GSI Outdoors Collapsible Java Drip Review
Cons: Doesn't give the best flavor, twice as heavy as other pour-over makers
Manufacturer: GSI Outdoors
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The GSI Collapsible Java Drip is a truly camp-ready brewing device — packable, lightweight, and durable, this pour-over brewer will keep you caffeinated with ease in the backcountry.
The Collapsible Java Drip is a standard pour-over coffee brewer. It uses a #4 coffee filter, though a #2 filter works as well, and can brew anywhere from 1-12 cups of coffee at a time. Be fair-warned, pushing the limits of this mighty dripper's brewing capacity does sacrifice a little of the flavor. While a basket style-filter worked the best with this brewer, none of the filters tested were the ideal fit for this brewer. In spite of this, the flexibility of brewing ranges does give this device a higher capacity than many of the other coffee makers in our review, which is an advantage for group camping.
The taste from the Collapsible Java Drip is not as rich or pure as from other pour-over brewers in our review. This is likely due to its bowl-like shape, which allows pooling at the edges and, ultimately, over-extraction. Or it could be because the hot coffee comes in contact with soft silicone as it brews. A faint scent can be detected from the silicone when it is under hot water and while brewing, which is unappetizing. However, it still makes good coffee in the outdoors, so you don't have to deal with the horror of abstaining from coffee while in the woods.
Ease of Use
The Java Drip is as simple as any pour-over coffee maker. It involves inserting a filter, adding coffee, and pouring in water. An additional aspect about this brewer that we love is that the wide base allows you to brew sturdily atop a more diverse assortment of pots and cups. The silicone material is also a breeze to clean, and the collapsible design means getting packed up and back on the trail is a cinch.
While this dripper may not look like a good candidate for larger groups, it's made to serve up to 12 cups at a time by simply filling the cone with more grounds. This doesn't always provide the best flavor, so you may prefer to do fewer cups at a time and repeat. But if you're in a hurry or filters are scarce, go ahead and load up.
Though the Java Drip doesn't provide the most sophisticated flavor of other brewers we reviewed, it is an incredibly portable option with some well-conceived features that are ideal for camping or backpacking. The silicone cone collapses down into a disc that is not quite an inch thick and just 5 inches across. This can slide into a backpack and cram into a small space much easier than a rigid pour-over cone, and it is much more durable than some of the ultralight options on the market.
This coffee maker is one of the most portable and packable of any that we reviewed, although it isn't the lightest. Even though it packs small, it still weighs 4.76 ounces which is in the middle of the pack. While sub-5 ounces isn't much, it weighs enough to dissuade an ultralight backpacker or through-hiker. You could shave some grams by leaving behind the lid, but you will still need to make sure you have sufficient filters for your trip.
This dripper is very affordable, especially when you consider the capacity it has. You can brew a little or a lot with this silicone device, just keep in mind that you'll also need to purchase filters.
We love the ease of use, packability, and capacity of the GSI Collapsible Java Drip. The small profile means it's great for the space-minded adventurer, and the number of cups it's able to brew at once makes it great for group outings. It can be collapsed and tossed into your camp box along with your headlamp, camp-stove, and tent stakes, and will be ready to use whenever you head out for the weekend. (Everyone has a box like this, right?)
— Mary Witlacil and Penney Garrett