Whether you love camping with your family or you are just an outdoor enthusiast, learning how to brew your coffee outdoors is essential.
Methods of Outdoor Coffee Brewing
Cowboy coffee is one of the oldest coffee brewing methods. This name originated from the “American cowboys in the Wild West.” They loved their coffee black and strong, using a single pot to brew it. Their coffee was meant to keep them awake and alert.
Making cowboy coffee is quite easy. You don’t need extra equipment. You just need to place water in a pot and boil it. Add some coffee grounds into the pot, and wait for some time. Transfer it into a mug, and take it.
DIY Coffee Bag (Tea Bag)
This method does not add any weight to your stuff. You can use it to make a cup or a whole pot of coffee. You may just need to change how much coffee you add to the filter. Come with some paper coffee filters.
When you feel now it is time to brew your coffee, put the grounds into the center of the filter, depending on the amount you are looking to add. Draw up the edges and tie it shut; you may use a string, in that case.
Boil water and drop the bag inside the pot. Wait for some minutes and have your drink.
Instead of paper filters, you can use your handkerchief. You may also use your shirt, sock, or any clean cloth you can find, and use that as your filter. Use the same process as the DIY coffee bag but without the waste.
This is the simplest way to make coffee in the outdoors. You simply need to boil water over a fire, or camp stove. Add some coffee inside the boiling water but it will not taste as good as brewed. You can also use cold water for an ad hoc iced brew.
Simply put some water into heat, add some coffee, and then the water. Stir to mix and press for about 30 seconds.
Equipment and Accessories
If you want to make the perfect coffee outdoors, you need the right equipment and the right, brewing method. Of course, you need something to energize you and keep you alert as you enjoy camping moments. A great cup of coffee will work best for you.
When you are packing for outdoors, you can pack a whole bag of beans or grind them before you pack them. Also, depending on the type of your trip, decide on the brewing equipment you will use to make your coffee.
AeroPress – this is a simple, portable, and easy-to-use equipment. It is great for all outdoor trips. It can be used at home too, try using the inverted method, traditional method, or bypass method depending on how you want it to taste. Here is a guide https://thecoffeefolk.com/aeropress-advanced-guide/
Coleman camping coffeemaker – are outdoorsy who doesn’t care about the weight of the equipment? If all you want is a great cup of coffee at the campsite, Coleman camping coffeemaker is your only out.
Planetary Designs Table Top French Press – this equipment was specifically designed for making a large pot of coffee for a group of campers. It is portable, fast, and simple to use.
What to Consider When Buy Coffee Maker
Selecting the right coffee making for outdoor use can be challenging. Although many options are there for you to choose from, picking the right isn’t that simple as you think. There are some variables you may have to consider before making a purchase.
The number of people you are traveling with should be at the top of your list of considerations. Also, consider the weight and the size of the coffee equipment you want to carry with you. This will depend on the type of trip you are going to.
It is important to check on the features of your equipment before carrying it to your destination. There are several outdoor gear manufacturers with coffee equipment designed for activities such as camping. The best models for such equipment take portability, usability, speed, and efficiency into account. So, check on the features and pick equipment that best suits your needs.
To make a great cup or a pot of coffee in the outdoors, you need the right equipment as well as use the right methods for coffee brewing.
Caffeine Content in Coffee: Differences Between Roasts and Brands
To talk about coffee is to talk about caffeine. Caffeine is, after all, the reason why we like coffee so much. It was the reason coffee began to even be consumed in the first place. The most popular legends on the origins of coffee goes like this:
Once upon a time, there was a Sufi monk on a pilgrimage. Passing through Ethiopia, he rested when a flock of goats happened to be near him. As he tried to meditate, he witnessed the goats feeding on some local cherries – he thought nothing of it until, about half an hour later, the goats started becoming energetic, frisky. His curiosity was spiked and, after trying it himself, he decided to bring the beans with him to Yemen.
And it was precisely in Yemen where coffee began to be consumed and exported. The port city from where the coffee was shipped to Europe was -still is- called Mocha. Ring any bells?
The long answer would involve a lot of science and jargon. A lot of studies are still taking place about caffeine content. There are still a lot of things we don’t know about coffee.
What we do know is that the caffeine content varies depending on the type of roast because caffeine is “burnt” during the roasting process. But it’s more complicated than that.
During roasting, the coffee bean will lose most of its mass. The longer a coffee bean is roasted, the smaller it becomes. Water is evaporated, meaning that about 90% of the total volume of a coffee bean can disappear with just roasting.
A breakfast roast, for example, is somewhere around light and medium roasts. The bean is barely a light brown color and most of its volume is still there; the change in size is barely noticeable. It is roasted for a mere 4 to 6 minutes. That means that, per bean, the concentration of caffeine is going to be higher.
Yet a dark roast is a completely different thing. The beans are small, black, and have lost around 90% of their original size. This takes about 11 minutes, sometimes more. The concentration of caffeine, per bean, is going to be that much lower.
