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OAUSA Net – June 6, 2109 – Camp Coffee

Posted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:21 pm
by toms
The June 06, 2019 net is all about camp coffee. Many of us enjoy a cup or two of coffee every day and it is no different while camping. We want our coffee for sure in the morning and perhaps again around the camp fire (with a Tequila flavour for me). Being remote, we have to bring all the ingredients, equipment and brew it ourselves.
So tonight, we want to discuss what to bring and how to brew it. And having a back story about our coffee, the harvesting, cleaning, roasting, and grinding just makes it better.

We have to assume while camping we might have no electricity, limited space for gear, and limited trash & water.

Coffee is now in the realm of wine with coffee regions, single sourcing, varieties, boutique roasting and grinding complete with a rating system (1-100) on the final cup.

Any of these topics are fair game. I for one look forward to learning more about coffee from you.

• Benefits of coffee
• History
• Types of Coffee Bean & sources
• Types of roast
• Types of Grind
• Methods and equipment
• Perhaps water
• Additives (sugar, cream, alcohol, umbrellas …)

Post away and be sure to add pictures.

Re: OAUSA Net – June 6, 2109 – Camp Coffee

Posted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:28 pm
by toms
Why do we like coffee?

Did you ever ask yourself why you like coffee? After all it has a bitter taste. Think back on that first-time cup - it was terrible. How did you acquire a
taste for it? Was it social pressure?

The truth is it is addictive, it stimulates the brain and you feel alive. You get a nice release of dopamine.

• Caffeine to stay awake, stimulates your brain
• Addictive --- Withdraw gives headache And irritability
• Our brain responds with a nice release of dopamine.”
• Calms nerves
• Warm you up
• Cuts through sweets (donuts)
• Good social drink
• Enjoy the smell of the ground beans• The ritual of its preparation
• The time taken to sit down and enjoy the coffee

Re: OAUSA Net – June 6, 2109 – Camp Coffee

Posted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:29 pm
by toms
Peet’s Big Bang Coffee
This is my go-to coffee right now. I was introduced to it in Moab, UT during Easter Jeep Safari in April. I had to import my first bag from Washington State at $12.99 for a one pound bag. However just in the last 2 weeks it has exploded onto the shelves of our local super market. I am not confident that Peets has had a large continuing supply of the bean. The beans are an annual crop, so the supply may run out at times based on demand.

Big Bang is a medium roast. The coffee bean is Ethiopian Super Natural.

They claim it has flavor notes of Vibrant blast of tropical fruit sweetness in a smooth, medium style. I agree with the smooth and medium style but can’t taste the fruit.
I am having the best results with a French press using just about 2 Tablespoons of ground coffee to 6 oz. of water.

I paid $7.99 for a 1 pound bag of ground Big Bang last week at a local super market.

This is from the web site and it explains the name.
“Some have described Alfred Peet as the “big bang”* of craft coffee—the one who started it all. When he set up shop in Berkeley back in 1966, he transformed America’s expectations of the depth, body and flavor in our cups. And that pursuit of greatness has never stopped. In celebration of our 50th year, we honored his legacy by taking a bold step ahead. Like Mr. Peet’s pioneering dark roasts, our new signature blend expands the horizon of what coffee can be: vibrant, full-flavored, boldly original, and roasted to medium-bodied perfection. It’s the perfect coffee to honor the man who still inspires us every day.”

Ethiopian Duromina
While we are on the topic of Ethiopian beans, here is an interesting bean story to tell around the camp fire.

They say the city of Jimma in Ethiopia is where coffee was discovered in the 8th century. But by the end of the 1900s the beans from that area had as bad a reputation as you can get.
Most of the coffee was called Jimma 5, because it has all five major defects that come from poor farming. Jimma 5 was so bad it became the trade term for bad coffee in Ethiopia
The 5 defect types are:
• overripe beans, which are called foxies,
• under-ripe beans, which are called quakers,
• cracked beans
• beans chewed by insects.
• bean fermenting for much longer than you should and it becomes rotten called stinkers

To fix the problem 113 farmers created a coop and bought the necessary equipment to clean and polish the beans. They called the coop Duromina, roughly meaning "make us rich."

