Munieq makes a handful of very light, elegant camping bits in Japan. I have used many a woodsy coffee maker. Let me tell you about them, because you have nothing better to do.
- Vietnamese dropper. Looks like a little metal top hat, perhaps one worn by a very small Bond villain. He makes really hot coffee on his head then throws the used grounds at Bond while making his escape by very slowly pouring sweetened condensed milk on the ground. This dripper is pretty ok. It keeps coffee hot, but it’s easy to overfill, and leaves lots of sooty coffee sludge on the bottom of the cup. For winter camping, good. For other camping, you can do better. Medium PITA to clean. 9/10 for winter, 5/10 for summer use.
- GSI french press. The French do many things right, like wearing stripes, movies where nothing happens and nothing gets resolved, letting Serge Gainsbourg exist, but french press coffee is really bad. Gritty, strong without being good. If you like French Press coffee, you probably also like dark roast, which is the coffee equivalent of a well done steak. It’s burnt, and you are drinking the taste of burning, not coffee. The GSI french press is huge, feels cheap, and it’s only benefit is that you can make maybe 4 cups of coffee at time. It’s really easy to make a mess and get the insulating sleeve all coffee gritted up. Takes up a grundle of space. 3/10, which only gets the 3 because of the size allowing for bigger groups to make more coffee in one go.
- Snow Peak Ti French Press. This is just a lighter, smaller version of the GSI made out of Ti. It doesn’t insulate, and costs a fortune. 1/10.
- Malita Plastic Dripper Thing. Great for car camping, or bike camping where you have panniers and a lot of space and just DGAF about bulk. Cheap, available everywhere, makes a good cup of coffee. Plastic, so that’s not ideal. Coffee quality: 10/10. Bike packing relevance: 3/10
- Snow Peak Folding Coffee Dripper. On paper this thing is amazing. Looks great. Folds flat. Made in Japan, stainless steel! In use it’s unstable, easily damaged, and heavy. Makes a fine cup of coffee if it doesn’t collapse and pour hot water all over your pants. Which I’ve done more than once. 4/10
- Jame’s ultralight special: MSR tent stake, hemp coffee filter for a Malita with two holes punched in it. Suspend over cup. Works fine, but it’s gross and hard to clean. Also you need a tall cup. 4/10
- Munieq folding coffee dripper. Makes coffee as good as a Malita or Hario dripper (I cut down hario filters for mine) but it’s lighter, packs to nothing, and it’s elegant AF. Comes in a friggin’ leather envelope. Once you figure out how to click it together, which takes 3 to 40 minutes the first time you do it, it’s actually very fast to set up. 10/10. Winner of the 2022 James’s’s’ gear of the year award, which doesn’t exist and no one gives a crap about.
Get the small one for one person cups of coffee up to 350mm. Get the bigger one for everything else.