Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Great Camp Coffee Debate


There are few river skills we can share on this site that are not already pretty well known to people who do this kind of thing. However, the RRCC is the first to solve the camp coffee puzzle and now it is TIME to reveal the secret here on the world wide web. But first, we disprove all of the other methods of making coffee out of doors.

COWBOY COFFEE. This is the traditional way. Cowboy coffee is boiled coffee. There is plenty of disagreement over how to settle the grounds, but the first steps are always the same: put on a pot of water, dump half a bag of coffee in, let it boil. To get the grounds to fall out, some say you should splash cold water on the surface, others say dump in egg shells or jam a charred stick from the fire into the pot. But we have learned that cold water makes cold coffee. The egg shellers have to rely on some kind of voodoo recipe to get the grounds out of suspension, and it's obvious where the burned stick idea came from. It's the closest thing to reach for in frustration when you're around the campfire, the same reason golf clubs get thrown on golf courses. The main thing that these methods have in common is they all require straining the grounds with your teeth.
















Here is a famous cowboy coffee recipe:

Bring ½ gallon of water to a rolling boil.
Add 1 pound coffee.
Add horseshoe.
If horseshoe sinks, add more coffee.

COFFEE PERCOLATORS

Cheap, mess kit percolators are found everywhere camping equipment is sold. They are very popular until they get used.












Percolators take forever to percolate. Usually they never do, because the element on the inside doesn't fit flat onto the bottom of the coffee pot which is necessary to draw the water up and over the grounds. When they do draw water, they perk too hard and boil the grounds over into the water (see "Cowboy Coffee," above). And the plastic thingy on top is guaranteed to melt sooner or later, because here is another camping secret: fire melts plastic. The RRCC has melted lots of those plastic things, sometimes for fun sometimes by accident.



















OTHER GADGETS. REI's shelves are full of embarrassing devices for making coffee in the wilderness. They have the “Big Sky Bistro French Press/Travel Mug” the "GSI Lexan Java Press", the "European Style Mini Espresso Maker" the "Tea-zer Tea Tumble" , and our favorite the"Cup.pour.ri One-Cup Coffee Steeper". Go ahead, make some coffee - and make us a pitcher of Bald Pussies while you're at it.



Now. Here is the best way to make coffee on a canoe trip...

Get one of these:














Get a package of #6 of filters...














And a Big Ass Thermos...













Boil some water. Put the filter in the funnel, put the coffee in the filter, put the lime in the cocoanut, pour the boiling water through.

Here are four good reasons why the Rebel Rivers Coffee System ® is the best:

1. It makes the best coffee. It's the same way your coffee maker at home does it.
2. Pouring directly into a thermos keeps the coffee hot all day without a flame so it won't burn or get cooked down to mud. Put the lid on as soon as it's poured through.
3. After breaking camp, throw the thermos in the canoe and paddle with hot coffee. This allows a seamless transition from coffee to beer later in the morning.
4. A thermos is bulky, but not in a canoe. Canoes carry much bigger and heavier items, like Big Daddy Skillets.

Useful tip #1: warm the thermos first by pouring some of the boiling water directly in, then pour it out just before making the coffee.

Useful tip #2: Sometimes it helps to stir the grounds with a stick. It helps the water pour through toward the end when it starts to back up, and it exposes more grounds to the water. Use that charred stick from the fire for stirring if you like fancy chickory flavored coffee.

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