to Cox how the rate of women dying in these countries is the highest in the world, but is also one of the most preventable cancers when it’s caught early.

‘In coffee growing communities most women don’t have access for screening and treatment,’ said Jane Dale, Grounds For Health Development Director. ‘When Dan learned this he said it was unacceptable and that they needed to do something about it.’

Taking action, Cox and Fote set out to raise cervical cancer awareness and improve screening by servicing pap smear clinics in Mexico. This began the work of Grounds for Health and today it has grown in a number of other coffee cooperatives in other countries.

From its inception as a small service provider, Grounds for Health has now become a training organization to reach more women. Educating communities in the Single Visit Approach, it ‘has proven to be the most effective way to screen for and treat cervical cancer in low-resource environment,’ states

The organization has also expanded from Mexico and is now running programs in Tanzania and Nicaragua, training their doctors, mid-wives, nurses and health providers on cervical cancer services and prevention.

‘In a low-tech technique, it’s a technique that is basically as simple as washing the cervix with household vinegar, waiting for three minutes and, if there are abnormal cells, you’ll be able to see it with the naked eye,’ said Dale. ‘Training is important because that’s where sustainability lies.’

Dale explains that women who have accessibility to screening and treatment at least once in their lives have a 30 percent less chance of dying from cancer.

Since 1996, Grounds for Health has screened over 16,000 women. Sharing the work of Grounds for Health with the coffee industry, Cox has created an organization that has been supported by almost 200 coffee companies since 1996.

‘We’re all about empowering these communities, giving them the skills and confidence to provide their communities forever,’ Dale said. ‘We still do screen and treatment but it’s all part of training now. The program has definitely evolved since it started. All the private funding from companies has made it possible for us to be responsive and nimble in changing and modifying the programs as conditions dictate in these areas.’

To learn more about Grounds for Health and to find out how to visit this organization’s mission, please visit

Crew Review: Espro Press – 10 Cup

There is a camp, in which Gail squarely resides, that doesn’t dig the silt often found with coffee press preparations. Others of us love the roughage (!), but if you’re one with Gail, then you’re one with Espro’s very popular coffee press, which features an additional micro filter that greatly reduces the sediment at the bottom of the cup.

The only complaint we ever received about these presses was that it was too small, so we were clearly excited to learn about the introduction of the 10 cup version! It produces roughly 40 oz. overall, so keep that in mind when measuring out your final brew capacity.

Watch as Gail takes on this bad boy for the first time.

Crew Review: DeLonghi EC860

As you know, it doesn’t take much to make us happy, but something we love more than anything is when a manufacturer gets a little bit crazy with its bad self and releases a piece of equipment unlike others we have tested. DeLonghi’s new EC860 is a sort of hybrid between traditional espresso machines and their robotic counterparts, featuring standard espresso extraction with the option to automatically froth the milk.

Watch as Gail talks to us about its features, then demonstrates shot extraction, frothing with the wand and making a one-touch (aside from all the touching involved with grinding and tamping, of course!) cappuccino with its automatic frothing option.