So, if you see Coffee that says it is Duromina, you know the rest of the story.

You can buy it from Stumptown Coffee Roasters.

Re: OAUSA Net – June 6, 2109 – Camp Coffee

Posted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:37 pm
by toms
Cowboy Coffee – Arbucklesn Ariosa

What Folger did for California goldfield miners, John Arbuckle Jr. did for cowboys in Texas and the Southwest

In 1865, John Arbuckle and his brother Charles patented a process for roasting and coating coffee beans with an egg and sugar glaze to seal in the flavor and aroma. Each package of Arbuckles' contained a stick of peppermint candy. They also introduced the convenient one-pound paper bag of roasted coffee. Prior to this coffee was sold green and had to be roasted in a skillet over a fire or in a wood stove.

In fact, Arbuckles’ Ariosa Blend was so popular in the Old West that most cowboys didn't even know that there was any other. Arbuckles’ Ariosa Blend is still known as the Original Cowboy Coffee. The cowboys liked it because it had a sweet taste from the egg / sugar glaze.

The company was broken up by the family in the late 1930’s and the only brand they produced that survived was Yuban.

In 1974, Pat and Denney Willis were concerned with the inconsistent quality of coffee they were forced to serve in their restaurants. Instead of dealing with numerous coffee services that could only offer high prices and poor quality, they created their own coffee company.

They discovered that the Arbuckles name was available. Pat and Denney knew that they could promise a consistently good cup of coffee, better than the competition; just what the Arbuckle Brothers had promised and fulfilled over 100 years earlier. Arbuckles’ Coffee was reborn.

They operates a 7,000 sq ft. facility deep in the heart of the Old West in historic Tucson, Arizona. Priding itself in its heritage and quality, Arbuckles’ has resurrected the Original Arbuckle Brothers Ariosa Blend, The Coffee That Won the West. It is packaged whole bean or ground in one pound increments with a Peppermint stick, just as the Arbuckle Brothers had done over a century before.

This commitment to quality has also allowed Arbuckles’ Coffee to become the first Certified Organic coffee roaster in the state of Arizona as well as becoming the first TransFair, Fair Trade coffee roaster which gives the coffee farmer a fair and stable price to count on each crop year.

Re: OAUSA Net – June 6, 2109 – Camp Coffee

Posted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:50 pm
by toms
Interesting Tidd Bits

1. The coffee plant has become a major source of oxygen in much of the world. Each hectare of coffee produces 86 lbs of oxygen per day, which is about half the production of the same area in a rain forest.

2. The original Arbuckle’s coffee company packaged trading cards with the coffee. The cards educated coffee drinkers about the West, covering such topics as cooking, geography, sports, U.S. history, birds and other zoological studies.

3. The five-story brick Folger Building remains at 101 Howard Street in San Francisco. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it bears a corner placard that reads THE FOLGERS COFFEE COMPANY.

4. Coffee bags have a one-way valve that lets carbon dioxide escape from the freshly roasted coffee beans which need to de-gas or the bags would explode. The beans slowly release the gas left in them, usually over the course of about two weeks. So bagged coffee is fresher than canned coffee.

5. Sweet Marias sell green bean for roasting, equipment, and is a source of information.

Re: OAUSA Net – June 6, 2109 – Camp Coffee

Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:37 pm
by DaveK

The history of coffee is an interesting one, and worth a look, especially for those who enjoy a regular daily dose. For our purposes, the relevant history of coffee really started during the famous Tea Party which preceded (and perhaps precipitated, in part) the American Revolutionary War. It seems that, prior to the Declaration of Independence, while we were still a "colony" of England, King George levied huge taxes on tea coming in from Jolly Old England. In an overt act of defiance, entire shipments of English tea were consigned to the depths of Davey Jone's locker.

