Coffee In the Wilderness By Guest Contributor Michael Restivo
The Bialetti is an Italian icon. It’s the iconic metal pot that has a revered place in pop culture. The Bialetti is unique in the fact that the pressure is pushed up from under the pot, resulting in a creamier, thicker, and more caffeine rich blend than drip coffee. The Bialetti breaks into three parts, the bottom pot, the middle filter and the top chamber so it’s very easy to break and stow away. To use, the bottom pot gets filled with water while the coffee grinds are inserted onto the middle filter and then set between the water and the screwed on top chamber. As the water heats up over the fire, the pressure pushes upwards through the beans, and only the pure essence of the coffee flows off the top. The Bialetti can make coffee in different ways, those who like theirs creamier take their pot off sooner while others can opt for the “Americano” style, the thick espresso with a splash of water over the top.
The outdoor industry is creating products that make campsite coffee tastier, easier to make, and easily transportable. Everything from coffee making bags with built in filters to an
ultra light drip strainer that goes over the pot, companies are addressing the need for improved creature comforts at the campsite. One of my favorite devices is the portable French press that attaches easily to a small canteen. Using lightweight materials, the same methods that we use to enjoy luxury coffees indoors are now widely available at the campsite.
One of the most portable and efficient ways of making outdoor coffee is instant. For coffee snobs, the instant variety can be looked down upon but some varieties such as my favorite, the Starbucks Via, have been just as good as the real thing. They come in small packets so they are lightweight, extremely portable and multiple can be stuffed for big multiday trip. For additional amenities such as sugar and milk, sugar can be easily packed into small plastic bags while milk is great in a canned condensed or powdered variety. It might not be the same as at home, but it will be familiar and comes plenty close. One of the newest inventions I had the pleasure to try recently are JIVA Cubes, small cubes of pressed coffee and cane sugar that come in a variety of flavors.
They’re extremely small, extremely portable and they dissolve into hot water in about three minutes.
Modern conveniences have made campsite coffee tastier, more portable, and easier to make than ever before. Of course in choosing how to prepare location and logistics come into play, but from the better instant varieties, the smaller disassembling pots, and the home conveniences made for an outdoor environment, that warm cup of happiness that opens an adventurous day is made that much easier.
Michael Restivo is a writer and adventurer from Seattle. He writes for his own blog, Mike Off The Map and encourages living an active, healthy, and outdoor lifestyle while inspiring people to travel and find adventure. He is a passionate climber and aspiring alpinist who can be found exploring new walls, hiking trails or planning the next adventure.