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.|
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.
It’s a big bad mama jamma of a Kalita-related blog entry!
So, we went a little Kalita wild last week — trying this popular pour over out for the first time, then comparing the different filter material types and how it measures up against other popular pour over preparations.
In this first video, Gail takes on a Kalita Wave #155 for the first time:
Next, she brews up three batches of Velton’s Twilight Blend in the glass, stainless steel and ceramic versions of the #185:
We’ll definitely be bringing these new pour overs in. We loved how easy they were to use and they produced a really great cup. If you’re a pour over fan (or want to be), the Kalitas are definitely a must-have.
Gail prepared her standard Aeropress brew and then whipped up a batch in a Bodum Shin Bistro French press. We taste them and compare them side by side to determine how they differ — and which tastes better.
Things were getting a little bit docile around these parts, so it was clearly time for another grudge match! We asked Gail to brew a pot of coffee in the Technivorm Moccamaster KB741 and in the Bonavita Coffee Maker, then line ‘em up and see which our trusty crew members preferred.
Watch as Rade, Allison, Bunny and our newest ingenue, Kaylie, sip and select their favorite.
When it comes to great coffee or espresso, it doesn’t always mean it has to come out of a fancy shmancy high-tech espresso machine. Check out 2011′s most popular gear that didn’t require an outlet.
#1: Aeropress – $25.95
A specialty tool approved by many newbie espresso lovers and coffee connoisseurs alike, the Aeropress is a one stop shop to make that caffeinated drink you love when you’re on the go. Simple, easy to use and with minimal necessities, all you’ll need along with the Aeropress are coffee filters, grounds and hot water and you’ll have a cup o’ joe as good as (or better than!) your local cafe.
#2: Hario Coffee Coffee Dripper V60 – White Ceramic – Medium 02 – $22.55
Perfect for that single serving or a small group of friends, Hario pour overs are simple to use but produce an excellent cup. All you need is a coffee filter, your favorite coffee grounds and hot water and you’ll be sipping on a quality drink in a matter of minutes.
#3: Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Coffee Maker – 6-cup – $24.95
Want that strong cup of coffee without the hassle of plugging it in? The Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop just needs hot water, your favorite coffee grounds, a few minutes on the stovetop and it’ll be percolating a rich cup of coffee in a flash. (And if you really want to avoid electrics, throw it on your wood stove!)
#1: Sowden Soft Brew Coffee Maker with scoop – 27 oz. – $39.95
Some like it hot while others like it cold, and the great thing about the Sowden Soft Brew is that it’ll brew both kinds of coffee. Using a micro-thin metal filter with half a million microscopic holes, the Sowden Soft Brew brews up a smooth cup of coffee with no need for plungers. All you need to do is measure out your preferred amount of coffee, pour in hot or cold water, brew for four to eight minutes (for hot coffee) or overnight (for cold coffee) and you’ll be sipping on rich and smooth java.
#2a: Chemex Handblown 6-cup (30 oz) coffee maker with wood collar and tie – $35.90
Not your average looking coffee maker, the Chemex uses a chemically corrected method of brewing to extract the most flavor out of your favorite coffee beans. Using glass that is both heat resistant and does not absorb odors or chemical residue, you’ll be drinking a more natural cup of coffee with a full, rich-bodied flavor.
#2b: Frieling Insulated Coffee Maker French Press 1-2 cups – $49.95
Frieling has taken the french press process up a notch by giving their press double wall insulation, keeping your coffee hotter four time longer than your average glass french press. Multipurpose and seasonal, not only can this stainless steel press be used to make coffee but take out the plunger and it becomes a stylish pitcher for cold drinks on hot summer days.
#3: La Cafetiere Thermique Cafetiere – 8 cup – $39.99
Sleek yet sophisticated with a little whimsy to it, the La Cafetiere Thermique Cafetiere changes up the average french press by giving the press a new look and style. Taking a cue from other upgraded presses, the Thermique keeps coffee hotter three times longer with its double wall stainless steel body. And unlike other presses made of glass or stainless steel with a round look, the Thermique has a unique angular design.
#1: Bodum Santos (Pebo) Stovetop Vacuum Coffee Maker – $79.95
Why not combine coffee and chemistry — or at least a little mad science? While you’re really crafting a delicious cup of joe, it will feel like you’re mixing chemicals to make some crazy concoction with this vacuum pot. But fear not! Watch the magic happen as you place the Pebo on the stovetop, and see the water from the bottom orb get sucked up into the top orb, then saturate your favorite coffee to produce an excellent brew.
#2: Handpresso Portable Espresso Machine – with Domepod – $99.99
Whether it be at the top of the mountain while you’re hitting the slopes, out in your tent in the middle of the forest or at the airport before you catch your flight, owning the Handpresso means there’s never a place where you can’t scratch that espresso itch. An easy to use portable espresso machine, it’s also lightweight and small, so can fit almost anywhere.
#3: Espro 3-cup Press – $69.95
Can you really improve on the well-designed, classic press pots of yore? Espro thinks you can! Their Single Serve Press outshines other presses by micro-filtering and preserving your coffee’s flavor twice. With a unique metal filter, it keeps grounds out of your cup and lets the oils in so your cup o’ joe is richer with a full-bodied flavor.
#1: MyPressi TWIST Portable Espresso Maker 2.0 – $149.00
New gadgets are always fun to find, but they’re even better when they make life a little simpler. For coffee lovers who are always on the go, the MyPressi TWIST provides excellent espresso shots no matter their locale. Using N02 & C02 capsules to facilitate extraction, your shots will rival those of the cafe’s down the street.
#2: Walkure Karlsbad Porcelain Coffee Maker – 12.5 oz/28.5 oz – 80.00/120.00
Straight from Germany, this innovative coffeemaker will amaze you! Who would’ve thought you’d get a smooth clean cup of coffee through a ceramic filter?! The Walkure Karlsbad Porcelain Coffee Maker uses a two chamber method, allowing you to brew your coffee like a pour over with its crisscross ceramic filter. Customers love it because it’s easy to clean, easy to use and — unlike other pour overs that use paper filters — it’s less wasteful.
When folks contact us about picking up a new drip coffee maker, one of their primary concerns tends to be, ‘Is it hot?’ Bonavita’s new coffee maker definitely is, with technology that ensures an even extraction in the ideal temperature range of 195F – 205F.
Watch Gail take us through the features and functionality of this petite coffee maker, then brew up a batch to see how it tastes.
Do you really need a fancy, specially-designed gadget to brew up a batch of cold coffee? Or can you just use your trusty ol’ press pot? While we carry a couple of different cold brew options (from Hario and Sowden), we wanted to see if using one of them (namely, the Sowden) produced a better, worse or similar cup to making a cold brew with a La Cafetiere french press.
So we put Allison to the test! Watch as we brew up a batch in each, using the same grind and coffee-to-water ratios, allowing them to sit over night and then giving them a taste test. We also compare how much sediment appears in the cup. So exciting!
Watch as he talks to us about how Bodum’s vacuum coffee pot works and demonstrates brewing a cup of smooth java.