Every good adventure starts with coffee. For some RVers, a daily cup of Joe is part of their morning ritual. For others, that coffee fix is essential to fuel their day on the road, trail, river, or wherever the day takes them. Thankfully, making coffee in an RV is as easy as making coffee at home. I’d argue that it’s even better because coffee tastes amazing when you’re taking in majestic views outside your RV window.
As a fellow coffee-lover, it might not come as a surprise that I always opt for whole bean coffee and a manual grinder for robust, fresh, and flavorful coffee. So put the instant coffee aside and make way for six different methods for brewing quality coffee to sip and savor while RVing and camping.
Coffee snobs know a French press is a sure-fire way to make bold, smooth, and flavorful coffee. It’s so simple yet does a great job at making quality coffee. In our RV, the French press fits in a little basket designated for coffee-related things including our favorite whole bean coffee, a grinder, and a French press. It’s easy to grab out of the RV kitchen cupboard every morning.
To make coffee in a French press, add about six tablespoons of coarsely ground coffee per two cups of water; more or less coffee depending on how strong you like your java. We boil water in our kettle on the RV stove or you can opt for an electric kettle. Pour hot water into your carafe and let it steep for six minutes. Then separate the grounds from the coffee by pressing down on the filter. Pour the coffee into your mugs right away to prevent it from steeping further. Between my husband and I, we can easily make coffee in an eight-cup French press and have a mug and a half for the both of us.
One of the easiest and quickest ways to brew coffee is the pour-over method. This method is as simple as placing coffee grounds in a filter that sits in a pour-over stand and then pouring hot water over the grounds and into a cup. But there are plenty of options with built-in filters like the GSI Outdoors Coffee
We’ve used this little device while backpacking and it can make bold, flavorful coffee depending on how finely you grind your beans. Just place the notched folding legs onto your coffee cup, add your coffee into the filter and pour hot water in. Pour-over coffee is great for backpackers but also a practical choice for minimalist RVers who want single-serve coffee with easy cleanup. Just remember to pour your hot water slowly to pull as much flavor and oils from the grounds as possible.
Cold-brew coffee takes patience but it’s worth the wait because it’s less acidic, less bitter, and you’re making it in bulk to last you a few days. The cold-brew concentrate method is an easy way to make smooth, bold coffee for an RV full of friends and family. You do need to store it in a cooler or refrigerator in your RV. Since it’s a coffee concentrate, you prepare a cup of coffee by adding water or milk to the concentrate which means you have full control over the caffeine level.
It doesn’t take any special coffee-making devices, but it takes an entire 12-ounce bag of coarsely ground coffee. To make cold-brew concentrate, add a bag of your favorite coarsely ground coffee to a large mason jar. Top it off with 56 ounces of cold water. Mix it and let it sit for 12 to 20 hours in a cooler or fridge. Once it’s done brewing, strain the coffee through a filter into a carafe or another mason jar. Store it back in your cooler or fridge and enjoy as needed.
The percolator is as classic as camp coffee gets. This method has been used to brew coffee for centuries. I love having a percolator in our RV for the times we have friends traveling with us or when my husband and I know we’re going to need extra caffeine throughout the day for whatever adventure awaits. We even use it as a kettle to boil water.
Percolators can be used on a stove or a campfire. We’ve had our GSI Outdoors 8-Cup Enamelware Percolator for the last five years and it has produced bold coffee time and time again. To brew coffee in a percolator, fill the kettle with water, place coffee in the built-in metal filter or a paper filter, fill the filter up with ground coffee, and watch it boil. Typically, there’s a plastic knob at the top where you can view the color of the coffee so that you can keep an eye on how brewed your coffee is.
Steeped Coffee Bags
If you’re looking for simple, steeped coffee is as simple as a cup of coffee can get. It’s as quick as instant coffee without the taste of instant coffee. If you don’t want any gizmos and gadgets to brew your cup of Joe, then look to the different steeped coffee bag options that are out there today. Some favorites include Fika Coffee which is roasted in Lutsen, Minnesota, Grounds, and Hounds Coffee Co. which uses a portion of its profits to fund dog rescue programs, and Nobletree whose steeped coffee is 100 percent Rainforest Alliance Certified and Fair Trade USA certified.
If you’re looking for a specialty coffee maker that not only makes smooth and balanced coffee but is also durable, space-saving, easy to clean, and versatile, the Aeropress is your best bet. Versatility is the Aeropress’ biggest strength and it’s no wonder this little device has a cult following. Whether you enjoy classic black coffee, espresso, an Americano, cold brew, cold extract, drip coffee, French press style, or iced coffee – the Aeropress can do it all. It is truly an impressive contraption. So how does it work? The Aeropress uses air pressure to force the water through the coffee grounds. Place your coffee grounds into the brewing chamber, add hot water, and push down the plunger gently to force water through the coffee grounds and filter into a cup. Push down the plunger to extract the coffee. The Aeropress is practical for one or two cups of coffee.
When in doubt, and if you have hookups, you could always use an electric coffee maker. There are so many options from a rechargeable single-serve coffee maker to an electric French press that brews hot coffee, cold-brew, tea, lattes, cappuccinos, or even cold foam with the touch of a button.
When it comes to coffee on the road, what do you like in your mug? Tell us in the comments below.
For water-saving efficiency (esp. when dry camping), while using quality grounds, we purchased a highly compact BonsenKitchen k-pod style coffee maker and we order k-pods from our regular coffee supplier – ours are actually “J-pods” as they come from JoBella’s Coffee Roaster in Atascadero, CA. We are fans of French press coffee, which is our preference, but which can be tad messy, especially, again, when trying to be ultra-conservative with clean-up.
Coleman drip coffee maker for your rv stove top, or camp stove. Works great! Used one for over 10 years.
For cold brew I actually prefer a more concentrated base. I use twice as much water as coffee. ie: 1.5 cups of coffee to 3 cups of water. Leave to ‘brew’ for 2 days before running through a filter. Takes up much less space in our small rv fridge. I mix approximately equal amounts of coffee and milk and sweeten with a strong simple syrup. I also make a stronger simple syrup for space saving in fridge.
Jogo. Makes perfect no mess coffee every time.