First, let’s start with the coffee. In a best case scenario you might want to coarse grind coffee beans of any variety and package them in a sturdy bag or other air-tight container. The coarse ground beans work best for the brewing method I’m going to discuss, but if all you have access to is regular “drip grind” coffee, that will work too. Whole bean coffee is fine as well but needs to be ground before brewing.
Next, the brewing vessel: In my personal go bag, I keep a military canteen cup and a medium size tin can with the detached lid in the bottom of the can. While in my rucksack, the can is packed with a few zip type bags of coffee and other small items to fill the empty space. The same goes for the canteen cup.
Ok, so you get the picture on my setup for making some hot, fresh coffee in the wild using some simple items that are in my kit at all times. Now let’s talk about brewing it up to be enjoyed.. if not savored. The next step is to fire up whatever method you plan to use to get some clean water to a good boil.
Depending on tactical conditions I might be using either the coals from a camp fire, or my field stove. I prefer to boil the water right in the medium tin can so I can add my ground coffee directly once it’s boiling. I normally add about 3 tablespoon sized scoops of coffee for about half a quart of water. After a minute or so, I’ll either move the coffee vessel back from the hottest part of the coals or turn my stove down to let it steep just a little longer. Be careful to use either a gloved hand or a multi-tool type plier to move the can so you don’t get burned.
Now is where I use the lid from the tin can. I carefully set the lid back into the can, keeping it level and then use a clean wooden stick to ease the lid down to press the coffee grounds to the bottom of the can. Next, while I hold the “plunger” in place with one hand, I use my other hand to grasp the can and pour my freshly brewed coffee into my canteen cup. This is why I prefer the course ground coffee over the finely ground kind. Larger grounds will be easier to keep in place with the lid and not floating around in your brew. No worries though if all you have is the finely ground variety. The grounds that do bypass the “press” will sink to the bottom of the canteen cup after a few minutes.
Now your robust, hot cup of liquid joy is ready for sipping satisfaction. From start to finish, the entire process takes about 12 to 15 minutes once the water is put to your heat source to boil. I prefer this method of making ground coffee when I’m in the wild over using any sort of filter because I prefer the bold, satisfying taste that steeping the coffee provides over straining.