It’s easy to imagine that Ralph Waldo Emerson had camping in mind when he famously said: “Life is a journey, not a destination.”
These words ring especially true when it comes to getting out in the great outdoors – one of those rare occasions when our enjoyment comes from the micro moments that make up the larger experience.
You’ll never forget that hot cup of coffee brewed under towering gums in a national park or the slightly charred sausages cooked over coals next to a babbling brook. Why taint the experience with lacklustre instant coffee when you can enjoy a café quality brew?
All it takes is the right tools and a little pre-planning. Here are 5 tips for the perfect camp side brew from our expert roasters.
- Choose the right brewing equipment
The easiest way to make coffee while camping is to take a portable coffee appliance. There are plenty of options, from the crowd-pleasing Plunger our top pick for camping, the AeroPress Go. No matter which brew option you go for whilst on the move, make sure you’re prepared by checking out these handy brew guides before you set off.
- Pick the right water type
When shopping for your next camping trip you might want to think twice about the water you buy. Bottled water varies wildly in terms of mineral content and pH levels. If in doubt, Campos’ Coffee Program Specialist, Geoff, recommends pairing Campos beans with a bottle of Mount Franklin. Why you ask?
Water is obviously a very important ingredient in brewing a great cup of coffee. It can, as you might expect, impart its own flavour into the coffee you’re making whilst also being the solvent we use to extract flavour from the ground beans. Minerals within water such as calcium and magnesium help extract positive flavours, whilst the alkalinity of water will also influence the acidity of your brew. In blind tests done here at Campos HQ, we found that out of the most commonly available bottled waters, Mount Franklin performed best amongst our team of coffee tasters.
- Buy the right milk
The same rule applies to selecting the best milk pairing for your coffee. Dairy milks in Australia come in 4 main categories – Skim (0%), Lite (~1.5%), Full Cream (~3.5%) and High Fat (~4%). Higher fat contents will deliver a richer, creamier cup of coffee, whilst lower fat contents will have a thinner texture but can sometimes better highlight a coffees unique flavour profile. Alternative milks introduce even more variability as they are often made with different ingredients and ratios within the same milk types.
Pro Tip: it’s generally a safer option to look for milks that have been specifically created for baristas and coffee making, as they will likely have acidity regulators to minimise any curdling/separation. And no one wants that in their cup! We’ve found that Riverina Fresh Full Cream milk pairs perfectly with our Superior Blend if you’re looking for an ideal match to try out on the road.
- Keep your beans fresh
Fresh is best when it comes to coffee beans, as oxidisation and moisture loss can zap the flavour from beans that aren’t stored properly. A mini hand grinder is therefore a handy edition to your camping staples. Alternatively, grind your coffee on the day of departure and store it a quality airtight canister, which helps keep your grounds fresher for longer.
- Dispose responsibly
In line with the rules of ethical camping, responsibly dispose of all coffee grinds and filters. Burying or burning grinds is not recommended, so make sure you take a sealed bag or container for used goods and dispose of them along with the rest of your rubbish.