Camping 101: Best Options for Coffee & Tea While Camping
Nothing beats a nice, hot cup of fresh tea or coffee in the morning. But how do you easily make it while camping?
For some of us, caffeine is an essential in the mornings. But, what if you’re miles away from your kitchen, in a tent out in the woods? You don’t have to settle for a bad cup of coffee or tea just because you’re outdoors - there are plenty of ways to get your morning caffeine in a way that satisfies you.
How to Make Coffee While Camping
1. Instant Coffee
Instant coffee isn’t necessarily something you would have considered, but in recent years there are actually many delicious options out there. For example, Waka's instant coffee is ideal for when you’re out backpacking because of how little it weighs and how little space it takes up. It’s also super easy to prepare! All you have to do is pour some boiling water in, stir and drink up!
You would need to have something to boil the water in, but you can do this in a pan over the fire as well, so instant coffee takes only about thirty seconds to make and doesn’t need any special equipment.
- Super easy to make
- Light weight and generates less waste
- You can adjust your strength by adding more or less
- Not all instant coffees taste good (choose 100% Arabica & Freeze Dried)
- Not as an authentic coffee experience
2. Cowboy Coffee
While instant works sometimes, some of us just want something else, and that’s totally understandable. Another way you can make great camping coffee is by using the cowboy method (named after the American cowboys).
For this, you should first boil the water and then let it cool for about 5 minutes. Next, you should add ground coffee beans, and stir them in. When the grounds hit the water, they’ll probably make a sizzling sound and you may see some foam.
Let it rest for a while before stirring again. Once the coffee has settled, you can pour it out into your mug and enjoy!
For the coffee grounds, you can either choose to bring ground coffee from home, or keep a portable grinder with you for the full experience.
- A stronger cup of coffee
- An authentic coffee experience in the outdoors
- Can take some time to perfect
- Ground coffee residue in your cup of coffee
3. Coffee Steeping Bag
Another simple way to prepare coffee while camping is to use a coffee steeping bag - which is like a tea bag but for coffee. You can buy these coffee bags at a store or make them yourself if you have the materials. All you need is a basket coffee filter and butcher’s twine.
You can prepare coffee with a coffee bag in pretty much the same way as you prepare tea: boil the water, then add the coffee bag. Let it steep for 7 minutes to really get all the coffee flavor out before you remove it. Now you can stir it and have your fresh cup of camping coffee!
Coffee bags are great because not only do they make an excellent cup of coffee, they are also - like instant coffee - lightweight and space savers.
- No coffee residue in your cup of coffee
- Easy to make
- Generates more trash and waste to carry with you
- You still need to wait for the coffee to brew
4. Pour Overs
You can also use a filter cone and coffee dripper to make coffee with the typical pour-over method you see in cafes and coffee shops. The filter cone lets you brew the coffee quickly by attaching itself to the cup while you pour hot water over it to brew the coffee. Once the coffee is saturated, you can pour the remaining water and enjoy your cup of coffee!
- A similar coffee experience to what you make at home
- You need to carry equipment with you
- You will still generate trash and waste (coffee grounds, filters, etc.)
5. Stovetop Espresso Maker
You can’t lug around a huge espresso machine when you’re going camping, but stovetop espresso makers can make your life a little bit easier. Not only do you not need an electrical socket, they’re usually also small enough to fit into your bags easily.
Using a stovetop espresso maker, you can fill the bottom compartment with water and the middle one with coffee.
As the water starts boiling, you’ll notice the espresso going into the serving container, from where you can pour it out into your cup and enjoy a fresh cup of nice, strong coffee. Most stovetop espresso makers can be used on a campfire stove as well, but just to be sure, you can check to make sure it’s safe.
- You can make espresso-like drinks in the outdoors
- You'll need to carry another piece of equipment
- You'll need to clean and dry your espresso maker before putting back in your bag
6. Instant Tea
You’d be surprised to find that instant tea is an option! It’s not much different from instant coffee - all you have to do is pour in hot water and stir to have a ready cup in your hands. The powder will fully dissolve in your cup, leaving no waste or mess. High quality instant teas will not have any additives or artificial ingredients in them, which makes it even easier to customize your drinks.
- Super easy to make. Just add tea powder and mix with water.
- You can make hot or iced tea with steeping your yea
- Less trash or waste
- You can customize the strength of your tea serving
- You can easily add to much powder and make your tea bitter
7. Tea Bags
Again, very similar to coffee bags (and actually, the predecessors to coffee bags) were tea bags, and they work pretty much the same way. Heat a cup of water over the fire, and put the tea bags in. Let it steep depending on how strong you want it, and your tea is ready!
- Easy and fast to make
- Can't make iced tea as quickly
- Some tea bags have micro plastics in them
- You will have to find where to dispose the tea bag, or carry it with you in your trash bag
8. Universal Tea Infuser
Using tea infusers is a great way to make tea on the go. The infuser holds a certain amount of tea leaves, which release flavor slowly through the small holes in the infuser. All you have to do is add hot water and let it sit for a while. Since infusers are insulated, your tea will be nice and hot when you pour it out.
- Can customize your tea by choosing exotic tea leaves
- Takes time to brew your tea
- Another piece of equipment to carry with you
9. Tea Press
A tea press works almost identically to a French coffee press. The only difference between the two is that when you push the plunger down, it keeps the tea leaves from over steeping, which keeps the flavor from getting too strong and bitter.
- Easy to make and will help you keep your tea not as strong or bitter
- You'll have to carry the tea infuser with you your entire trip
10. Portable pour Over
Similar to the pour over method for coffee, you can also brew tea in the same way. All you have to do is put tea leaves in a strainer or filter and pour hot water over it slowly. As the water passes through, it gathers the flavor from the tea leaves and gives you a great cup of tea.
- Can make a strong and aromatic brew
- Generates more waste
- Takes longer time to brew
If you need your morning cup of coffee or tea in the outdoors, but want to avoid the mess or hassle of carrying additional equipment with you, instant coffee and instant coffee will be your best options. Happy camping!