Coffee without a coffee maker

Camping coffee – cowboy coffee brewing!

Making coffee yourself while traveling, especially while camping, is no easy feat. Either you have to travel light to avoid paying extra fees at the airport, or you lack the electricity to use a standard coffee pot. In any situation, here are a few ways you can make coffee using a minimum amount of stuff.

First off, in all of these situations, the option of freshly ground of pre-ground coffee is up to you. If you are somewhere that does not have electricity, the Hario Skerton hand coffee grinder is a popular choice for many.

Though, if you don’t have the room in your bag, an airtight jar of pre-ground coffee will do the trick to store your coffee.

Kopi Tubruk Campfire coffee

One of the most basic ways to make coffee is the Indonesian Kopi Tubruk. This method of making coffee requires only finely ground coffee, hot water, and a cup.

To brew Kopi Tubruk, simply scoop a heaping tablespoon of the finely ground coffee into your chosen mug, usually 12 ounces, along with any sugar.

Water for this can be heated over a fire in a kettle, or more conveniently, in a pot. After the water has almost hit its boiling point, simply pour it into the mug of coffee grounds and sugar, and stir well. Let this concoction sit for 3-5 minutes to let the grounds settle, and enjoy. Though, while adding cream is possible, you will need to let the coffee sit again after stirring the cream in.

Aeropress tips for camping

Another popular way to make coffee on a campfire, is to use an AeroPress. Because the AeroPress is such a small and easily contained device, and made of very durable and high quality plastic, it is perfect to bring with you while camping.

The versatility of an AeroPress also makes it wonderful for situations where you might not have a coffee grinder, seeing how just about any grind level of coffee can be used in it, with just adjusting the brew time and water used.

Simply fill the included scoop with your choice of coffee, dump it into the assembled inverted AeroPress, add hot water to the top line, and let it brew. Once the brewing cycle has finished, simply depress the plunger, and enjoy with any cream or sugar. Cleanup is a breeze, simply rinse everything with water, and you’re good to go.

Usually when I go camping, I will normally bring along my French press. While it is about twice the size of an AeroPress and made of glass, I love how easy it is to make enough coffee for a group of people, seeing how the capacity of mine is approximately 6 or 8 cups.


I, depending on the roast level of the coffee, will use 2 tablespoons of beans/coarsely ground coffee per 12 ounces of hot water. But, if I am making more than 24 ounces of coffee, I will add one extra tablespoon grounds.

To use one, simply scoop the desired amount of coffee into the press while heating the proportional amount of water. Once the water has hit about 200 degrees Fahrenheit, pour it into the press, and let it brew for 4 minutes. After the brew time has elapsed, plunge down the filter, and serve.

When away from home, these brewing methods are some of the easiest to do with a limited amount of tools, making them perfect for electrically tight situations.