May 6, 2007 at 8:41 pm #1223114
Coffee is a non-neogtiable luxury for me. I've been experimenting with a variety of ways to make it light, easy to prepare, and now, easy to pack out (no putting the gounds in a campfire in a "blue zone" because campfires aren't allowed). The latest, yet to be tried test is to use Starbucks Esspresso Pods for a do-it-yourself 'americano' coffee. I'm curiuous about whether anyone else has tried this and what your results were.
These little gems are essentially coffee packed into a tiny disk-shaped tea bag. They're light and can be carried out in a ziplock. I'm concerned that because they are so dense that without the high-pressure water system, I'm going to get something more like tea than coffee, and I'm wondering about the durability of the tea-bag. Will it tear too easily and leave me with a mess of grounds I can't possibly port out with me?
I have scoured the web looking for other reviews or use of other brand's coffee pods. Nada. Everyone wants me to haul a portable espresso machine. Turkish style coffee suits me fine, but if I can get my fix with less mess, I'm going to be very happy.
-KimMay 6, 2007 at 8:51 pm #1388354
Douglas FrickBPL Member
@otterLocale: WyomingMay 6, 2007 at 9:16 pm #1388361
hmm. I did a search and didn't see anything about using Starbucks Espresso pods in particular. I'll look again. Othewise, my standby strategy works well.May 6, 2007 at 10:16 pm #1388369
@cbertLocale: N. California
though not specifically the starbucks kind
i put them in the water before heating then stirred it after – seemed to work well
i tore open after & buried the grounds
carried the paper out
it's a pretty easy solution
if you want to carry the whole shebang back you can dry them in the sun first, then they don't need to be in a baggieMay 7, 2007 at 10:50 am #1388409
@ling_jdLocale: columbus ohio
You can set the used tea/coffee bag up against your heated windscreen the next time you use your stove to dry it out super fast. I've done this with tea bags, and it's amazing how quick it works, as long as your flames aren't too wild.
Also, if you do end up giving the pods from Starbuck's a try, please post a review for the rest of us. I am also interested in UL coffee solutions other than java juice.May 7, 2007 at 11:07 am #1388411
So I experimented with the espresso pods this morning and the results of the first test are not all that encouraging.
The espresso is packed so tight that there's not a lot of H20 flow. I ended up with espresso tea.
I'm going to try boiling a pod so see if the bubbling action gets better results. Some people feel that boiling your coffee ruins it. I'm not sure I agree in all instances. For example, my standard car-camping version is turkish coffee, which requires boiling (extra-finely ground espresso, cardamom, and a pinch of sugar). The required foamy head is a result of boiling, and sugar caramelizes along the way. But it's messy and not a pack-it-out option (In some fragile desert areas you're not even allowed to dig cat holes. Pack it out means *everything*).May 7, 2007 at 11:12 am #1388412
This might be the solution!
Make Your Own Coffee Pods
by John Wolf
Do you really like your pod coffee maker, but wish you could use your favorite brand of coffee instead of paying a premium price for a mediocre blend — just because it is shaped like a pod? Why not make your own?
Read how here:
http://www.ineedcoffee.com/04/coffeepods/print.aspMay 7, 2007 at 5:44 pm #1388474
Tom KirchnerBPL Member
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
I second Douglas's Java Juice suggestion. You might consider trying one packet just to see if its taste agrees with you. The upside is simplicity. Heat water to drinking temp(boiling or near boiling is unnecessary) add the contents of the 1/2 oz. foil packet and, VOILA!!, CAFFEINE!! in what is IMHO a very nice cup of coffee. No grounds to deal with, only a nearly weightless foil packet. The only potential downside that I can see is price, $1.29/packet at REI, which usually uses the MSRP. If
you are near an REI, you can buy by the dozen from them and get a good discount-can't remember the exact amount. It's worth a try, unless you're absolutely determined to have espresso/Turkish coffee, both of which are fraught with complications in a backcountry setting. Good luck.May 7, 2007 at 5:53 pm #1388477
Thanks for the suggestion. I'ved tried the javajuice and find it unsatisfying,but better than some of the other options. But I have news….
The starbucks espresso pods suck for making coffee without an espresso machine. Boiling was useless.