Not surprisingly, Americans, after the tea parties, shifted their beverage preferences to coffee, and Thomas Jefferson was heard to say:
Coffee - the favorite drink of the civilized world
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Not being an expert on Thomas Jefferson, but a pretty good spotter of well placed shots, it sure sounds like ol' Tom took a well aimed shot at the Brits, with that comment. Since that day, we have never looked back and coffee has become the favorite beverage of America. Nuff said.

Benjamin Franklin also had a rather insightful assessment of coffee:
“Among the numerous luxuries of the table…coffee may be considered as one of the most valuable. It excites cheerfulness without intoxication; and the pleasing flow of spirits which it occasions…is never followed by sadness, languor or debility.”
Check out these websitess for an interesting history on coffee.

Re: OAUSA Net – June 6, 2109 – Camp Coffee

Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:38 pm
by DaveK

While there seems to be fewer and fewer limitations on the type of equipment that we see in camp, we will acknowledge that compactness, coffee quality, and function are usually the guidelines for what we bring. For example, I have yet to an see electric (110vAC) drip coffee maker on any of our trips, but I will admit, that given the popularity of inverters, I suppose it may happen. For this net, we won't go there.

So, for camping, especially in remote areas, there are quite a few choices.

1. Percolator
By far, this is the most popular means to make coffee. When attention is paid, it will make for an acceptable cup. It has its advantages, and disadvantages.
  • inexpensive
  • available at almost every camping supply store
  • easy to use
  • less than optimum taste
  • grounds in coffee (sometimes even with a filter
  • nearly impossible to find filters
  • a little messy to clean
Camp Percolator.png
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2. Coffee Presses
These coffee makers go under several names, but often they are referred to as the "French Press", and they enjoy a reputation for producing a really great cuppa Joe.

One "off topic" comment. There seems to be an industry wide tradition that is entirely out of place with the reality of the way most Americans drink coffee. I speak of the annoying habit that nearly all coffee makers use to describe how many cups of coffee their device delivers. So, when you purchase a 12 cup coffee maker, what they mean is that it will deliver 12 five ounce cups. Really!!!!!! Who drinks coffee from a 5 ounce cup, and keep in mind that I did not say espresso!

Sterling Pro ( ... way&sr=8-3)

Back to topic. For camping, when you are preparing breakfast for a number of people, it is much easier, and a whole lot quicker, to have a coffee maker (press) that serves more than a single cup. My search revealed a few such presses that fit this need. I settled on the largest one I could find. Ignoring the "14 cup" claim of the manufacturer, I waited until it arrived and applied the DTK standard to determine what it could actually do. At a minimum, ALL my coffee cups are at least 10 oz, and after filling my favorite 10 ouncer, it turns out that this coffee press can make 5 ten oz cups. That is adequate.

Nice features:
  • large capacity
  • very effective filtering system
  • ALL stainless construction
  • very reasonably priced
  • extra filter screens
  • easy disassembly of screen filter for cleaning
  • insulated carafe
  • very well made and sturdy
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3 American Press

Available at my favorite coffee store, (Black Rifle), the American Press is an ingenious variation of the press style of making coffee. Briefly, instead of having loose grounds (as used in the French Press) this press encapsulates the grounds. The AP makes an exceptionally fine cuppa. Black Rifle says this about the AP ( ... ican-press):
America. As back-to-back world war champs, we excel at many things- taking a proven concept and making it better is one of them.

Our American Press is similar to a French Press but without the mess (you're welcome, France). The unique design of the American Press features a reusable pod that keeps coffee grounds contained, providing easier cleanup and a smooth, complex cup of joe.

