If you’re fond of going outdoors to hike, camp, or travel, having a handy coffee maker with you can greatly make the whole experience a lot better. But how do you exactly make coffee in the great outdoors without electricity? Let’s find out what, why, and how to use different types of campfire coffee makers.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Campfire Coffee Maker
When it comes to choosing a campfire coffee maker, it is important to keep in mind that you will not use it in the safety and comfort of your home but rather use it in the middle of the great outdoors. With that, here are some of the things that you should consider when you’re choosing a campfire coffee maker or a campfire coffee pot.
When it comes to anything that you would bring on outdoors or on an adventure, one of the first things you should consider is the device’s portability. The coffee maker’s size and design should be compact enough to be comfortably and safely packed in a backpack without being unnecessarily heavy and bulky.
Material and Durability
Again, when it comes to tools that you would use outdoors, durability is also one thing you should consider. For campfire coffee makers and coffee pots, the material should also be a good conductor of heat to faster boil water without damaging the rest of the tool. Thus, a reliable campfire coffee maker should be made using steel, metal, or glass material.
Making a Campfire Right
Even before discussing what and how to use a campfire coffee maker, one of the first things you should look into first is how to build the right fire for campfire coffee. Unlike cooking or grilling, campfire coffee requires a more subtle campfire that would heat the coffee but not entirely burn the rest of your coffee pot or coffee maker. Here are the steps on how to create a campfire suitable for campfire coffee:
- Set up a good amount of wood and coal to start a fire.
- Let the mound burn for a few minutes without adding any other wood or coal to the pile.
- Once the mound starts to die down, rearrange the pile and create a small bed of hot coals.
- Choose several coal pieces that are glowing bright and create a small circle good enough for a coffee pot or coffee maker to sit on top of it steadily.
Different Ways How to Make Camping Coffee
Now that you have a bed of burning hot coal, it is now time to make camping coffee. However, there is a wide range of ways to create quality campfire coffee using different tools and recipes.
Cowboy Camping Coffee
Considered as the traditional or original recipe for camping coffee, cowboy camping coffee is considered a staple of Americana since the Boston Tea Party in 1773. With a simple and straightforward brewing method, here is how you make cowboy coffee:
- On your campfire, place your coffee pot with water to make it boil.
- Per 1 ½ cups of water, add a teaspoon of coarse ground coffee.
- Let the coffee pot heat up on top of the coal bed.
- If possible, periodically place a thermometer on the coffee pot to check the brewing temperature and ensure that it stays somewhere between 200 to 205 degrees F.
- Keep in mind that the brew time for campfire coffee would take notably longer because of the heat source’s inconsistency. Regardless, keep in mind never to let the pot boil to avoid a burnt aftertaste.
- If a thermometer is not available, remove the pot from the heat by the time the brew at the boil’s first signs.
- After that, add a shot of cup water to the brew and allow the grounds to settle at the bottom of the pot for at least 5 minutes before pouring a cup to enjoy.
Percolator Camping Coffee
Using a percolator coffee maker instead of a simple coffee pot can help decrease the possibility of residual coffee grounds from mixing into the brew. Here’s how you use a percolator in making campfire coffee:
- Remove the percolator apparatus and fill the pot with cold water and reinsert the apparatus back.
- Fill the basket with one tablespoon of coarse ground coffee per cup of water.
- Reinstall the grounds cover and secure the lid of the percolator. Make sure to insert and align the siphon stem with the sight-glass properly.
- On medium heat, let the pot brew until the first eruption of water through the siphon is visible in the percolator’s sight-glass.
- Once that happens, you have the choice to decrease the heat and let the pot brew a bit more or to remove the pot and let it sputter completely.
- Once off the heat, carefully remove the percolator apparatus and let the residual grounds settle at the bottom before serving.
Aside from using a quality campfire coffee maker, there are several other things that you should remember whenever you brew a cup of coffee outdoors, regardless of the brewing method that you use. With that, it is important to use high-quality coffee grounds and to grind your coffee beans right before you use them. Grinding your coffee just before brewing helps maintain the beans’ quality as the air exposure degrades the beans any longer.
Lastly, keep in mind to closely watch your pot and never boil your camping coffee. Ideally, the optimal brewing temperature is somewhere between 200 to 205 degrees F, and anything above can create a burnt taste for the brew. Know more about coffee makers.