We traveling coffee drinkers face quite the challenge. If we rely on what's out there, we are at the mercy of fate and may end up with anything from the convenience stores's burned-out toxic sludge or the $5 option that, while good, we always resent because it's $5. And I'm not even that picky about the blend, I just want it to be made properly.
Even a retail coffee source that proves reliable in most cases is still highly variable - yeah, I'm talking about you, Krispy Kreme - though it's easier to forgive a disappointing brew when it's accompanied by a glazed donut or two. Or a dozen. And let's not revisit the horrors of making your own in a hotel room. Blech! Instant coffee? Puleeeze!
In fact, if I had to choose one single reason why RV travel is superior to other forms of travel, I would have to say - you can always get a good cup. Always. Ditto wine, bed linen, and food.
For camping, we always used a stovetop percolator. This worked pretty well except that one must be diligent while making a pot. One moment's distraction could lead to boiling the water. Once it boils, forget it, the result will be burned and bitter. Let's just say I've "outgrown" this method as I'm easily distracted these days. In fact, soon I'll reach the point where it will be unsafe for me to be left unatended.
However, the french press will been my next experiment should the Melitta Coffee Cone, which I received yesterday, prove disappointing. Here's a video to show you how it's done.
When I ordered the cone from amazon.com, I was hopeful yet apprehensive, because it all just seemed too simple. And the price was right which is usually a red flag - $5 - about the cost of one Starbuck's skinny latte. The price included the cone and five #2 filters.
I have to say initial results are promising though my technique may take some tweaking.
For the first cup, I filled my over-sized mug with water and poured it in the tea kettle. A whistling tea kettle for which aforementioned distractions become a non-issue. I then measured out a heaping tablespoon of coffee into the filter. Result: too weak.
The second cup was almost a 10.0 because this time I measured out 2/3 of a mug of water and the same amount of coffee. I think my third cup will be the winner when I used a really heaping tablespoon of coffee. Naturally, since the water was boiling, the coffee was piping hot enough that I was able to add a pretty large amount of cold milk which made the temperature just right. Ahhhh!
Other advantages to the Melitta cone are: it makes a single cup so nothing's wasted, it's about as lightweight as an item can be, it's not going to break unless it gets stepped on, it's handy to have about the house in case of electrical outage, and it's all-in-one design means I won't need both a coffee maker and a tea kettle. And, it goes without saying, it makes an effective ice-scraper:
(The odd thing to me about this is not that he used the cone in this way, but that he documented the event in order to share it with the world).
Well, I know we all have our favorite ways to attain that elusive perfect cup on the road. Want to share yours?