The Key to Better Camp Coffee

Ever since I was a kid watching my dad and his buddies boil coffee in the duck blind, I’ve though percolating was the best way to make coffee. My parents percolated at home too—at least until drip coffeemakers came around when I was an adolescent. So it goes to figure that when I started drinking coffee in the blind or in camp, I bought a coffee pot with percolator guts and ever since—until I recently discovered an even better way to make camp coffee.

The change came about when I discovered a coffee press at the local outdoor store. I was tired of babysitting the percolator in the blind, making sure it didn't boil over or over-boil the coffee, which results in a bitter brew. The Javapress seemed like a no-hassle solution to making coffee in camp.

GSI makes a couple different models, and there are other brands available as well. All have pretty much the same construction: a main cylinder and a lid fitted with a mesh plunger. They do require a separate vessel for boiling water, so keep that old percolator pot handy. Otherwise, they're easy to use by following these simple steps:

1. Place one tablespoon of coffee per eight ounces of water in the carafe. I’ve found coarse-ground coffee delivers the best combination of flavor and consistency.

2. Fill the carafe to the halfway mark with near-boiling water and stir to make sure all the coffee ground are saturated. Add water until the level reaches about a ½ inch or so from the top of the carafe and set the lid in place with the plunger in the uppermost position.

3. Wait 4 to 6 minutes, then slowly press the plunger down to separate the coffee from the grounds. If you encounter some resistance, pull the plunger up a few centimeters, then continue pushing down until you run out of shaft on the plunger.

4. Let cool slightly, then pour into your favorite camp cup. Bonus points if it’s an old tin camp cup, which seems to make everything from water to whiskey taste better.