4.27.2018

Brewing single serve coffee without a k-cup or an eco-friendly cup: Using coffee pods without a coffee brewer and while camping....

My previous post was for people who want to use eco-friendly options to brew single cups of coffee without the plastic k-cups.  I was going to include this option but that post was getting too long - and that is with the understanding that I always tend to ramble!  (Eh, it's just the coffee talking...).

So a continuation (kind of) and sort of a new post too.

THESE PODS.

I've mentioned them in some of my camping posts before.  I take these for my camp coffee.  No mess, no grounds.  Simple, light weight, clean and easy.  The worlds best cup of coffee?  Nah, but good enough.  And when you are camping, almost any coffee tastes good on a cool, crisp morning.

For people who want an eco-friendly way to brew single serve coffee but don't want to use eco-style k-cups, filters, etc. this post is for you.

And for those of you who never thought about using them for camping and hiking... this is for you too!




I just got a new delivery of a 6 pack of these Melitta Coffee Pods for our Girls Road Trip coming up.  Last year I bought two styles; dark and vanilla.  Dark for me and vanilla for my college-daughter for our road trip camping across the state of South Dakota.  This year I asked her if she wanted flavored again but she has officially came over to the dark side.  She wanted dark coffee too!  (That's what college does to you!)  So I ordered the Sumatra blend this time.  16 pods in a package and 6 packages.

(I'll link to all this stuff at the bottom of the post - it's a pain in the butt to insert all the links to things I talk about in the post - so I'll put it at the end).

FOR BREWING AT HOME:

  • A pod (or two, if you are like me and like your coffee really strong and dark)
  • A mug
  • Hot water

Put your pod in the cup and either add hot water directly from your keurig or icoffee, or heat water on the stove or microwave and pour it in.

*I have actually put the pod into the empty K-cup place in the brewer and brewed right over it.  It was fine, but it feels 'dirty' to me as the coffee touches all over the inside of the plastic slot.  I run a couple cups of just hot water through it after to clean it out, but in my head I can't drink it because it's touched the sides of the brewer.  LOL.  But it works just fine and most (normal) people probably wouldn't care like I do.

Let your pod brew for 4-5 minutes, squeeze the excess water out by pressing it against the cup with a spoon or with your fingers if it isn't too hot.  Throw away the pod and drink your coffee.







 FOR CAMPING

You can do the same thing as above if you are only making one cup at a time or everyone has their own mugs and you are heating the water separately.  Just heat your water over the fire or a camp stove and pour it over the pod in your favorite camping mug.  Brew a few minutes, press water out of the pod and toss the pod into the fire or it can be carried out with your trash, buried (biodegradable) or thrown away.

For brewing in the pot:  I add 6 pods into my camp coffee pot with about 4-5 cups of water; (4 is normal for a 4 cup pot, if you like it strong, add more.  If you have a 6 or 9 cup pot and are filling it, then add more pods to your tastes).  I fill the camp coffee pot with fresh water and put it over the fire or on the butane camp stove to heat.  By the time the water starts to simmer, it's ready!  You can fish the pods out - but usually (since we like strong coffee) I leave them in, because the lid and spouts keeps the pods in the pot while the hot coffee filters out into our coffee mugs.  We like this way because we have a whole pot ready at once and can refill our cups as needed to keep it piping hot.

 (Remove the insides of your camping coffee pot for this way of brewing - you don't need it!  No grounds, no filters and NO MESS!)


We leave the pods in after it comes to a simmer, as the holes in the spout block the pods from coming out when you pour





Products related to this post available through Amazon or your local retail stores;

  
     


Reuseable Coffee Filter Systems and Filters - how do they work?




I have read that the man who invented the little plastic k-cups regrets he ever did because they became such a huge hit and unfortunately all those little plastic cups are filling up our landfills.  For that reason there is guilt for many every time they use one... or two... or five.

I've posted about this in the past a couple of times because it does bother me to fill the landfills but also, frankly, I hate to give Keurig that much of my money and wanted other options.  Because of that, over the past 10 years I've used and bought many, many different types, brands and kinds of eco-brew filters and cups.  I still have the original tall gray My k-cup that sold back in 2005-2007-ish although I have no idea if it's even still available.  I also have the permanent filter kind with a built in filter, the kind you have to use paper filters with, etc.

