Backcountry Coffee Brewing
There’s nothing quite like a fresh cup of coffee, especially in the Great Outdoors. Backcountry Sunrises and coffee go together like peanut butter and jelly, it would be wrong to enjoy one without the other. Moreover, nothing helps shrug off morning sleepiness like a hot cup of joe, and thanks to a few great products, you can get your fix everywhere from backwoods campsites to the grand overlooks on the trail.
While you could just go the simple route and make cowboy coffee with a tin can full of water and a handful of coffee grounds tossed in and brewed over the fire. It certainly is more gratifying and much more palatable brewing a cup of flavorful java with the portable equipment that offers the ability to make the perfect cup in the backcountry. Below is the coffee brewing gear that I have been utilizing and can strongly recommend to help get you that ideal cup of deep umber delight while being off the grid.
GSI Pinnacle Soloist Complete
The Pinnacle Soloist Complete Stove is GSI Outdoors’ lightweight, compact one-person total cooking solution. Its high-efficiency Pinnacle Stove balances between a fast boil time and reduced fuel usage, and its base plate folds down for compact storage. A control valve allows for micro-adjustments, and the included windscreen delivers reliable use in windy situations.
This set also includes a 1.1L pot with a lid that doubles as a strainer, this holds the perfect amount of water for a coffee or two and a serving of breakfast, the lid doubles as a strainer, and the folding handled locks the entire set together. The 14 oz. insulated mug (bowl) is perfect for keeping coffee hot and preventing you from burning your hands. Completing the kit is the Foon and all of these items pack together and store inside a small bag that doubles as a sink for washing everything up after each meal. MSRP $89.95 gsioutdoors.com
Jetboil Flash Java Kit
The Flash Java Kit bundles the efficient Flash cooking system with the ultra-stowable Coffee Press, which stores perfectly inside the cooking vessel. Unlike classic camp stoves, this self-contained unit eliminates the issues of an open burner and takes the guesswork out of a quick cup of coffee thanks to the Thermochromatic color-change heat indicator on the side. The Jetboil Flash Java cooking system’s in-cup press will make sure you get your morning coffee in about 2 minutes. A neoprene lining encases the cooking cup, keeping coffee warm long after heating and safely allows you to handle the cup even immediately after the water has been brought to a boil. The sip-through lid further helps insulate the coffee and prohibits spills. Finish your coffee, pack the fuel canister inside the insulated mug, and stow the whole lightweight kit away in compact style. MSRP $109.95 jetboil.com
MSR Windburner Personal Stove System
The MSR Windburner Personal Stove’s radiant burner and enclosed, windproof design allows this stove to boil water fast and operate in weather that leaves conventional burners in the cold. Not only will it make your life easier in the backcountry, but it boils water quickly in winds up to 12 miles per hour, saving you fuel on those longer trips where every ounce of weight counts. The integrated cookware with built-in heat exchanger efficiently transfers heat to the lock-on pot so you can enjoy a quick cup of coffee before heading of on the trail. The pot is fitted with an insulated cozy, which helps to prevent burns and has a sturdy carrying handle for when it’s time to pour a piping hot cup of coffee. A plastic lid attaches to the top and is fitted with both a strainer and a drinking spout. The all-in-one system nests inside its pot for easy packing and assembly, leaving more time for you to enjoy your adventure. MSRP $149.95 msrgear.com
Black Rifle Coffee Grinder
When it comes down to whether you want good cup of coffee, or the best cup of coffee you can brew, you will want to start with whole bean coffee, and whole beans require grinding. This is where the Black Rifle Coffee Grinder comes in, pour your favorite gourmet beans into the durable, portable coffee grinder, and start cranking away to bring yourself one step closer to a caffeinated day on the trail. A full grind chamber is enough for a strong brew coffee, and the size of the grinder makes for an easy no spill transfer. MSRP $94.99 blackriflecoffee.com
MSR Coffee Press
The MSR Coffee Press turns the MSR WindBurner Personal Stove System into a rapid, windproof brewing machine. Compatible with WindBurner pots, the press features a durable stainless steel strainer disc and a flexible perimeter gasket that seals out coffee grinds for the freshest and cleanest of brews. The whole piece easily disassembles and lays flat for packing with the other components inside the MSR stove system, so you never have to be without your coffee. MSRP $19.95 msrgear.com
