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    8 Ways to Make Coffee Off Grid

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    8 Ways to Make Coffee Off Grid

    For those of us who love our morning cup of joe, it can be hard to wake up in the morning without it. Living off the grid, or spending time in nature off the grid , can pose challenges when it comes to our morning coffee. While coffee isn’t a necessity for everyone, it is quite the opposite for those that are used to their daily pick-me-up.

    If you already live an off-grid lifestyle, you may know a few of these ways to make coffee without electricity. For those of us who hope to live off-grid someday or want to live off-grid as much as we can, these coffee options are also good to know. Here are 8 ways to make coffee when you're off the grid.

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    1. Percolator

    Pouring Coffee from a Percolator

    The classic old-school method of making coffee without electricity involves the percolator. This two chamber pot is usually easy to find at your local outdoor equipment store, large retailers, used donation stores, or even online

    To use the percolator, you’ll need a source of heat like a campfire, water, and coffee grounds. Fill the bottom chamber of the percolator with cold water, and then add a few teaspoons of coffee to the percolator on top. As the water boils, it transfers to the top of the percolator and is distributed over the coffee grounds. The water is filtered through the bottom of the grounds, and brewed coffee is ready to pour.

    Just be sure to pull the percolator off the heat source before it boils, so you don’t get grounds in the coffee.

    2. Coffee Strainer

    Steel Coffee Strainer

    Another simple way to make coffee off-grid is to create your own kind of coffee pot set up. Using a coffee strainer allows you to funnel hot water over coffee grounds into another pot or glass. Depending on the size of the strainer, you may need to pour the hot water slowly or allow it time to filter between pours. 

    You can use a stainless steel strainer and create your own homemade strainer system with a coffee filter and funnel. It is easier to use a coffee strainer if you’re making a smaller amount of coffee for 1-2 people.

    3. French Press

    French Press with Coffee

    For a bit of a fancier option, using a french press is much like an inverted percolator. You can locate a french press in many retailers and online. The french press itself usually comes in glass form, making it a bit less rugged than a percolator. The key to using a french press is that it is not used on a direct heat source, but instead uses hot water made from another pot.

    To use a french press, you’ll need a heat source, like a campfire or a propane camping stove. Boil the water in a separate pot or kettle on the heat source. Add coffee grounds to the bottom of the french press depending on how strong you like your coffee. Allow the boiled water to cool slightly, and then pour the hot water into the french press. 

    Stir the grounds and water, and then place the lid on top. Allow the coffee to steep for about 4 minutes, and then slowly press the top plunger down until it stops near the bottom. As you press, the coffee grounds will be pressed to the bottom while the coffee will sit on top of the press.

    4. Cold Brew

    One of the best ways to make coffee off-grid is to try out cold brew, which is literally making coffee without heat. Start by mixing coffee grounds into the water, depending on how strong you like your coffee. If you’re not sure how much to mix, try using half a cup of grounds with 2 cups of water. Cover the pot or jar and let it sit for at least 12 hours. The caffeine will soak into the water the more time you let the mixture sit. 

    Filter the cold brew through a sieve, cheesecloth, or paper coffee filter when ready to drink. Cold brew is much more caffeinated than regular coffee, so many people cut the cold brew with water or milk. Start with 1 part cold brew to 3 parts water or milk to see how much you like it, and then adjust it to your taste. Ice may be a bit harder to come by when living off-grid, so you could enjoy cold brew at room temperature.

    5. Neapolitan/Moka Pot

    Neapolitan Coffee Maker

    Another unique way of making coffee that is more like espresso is with a Neapolitan Pot. Also called a Moka Pot, this style of coffee maker uses steam and pressure to squeeze out as much caffeine from the beans as possible. Neapolitan Pots are stainless steel, making them rugged enough for life outdoors. 

    To use one, fill the bottom chamber with water. Place the coffee beans inside the coffee trough that sits on top of the bottom chamber. Add the seal ring and filter on top of the grounds and then screw on the top pot. When put on a heat source, the water in the bottom will boil, and the pressure will push the water through the grounds and filter to the top chamber. 

    Neapolitans are best for those single coffee drinkers who only need a small amount of coffee. However, a chamber could be big enough to serve two coffee enthusiasts since the result is more of an espresso rather than drip coffee.

    6. Instant Coffee

    If you aren’t too picky about the type of coffee you have, instant coffee is always an option. There are many different flavors and types available at your local grocery store. Instant coffee is made of freeze-dried coffee beans turned into powder. Once you add the powder to hot water, the coffee dissolves, much like making a cup of hot cocoa. 

    Instant coffee has come a long way in terms of taste. While you can still find the original companies that make instant coffee, the bigger brands now make their own instant coffee versions. You can even pick up instant coffee packets that come in flavored latte options for easy coffee off the grid for the ultimate convenience.

    7. Cowboy Style

    Cowboy Coffee

    For those off-the-grid who are the rough and tumble type (and don’t mind a few coffee grounds in your teeth), there is always cowboy style. This no-muss, no-fuss way to get your morning cup of joe is quick and easy. Just put some coffee grounds and hot water into a cup.

    While some don’t mind the mix of coffee and grounds, this is a last resort option for those who really need their daily caffeine fix.

    8. Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans

    Okay, we know that this is kind of a shortcut for your daily caffeine fix, but carrying chocolate-covered espresso beans may be the best option. Pack a small bag of these sweet treats that pack quite the caffeine punch. Crunching on just one ounce of chocolate-covered espresso beans will give you about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee.

    While there are a few ways to get your coffee fix while living off the grid, we all have our favorite go-to style. Most of these options require some sort of heat source, like a fire or propane, to warm up the water used for coffee. Other options like cold brew and chocolate-covered espresso beans require no heat source at all. 

    No matter how you make your morning cup of joe, consider trying out one of these different ways to make coffee off the grid. You never know; you could find a style that works for you!

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