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Improving My Coffee Kit

Advising folks on how to improve their travel is what this blog is for, but I admit I didn’t expect to have to revise my suggestions so quickly. However, I was gone for four mornings, and our coffee set up failed me every single morning.

This will not do. Being under-caffeinated, particularly after insufficient sleep, is a recipe for disaster. Or, at least for having to go to bed long before the day/night is over.

I solved my problem in stages. First problem was, “I forgot the scoop. Again.” That was easy to solve, because the first hotel room had a tablespoon measure. I know the scoop is two tablespoons, so I measured that into my hand for future reference on how much of a handful that is. (My whole handful, for what that’s worth.)

Second? “Great, I have an immersion heater, but I never can manage to heat enough water for coffee with it in a normal coffee mug.”

Immersion heater in a 16 oz travel mug, hand grinder, Aeropress with ground coffee waiting for water.

Cool. Cool. Things are going well. Until…

Third problem was, “This hotel room doesn’t have any coffee set up of it’s own. I have no spoon or stir stick to break up the coffee raft with.” This I solved with re-purposing the removable handle from the hand grinder into a stirring implement. I felt very proud of myself for this.

Until I finished rinsing the handle back off, when I realized no hotel coffee set up means no mugs, and I’d already found out the hard way my travel mug is too narrow for my Aeropress.

Fuck.

Time's a-wastin'! Coffee's brewing!

Fuck.

Eventually, I solved that one too. Or, rather, Sierra Nevada and Brauhaus Riegele solved that for me.

Yes, I am about to aeropress some coffee into a half-litre beer stein. I WAS DESPERATE.

Thank you, Sierra Nevada & Brauhaus Riegele!

Thank you, Sierra Nevada & Brauhaus Riegele!

However, since I don’t want to have to do this every time I pack:

Packing bubble air in the stein and in the handle thereof. About to be wrapped in a big sweatshirt.

I’m going to start packing this in the future:

A titanium mug from REI. I've owned it 13 or so years now.

I’ve owned this mug for about 13 years now. It’s been on another continent with me. It’s lightweight, and the moveable arms make it easier to pack. I don’t see it on REI’s website these days, but if I had to replace it, I’d probably buy this one. The other collaspable handle one I see there is not coated with anything to reduce heat transfer. This mug, the scoop from the Aeropress (which will both measure and stir well), and the kit I have already built will do me for the most part. I have NOT yet decided if I will always carry a travel mug as well; I’d love your advice or opinions on that.

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