The 30 fl. oz. JavaPress brings the ease and familiarity of your home French Press wherever your adventures may take you. The GSI JavaPress is insulated to keep your coffee warm longer, and at 30 oz. there is enough to share. It is more convenient to use this separate press than one of the specific press accessories that compliment the stoves like the Jetboil and the MSR Windburner. While, those press additions convert the stoves into French Presses which saves space, it does mean that you can’t make your coffee and breakfast at the same time. MSRP $29.95 gsioutdoors.com
There are a lot of ways to make great coffee, but the Aeropress is remarkably consistent. It is ideal for any coffee lover looking for a rich and smooth cup of coffee without acidity or bitterness. With it’s durable, lightweight, and compact design, the AeroPress makes the perfect companion for hiking and camping. If you’re the type of coffee drinker that loves to dial in a perfectly crafted cup in the backcountry, this brewer is a must-have. MSRP $34.99 aeropress.com
GSI Coffee Rocket
The GSI Outdoors Coffee Rocket is a clever, 1-person pour-over coffee maker that collapses to nest inside your favorite mug. The Coffee Rocket includes a removable drip cone, a nesting cup for coffee grounds, stabilizing folding legs, and a filter screen. The folding legs grip nearly any coffee mug and hold the drip cone above the coffee for efficient brewing. A highly effective screen and breather combine to give you a fast, flavorful brew and easy cleanup. MSRP $9.95 gsioutdoors.com
Black Rifle Coffee Collapsible Pour Over
For fast and light packing, the BRCC Collapsible Pour Over Device pour-over brewer is made of high-grade aluminum that is lightweight and compact for easy storage, making this coffee maker an essential component to backcountry morning rituals. It can be broken down into individual pieces for easy transport and rapid deployment. If you are tight on space this little gem slides in just about anywhere. MSRP $29.99 blackriflecoffee.com
Eureka Camp Café
If you are brewing for a group the Eureka Camp Café allows you to make premier pour-over coffee quickly and easily. Nesting together for easy transport and storage, the Camp Café brews 60 ounces of delicious coffee in 6 minutes for the whole crew quickly using the pour-over method, then cleans up in a snap. The 2.5L boiling pot features patented FluxRing technology to increase efficiency and boil water twice as fast as a standard kettle, and with its large volume and included lid strainer, the versatile pot can also be used for making pasta or other cooking needs. The coffee carafe and pour over filter holder pack together with the boiling kettle for easy transportation and storage. The 12 cup carafe gets everyone coffee just when they need it: first thing and fast. With standard #4 filter compatibility, the filter keeps grounds contained, allowing for quick and easy clean up. MSRP $99.95 eurekacamping.com
Great coffee starts with great beans. The quality and flavor of your coffee is not only determined by the brewing process, but also by the type of coffee you select. For a great cup of coffee, there a few things to keep in mind. The closer you can buy the coffee to the roasting date, the better the taste, so buy your “good” coffee in smaller amounts to ensure freshness. Always opt for whole beans if grinding is an option and grind right before brewing as it will allow for the fullest flavor. Below are some of my favorites that I feel pair well trail adventures and campfires.
Black Rifle Coffee Company
Black Rifle Coffee Company is a premium, small-batch, roast-to-order, veteran-owned coffee company. At BRCC, they import high-quality coffee beans from Colombia and Brazil, then they personally blend and roast every one of their coffees and ship them directly to the customer. All BRCC blends are available in whole-bean and ground varieties.
BRCC CAF – CAF is a medium roast that has a well balanced flavor and aroma. This is a roast for the coffee lover who needs the extra wake up call as it contains twice as much caffeine as the average cup of coffee.
BRCC AK Espresso – AK Espresso is a medium to dark roast that is packed full of flavor. A mix of bean varieties from Colombia and Brazil creates a mild and creamy medium/dark espresso roast.
For more information or to purchase some Black Rifle Coffee, visit blackriflecoffee.com
Shock Coffee was conceived by an adventurous and lively entrepreneur, JR. Being an avid coffee drinker and caffeine fiend himself, he realized that there had to be a way to squeeze every ounce of precious caffeine out of the best coffee beans. He set out to find a way to marry the power of energy drinks and the strongest caffeinated all natural coffee. His goal was to wake people up without sacrificing taste, and he succeeded.