Whether you opt to use the Fill N Save, Solofill, EZ-Cup, My K-Cup, EkoBrew, Generic Dolphin k cups, etc.  they are all rather similar.  

One of the issues with the built-in permanent filters is that you almost always end up with some residue or even grounds on the bottom of your cup.  Even if you use a permanent filter style cup, you might want to invest in the paper filters not only to keep sediment, residue and grounds out of your mug but it makes clean up so much easier!  

Just lift and toss the biodegradable filters full of used grounds instead of dumping, knocking the filter cup on the side of the trash trying to get the grounds out, smacking the backside with your palm and finally, swirling your finger around the inside of the cup before going to the sink and rinsing the darn thing out.

You get to use your own favorite beans or ground coffee this way too. The paper filters are easy to use and a breeze to clean up. Simply insert filter, fill with coffee and brew! When you're finished, remove it from the machine, open it and toss it. 

Now there is one important thing to note when it comes to 'universal' filters and cups - they are not universal.  Nope.  There are generally two sizes on the market.  The taller version and shorter cup version.  Note the SHORT VERSION in the top photo of the Java Jig and Melitta coffee filters and then note the taller version in photos below.  There is also a third cup version with a little lip on the top that goes under the closing hinge on the cup;

 
 Now that you might think it's too confusing... it's not.

They all pretty much do the same darn thing and if you happen to buy the 'tall' version for a short cup, you can either cut the top to make them shorter or fold it down.  The Java Jig and Melitta filters are usually sold right next to each other in your local grocery store or Walmart so it's easy to buy the right style for that particular cup.  But seriously, it's not rocket science.  If you have short cup, look for the short looking filters - the tall cups (which are harder to find now because almost all the reuseable cups selling today are shorter) just get the taller filters.  But remember; you can usually make them work even if you buy the wrong kind.




Now that I've explained how they work;  Do you like them?
I'm nothing but honest so here you go.

Nope.

I've bought all the different brands and styles but I have yet to find one that I like well enough to use full time.  Why?  Because I'm picking about the taste of my coffee and I have yet to brew a cup in a reuseable filter that is as hot, strong and delicious as (horrible, terrible for the environment) k-cup.  True.  

Now, for the average coffee drinker (including two of my college kids, my parents, most of my guests) it's COMPLETELY FINE.  It's only me and one of my three brothers that complain we just can't get a 'good' cup of coffee no matter the grounds or beans we choose to use.  He actually is all in love with his aeropress right now anyway - and isn't using an icoffee or Keurig anyhow.

You can probably find filters and or cups at your local retail stores (I've bought mine at Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart, Publix Grocery store and on Amazon.


If you can't find any locally or you just prefer to order from Amazon, here are some links to get you started in finding the kind you like best:

Brewslang Single Reusable K-cup Coffee Filter for Keurigs B40, B45, B50, B55, B60, B65, K40, K45, K50, K55, K60, K65, B70, B71, B76, B77, B79, K70, K75, K77, K79 - 4 Pack

Reusable Coffee Filter for Keurig, Replacement for Cafe Cup, My K-Cup

4 Pack Reusable Gold Plated Mesh Coffee Filters For Keurig Plus 2.0 & Classic 1.0 Brewers

Fill N Save Universal Optional Paper Filters for Reusable K Cups for Keurig Brewers (200 Count)

       







4.24.2018

Mini Espresso Maker!? For on the go espresso (How is the MiniPresso GR different from the AeroPress?)


So, I'm over on Amazon this morning looking for nothing in particular - just procrastinating starting on some of the tasks waiting for me today. At the bottom of a page I see a tiny image that catches my eye and whoa - looks like it's a single 'on the go' espresso maker. And, from the reviews, it seems people like it. Really like it.

Of course I had share on It's Just the Coffee Talking.

The MiniPresso GR Espresso Maker

Minipresso GR is the perfect portable espresso machine. Compact, lightweight and versatile, you may use any variety of coffee bean/roast, which will give you more flexibility in trying new flavors. Grinding your own beans will give you more control over your coffee preparation, resulting in a quality espresso shot that will please even the most sophisticated coffee aficionado. 

Minipresso GR is your best choice to enjoy up to a 50 ml of authentic espresso at home, in the office and on the go

From the manufacturer



Minipresso GR is simple and intuitive to operate. 
  • Add ground coffee to the filter basket with the help of the integrated scoop. 
  • Apply slight pressure to level the grind. 
  • Add hot water into the water tank. 
  • Finally unlock from its travel position the piston and pump a few strokes to pressurize and extract perfect espresso with generous crema.

