I drink the occasional coffee at home but prefer a well-done brew, I have a friend who is an absolute expert and enjoy coffee at his house or one of the select few coffee shops within walking distance of my house.
I change somewhat when we go to the bush on one of our trips, we have a tradition of drinking coffee over breakfast even if at the Wimpy and often end up posting a coffee picture on Instagram.
One will be amazed at the plethora of good coffee shops that abound in the smaller towns, we research our route and make a point of stopping over for coffee and even breakfast, a coffee shop in Potchefstroom was a revelation on a more recent trip.
That being said coffee in the bush is a drink to be savoured, enjoyed before breakfast around a fire listening to the sounds of the African bush as the sky’s vista begins to unfold.
We have tried numerous methods, perhaps a different one on each trip, from concentrated slow-brewed coffee extract ( just add hot water and milk to taste to Moka Pots, pour overs and even the AeroPress and Ibrik pot (Turkish/Greek style coffee). Most of these require a fair amount of equipment if one wants to do the job properly. My friend and fellow road tripper is one such person so coffee involves a hand grinder, a scale, measures and the device to be used. We have tried railway coffee ( instant with condensed milk ) as well as good old fashioned “Boere Koffie” extracted in a cloth bag, a French Press and even a percolator.
So I am a fair judge of measures and as such tend to dispense with the fancier options and judge measures by the number of teaspoons. For many years my favourite method of making bush coffee was my Bodum French Press ( or plunger pot ) until the day it fell off the tailgate and shattered, I was of a mind to replace it and even considered opting for a double-walled stainless steel version, as I never had another trip planned at the time I packed the kitchen kit away and eventually forgot about replacing the press.
Then the next trip came about and I packed the kitchen stuff only to realise that I had no means of making coffee in the bush – that’s when I remembered my Chatsford Infuser which is primarily a tea infuser but now doubles as a coffee filter. Since then it has become an indispensable piece of equipment. It is small, lightweight, packs easy and can be used on a hiking trail or even at a self-catering facility. It has accompanied me on many trips and simply fits into a small tin box, I can attest to the fact that it produces a decent strong cup of coffee and it has earned a place up there with my favourite camping goodies. I am a relatively uncomplicated person who does not like a lot of fuss, so I need a simple fix when I wake up bleary-eyed in the morning, I always drink a glass of water first thing every morning and then make coffee, I drink my coffee black or with milk and of late have been drinking oat or almond milk die to the fact that `i have found that cows milk produces congestion. I simply dump a scoop of ground coffee into the infuser add boiling water and let the extraction process begin, within a few minutes I have a decent brew and am ready to face the day. There are times that we also drink instant coffee but do not find that as palatable as a good filter style coffee, in this cases we often add condensed milk or carnation milk which vastly improves the flavour. I always travel with my mugs and my current favourites are the double-walled thermal mugs from Isosteel, they come with a lid that traps the heat and allows you to take you coffee along with you in your vehicle, this is great when you are chasing a sunset or sunrise to get that magic light for a photograph.
We spend a good deal of time looking at equipment for our trips and as criteria look at items that are easy to use, have more than one purpose of possible and are not overly expensive. We are fairly fussy and even take a showerhead on trips to obviate those fitted at guest houses or B+B’s or even in National Parks that emit such a sad spray that you feel that you have to jump around to get wet. Shortly we will share a few of our favourite must-have items with you. Take care and stay safe in the lockdown from all of us at Cross Country Insurance Consultants.