Shock Coffee is made with select Arabica and Robusta beans that offers a medium to dark roast blend and delivers a great taste, but more importantly a high dose of caffeine. A word to the wise on this one, brew lightly or start with half a cup, Shock Coffee is very high octane.
For more information or to purchase some Shock Coffee, visit shockcoffee.com
Caveman Coffee is hand picked, wet processed and small batch roasted by a master coffee roaster in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Each bean is grown under the UTZ certification and Rainforest alliance protocols for sustainability and natural growing practices. They are hand picked, only when ripe, and wet-processed for drying. This process produces the highest quality, dried beans for roasting. It preserves the natural flavors and nutrients while cleaning the beans from the fruit and preventing molding and bitterness. The Caveman team imports the beans and roasts them by a master roaster, to produce an unbelievably smooth coffee that is never burnt and maintains the best nutrients for the consumer.
Blacklisted – Blacklisted is a medium full body brew that has a tasteful balance of hints of bright citrus and cocoa.
The Ethiopian – The Ethiopian is a medium bodied coffee. This special coffee is a super-premium selection of beans, picked in Ethiopia and blended to create a harmonious showcase of naturally processed complexity. Jumping out of the cup, you’ll be quick to smell and taste notes of ripe blueberry, succulent cherry and bright citrus, quickly followed by a smooth and satisfying finish.
Mammoth Roast – The Mammoth Roast is a blend of coffees from small family-owned farms in western Colombia, as well as southeastern Brazil. The result is a balanced cup with notes of lemon, chocolate, and the unmistakable nuttiness, characteristic of coffee from South America.
Sabertooth Roast – The Sabertooth Roast is smoky on the nose, with notes of campfire marshmallows, vanilla pipe tobacco, and toasted hazelnuts. It touts a balanced smoothness with a hint of lemon peel on the finish. Great for campfire conversations.
For more information or to purchase some Caveman Coffee, visit cavemancoffeeco.com
Cooper’s Cask Coffee
A Cooper is the name of the age old profession of building wooden casks, or barrels. And Cooper’s Coffee Co. has taken their coffee to the next level, by barrel aging it. Just like wine, bourbon, rum and whiskey are barrel aged to complement the flavors, they have found that barrel aging the unroasted coffee beans in used barrels has enhanced and intensified the natural flavor of the beans. They have skillfully selected a bean with the flavor notes and subtleties that will best match and complement the flavors imparted by the aromas left behind in the empty barrels…A great cup of coffee is good when you can drink it black and notice the subtle flavors of fruits such as berries, or natural sweetness like caramelized sugar, or earthy tones like plum or fresh tobacco. Add the barrel aging and the senses are enhanced to a whole new level.
Uprising Stout Whiskey Barrel Aged Coffee – The Sumatra coffee bean is from the sub-region of Lintong and was chosen because of the complementary tasting notes of woody earth and mild sweet tobacco, with a hint of ripe tropical fruits. When aged in whiskey barrels, the flavor and aroma of the bean is enhanced with the sweetness of vanilla and caramel from the whiskey. When tasted, you get the enriched coffee experience with a very long whiskey finish. Excellent as an espresso.
Battle Cry Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged Coffee – This coffee uses the dry process by means of drying out the cherries under the sun on raised beds instead of the traditional wet processed (cherries stripped off after picking). The dry process intensifies the flavor of the cherry directly into the coffee bean. The flavor profile has a very bright and clean cup with accents of peaches, strawberries, raw red honey, and a touch of dutch chocolate. The Battle Cry whiskey is distilled from a Belgium yeast style beer with grains of malted rye and honey malt. The whiskey complements the coffee with bright spicy flavors and an intense floral nose that is slightly sweet.
Thomas Tew Rum Barrel Aged Coffee – The perfect pairing of the natural dark toffee and molasses of the coffee with the caramel sweetness and slight spiciness of the rum. You will find this coffee to be incredibly smooth. The aroma after a fresh grind gives way to an amazing caramelized sugar and all-spice with a hint of golden raisins. The flavors in the brewed cup continues but deepens into a rich cocoa complexity with notes of spice, vanilla, and oak come into play. An espresso shot intensifies the sweet toffee and spice with a rich cocoa and oak structure.
