GSI Outdoors Personal Java Press Review
Cons: Lids can be sticky, unrefined flavor, messy cleanup
Manufacturer: GSI Outdoors
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GSI Outdoors Personal Java Press
|Price||$38 List||$29.95 at REI|
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$9.20 at Amazon
$11.79 at Amazon
|$34.95 at Amazon|
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|Pros||Very portable, compact, comes with a mug that nests inside press, press and cup are insulate, silicone gasket reduces coffee residue||Gourmet flavor, stylish, compact, easy to clean, easy to use, made from stainless steel||Gourmet flavor, well-conceived design, ceramic version available for home use||No filter needed, tiny and light, consistently good taste||Amazing flavor, versatile, very portable, simple cleanup|
|Cons||Lids can be sticky, unrefined flavor, messy cleanup||Hefty, not ideal for big groups||Special shaped filters are harder to find, expensive for a plastic dripper, heavier than other brands||Must lift filter out of most cups to avoid over-steeping, poor for large groups||Lots of little pieces to mind, heavy for backpacking|
|Bottom Line||This brewer is a score for the French press lover that camps, but there are other options that make better-tasting coffee||A cleverly designed, compact, and easy to clean pour-over device that brews consistently great coffee||The iconic pour over model in a light plastic package, delivering a consistently great flavor||The best option for light travel and backpacking, this savvy brewer will keep you caffeinated without taking up space in your bag||This is our top scorer for taste and we love its durability, ease of use, and versatility|
|Rating Categories||GSI Outdoors Person...||MiiR Pourigami||Hario V60 Plastic D...||Primula Coffee Brew...||AeroPress Coffee Maker|
|Ease of Use (25%)|
|Group Cooking (15%)|
|Specs||GSI Outdoors Person...||MiiR Pourigami||Hario V60 Plastic D...||Primula Coffee Brew...||AeroPress Coffee Maker|
|Measured Weight||Press alone: 9 oz
Press + cup: 12 oz
|Dripper alone: 4.89 oz
Dripper + case: 5.52 oz
|Dripper alone: 2.95 oz
Dripper + scoop: 3.37 oz
|1.1 oz||Press alone: 7.98 oz
Press + spoon + stirrer: 9.39 oz
|Brew Type||French Press||Pour Over||Pour Over||Pour Over||Pour Over/Press Hybrid|
|Main Material||Shatter-resistant, BPA-Free Infinity clear polypropylene with removable insulating EVA sleeves||Stainless steel with Hardshell powder coat||Hard plastic||Nylon filter||BPA-free polypropylene|
|Notable Features||Included mug nests inside press||Easy to clean, collapsible pour over with slim carrying case||Cone shape, large hole, ribs along side||Rests on any mug||Easy to clean, re-usable filter|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The GSI Outdoors Personal Java Press is a fantastic option for camping and backpacking with friends. It is a bit on the heavy side, so it isn't ideal if you are trying to go ultralight, but it does come with a mug so that you can share coffee with your compadres.
The Personal Java Press is a typical French press, but the price includes a cup with a lid as well! Both the press and the cup have nylon insulators to keep your coffee warm longer, especially on those frosty outdoor mornings.
Coffee brewed in a French press has a distinctively strong taste with a thicker (sometimes even muddy) consistency. Some coffee drinkers love it. Some hate it. But on those crisp camp mornings, when you wake up to a dew-covered sleeping bag and the scent of pine needles, sometimes a strong pot of French press coffee is just the thing you need to start your day off with a bang. While the Personal Java Press did not score particularly high in our taste tests, it provides a decently tasty brew for those of us who prefer strong French press coffee.
Ease of Use
A French press is one of the easiest methods for making coffee, and the Personal Java Press is no different. Just throw some grounds into the bottom of the press, add water, stir, and wait for the magic to happen. If you want to hone your French press skills, you can time how long you steep for a more consistent flavor, but this is not a necessary step. There were, however, a couple of noteworthy issues with this brewer that made it slightly more difficult to use than your average press. For one, we struggled to remove the lids on both the cup and the press — both of which got easier over time but were never quite easy. The press can also be a little sticky while plunging. Finally, one of the main concerns with 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. Keep in mind, this is not allowed in bear country, so do your research about the area you're heading into beforehand.
This press can brew 20 ounces at a time, plenty to get two people at least partially going in the morning. Nylon sleeves insulate both the press itself and the additional mug, so your brew will stay warm while you break down your tent.
The Personal Java Press comes with a separate cup that stacks conveniently inside the press, like Russian nesting dolls (though you have to disassemble the screen and rod first). We like this feature because it means that the mug and press pack down neatly and command very little space in your camp kitchen bin. Despite this great feature, this press is a little too bulky and heavy to be ideal for backpacking.
Including the cup, the Personal Java Press weighs 12 ounces, which is on the heavy side for coffee makers in this review. While not the best option for most backpackers, the die-hard lover of French press coffee could make it work. For the rest of us, it is a great and durable option for car camping or van-living.
The Personal Java Press certainly isn't the cheapest option to be had, but the fact that it includes a mug and doesn't require filters is a significant bonus. It's also mega durable, insulated, and quite packable — even for its size and weight — so, for the right user, this is a slammin' deal.
For the French press lover who wants a decently compact and burly setup, the GSI Outdoors Personal Java Press with its accompanying mug is a solid choice. Due to its weight, it's probably better suited for car camping than backpacking, though for short trips where you want all your favorite luxury items, it might be just fine.
— Mary Witlacil
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