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Topic: camp coffee brewing: suggestions? (9 msgs / 243 lines)
1) From: Sean McIntyre
I'm going to the desert (Anza-Borrego, Joshua Tree, Mojave) for a week of
camping soon and would like some suggestions on brewing my homeroasted
coffee. I'm prepared to spend some money on new stuff, but not a lot. Would
you all agree that, if I must choose, the priority should be getting a
manual grinder? Does anyone have a recommendation? I've been told that the
Zassenhaus grinders are actually not made in Germany, but in China and are
quite of "cheap" in their fabrication. Any comments there? Alternatives to
the Zass?
With the grinding issue out of the way, the next questions are in preserving
the freshness of the beans and best camp brewing methods.
I could leave some roasted beans in their glass preserving jars, but not
many because I need to put the coffee in my backpack. Should I get some of
SW's vac-bags? What's the correct procedure for using the vac bags: let the
coffee rest for 4 hours in the open before putting into the bag, or put into
the bag immediately after roasting? Are the bags as effective if only half
(or less) full?
Brewing:  I have a mokha pot, pour over plastic Melitta (single cup with
paper filters) and an AeroPress. Which would you choose for brewing with a
camp stove? Looks like only two of us will be drinking coffee, so I don't
need to prepare much (and I don't drink a lot, despite my love for coffee
and roasting).
Any and all suggestions, comments, and even anecdotes are much appreciated.
Sean
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2) From: Dave
I use SM's bags. They're not vac-bags, just vented. I just dump directly
from my Behmor into a bag, and use it until it's gone (usually about a
week). I'm basically a klutz, so I went to bags because if I drop them they
won't break;) It seems they would be the ideal camping solution too. Yes
they are effective when half or less full. The beans are no more likely to
escape than from a full bag;-)
No advice on the grinder...
For making the coffee, either the aeropress or the pour-over should work
great.
Dave
Some days...
It's just not worth chewing through the leather straps
On Tue, Mar 17, 2009 at 1:05 PM, Sean McIntyre  wrote:
<Snip>
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3) From: Ira
At 01:05 PM 3/17/2009, you wrote:
<Snip>
Last few times I've been at REI I notice they have what a backpacking 
coffee grinder.. No clue about quality, but it looks OK.
Ira
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4) From: Sam49
It depends on how you will be camping.
At a base camp with some storage and supplies each night and morning, or 
out backpacking away from base camp for several days making weight and 
space a real factor?
When we went out to Utah from Maryland in 06 I was at the van every 
night (4WD Vanagon Syncro) even out from Moab.  So I took my burr 
grinder, a lexan press, and whole beans from my local roaster.  I had an 
inverter to hook to the battery for AC power for a variety of needs - 
the grinder, the laptop (particularly to dump pictures from the 
cameras),  charge the phones / camp lights, run lighting at times, etc.  
Clearly our camping wasn't very primitive and we slept in the van not a 
tent.
I thought about buying and grinding a few days worth at spots along the 
way but decided I wanted the freshly roasted and freshly ground beans 
every day.  Otherwise, most of our cooking supplies were rather basic.
I brew almost exclusively in a press anyway, so the choice of brewing 
device was a no-brainer once I saw the lexan press at REI.
I would have preground at least periodically if I had been going out 
backpack camping.
Have fun.
Sam
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5) From: Greg Hollrigel
I purchased a Zass grinder in the past year.  I've been happy with it and am
glad I made the purchase.   I will use it when I camp.
Greg
On Wed, Mar 18, 2009 at 9:29 AM, Ira  wrote:
<Snip>
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6) From: Jeff Kilpatrick
Sean-
I have a super cheap manual grinder I found in a health foods store that I
use for camping.  Basically, I want something that I'm not afraid to break
or lose.  It just needs to produce some sort of grind.  After all, beggars
can't be choosers in the backcountry.
As far as the GSI JavaGrind goes (the one REI carries), it seems to get
almost universally poor reviews (see
here
and
note the review of a Moka pot user and another who prefers Zass).  You might
be better of banging rocks together.
Good luck!
On Wed, Mar 18, 2009 at 11:29 AM, Ira  wrote:
<Snip>
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7) From: Demian Ebert
If we're car camping, I'll just take the regular glass FP (packed in a milk
crate with a little bubble wrap protects it in the truck) and a zass. The SM
valve bags of coffee complete the equipment. I have an inverter, but it only
takes a few moments to grind enough for a FP in the zass and can be easily
done while water heats on the stove. For backpacking, I'll grind before we
go and take bags of that, plastic cones, and filters.
I had a lexan FP from REI and the seals along the edge of the screen gave up
after a few months. They got all sticky and gross, then started leaking
grounds into the coffee. Not worth it in my mind. Once the seal's gone, the
whole thing is worthless.
Demian
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8) From: raymanowen
" I'm prepared to spend some money on new stuff, but not a lot. Would you
all agree that, if I must choose, the priority should be... a manual
grinder?
Does anyone have a recommendation?"
A. - Don't start the whole project seeking to throw money at it. The money
will be spent, and the results may be satisfactory to You- or not. Too many
variables, even for a fixed operation.
B. - Using your present grinder, grind coffee for the excursion individually
into sandwich ZipLoc bags. Before you close the seal on each bag, toss in a
few small flakes of dry ice from the grocery store- Not for the cold, but
for the CO2 that's released as it absorbs heat.
You can carry several of these sandwich bags in a larger ZipLoc, stuffed
into your back pack. Best if you orient them all so that the seals are at
the top, since the dense CO2 will tend to fill the bags like water and block
the ingress of O2.
Vacuum packing is a hassle you don't need, since the lower internal pressure
is always begging the O2 to find the tiniest leak and enter to violate your
coffee, ground or whole beans.
C. - I haven't yet had the pleasure of an Aeropress brew, but it wouldn't
exact much of a weight penalty. You're neither a Logger nor a G I going into
the woods with a 100+ pound duffel bag of stuff. Try a minimalist adventure
for the pure pleasure, and bring the View Camera and Darkroom later in the
Winnebago.
Cheers, Mabuhay and good hiking -RayO, aka Opa!
Got Grinder?
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9) From: Tim TenClay
If you're just going for a week and camping, I'd just grind before going -
if you bring a grinder, even a small Zassenhaus Knee Mill (which i use every
day and absolutely LOVE) you end up adding quite a bit of space and weight.
As someone has already mentioned, the bags (with valve) sold by Sweet
Maria's work great.  The bags work fine half-filled, just squeeze out the
extra air (also, they come in a couple of sizes) and hold up well for a
week.  (Also, no need to vacuum seal them, the "ziplock" style closure works
well).
I have traveled with an AeroPress and love it, but you can't make it into a
soft sided cup well, it doesn't work with paper cups and you need filters.
I DO actually use it frequently, but I'd recommend one of those little metal
thingies that you put the grounds in and pour the water into - like a
tea-basket.  Tom used to sell a "Swiss Gold One Cup Brewer" (KF300) that was
great.  There are othe options.
A mokka pot woud be great (although heavy compared to other options) and may
or may not work depending on your camping stove (some simmer well, others
don't).
I would spend much.  You are, after all, camping ;-)
Grace and peace,
  `tim
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Rev. Tim TenClay, NATA #253
Dunningville Reformed Church (www.dunningville.org)
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