Vacation Brewing

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.

#1: Post by radioradio »

Hi all,
I'm getting ready to go on a family vacation. Rather than drag my V60 and all associated gear to just brew for myself (or a small number of folks) I'd like to just elevate the coffee game for the whole gang. I'm thinking if I bring a scale with a standard drip brewer I can at least generate some repeatable recipes.
Any thoughts on beans? I'm thinking something available in most grocery stores that is not at specialty coffee pricing.
Maybe I need to bring my grinder? (Ode gen 1 w/ SSP burrs)
I'm interested in suggestions/ideas.

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Team HB

#2: Post by Jeff »

Dunkin' Donuts did well in James Hoffman's blind tasting of "supermarket" coffee. I have not tried it myself.

Depending on where you go on vacation, you can probably pick up Intelli, Stumptown, Counter Culture, or similar. They all have a solid medium or medium-dark that would likely not offend anyone. Blue Bottle may have a medium-ish roast, but my recollection from years ago was that they tended to be darker than I prefer. Your family's tastes may disagree with mine. If I had the space in my luggage, I'd just buy the coffee at home. Another options would be to have a roaster ship it to your destination.

I had thought about "playing barista" with a couple drippers, but I'm not sure that scales well. Even using something with as simple a pour structure as the April Dripper, I don't think I'd be comfortable trying to manage more than two at a time, or about 4 "cups" as a regular person might describe them (2x 30:500). Two drippers, two scales and two carafes seems bulky.

A large French Press might be a good way to make coffee for 4-6 with comparatively little fuss in a compact package. The "wait longer, really, no, even longer" approach to getting the silt to settle works well. One of the larger Chemex units would be another transportable choice. I don't know much about affordable "coffee makers", but Wirecutter (NY Times) likes the Oxo and Ninja units.


#3: Post by AnotherADDiction »

For an auto dripper, I see the Behmor Brazzen Plus 3 looks like our does some nice things and is about $200.00. I haven't used one but I'm feeling the itch to try it out. ... rewer.html


#4: Post by thirdcrackfourthwave »

If you got two Kalita 185s you could kick out 8 cups (50 ish oz.) in about 4 minutes if you did them simultaneously. One scale and just note which level of 'ring' the pours weighed out at and reached and you're darn close. I'd get the steel for travel--which, btw, is why I'd stay away from Chemex. The truth is most drink junk so even if you messed up a Kalita it might still be the best coffee they've had.

Not sure what 'specialty' pricing is and what you are comfortable paying but . . . .if you are 'elevating the game' in my market I can find specialty stuff for around buck an ounce.


#5: Post by pavel »

I travel A LOT due to my work. This is how I handle it:

- Usually I plan to visit roasters/coffee shops in a new area and buy coffee there. If I travel to places without good coffee - I always bring my own, quality coffee. Personally I don't drink supermarket/hotel coffee. Well, in exceptional cases. And I don't share my expensive specialty coffee with people who don't really appreciate coffee (what's the point, when they want to dilute beautiful v60 geisha with milk?!).
- I bring my Kinu 47 with me. Its small enough to take with me. Wouldn't bring anything bigger.
- Sometimes I go to local coffee shops (preferably with EK-43)
- As a last solution - I pre-grind coffee at home at take it with me. Imo, it don't go stale. Sure, you might lose some taste or aroma, but I don't find it impact taste THAT much. That being said, I never bring my finest beans with me, as I don't have means to really control temperature, weight/ratio so precisely.
- As for the drip - Chemex is a pain, due to it being made of glass. V60 needs a lot more precision to produce quality. So my "go to" is either CleverDrip - super easy, perfect for those kind of things, or AeroPress (single dose/smaller cups).

Good luck!

radioradio (original poster)

#6: Post by radioradio (original poster) »

Thanks for the tips everyone!
Here's what I decided to go with. Went to the grocery store and picked out two coffees. First Peets light roast, Luminosa Breakfast Blend and Red Rooster(Floyd, VA) Funky Chicken. The Peet's is pre-ground and I've ground the Funky Chicken for a drip coffee maker.

So I thought I should do a cupping of these two and compare to one of my current favorites, Ceremony Coffee Roasters, Peru Velo de Novia. I've never compared coffees like these before. I've only done cupping once before. I was really surprised at the stark contrast between the grocery store coffees and the Velo de Novia. My palate is not very developed but I could taste a BIG difference between the three.
  • Peet's had some sweetness to it but not much else was noticeable. Ok coffee flavor.
  • Funky Chicken did have a little of a citrus finish but much muted by comparison to the Velo de Novia.
  • Velo de Novia was so much brighter than the other two with good fruit notes that were missing in the others.
Now I can really see/taste why I'm paying so much more for fresh specialty coffee and grinding it at home just before brewing. Dramatic difference!

Anyway, should be a great vacation with some good coffee. There's a specialty coffee place there too so I'll be sure to try that too. Their web site says they serve Onyx coffees so looking forward to trying them.

Thanks again,


#7: Post by Mbb »

I bring small coffee scale, grinder, v60, kettle, and coffee when i travel.

In a pinch there's been a couple of supermarket coffees that I could get by with doing a pourover. They're all much better than Keurig crap. A few whole beans that actually have dates on them even if the dates are pretty old .

I don't need a scale big enough to weigh my coffee as I make it, because I know the level I need to fill my vacuum tumbler up to..... And when I get to it I stop. Just a tiny gram scale to weigh the coffee.

I have ordered coffee from local roasters even when I was out of country on extended trips in order to have fresh coffee.

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Randy G.

#8: Post by Randy G. »

Espro stainless steel press. Virtually unbreakable, double-wall, and makes a marvelous brew.
* 22nd Anniversary 2000-2022 *
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#9: Post by Scheissami »

I only tend to bring my coffee gear with me when we're driving and can spare the room, otherwise I just make do.

Hand grinder, either aero press or metal v60 are usually what I use. Small Acaia scale. If I were making coffee for others I'd probably use a large French press since it's so forgiving and requires no additional equipment; plenty of inexpensive metal models out there.

If you do plan on pour over, I recently picked up a Mellowdripper so I don't have to worry about crappy pours from non-gooseneck kettles and I really enjoy how consistent it has made my coffees, even at home.

Also, depending on where you're going, the water can have a dramatic impact on your brews. May be worth bringing along a few packets of Third Wave Water and buying a jug of distilled water when you get to your location.


#10: Post by travis_rh »

Consider drip packets. I've really come to enjoy these in particular:

In all honesty, I have sometimes gotten better extracted, more enjoyable cups out of these than I have at specialty shops.