It is my coffee, and I want it now!
There are few pleasures on this earth as revitalizing and empowering as that first cup of coffee in the morning. It is kind of like God’s way of reminding us it is all going to be ok. (Too much?) The question is, how do you make your morning cup of liquid awesome while you are out glamping it up? That is exactly what we are going to walk through in this post. Always good to know your options in my book.
Coffee Brewing Options
All jokes aside, there are a lot of folks who can’t drink or can’t stand coffee, and prefer tea or cocoa; and you know what, that is okay by us. If your family is like mine, it is a mixed bag. Two coffee drinkers, a tea drinker, and a cocoa drinker. More on that later.
Let’s jump in and start old school with the tried and true percolator pot. I think if my dad had his choice, he would have had his ashes put in one of these and buried under a pine tree in Oregon somewhere.
It is a very simple design which involves putting water in the pot, grounds in the insert, and placed over a heat source. No filters needed. Then you just wait for the percolating coffee to reach the desired color through the clear handle knob on the top and remove the pot from the heat. Oh, use hand protection as the handle gets hot. We are talking the pits of Mordor hot!
Where this brewer shines is versatility. You can put it on a camp stove, a gas burner in your RV, or put it right over the campfire. Try that with a $300 dollar espresso machine. More often than not for my little clan, we would just use it to heat water and then pour it over a coffee single, tea bag, or cocoa mix and skip the coffee grounds portion. I also used it to heat water for dishes while tent camping. In short, it heats water and makes coffee.
The next option can be put on a burner as well, but I would highly suggest foregoing the over the campfire option. This pot looks and functions much like a regular house coffee pot, but you place it over a gas burner to heat the water instead of plugging it in.
This is a very handy brewer in situations where you want more than one cup at a time and coffee is the only beverage you want to make. It is small in stature which is a must considering storage in an RV is at a premium in most cases. It is also useful in Boondocking applications when you have LP at the ready, but maybe don’t want to fire up the generator to run an electric pot.
If all you are going to drink is coffee and don’t mind using propane to make it, this might be the option for you.
If electricity is an option for you most of the time, then this little beauty might be the ticket. The Black and Decker Spacemaker model actually mounts up underneath a cupboard which frees up vital counter space.
The Spacemaker product line also has some other gizmos like a coffee grinder and can opener which mount in a similar fashion. The only drawback to this style is it requires electricity to work so you will need an outlet in range to plug into and either be hooked up to shore power, have your generator running, or have some solar help to bring home the glory.
Another classic and simple design is the single cup dripper product. Having a collapsible version means it takes up virtually no space when not in use. After placing this over your mug of choice, you need a filter, coffee grounds (or tea), and a way to heat the water to pour through the grounds. It only makes one cup at a time so weigh out if that is a concern for you or not.
Another option if you want to make more cups at a time and are looking for a multi-tasker device is the french press coffee maker. You can throw course ground coffee, loose leaf tea, or even ingredients for salad dressing to emulsify in one of these, so they serve several purposes without taking up a lot of space. A couple of things to point out if you decide on this option.
I have noticed with mine, I cannot use normal out of the package grounds as some of them are too small and strain through the mesh and later into the coffee mug. I like to grind whole beans to the right size, which is very noisy if you happen to have other folks sleeping in a small glamper.
You will also need a way to heat the water which requires a second device. In addition, you will need to dispose of the grounds which can be messy if you don’t want them in your grey tank. All in though, a french press makes an outstanding cup of coffee in my book!
Next is a device we always find room for in our RV. It really makes the most sense for our family based on our various tastes. There are several different contraptions that use “pods” or “K Cups” to make beverages so there are plenty of options out there. We went with a simple, one cup design because it is smaller and easier to store when not in use.
What really makes this style of brewer awesome is the options it provides. As long as you can store the pods, you can get almost any flavor coffee, tea, or cocoa individually packaged and ready to go. Plus there is virtually no clean up like with some of the other brewers we discussed.
This may not be a big deal if you have full hookups, but if you are boondocking you may not want to waste water cleaning out coffee grounds or washing them into your grey water tank. One drawback is this brewer requires electrical power so it may not be ideal if you are off the grid.
There are plenty of options out there to store the K Cups as well if a person decides to go this route. Some folks just leave them in the box they come in and store them in the pantry while others prefer to use space-saving organizers. Either way, this device heats the water and pushes it through the K Cup so you won’t need a second device to heat water, and you won’t need to store cans of coffee grounds, tea, or filters. Thems be the storage tradeoffs for the K Cups.
Last is my new favorite coffee maker; the Moka Pot. If you like expresso but don’t want to tote around a large and expensive espresso maker, I highly suggest you look into one of these. It is also fun to say…Moka Pot. Once again, not a lot of moving parts here which means there isn’t a lot to go wrong. You will, however, need espresso ground coffee, which is almost like talcum powder consistency, and a burner to place the pot over. Be very careful not to melt the handle. That gets smelly something fierce if I had to guess.
Much like the percolator, the water is placed in the bottom half of the pot and as it is heated the water is forced through the grounds and into the pot above where it is kept separate from the grounds. The espresso grounds are placed in a separate basket, for lack of a better term, which is easy to clean and doesn’t require a paper filter. Another thing to note is when it says 6 cups, it is more like 6 shot glasses so we are back to one actual cup at a time. It is expresso though, so it hits with a heavy hand.
In closing, as with anything RV related, it comes down to preference, storage availability, and clean up when picking the right brewer for you. I hope this post was helpful in guiding you towards the brewer which best fits your needs. As always, feel free to leave comments and suggestions on what you like to use.