Maxwell House and Folgers single serve coffee pods are barely worth mentioning. So that drove me to sample a few other brands.
I am pleased to announce there is a make-do solution for those of you near a Target superstore: Archer Farms (Target brand) individually wrapped coffee pods come in French Roast (and assorted bastardized flavors). These are straight up solid. I haven't found them in espresso roast, but maybe they're out there somewhere.
Detailed results: These need to steep for a good 5-8 minutes for flavor approaching good dark roasted coffee, but these are far superior to going without coffee at all.
I drink my coffee black — those of you who prefer cream and/or sugar may feel they're just as good as anything you've tried.
The bags are strong and will handle being pushed around the cup a bit.
Box of 16 pods is $3.99. That's .25 cents a cup. Not bad!
Just went looking to see if there is an espresso roast out there and found this site with a bunch of user reviews.
http://www.singleservecoffee.com/archives/000932.phpMay 7, 2007 at 5:59 pm #1388478
David GoodyearBPL Member
I have to have my coffee in the morning. It is my "one" bad habit. Java juice is good for me, but it is strong. My buddy uses Pres n Brew empty tea bags and fills them with flavored coffee and it works great. You can get them really cheap from: Mountainroseherbs.com. You just seal the end with an iron after you fill it with you favorite coffee or tea. I think I got 50 for $5.
Here is the actual link the site is confusing:
http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/tea_tool/infusers.phpMay 7, 2007 at 6:00 pm #1388480
@kdesignLocale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Thank you for your research, Kim.
I have never really been pleased by my various UL coffee strategies but hope springs eternal.
Dark Roast and the blacker the better!May 7, 2007 at 6:11 pm #1388486
@cbertLocale: N. California
how much coffee did you have in the last 24 hours?!
(btw apparently the homonym for "dam" is unpostable)May 7, 2007 at 6:16 pm #1388488
I threw a lot of coffee out…. it's like wine tasting. You only need a sip (if it looks dark enough to bother tasting) to know whether you've brewed something worth finishing. :-)May 7, 2007 at 6:16 pm #1388489
@jbairdLocale: Deleware Watergap A_T
Gonna try it Kim. Your the best.
"make-do solution for those of you near a Target superstore: Archer Farms (Target brand) individually wrapped coffee pods come in French Roast (and assorted bastardized flavors). These are straight up solid"May 7, 2007 at 7:21 pm #1388505
David GoodyearBPL Member
Great research Kim.
How light are these pods. You've got my brain going now. If they are lighter than a tea bag and make a good cup of jo, then it might be worth looking at.
DaveMay 7, 2007 at 7:57 pm #1388509
But pretty darn light — grams heavier than a tea-bag perhaps, but not ounces (not a scientific statement). The pod is 2.75" round and weighs about as much as double stuff oreo when damp. By math on the box, each is 8 grams, including the foil.
The foil packet is 4" square and has an air bubble. The pods themselve could be removed and put in a ziplock to lose the weight of the foil.May 9, 2007 at 9:38 pm #1388809
I've tried two things recently that worked pretty well.
I have used a press bot, which makes really good coffee, but you have to use a lot of water to clean up, and it weighs 2 oz plus the nalgene bottle. I decided that it was worth taking if there would be at least two of us drinking the coffee. I use it in my office at work rather than a 4 cup coffee maker because it makes good coffee, even with the cheap stuff. My main complaint is the amount of filtered water you have to use to clean out the bottle.
In the past I have used one of those pour through filters that turned out ok and the coffee singles which never ever make a good cup. They have two things going against them, the coffee sucks and there isn't enough of them. I bought some of those pods on sale a few months back and they were better, but still not a real cup of coffee.
One thing I tried last weekend at home, and will try in the field this weekend is unfilled tea bags.
Target had 100 count packages of large (pot sized) unfilled tea bags for $2. I was able to use more coffee (about 1.5 as much as I would use in my adc machine) and get a pretty good cup of coffee. You have some waste to pack out, but it isn't much.
Hope this helps.
dzMay 10, 2007 at 5:36 am #1388833
Phil BartonBPL Member
Kim, after 3 years of trial and error, I've landed on modified cowboy coffee for a good backcountry brew. In BPL magazine, Issue 6, Mike Clelland has a superb article on this subject. He compares a half dozen or so different techniques. I agree with his observation that a French press is the best. If you're with a group of 4 it's a reasonable amount of weight. I have a lexan version made by GSI that weighs about 11 oz. before modifications.