And that’s precisely the catch. Since dark roast beans are so much smaller, you end up using double the number of beans to reach the same amount of grams. In the end, this simple difference in weight evens out the amount of caffeine in different roasts.
Caffeine gets around. It is in your food, in your candy, and in your sodas. A regular soda will have about 60 to 100 mgs of caffeine… Depending on the brand.
Same thing happens with coffee. Whether you get your coffee at your regular coffee shop or at Starbucks, the amount of caffeine will be different— even if you order the same drink! This is mostly because the type of coffee bean used is the one thing that has the most effect on the amount of caffeine. And everyone gets their beans from a different source.
Starbucks Caffe Americano 16 oz. 225
Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee 14 oz. 210
Starbucks—Caffe Latte or Cappuccino 16 oz. 150
Dunkin’ Donuts Cappuccino 20 oz. 252
Keurig K-Cup, most varieties 1 K-Cup 75-150
Nespresso capsule 1 capsule 55-65
As you can see, different stores do, in fact, differ in the amount of caffeine contained in their drinks, no matter how similar they may be.
This boils down to the difference in beans that we mentioned before and, of course, how the drinks are prepared.
When it comes to buying whole beans or pre-ground coffee, the amount of caffeine should be virtually the same if you’re buying similar roasts.
Be careful of blends, which tend to mix robusta beans with arabica beans. These are both coffee beans, but robusta are second-grade in terms of flavor and aroma. Robusta beans still do taste like coffee and are a great way to inflate volume and increase profits. It is also incredibly easier to grow compared to arabica. The difference is that robusta has about three times the amount of caffeine that arabica beans do, so caffeine amounts can skyrocket if the blend in question has a lot of robusta.
Robusta is easily grown in hot climates, with Brazil and Vietnam being some of the most proficient robusta growers in the world. Their flavor is nothing compared to that of arabica, however. Most instant coffee is made from these beans.
Arabica beans are harder to grow, favoring only temperate climates and high altitudes. They will only have one third of the caffeine contained in robusta beans.
When you make yourself a cup of coffee at home, you probably don’t feel like it energizes you as much as the espresso you order at a coffee shop. Is it placebo, or is espresso stronger than other coffees?
Technically, no. Espresso is made from dark roasts. As we explained before, there is no real difference between these types of roasts.
What does matter is the amount of water you use to make the coffee. With a regular coffee, you’ll be using about 200-300 ml for a whole cup. 500 ml for a mug. The amount of coffee you use is similar to that of an espresso… Except that espressos are a mere 30 ml per shot. A double shot is the standard for most drinks including lattes— so about 60 ml is what a regular person drinks.
A double shot of espresso contains about 200 mg of caffeine in 60 ml. A regular coffee contains from 200 to 300 mg of caffeine per cup, around 250 ml. When you drink an espresso, you’re drinking a whole cup in practically a couple of sips.
The difference, then, is not in the amount of caffeine each type of coffee has, but in how small the drink itself is.
So, yes: you ingest more caffeine when drinking espresso.
The Swiss Water Method, invented in 1933, uses only water to decaffeinate coffee beans and is the most used method today.
Green coffee is soaked in hot water to extract the caffeine, yet it is then passed through an activated charcoal filter. This filter traps in it most -if not all- of the caffeine molecules. Those beans are then discarded, and it’s the caffeine-free green coffee extract that is used.
Now, the good coffee is soaked in this water, and a magical thing happens: caffeine is attracted towards this water, and so it migrates from the beans and into this water.
Of course, you can’t take all of the caffeine out of the coffee; about 7% of it still remains. But that’s good enough. Instead of 200 mg of caffeine, you’d only be drinking about 14 mg per cup!
This might sound like a whole other process (or even just cutting short the decaffeination process) but it is much more simple than that.
To create a blend that is only slightly less caffeinated than regular coffee, coffee sellers take a batch of fully decaffeinated beans and mix it with a batch of caffeinated beans. And, just like that, half caf!
This type of product is much less reliable than regular decaf coffee. Because there isn’t a real technique behind it, you never know how much caffeine you’re really drinking. One batch might have a lot of full caffeinated beans while another batch is made up mostly of decaf beans.
It’s still a great option for those who don’t tolerate caffeine too well but still need it to get through the day. If you have heart problems or can’t have caffeine for medical reasons, you should stick to regular decaf.
Caffeine is actually in a lot of other foods besides coffee. Chocolate, tea, soft drinks— even some OTC medicines have caffeine in them to either help with headaches (yes, god bless caffeine) or to help you stay awake.
Yet the reason why caffeine is added to many of these products is not because of the taste. Actually, caffeine tastes bad. It’s like distilled bitterness and can cause acid reflux and discomfort if ingested in large amounts.
The reason why coffee and tea are bitter is, well, caffeine! You probably are not able to taste the caffeine in other products but that’s just because they are full of sugar to balance out the caffeine taste.
Soft drinks like pepsi and coke have quite a lot of caffeine in them (almost as much as regular coffee) which helps them have a certain kick both in terms of flavor and in terms of waking you up. This helps in making them addictive (it is, after all, a stimulant) and contributes to sales.