I enjoy good coffee first thing in the morning. My definition of “good coffee” probably marks me as a coffee snob: fresh, good-quality beans, ground immediately before brewing. As I prepared for a 2-week bicycle camping trip I was confronted with several distasteful options regarding the morning coffee.
– Grind enough beans for 2 weeks and endure stale coffee after the first few days.
– Postpone the morning coffee until after striking camp and traveling far enough to find a deli.
– Carry a heavy plug-in grinder and do without on the occasions we camped off the grid.
The JavaGrind hand-crank coffee mill by GSI Outdoor solved that problem and now has a permanent place in my camp kitchen. It’s a burr grinder which does a better job of grinding coffee to a uniform size than an electric blade grinder, an important feature when using a press to brew. It is hand-cranked so it works in camp as well as in the kitchen, and it’s quiet. It doesn’t wake the rest of the camp (or house) when I brew up at 5:30 am. At 11 ounces it doesn’t add very much to the camping load. And at 20 bucks it’s less than half the price of powered burr grinders. What’s not to like?
In addition to the mill, GSI Outdoor sells a press and mug combination designed to work with the JavaGrind mill.
The carafe mates with the JavaGrind so you can grind the beans directly into the press. The mug and carafe are insulated with neoprene sleeves to keep the coffee warm in a cool morning camp. The mug nests into the carafe to take up minimum space in a pack. I like this combination so much I didn’t file it with the outdoor gear after the trip but moved it into the kitchen. I have been using it most days for a year and it has stood up to regular use without a whimper.