Whether brewed on a bonfire behind a boulder in the mountains, or shots pulled from a La Marzocco Strada at a hip café in the recently gentrified part of town, Coffee is always far more than the daily hit of caffeine.
It’s a brief break on the way to the top, a quiet moment with a book, a quick shot on a busy day in the city. It’s sorely needed warmth under a tarp in the forest, or on the dog sled at twenty below … celcius that is. It’s metropolitan shopping weekends, hectic office hours, soothing morning rituals and calm on the Norwegian plateaus.
Coffee is memories of grandma, long graveyard shifts, and crispy morning sunrises. It is smell, taste, texture, ritual, precision, culture and tradition – and there is nothing better to complement our chocolate, on an everyday basis.
HANDBREWED IS WELL BREWED
At VGAN we appreciate great coffee, wether at the office, or on the road – or out in our surrounding nature. Although we enjoy all kinds of coffee styles, we often end up with the simplest kind – the clean and clear black hand brewed filter coffee – brewed one camp mug at a time.
But even this requires some precision from the brewer.
TWO PROCEDURES OF THE SAME METHOD-ISH
To brew a great cup of black coffee you can go about it in a few different ways – simple, semi-nerdy and full nerd. We will go through the first two, the last one we will leave to others.
Preheat your cup and rinse the paper filter with a little water, this will remove any taste of paper residue. Out in the wild you will not bother bringing a scale, but we find that approx. 20g of filter ground coffee for a 3dl cup is a pretty sweet ratio, but this is a matter of taste and preference.
Put the freshly ground coffee into the filter and carefully pour over some water. The connoisseur obviously has a very distinctive pouring strategy, with practiced movements, done on a scale with a timer, but as long as you give the coffee some time to bloom after the first pour, and then make sure that all the coffee is moistened, you should be good to go.
But, let’s delve into this a bit, some might enjoy exploring coffee brewing a little further. The fun part of geeking out is when you can remove the variables and gain control over the processes so that you can start playing with the various components to find your own preference.
- Grind the coffee to filter ground coarseness. With a machine grinder you have settings to follow, with a hand grinder we recommend experimenting with various settings.
- Preheat the cup or jug.
- Rinse the filter with warm water to remove the taste of paper residue.
- In order to obtain the most consistent coffee brewing, it is necessary to eliminate as many variables as possible. If you put everything on a digital scale you get the highest possible precision and predictability in each cup. If you do this a few times at home, you’ll be able to wing it in the wild.
- Pour the freshly ground coffee into the filter. For a 3dl cup, the amount of coffee should be around 20g, but this is a matter of taste and preference.
- Reset the weight, and start the timer if you got one.
- Carefully pour water over the coffee until the scale reach 60g. Make sure all the coffee is moistened, so use circular motions. Don’t be afraid to accentuate the movements, style is important. Ideally, you should have a kettle with a long pouring spout.
- At 60g let the coffee swell/bloom for thirty seconds, you can stir the coffee a little with a teaspoon, to add oxygen.
- Continue to pour water until the scale reaches 200g before you let the coffee sink.
- Keep pouring until you reach 300g and the cup is full.
- The pouring process should probably take a couple of minutes, depending on how thirsty and caffeine desperate you are. Give the cup a little whirl and consume.
NOW THE EXPLORATION BEGINS
However, once you have gone through this process we recommend experimenting with all the different components. Try it with a little less coffee, or a little more. Then experiment with the grinder settings, it’s pretty interesting to taste the difference when the only thing you’ve changed is the coarseness of the coffee. And then of course you have to test with different beans and roasting styles.
After having played around a bit, it’s just a matter of making everything simpler before you go out and brew the coffee on a gas burner or a bonfire.
NECESSARY COFFEE EQUIPMENT
The equipment you need is pretty basic, and relatively affordable, but we do recommend getting a quality grinder. Coffee beans are tough, grining them wears on the machinery. The Java grinder from VSSL is a favorite, in combination with a collapsible coffee dripper for easy and compact packing. Kettles, burners and mugs you will find in all outdoor stores.