Coffee. The real “vitamin C”. Some of us cannot (or refuse to) start our day without it. My work desk has a coffee maker on it. The morning I wrote this article, I got up three times for another cup of coffee. Excessive? Maybe. But let’s not judge. If you appreciate a good cup of fresh hot coffee, and travel or camp, this article is for you.
GSI Outdoors offers some really clever camping gear. Previously, we’ve reviewed some of their cookware sets, and were quite impressed. Each product seems to offer a little extra, making it clear that they care about the details, and take nothing for granted when coming up with new ideas. Their Commuter Java Press is a perfect example. A traditional press uses a rod and plunger, and has worked just fine for years. The designers at GSI did away with that, and instead turned the inner mug into the plunger, with the bottom being the filter. Operation is as simple as placing your ground coffee in the mug, and adding hot water. Let it steep for a bit, then press the inner mug down. Coffee is filtered through the mug’s base, leaving the grounds in the bottom, and freshly pressed coffee above it.
Not content with merely making it easy to press 15 ounces of coffee, they added an insulating sleeve to the outside. This keeps your coffee hot longer, at the same time making it easier to hold. A flip top makes for easy drinking, while preventing leaks and loss of heat. If you’re one of those that needs sugar or cow juice in your java, just unscrew the whole top for access. A final touch is the grippy base that helps keep the whole works from tipping easily. Other design features include sizing to fit most vehicle drink holders, plus simplified cleaning compared to a rod and plunger. All that, and the MSRP is only $19.95. That’s about what you might pay for a travel mug without all the cool features.
It’s no secret that after roasting, one of the most important steps in a proper cup of coffee is the grind. For best results, grind your beans immediately prior to brewing. The longer ground coffee sits, regardless of how it’s stored, the more flavor it loses. That’s why GSI offers their JavaGrind. Designed to fit their Java Presses and just about any container with a round opening that’s not too large, it’s an essential tool for the ideal cup. Inside, you’ll find a conical burr grinder. Far superior to the blade-type grinders, the adjustable conical burr grinds each bean evenly between an inner and outer set of hardened burrs, which have gear-like teeth. This results in a consistent grind that allows for the correct amount of surface area of each bean to come in contact with the hot water, resulting in superior flavor. The JavaGrind carries an MSRP of 24.95.
Neither of these items are likely to be found in the backpacks of ultra-light hikers, but for dedicated coffee enthusiasts and car campers, they’re ideal. And if you’re like me, you’re probably thinking they would be right at home in your 72 hour kit as well. In the unlikely event of a zombie apocalypse, no one wants to be up all night eliminating zombies with nothing but inferior coffee for fuel. gsioutdoors.com