Summer is upon us and the mountains are calling. If you’re anything like our staff at Himalayan Coffee Importers, your calendar is already booked for the next few months with climbing, hiking, biking, backpacking, and... well we could go on but let's leave it at that for now.
As you prepare to head into the wild though, we wanted to take a minute to talk about something many folks get wrong, making great coffee on the trail. It may seem like tedious work, but making great brew on the trail is actually easier than you’d think, and besides, who wants a crummy cup of instant coffee while watching a beautiful sunrise in the mountains?
As a coffee company born with the spirit of the Himalayan mountains, we wanted to take a second to offer up some essential best practices for how to make great coffee on your overnight mountain excursions this summer.
- Grind up all your beans and store them in a ziplock back the night before. Usually a half pound will last 3 days on the trail.
- Bring a micro towel like the one here, or a few small biodegradable cone paper filters, it will make brewing less of a hassle if you’re going to be making cowboy coffee.
- Consider some small, portable makers. Both the Aeropress and mini Moka are durable, affordable, easy to use, and make espresso-esque cups of coffee. If French Press is more your style, there are many great outdoor options as well.
- Invest in a sturdy and spill-proof mug. Nothing is worse than boiling your water on a small stove or fire for 5 minutes, brewing your coffee, and spilling it after stepping on uneven ground.
- Go slow. You’re on rugged terrain pouring hot water into a small container. Take your time and we promise it’s worth it.
- Settle for instant coffee just because it’s boil, stir, and sip. We get it, instant coffee is lightweight and quick, but you’re strong enough to add the extra half pound of real grounds to your pack.
- Boil or pour hot water on uneven surfaces. Always clear out a small, flat piece of ground for your camping stove and mug before dealing with hot liquids.
- Toss your grounds anywhere. Yes, coffee grounds are biodegradable, but always use "Leave No Trace" practices and dispose of your grounds properly.
We’ve covered a few common do’s and dont's, but now it’s time to talk brewing methods. We could write a lengthy list of instructions, but instead decided to scour the internet for some of the best video tutorials out there to share with you. Each video offers a range of suggestions on methods and coffee makers, and surely there's a right one for you.
So now that you’re armed with a few tips and a myriad of options for on-the-go coffee makers, you’re well on your way to making better backcountry coffee to power your summit filled summer. Climb on and be sure to throw a few of our organic Himalayan sample-sized coffee pouches in your pack while you're at it.