Using an ultra-fine stainless-steel filter, the sleek, 12-ounce design brews up to 14 ounces of coffee or tea and is constructed from shatter-resistant, double-walled Tritan for use in even the most extreme environments.
This item is dishwasher safe and BPA free.
The American Press:

American Press-1.jpg
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Re: OAUSA Net – June 6, 2109 – Camp Coffee

Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:41 pm
by DaveK

This will be a sort of "catch-all" post for different thoughts and facts

1. Should we ban coffee?

YEP!!! There have been attempts to ban coffee, and we will reveal them on the net

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2. Are there health benefits of coffee

A debate on this subject has been ongoing for hundreds of years. Science, being what it is, has done some rather embarrassing 180s on the health benefits or dangers of coffee, while pretending to know the truth. In a partial defense of “science”, it must be admitted that there are clearly some things that do indeed take time to research in order to arrive at the correct “scientific” conclusion. In all cases however, it will ALWAYS boil down to the existence or absence of “real” evidence. When it comes to coffee, there appears to be an interesting trend which suggests that coffee does have health benefits, but much research still continues.

More on the net!

3. How long does coffee remain fresh?

There’s not a lot of debate here - coffee will not remain “fresh” for very long. Estimates on this length of time will vary slightly, but it is generally conceded that it will begin losing its freshness immediately after roasting, and this decline will be especially rapid with exposure to air, moisture, heat, and light.

The solution for getting the most from your cuppa is simple
  • purchase roasted coffee in smaller batches that will be consumed relatively quickly
  • store coffee in air tight containers, at cool temperatures, protected from light
  • coffee will absorb moisture, odors and taste, so avoid storage where this will occur
  • coffee beans will stay fresher longer than ground - only grind what you need
  • buy coffee that has recently been roasted
On the question of benefits of freezing coffee, the National Coffee Association USA has some helpful hints. See:

4. What contains more caffeine, dark or lighter roasts?

There are three competing opinions on this, and one of them seems to be correct. Join us on the net to get the answer.

5. What are the different roasts?

Coffee beans, when picked from the tree, are “green” and will be stored as such until they are ready to be roasted. The process of roasting is what turns the green beans into the stuff we use to make America’s favorite beverage. There are 4 widely recognized roasts, as identified by color, but amongst coffee companies, there is not much standardization. Regardless, the 4 categories are light, medium, medium dark, and dark. Again, the National Coffee Association USA has a excellent explanation of the differences in color, and I recommend their website for some great information, . This is what they say:
Most roasters have specialized names for their favored roasts and there is very little industry standardization. This can cause some confusion when you’re buying, but in general, roasts fall into one of four color categories — light, medium, medium-dark and dark.

The perfect roast is a personal choice that is sometimes influenced by national preference or geographic location. Within the four color categories, you are likely to find common roasts as listed below. It’s a good idea to ask before you buy. There can be a world of difference between roasts.

Light roasts

Light brown in color, this roast is generally preferred for milder coffee varieties. There will be no oil on the surface of these beans because they are not roasted long enough for the oils to break through to the surface.

Light City
Half City

Medium roasts

This roast is medium brown in color with a stronger flavor and a non-oily surface. It’s often referred to as the American roast because it is generally preferred in the United States.


Medium dark roasts

Rich, dark color, this roast has some oil on the surface and with a slight bittersweet aftertaste.

Full City

Dark roasts

This roast produces shiny black beans with an oily surface and a pronounced bitterness. The darker the roast, the less acidity will be found in the coffee beverage. Dark roast coffees run from slightly dark to charred, and the names are often used interchangeably — be sure to check your beans before you buy them!

New Orleans
Here is a view of the difference in roast colors from light to dark (from the Home Grounds website -

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6. Made in the USA

For reasons having to do with climate, there is only one location in America where we grow coffee - Hawaii. The coffee is grown on the big island on the Kona coast, from which it gets its name.

Coffee is not native to Hawaii, and its introduction is a fascinating story. Depending on which source you check, there are some minor differences in dates and coffee growing locations, but the general consensus is that it all began around 1825, when Brazilian coffee plantings were brought to Hawaii. Subsequently, in the late 1890s, Guatemalan coffee plants were introduced, and have now become the predominant source for Kona Coffee.