But for solo use, I've been disappointed with numerous previous trials – the Folgers bags, pods, many types of instant, and Java Juice (far better than the rest).
In the modified cowboy coffee technique simply toss the grounds into a pot of boiling water. Cover the pot and set it aside for 3-5 minutes. A pot cozy (<1 oz. for my SP900) is handy here. After steeping, stir the coffee with a stick to encourage the grounds to settle some. Then pour the coffee into your mug or styrofoam cup through a mesh filter. I use the MSR Mugmate. It produces an excellent cup of coffee. For a very small weight penalty (the Mugmate without lid weighs 0.63 oz. on my scale) you can have a darned good cup of coffee.May 10, 2007 at 7:09 am #1388844
Mina LoomisBPL Member
@elmvineLocale: Central Texas
I, too, have been using finely ground coffee from home, stirring it into the boiled water in the pot, and after steeping, pouring it through an MSR filter into cups. Works very well, tastes great, and, another advantage–I can bring my own favorite coffee from home, and it can be Fair Trade coffee. The disadvantage, as compared to a contained method like instant packets or pods, is that there are coffee grounds all over the inside of the pot and the MSR, even after emptying most of the grounds into a trash ziplock. Rinse water can be broadcast, but sometimes bear rules or other rules prevent this. No real disadvantage to the MSR retaining grounds day-to-day, though. And if my companions don't notice the residue in the pot before it's mixed with the next meal, then I get away with that…
In my mind the biggest advantages of this method are: I get the coffee I like, it can be Fair Trade, and I don't have all that packaging. Now if I could just learn to drink it black to eliminate the cream (curdles after 2 days)/creamer (ick!)/small can of evaporated milk (heavy)/powdered milk (yuck)problem!May 10, 2007 at 8:01 am #1388849
Tasters Choice now markets instant coffee singles. No, its not brewed coffee, but it tastes okay and the only thing left is the foil pouch.May 10, 2007 at 12:09 pm #1388880
@jackflLocale: New England
Good coffee – the holy grail. It's okay to eat mucilagenous sluge out of a baggie – but don't mess with the bean!
I'm with Phil on the cowboy coffee. Back in the days when pots had bails (remember?) I'd do the side-arm swirl to settle the gounds; centripedal force is the ticket. Now I add a drab of cold water and then bang the side of the pot to settle the grounds. If you're careful decanting, you don't get more than trace levels of grounds in your mug. If you're less than careful, it builds charactor and provides an extra jolt.
When I don't want to bother, I use an Italian instant expresso (Medaglia D'Oro), which I think is about as good as instant gets at a price that doesn't demand selling the gold mine.
Regarding disposing of grounds – I always blend them into forest duff…same with tea leaves. I'm curious about people's thoughts about disposal.May 11, 2007 at 5:04 am #1388949
@mataharihikerLocale: NW Wisconsin
Like drip coffee that tastes great…use these…they are very geeky cool..best for those that have a kettle as some sort of directional flow control is necessary to pour water into the filter and not collapse the sides…I buy the "mug size"…
http://www.onefreshcup.com/product.aspMay 11, 2007 at 5:04 am #1388950
@mataharihikerLocale: NW Wisconsin
Sorry, double post so I edited it to mention the sale…by the way, I like both the Sumatra and Antigua…May 16, 2007 at 11:54 am #1389420
So we used the pods this week in Coyote Gulch and the consensus is thus: Use two pods for a very good cup of brewed coffee. You can get a pretty good 2nd cup with a refill of hot h20. No fuss, no muss!
P.S. I LOVE Medaglia D'Oro. I grew up on it and I use it for car camping. I add ground cardamom and a wee bit of sugar to the can for an excellent turkish coffee. Boiling the coffee to a head three times settles the grounds at the bottom of the pot and you get a very, very smooth cup of espresso style coffee. Boiling makes the flavor a bit rough and bitter, but a hint o' sugar smoothes it out — says a die-hard black coffee drinker.May 16, 2007 at 2:28 pm #1389434
@kdesignLocale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Cool—thanks for being the lab rat on this, Kim. :-)>
I must try it.
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