There’s something quite mesmerizing about waking up in your tent early in the morning and greeting the great outdoors with a cup of coffee in your hand. As the wind gently brushes through your hair, carrying the familiar scent of freshly brewed coffee to your nose, you think to yourself that this is exactly what you need to start your day off on the right foot
Coffee is that early morning kicker for a lot of people around the world. And that is true for campers as well. However, many novice campers do not know how to make coffee over a campfire. And those who do either overburden themselves by bringing in too much coffee-making gear or end up making unpleasant coffee.
If you feel like you fall into one of these categories, then don’t worry! This article will highlight everything you need to know about making coffee over a campfire so that you can enjoy a hearty cup of joe at your camp.
How To Make Coffee Over A Campfire?
There are a few ways to make coffee over a campfire. Some processes are pretty simple, while others can be more complex and require additional equipment. Below we have outlined a list of all the methods that you can use to prepare coffee outdoors so that you can get an idea of what to do.
Before you get mad just thinking about the idea of having instant coffee on your camping trip, give us a moment to explain. This method is primarily for newbies who would like to have a hot cup of coffee without having to go through the hassles of grinding and brewing. All you need to do is heat up some water over your campfire, add your instant coffee to it, mix well using a spoon, and you’re done! This method is very simple and does not require any technique or equipment at all.
This is the most common method of brewing coffee over a campfire. For this method, you will need coarse freshly ground coffee, water, a small pot or kettle, a measuring cup, and of course – a campfire. First, add water to your pot, making sure to measure it. Then, place the pot on top of the campfire and bring it to a boil. Remove the pot after the water starts to boil and leave it for 30 seconds.
Then add two tablespoons of coffee for every 8 ounces of water. Stir thoroughly and leave the pot for 2 minutes. Do this one more time. After 4 minutes have passed, sprinkle some cold water to help the coffee settle down at the bottom of the pot.
Finally, pour the coffee into your cup while ensuring that the coffee grounds stay at the bottom. That is how you make cowboy coffee. This method will produce a very robust coffee, which might not be everyone’s preference.
Yes, you read that correctly. You can use eggs to prepare really good coffee as well. One of the biggest criticism of cowboy coffee is that it’s too strong for many people. So, you can use this method instead to get a smoother coffee. For this method, you will need a large egg, a coffee pot, water, a cup, and a small bowl. First, crack an egg and beat the yolk and whites in a bowl, making sure to save the eggshells. Next, crush the eggshells into small pieces and mix them with 1/4 cup of water and 3/4 cup of medium-grind coffee.
Then add this mixture to the egg and stir well. Take 8 to 9 cups of water and boil it in the coffee pot over the campfire. Carefully pour the mixture into the water and boil it for 3 minutes. This will cause the eggshells and coffee grounds to rise to the top of the pot. Remove the heat and gently pour the coffee into a cup of cold water. After letting it sit for 10 minutes, you can now enjoy your coffee. This way, you won’t have a bitter-tasting coffee while maintaining its rich flavor.
French Press Coffee
If you want to make rich, delicious coffee in the morning, then you have to go for the French press method. For this method, you will need to invest in a French press cylinder. However, regular French press cylinders are made from glass. This is not safe to use outdoors as there will always be a risk of the cylinder breaking. Instead, you will need to get specialized durable camping French press cylinders to be on the safe side.
Besides the French press, you will also need water, a pot, and coarsely ground coffee. Start by pouring the water into the pot and boiling it. Then pour a couple of ounces of hot water into the French press and swirl it around to distribute the heat evenly. For every 6 ounces of coffee, you need to add two tablespoons of ground coffee into the French press and then add water that is slightly below the boiling temperature. Securely attach the French press lid and let the coffee steep for about 4 to 5 minutes. Then slowly press the plunger into the cylinder, after which you will have freshly brewed coffee.
Using A Percolator
For our last entry, we will be talking about the age-old way of making coffee – by using a percolator. This method requires a percolator with a filter, stem, & bulb, water, and coffee. First, fill the percolator with water till it reaches just below the strainer basket. Next, place the filter on its stem into the pot and then add two tablespoons of regular grind coffee in the strainer basket for each cup of water you add into the percolator.
After that, put the top on the filter and place the lid on the pot. Set the percolator over the campfire and wait for the water to boil. When you hear the water boil, move the percolator away from the fire and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How to build the right fire to make the perfect campfire coffee?
To make the perfect campfire coffee, you need to make the right campfire. The process is easy as you just need to follow the steps of making a regular campfire. You get some tinder, gather some wood around it, and then light up the tinder to start the fire.
The ideal campfire should be small and hot. Once you light the campfire, allow it to burn for a few minutes without adding any additional wood. Instead, gather a bed of coals and place it in a small circle around the fire so that the heat rises directly to the surface of the pot.
Q: How to get grounds out of your coffee?
Making campfire coffee can leave you with a lot of coffee grounds. This can leave an unpleasant taste for many people. However, there are two easy methods that you can follow to get rid of this. You can either skim the top of your coffee and remove the excess coffee grounds like that. Otherwise, you can add some cold water, let the coffee grounds sink to the bottom of the cup, and then carefully pour the groundless coffee into another cup without disturbing the bottom.
Q: How do you know when coffee is done inside of a percolator?
You will know your coffee is done when the liquid inside it is boiling and reaches the top of the glass dome. You need to lower the heat and let the percolator simmer for 5 to 10 minutes when you notice this happening. However, in the case of a campfire, remove the percolator from the flame and leave it to rest.
There are plenty of other methods that you can follow to make coffee over a campfire. But overall, these methods were the ones that produced the best results for us. Do keep in mind, all of these methods require varying amounts of time.
So, plan out how much time you have to make coffee before you have to hit the trails again. With that being said, you don’t have to feel overwhelmed when making campfire coffee as there are both easy techniques for newbies and more advanced techniques for veteran campers. You are free to choose the technique that is best suited for you.
Robert Coleman, in one word is a multitasker. He enthusiastically works as an outdoor guide. He also has led large groups for backpacking at Bogota in Columbia. Hours of research and field experiences have helped him to stand as one of the best professional reviewers for anything related to outdoors. He improvises in using the right tool rather than packing tons of unnecessary things while outdoors.