How is this different from the aeropress?

The Aeropress pours a cup of coffee,through a paper filter, where as the Minipresso pours a single shot espresso.

Minipresso pumps hot water to 116psi/8bar pressure. Our compact size is a key feature. If you are looking a full cup of coffee the Aero is a great product. If you are looking for a quality shot of espresso, anywhere on the go, that is what the MP is made for. If you want both a cup of coffee and espresso, you wouldnt be the first to own both machines.

I own and use both. The Minipresso does one thing and does it very well: It makes a single short shot of espresso at a time. The Aeropress is a bit more versatile, in that it allows the user to vary how much coffee and water are used, but the Aeropress doesn't really make espresso. It makes a very good cup of pressed c… see more


I agree with Portable Espresso seller. I own both. The aeropress makes a fabulous cup of coffee, but does not make espresso. This makes a proper shot of espresso.




Related products available through Amazon affiliate links;

MiniPresso GR Espresso Maker

Wacaco Minipresso GR & NS Case

Wacaco Company MPNS100 Minipresso NS, Compatible with Nespresso Brand Capsules 

Lavazza Ground Coffee - Caffe Espresso


           





4.21.2018

How to keep your toilet paper roll clean and dry when tent camping: And how I tote toilet paper in my back as well

Last month I posted the tip about packing seasonings for camp cooking. (Pack seasonings and spices in empty Tic-Tac containers)  There are many other small things I do that I guess are 'hints and helps' but they are just things I do without thinking to share as a 'hint' or hack - but I hate that word (hack) because it's waaaay overused on the internet lately.  Along with 'viral', as in; "This one great hack goes viral after being shared on the internet!"  Yahoo does this DAILY and.... OMG just shut-up. Shut-up now.

But now... on to another hint/help about keeping your toilet paper clean and dry.

During the road trip this time, 85% of the trip will be spent without bathroom facilities.  There will be vault toilets nearby (if you don't know what that is, it's a wood or plastic structure with a bench or toilet in it that is simply a hole going straight down into the yuck and muck.  Like an old fashioned out-house.)  Yes it smells.  Yes you can see straight down into the muck and everything that entails.  Most of the time they at least put a container of hand sanitizer on the wall, but not always.  Other times there may be enough water access at the site that they have a small sink for washing but not for flush-toilets.

Ok, now that we've got that out of the way.  The point to this rambling little post is that we have a portable toilet, a privacy tent and toilet paper with us on this trip.  And I have a very quick and easy way to keep the toilet paper clean and dry, and in a 'roll' shape.

If you are back-packing into your site, this is too big and bulky for your pack. (I remove the cardboard roll in the center and smash it flat, then stick it into a heavy duty ziplock baggy for in my pack.)  But if you are car-tent camping or boon-docking; tuck this idea away in your head.  




It's simple a tall (100 count style) spindle that holds CD's or DVD's.  I already owned this from a bulk pack of DVD's however you can buy them cheap.  I just checked for this post and found them on Amazon.

EMPTY CD DVD Blu-ray Disc CAKE BOX Spindle -100 Disc Capacity




That's it.  That's all there is to it.  A full, new roll of toilet paper fits right into it perfectly and keeps your TP clean and dry, and in a roll.  Much better than a wet, soggy, dirty roll of toilet paper that fell on the ground.







4.19.2018

Cold Brew Coffee (using Senseo Coffee Pods)

Click on the image to make it bigger in it's own window


  
I'm currently snacking on a bowl of fruit and perusing the dark roast and sumatra choices of coffee pods on Amazon as I try to finish up the last of the 'What do I still need for the road trip....' list.  

I use Senseo and Melitta coffee pods as our 'go to' coffee choice on camping trips.  I think I've posted about that before.  So I'm trying to find the best price for my Sumatra pods but am willing to order plain old dark roast if it saves me a bundle and on the page for Senseo Dark Roast I see they have a recipe for cold brew coffee.  I thought it would be great for It's Just the Coffee Talking so here you go!  










Related to this post (and the whole reason for this post) - Senseo Coffee Pods available on Amazon (which is what I'm shopping for right now for the camping/hiking trip...  Girls Road Trip 2018).