More coffee outside… now with a travel grinder

If you’re going to the effort of tooting off for outdoor coffee (that’s #coffeeoutside on Twitter and Instagram), then why settle for instant coffee? Instant coffee has a time and place – notably long-distance backpacking to the top of a glacier or the bottom of a creek.

But for #coffeeoutside times, counting grams and minimalist packing skills are not needed.  It’s more about recreating your favourite café while sitting outside next to a pine tree.  And that means… GEAR!  Fancy gear. You need it.  (Or maybe you don’t.)

While the many blogs I’ve consulted rave about using an aeropress for the best coffee experience (BCE), I’m not sure I’m ready to join this tony league coffee experts.  (I buy sale coffee at the grocery store and grind it all in one shot.  I feel no shame. #coffeepride )

I am, however, willing to grind some beans outside. Why? It gives you something to do while your water boils.

The whole coffee culture foofiness both intrigues me and rubs me the wrong way.  Like it’s a Cole’s notes version of the trouble with brunch.  Part of me likes the ritual of fancy coffee making in a world of instant everything, so here we are.  And once I reconcile the idea of $25 shipping for a coffee table book (no pun intended) about Finnish coffee shops, you can go ahead and label me “foofi” too.

On YouTube, camping guru “Shug”, swears by his instant Italian espresso, but I have a feeling I like his videos more than I’ll ever like instant coffee.  As convenient as those darn Starbucks VIA packets are.

As for grinders – I considered the GSI mill, but it had mixed reviews.   So, I just went with the robust little Porlex grinder featuring… all Japanese instructions!

I unboxed the grinder over some coffee and a treat at Art-is-in.  My Japanese reading is not what it used to be*, so I downloaded the instructions on my phone.  (*It is zero.  I can’t read Japanese.)
My creation

Luckily, even a coffee noob like me could figure it out.  Select your grind.  Attach handle.  Easy.  So easy, a six-year old could use it.  (For the perfect cup, you’ll want to ensure your beans are ground by delicate child fingers.)


I found my Porlex in Westboro at Half Full Glassware.  But I’m still searching for the just-right enamelware camp mug. Looking for a refill? Check out other camp coffee related blog posts:

Joyride Coffee has a nice post about 5 great ways to make camping coffee

ImagineGnat has some serious aspirational #coffeeoutside

See the Path Less Pedaled post and video about the #sunrisecoffeeclub (lots of methods shown, typical Portland)


Gosh, I could troll the Instagram photos all day long.  The hashtag makes it look fairly dude-centric, but I am sure we can make some egalitarian coffee headway.

Here is a nice series of random #coffeeoutside pics:

A photo posted by y no corndog emoji (@jdgesus) on

A photo posted by Tom Rousculp (@tomrousculp) on

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Comments: 1

  1. Years ago, we had a number of friends over, the connaisseur types. Some of them wanted coffee. So I made them coffee in an old fashioned drip coffee maker. We make a sport out of finding 1-5 dollar coffeemakers at Goodwill stores and the like.

    I got a compliment for the great coffee I had made. Little did she know it was $5.99 No Name coffee from The Westons. And by the way.