Today, Kona coffee enjoys an enviable reputation for excellence, and it is prized around the world. Production costs make that cuppa Kona more expensive than ordinary coffee, and this has resulted in many coffees that contain a small portion of Kona, and are sold with the Kona name as part of the coffee name (but they are blends.) A bag of 100% Kona is worth the price, but you need to make sure that is freshly roasted, in order to get the most from your purchase.

The history of Hawaiian Coffee is interesting and lengthy, and for those who wish to learn more, here are two excellent websites that offer a much more in depth look at America’s coffee.
Honolulu Coffee - ... d/100-kona
Love Big Island -

Hawaiian Coffee Plantation

Hawaian Coffee Plantation.JPG
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Re: OAUSA Net – June 6, 2109 – Camp Coffee

Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:43 pm
by DaveK

BLACK RIFLE - If it's not the OAUSA officially sanctioned coffee, it should be.

There are many good way to support Veterans. There are many good ways to support Law Enforcement. There are many good ways to support the Second Amendment. Finding a company that does them all, AND makes a great product, is a real bonus. Black Rifle Coffee is one such company.

Their "Mission":
Black Rifle Coffee Company serves coffee and culture to the people who love America.
This is how they describe themselves:
Black Rifle Coffee Company is a premium small-batch, roast-to-order, veteran-owned coffee company. At BRCC, we import our high-quality coffee beans directly from Colombia and Brazil. Then, we personally blend and roast every one of our kick-ass coffees to be shipped directly to you.
On the side of every package of coffee is printed the following:
A portion of profits go to Veteran, LEO, and gun rights organizations
Here is a unique alternative to the Starbucks of the coffee world, while at the same time supporting Veterans, LEO, and the Second Amendment. Chances are pretty good that no other coffee company can offer that.

My first purchase from BRCC was their Beyond Black roast. NO BS - It is great!!! BRCC coffee is available directly from the company ( Try it.

Black Rifle Coffee I.jpg
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Re: OAUSA Net – June 6, 2109 – Camp Coffee

Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:47 pm
by NotAMog
Espresso Drinks and Camping Preparation Paraphernalia


In many parts of world the first thing that comes to mind when someone wants a coffee is not something from an electric drip maker, or single serve pod type machine but something that starts with a shot or two of espresso. There are a myriad of different espresso drinks that have been concocted over the last few decades. Most are variations of different amounts of espresso, steamed milk, hot water, and steamed milk foam.

Here are a few of the most common ones -

Espresso - Finely ground dark roast coffee that is placed into a "portafilter", tamped down with some pressure using a tamper designed to fit the portafilter, heated water is forced through the coffee preferably using a hand operated lever pump. More often these days the water is forced through the coffee using an electric pump which reduces some of the variability in making a cup of espresso but also eliminates some of the control the barista has making it.

A perfect cup of espresso is something that needs to be experienced but is difficult to produce. There are many variables that go into making an espresso, the coffee beans, roast, grind, pressure tamping, water temperature, water ph, water pressure, speed the water is forced through the coffee being the most prevalent.

A single shot of espresso is around an 1 ounce of liquid and has a fine coffee foam on the top called crema.

Macchiato - A single or double shot of espresso with a dollop of milk foam on top. The name comes from the coffee being "marked".

Cappuccino - A double shot of espresso with an equal amount of hot steamed milk and milk foam. The name comes from the color of the drink which is the same as that of the robes worn by Capuchin monks.

Latte - A single or double shot of espresso with more than an equal amount of steamed milk, often double the amount or more, topped with varying amounts of milk foam depending on location or latte variant. The name is short of caffellatte (IT), caffe au lait (FR), cafe con leche (SP), or Milchkaffee (GR), which are all haughty taughty ways for Americans to say milk coffee in foreign languages. I guess ordering milk coffee in abbreviated Italian sounds more exotic, like specifying the size of the paper cup in Latin. :D

Americano - A shot of espresso diluted with hot water to make it more like traditional American brewed coffee.

