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Test Kitchen: Coffee

We perked more than 100 caffeinated cups to find the best trail-brew technique. Here’s how to choose your method, gear, and grounds.

Tested: Water Temp

Brewing the perfect cup isn’t all about the beans. The ideal temperature for extracting coffee’s flavors—without leeching bitterness—is between 195℉ and 205℉.

If you’re camped at sea level, where water boils at 212℉, let bubbling water rest for a minute before adding it to grounds. If you’re brewing at elevations between 3,500 and 9,000 feet, you can pour boiling water straight into your filter or press.

Above 9,000 feet? Leave your coffee kit at home and bring a quality instant instead. At that elevation, water’s boiling temp is below 195℉, so it never gets hot enough to extract subtle flavors.

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