A great cup of coffee is something we really look forward to in the morning, whether we’re at home or bike touring.
Sadly, most of our attempts at making great coffee while camping haven’t been that successful.
We’ve had a lot of watery coffee, and we’ve had great coffee, but from coffee makers that were either too heavy and bulky (like the stove-top version in the photo) or too expensive to consider taking on tour.
Our best results up until now were with the coffee sock we picked up in Thailand. This cloth filter held around a metal ring made reasonable coffee, although it took quite a bit of water to clean the filter properly, and then we had to find a place to put the wet sock to dry.
So, when we recently read about Stephen Lord’s coffee-making technique without any gadgets – just a pot – we had to try it. The technique is really simple, and is a variation on the classic “cowboy coffee” that has been popular with campers and outdoor people for decades.
Start by putting the ground coffee in a pot (we use one heaping spoonful for each cup of coffee, plus 1 extra).
Next you pour the cold water in the pot.
Put the coffee on the stove and bring it almost to a boil. At this stage, the coffee is at the top and forms a sort of skin over the water. It looks more like chocolate cake batter than coffee. Just as the coffee is coming to a boil (you see the bubbles coming through the coffee), take the pot off the stove.
Stir it and watch the coffee clarify.
Now, put the coffee back on the stove and bring it almost to a boil. Stir again.
Once you’ve stirred the coffee 3 times, it’s ready! There’s nothing more to it than that. You can see in this picture, how clear the coffee is.
And that’s it: perfect camp coffee, without any fuss or muss. At the very bottom of the pot, there are some grounds. This means you can’t drink the last few spoonfuls of the coffee, but you can drink very nearly to the bottom.