This edition of Roadside Coffee was curated on the road, where some turns take you to more corn fields, some to vast mountain ridges, and some to the completely avoidable miscalculation of an empty gas tank. Ever been driving for so long that you wonder when the next sign of civilization will be? The only reason you may wonder this is probably because the gas needle is cozying up next to "E," but otherwise the scenery, the wind through the window, and the musing that goes along with any type of travel is quite enjoyable. With a lack of civilization though, comes a lack of good coffee, that is unless you brew your own.
Facing a twelve hour drive? Seven hour drive? Three hour drive? Regardless of how long your trip is, ask yourself what difference will a ten minute brew stop make? Time-wise, not a bit! Morale-wise, all the difference! Don't get that gas station sludge, unless you can actually stomach it, then go for the gold and cash in on the convenience of our modern age (that's what it's here for).
Seriously though, ten minutes is all it takes. A Jetboil can boil water faster than I can grind my beans and using a Clever Dripper will actually change your life. These clever brewing apparatuses are big enough to brew more than one cup if you're lucky enough to have a co-pilot and easy enough to use even when you're standing. They're actually easy enough to use when you've run out of gas in the middle of nowhere and your hands are so cold you can barely tell you still have fingers and the only good thing in this world is the cup of jo that you've brewed for yourself. That easy. Pretty impressive in my opinion.
Gas off, coffee accessories out. I like to grind my beans first, seeing as my Jetboil has consistently beaten me every time no matter how fast I try to crank. If you're using a camp stove or other small backpacking apparatus for boiling water it will take a few minutes longer, go ahead and start that water now. If you're a fanatic about getting that paper taste out (I am admittedly so) do a quick rinse of the paper filter you've placed in the Clever Dripper, regular water works fine, and dump the water out over some thirsty plants. If you don't mind a bit of paper aroma in your coffee then carry right on, you little speedster. You'll want to have your Clever Dripper on a flat surface or you can hold the handle (if you set it on top of your mug it will let the water through). If you have your beans ground already then you're ahead of all of us, add those grounds to the Clever Dripper and once your hot water is ready pour it over the grounds. You can eyeball the amount of water, weigh it out if you have a scale handy, or measure it by volume before boiling. I find that brew times for darker roasts will be shorter, around 90 seconds and up to 2 minutes. Lighter roasts I like brewing for about 3 minutes. If I have a utensil handy I'll give it a stir at about one minute. Once time is up, place that Clever Dripper on top of whatever drinking vessel you have anointed as the chosen one and let it drip away. The coolest thing about the Clever Dripper? You can lift it up and it stops the drip, making sharing a full brew super easy. Talk about the age of convenience.
I'm a traveler and a coffee loving gadget geek, a mixture that is hard to combine heterogeneously at times. I like trying out different coffees with different brew methods, and some work better than others. I'm not just talking about the roast or type of coffee, but also the kinds of situations you will find yourself in. Travelling always calls for adaptability and flexibility and learning to adapt your brew method can make your trip better in many ways. While you CAN bring your ceramic V60, there may be a better option for your travelling needs. The Clever Dripper is awesome for road trips, train trips, trips where you have space, but want something lightweight and easy to use wherever. You could probably even take it backpacking and just loop it onto the outside of your pack, it sure is light enough, but an Aeropress or instant coffee (STOKED STIX anyone?) may be a better option. Join us next time for another perusal into the world of brewing everywhere.