The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

How We Tested Camping Coffees

By Penney Garrett ⋅ Senior Review Editor
Saturday August 31, 2019

Our Process


After a lot of research into the best camp coffee makers on the market, we commenced to caffeinate ourselves regularly and liberally. We performed several head-to-head blind taste tests with self-professed coffee lovers and professionals in the industry, noting their preferences in detail. We also made sure to taste with both precise, dialed-in recipes and by just "eye-balling" as a sleepy camper might do. This helped reveal how versatile and user-friendly each device was.

Rotating coffee makers!
Rotating coffee makers!

The Coffee We Used


To ensure that the coffee itself was not an issue with tasting, we selected top quality beans from roasters who know their stuff. Over our various cycles of testing we have used Black Velvet in Mammoth Lakes, CA, Deeper Roots Coffee based in Cincinnati, OH and, most recently, Copper Door Coffee from Denver, CO. Starting with high-quality fresh beans and a good grinder meant that we could evaluate the subtle differences in taste based on the brew methods and remove the variable of bad beans.

Another blind taste test lined up and ready to go. We certainly didn't get sleepy while on this job!
Another blind taste test lined up and ready to go. We certainly didn't get sleepy while on this job!

Where We Tested


We then took each brewer along with us on camping and backpacking trips, trying them in different situations to determine which were the most useful when waking up in the great outdoors, both solo and in a group. We also lent them out to people planning trips who wanted a convenient way to make a morning brew and noted their observations.

Taste more coffee for testing purposes you say? Don't mind if I do!
Taste more coffee for testing purposes you say? Don't mind if I do!

We took special care to notice how easy and intuitive each method was to use, as well as how efficient clean up was. Did the brewer require special filters? Did we have to time the brewing process? Were there lots of small pieces to keep track of? We also paid attention to the weight of each model and how easy or difficult they were to pack up and transport.

The AeroPress is durable  easy to clean  and delivers the best flavor of all our coffee makers.
The AeroPress is durable, easy to clean, and delivers the best flavor of all our coffee makers.

After getting completely spun out on way too many cups of coffee, we compiled all of our research to present you with detailed comparisons. We hope this helps you find the perfect coffee companion for your next adventure, wherever you might find yourself. Salud!

The Cafellissimo is one of our all-around favorite brew methods.
The Cafellissimo is one of our all-around favorite brew methods.