Coffee is our second favorite brewed drink (a nice craft pale ale is first) for camping, and it is damn near impossible for me to get up an going without coffee in the mornings. Without the creature comfort of a Mr. Coffee when I am camping, you need to get creative to get your morning brew. I have tried lots of different methods of making coffee in the outdoors, including generic instant coffee, tea-bag style coffee, and Starbucks Via Instant Coffee, but have never found the perfect camping coffee. Truth be told, I do not mind Starbucks Via Instant Coffee, it is not great but will do the job and is easy to clean up, but my wife cannot stand them, so I decided to try out the GSI Outdoors JavaPress.
The model I picked up holds 30 fl. oz. and comes with an insulated sleeve to keep the coffee warm and keep you from burning your hands and makes five cups of coffee per brew if you follow the US standard of 6 oz cups of coffee. However, no actually drinks 6oz of coffee, as 6oz is more like a shot of espresso. In the US people usually drink 12 oz cups of coffee. So by that standard, the GSI Outdoors JavaPress makes about 2.5 cups of coffee per brew. The JavaPress also comes with instructions for using it as a drip coffee maker as well.
GSI Outdoors JavaPress – Bottom Line
French press coffee is an acquired taste, as the coffee is usually stronger than drip coffee (wish someone would have told me this before I made my first pot), and often comes out “muddy”, with some grinds in your coffee. However, it is a sturdy product and once dial in the amount of coffee you prefer, making coffee is pretty easy with the JavaPress.
Our biggest issues with the Java Press were with the spout and the cleanup. The spout drips when you are pouring coffee from the Java Press, leaving coffee to run down and stain the insulating sleeve. The other issue is not unique to the JavaPress and is an issue with all french press style coffee pots. The issue is cleanup; it is a pain in the a** to clean out the spent coffee grinds, and makes practicing leave no trace camping difficult. We have heard complaints about the plunger on the JavaPress getting stuck frequently, requiring you to back up the plunger and press it again. We have not run into this issue at all.
Overall this is a great product and we recommend it for making coffee when car camping, but not backpacking as the JavaPress is a little too bulky and heavy for backpacking use.
GSI Outdoors JavaPress Pictures