For more information or to purchase some Cooper’s Cask Coffee, visit cooperscoffeeco.com
Alpha Coffee is a veteran and military-spouse co-owned and operated company dedicated to offering their customers amazing coffee, promoting the warrior lifestyle, providing the highest levels of service, and giving back to our military and veterans. Their coffee is made up of high end Arabica beans grown on small farms, coops, and estates located in the premier coffee growing regions around the world. They take premium quality coffee and meticulously roast it with care and attention to detail, to coax out the nuances, flavors, and aromas of the beans. Using both art and science to ensure delight and consistency.
Dawn Patrol – Dawn Patrol is a medium light roast that is the perfect breakfast blend. It is a smooth and tasty way to wake up and enjoy the sunrise.
Profile: Almond, Milk Chocolate
Warrior Select – Warrior Select is a dark roast that produces an absolutely delicious rich, full flavor. If Alpha Coffee had a house blend, this would be it.
Profile: Bold Dark Chocolate
Task Force Zulu – Task Force Zulu is a medium roast, that you cannot go wrong with. This unique blend of rich honey, floral, and milk chocolate is exactly what you need to start the day in the backcountry.
Profile: Floral, Honey, Cocoa
Double Barrel Black – So you like your java with some kick? Take a blast of this dark roasted black gold. An intense, rugged taste that will grab you and won’t let go… this isn’t for the faint of heart. If you like your java bold and big, this is your blend.
Profile: Smokey Toasted Oak
For more information or to purchase some Alpha Coffee visit alpha.coffee
Kicking Horse Coffee
Once upon a time two young entrepreneurs grew restless of travelling. They wanted more wonder, and less wander. And they figured it was time to settle down and do something. Something big. They picked a product they were passionate about: coffee. They chose the Canadian Rocky Mountains, near Invermere BC as the place where they would live, work and play. In 1996 they got down to the business of hard, hot work; roasting small batches of good coffee beans in their garage, and selling the freshest, best-tasting coffee they possibly could. Though the ‘garage’ has grown bigger and there’s a lot more beans, it’s basically been the same business ever since. Today, Kicking Horse Coffee is still located in Invermere, BC, situated beneath towering Canadian Rocky Mountain peaks.
Kick Ass – Kick Ass is a dark roast that delivers a sweet smoky taste and a wonderful aroma to start the day with.
Aroma: Smoky, sweet vanilla and dark chocolate.
Tasting notes: Chocolate malt, molasses, licorice and an earthy lingering finish.
Recommended brew methods: French press, drip machine, pour over, cold brew.
Grizzly Claw – Grizzly Claw is a dark roast that offers a full bodied rich chocolate finish perfect for pairing with s’mores.
Aroma: Condensed sugar cane and cocoa powder.
Tasting notes: Rich, dark chocolate, cacao nibs, brown sugar and roasted hazelnuts.
Recommended brew methods: French press, drip machine, pour over, cold brew.
For more information or to purchase Kicking Horse Coffee, visit kickinghorsecoffee.com
Bulletproof coffee is sourced from Rainforest Alliance-certified, passive-organic estates, where farmers grow coffee using traditional methods without chemicals. Experienced coffee harvesters hand-pick coffee berries at peak ripeness. After harvesting, they follow the strict Bulletproof Process, and independently screen and lab-test the beans. The cleanest beans are roasted in small batches in the U.S. using a meticulous process that results in the ideal cup of pure coffee. Bulletproof Original coffee is a medium roast that has distinct notes of cinnamon, plum, and orange with a cocoa hazelnut finish, with a clean flavor that goes down smooth every time.
And for all of you that are interested in Keto, follow the directions below to get a smooth creamy fulfilling drink to start your day.
How to Make Bulletproof Coffee at Home
- Step 1: Brew approximately 8 oz of Bulletproof Coffee using your favorite method.
- Step 2: In a high powered blender, add brewed coffee and add 1-2 tablespoons of unsalted butter or Bulletproof Ghee. Add 1 serving of Bulletproof Brain Octane oil or XCT oil – Work your way up to 1-2 tablespoons.
- Step 3 (optional): Before blending, add 1 serving of Bulletproof Collagen Protein for the added benefit of maintaining strong muscles and healthy skin.
- Step 4: Blend until frothy and enjoy!
For more information or to purchase Bulletproof products, visit bulletproof.com