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Backpacker Magazine – May 2008

Better to the Last Drop

A hiker cannot live on water alone. Next time out, try these coffee, tea, and wine updgrades.

by: Kristine Hansen

CoffeeTea | Wine

Status quo
Crumpled bags of Good Earth from the early '90s

Upgrade Loose-leaf tea or pyramid-shaped bags

Savory Loose tea's longer leaves contain more oils, which heighten their flavor and aroma. Store leaves in a protective, airtight, opaque container, and let them steep for several minutes. To brew in a mug or thermos, place the leaves in a stainless-steel top filter like the Liquid Solutions Lucy, ($6, The GSI Outdoors H2jO ($10, does the same with wide-mouth water bottles. For more flexibility, the spoonlike Cup.pour.ri infuser ($5.50, can be stirred in any container.

Improved Pyramid-shaped tea bags, like Celestial Seasonings Saphara line ($7,, have more volume for mixing whole leaves and hot water.

Coffee | Tea | Wine

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Reader Rating: Star Star Star


Star Star Star Star Star
Sep 26, 2013

I have used the Press-Bot coffee press on all my trips for many years. The Press-Bot is super reliable and, I believe, it brews the absolute best trail coffee.

Kevin Conard
Dec 31, 2009

I love the Java Press that GSI makes. It has come in handy on several canoe trips to the boundary waters.

I've been wanting to try the mugmate also. Looks like a wonderful option when you want to go ultra light.

Try some of our fresh roasted coffees at Order Blue Jazz Java or CuppaJane brand. We also carry soup packets, cider and hot cocoa that pack very well.

Sorry for the shameless promotion.

Philip E. Ankrom
Dec 31, 2009

I too was impressed with the French Press until I tried the AeroPress. It is lighter, more compact and by far the best tasting coffee at home or on the trail. It makes espresso and you just add enough water for your taste all in 30 seconds after the water is hot. Easy clean up as well and the filters can be cleaned, dried and reused, if needed. And I don't work for them.

Kindle McGuinness
Dec 31, 2009

No gadgets for me.
I used one of these for a year and then found Starbucks Via!

Only need hot water now.
Strong coffee - 1 packet and 8 oz water
Great coffee - 1 packet and 20 oz of water

Too easy and too light in the pack.
Just replacing this gadget with Starbucks Via, I can now make over 20 pots of coffee for the weight saved and that does not even consider the weight savings for the grounds.

Jay Burkhardt
Jan 14, 2009

MSR Mugmate! Been using it for years.

Aug 11, 2008

I use a Merlitta One Cup cone. Not as compact as an H2Joe, but still lightweight (~1oz) and makes great coffee. And alot more lightweight than a dedicated french press.

Jul 30, 2008

This is a better site:
You can definitely skip the condensed milk.

Jul 30, 2008

The BEST (that I use): Vietnamese coffee makers. The very lightweight slow-drip systems are the best. They make very strong coffee and are easy to carry. Plus they only cost $2 - $5

Ron in Iowa
Jul 18, 2008

I agree with the cone filter method and have used it for years. I have a java press but it takes a fair amount of cleaning each time and water. I use unbleached paper filters, small ground coffee sealed packs and I save and dry the old filter and coffee and burn them to keep away insects at night. A small oatmeal lid fits on the filter that allows me to pack the filters and coffee inside the cone. It is one of those treats that goes along way in making a sunrise/sunset perfect.

Matt in Tempe
Jun 20, 2008

I find the best overall solution is to use a cup-at=a=time cone with small cone-shaped filters. The cone is made out of plastic, so it's ultra-lightweight and won't break like a glass press might. Pour water that's just below the boiling point onto grounds that you put in the filter, and the coffee filters through the cone right into your cup.


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