Caffe corretto - This is not a common drink in the U.S. but I wanted to mention it. It's a shot of espresso with a few drops of grappa. I brought it because to me it tastes amazingly like Pepsi.


I never liked coffee until I was on a trip to Europe with a friend who had been to Germany and Switzerland on a couple of foreign exchange student trips, an overseas study program, and a work study program. We stayed with various people she had met rather than in hotels. Everywhere we stayed we were offered an espresso, cappuccino, or latte at breakfast. To be polite I would go ahead and drink it. After about the 3rd day I decided that I'm starting to like this stuff and by the end of the trip I was hooked.

What I discovered was that I didn't like perked coffee from any automatic percolator which was the staple of my parent's generation. I that was the primary reason I never liked coffee before my trip to Europe.

As soon as I got back I bought my first home espresso machine. Also wanting something for camping I got one of these -

Simple Stovetop Espresso Maker.jpg
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These basic stove top espresso makers make one cup of really strong coffee by forcing water up from the bottom through the coffee to the container on top. The problem with these kind of makers is that the water is hotter than it needs to be for optimal extraction so the coffee often has a harsh taste. Still they are inexpensive, simple, and anything hot tastes good on a cold morning when camping.

Getting a little more sophisticated, I saw one of these that someone had on a very cold desert camping trip where everyone's water froze when it got down to 9 degrees one morning when we were staying on a dry lake bed ;) -

Mukka Express.jpg
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This is very similar to the stove top espresso maker above but this one is designed to put milk in the top section which is steamed as the coffee is forced up from the bottom making a fairly decent cappuccino or latte depending on how much milk you use.

I used both of these makers for many years and still keep them as part of my camping kit. As my taste for coffee became more refined and I started frequenting mom and pop coffee houses, I began looking for something that would make an even better cup of coffee. The makers above are not true espresso makers. A true espresso maker forces water at about 190 to 200 degrees through the coffee under pressure from a pump. The makers above use steam to force almost boiling water through the coffee. The traditional espresso makers use a hand pump which allows the barista to control the time and pressure of the draw. Traditional manual pump style espresso makers are generally very expensive costing $800 and up.

A few years ago at the Overland Expo I saw one of these espresso makers in one of the booths -

ROK Espresso Maker in Use.jpg
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I wanted to find out more but it was early in the morning and no one was around so I took some pictures and searched for one on the Internet after I got home.

It's a compact version of a traditional espresso machine. The ground espresso coffee is packed into a "portafilter" that attaches below the pump cylinder. To use this machine you push the levers all the down and fill the container at the top with water at the correct 190 to 200 degree temperature. Slowly lift of on the levers and a one way valve will allow the water to flow into the pump chamber. Once the levers are all the way up and the pump chamber is full you push down on the levers slightly to wet the coffee grounds (actually more like coffee dust for espresso). After a second or so you push down on both levers evenly to force the hot water through the coffee to produce a shot or real espresso which can be as good as anything found at your neighborhood boutique coffee shop and certainly better than what's found at the more ubiquitous chain on almost every city street corner. The advantage here is that you can make an excellent espresso even when camping in the wilderness.

The drawback to this type of maker is that it is somewhat expensive at about $150 and it requires a fair amount of other paraphernalia to make the best coffee. This is assuming you're not grinding fresh coffee every morning as well. Sometimes you do need to make compromises. We're camping after all :lol:

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Actually I do have a hand crank coffee grinder but it's very slow and I find that when I'm camping with a group I'm usually acting as the camp barista. It's too slow to keep up hand grinding all the coffee. So far, I haven't found a proper burr type grinder that runs on 12v. Maybe Makita will come out with an 18v coffee grinder someday to go with their 18v coffee maker -

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