Zen and the Art of Pour-Over Camp Coffee
You’re better than cowboy coffee.
Coffee is the best reason to wake up each day—and in the backcountry, a morning cup of Joe can be a
If you’re willing to go the extra mile for your daily caffeine fix, here’s everything you need to know to make a great cup of pour-over coffee using our collapsible X-Brew coffee dripper.
Whether you’re an Arabica kind of guy or a Robusta kind of girl, one thing is for sure—the fresher the roast, the better.
Most coffee beans should be consumed within two weeks of being roasted (or when the vacuum-sealed bag is opened). After that, they’ll lose a lot of flavor.
The grind of your coffee beans can make or break the end result. If the grind is too fine, your coffee will taste bitter. Too coarse, and your coffee will be weak and sour.
For the X-Brew pour-over coffee dripper, we recommend a medium to fine grind to get optimal extraction from your coffee beans. If you don’t own a good coffee grinder, you can ask your local barista to hook you up with the right coarseness when you buy your beans.
Like wine, coffee begins to oxidize as soon as you grind it—so try and get your coffee beans ground as close to your hiking/camping trip as possible.
For our X-Brew, we recommend the following coffee-to-water ratio:
1 cup coffee = 15g fresh grounds and 250ml hot water
The aim of the game with pour-over coffee is to keep the flow of water slow and consistent—some people pour in concentric circles to achieve this.
When you first pour in the hot water, you’ll notice it starts bubbling up. This is called the ‘bloom’ and is the carbon dioxide that builds up during the coffee roasting process. Carbon dioxide can repel water and impact the extraction process, so you want to give this a chance to subside. Saturate your coffee grounds with around twice the amount of water to coffee and wait 30-45 seconds until the gasses are gone. Then begin pouring—slow and steady.
To get the most out of your grinds, you can stir them in the water.
To maximize freshness and flavor, store in a cool, dark place (around 68-77°F). Besides compromising the flavor of the brew, the oils in coffee can turn rancid if not stored properly. Oxygen, light, heat and moisture are the enemies here, so choose an airtight, opaque container—or a resealable plastic bag stored in a dry sack. Try to find a storage space in your pack that has a consistent temperate. And don’t store it near your old socks either—coffee is hygroscopic and absorbs moisture and odors easily. Vom.
ADJUST TO TASTE
This one’s pretty simple—change the water-to-coffee ratio until the coffee tastes right for you. Weak, watery coffee needs more coffee grounds. Too strong? Reduce amount of coffee. Keep track until you find the perfect ratio.