Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: Varies from $23 - $30 | Compare prices at 5 resellers
Pros: Press has included cup, insulators keep coffee warm longer.
Cons: Press tends to get stuck, flavor not as refined as other brew methods, messy cleanup.
Best Uses: Gourmet backpacking, car camping.
If you can't live without your French press coffee in the mornings, then this camp-specific press-pot is worth your while. The insulators keep your coffee warm longer, and the included cup makes sharing easy. It is more convienient to use this separate press than one of the specific press accessories that compliment camp stoves like the Jetboil and the Reactor. If you are looking for the best possible tasting coffee while camping, check out the Aerobie AeroPress. If you want a simple yet refined morning brew, try the Hario V60 Plastic Dripper, which is easier to clean and less expensive.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Personal Java Press is a typical French press, but this one also comes with a cup. Both the press and the cup have neoprene insulators to keep your coffee warm longer on those frosty outdoor mornings.
Coffee brewed in a French press has a distinctive strong, muddy taste. Some coffee drinkers love it, some hate it. When waking up early to a dew-covered sleeping bad, a picnic table, and the scent of pine needles, sometimes a strong press-pot is exactly what you need. This coffee maker did not score particularly high on our taste tests, but if you prefer this type of brew, then this is a good choice for caffeine of the camping variety.
Ease of Use
A French press is easy to use to make coffee, you just throw some grounds into the bottom and pour in water. However, this press seems to get stuck often, and can be hard to press down. The annoying part of a French press is the cleanup. Scooping and rinsing out the grounds is messy, and it is hard to leave no trace with this method – the grounds usually end up somewhere on the ground. This is not allowed in bear country.
Including the cup, this system weighs 11.05 ounces, which is the heaviest coffee method in this review. This would not be the backpacker's choice, but is still handy for the family who heads out on weekends with a well-stocked camp kitchen.
The cup conveniently stacks inside the press (though you have to disassemble the screen and rod first), which makes it pack down decently well, but it is still rather bulky and heavy for stashing in a backpack.
Due to its weight, this press-pot is best used when car-camping and not backpacking.
For almost $30, this press is the same price as the AeroPress, but doesn't produce as rich tasting coffee. For the money we prefer the other press.
— McKenzie Long
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: September 18, 2013
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