If you live in urban surrounds, there’s a coffee shop on every corner, a coffee machine in every office and coffee gadgets in every household. But when you’re camping out in the beyond it becomes a little trickier. Few of us have enough space to pack a fancy coffee machine or space to pack fancy, breakable coffee gear. So how do you make the perfect cup of coffee while in the bush?
The most popular method, by far, is the Afrikaans moerkoffie. It’s made with ground coffee in a simple coffee pot (enamel or aluminium will do), on a stove or over an open fire. Contrary to popular belief, its name does not come from the aggressive Afrikaans term, but actually from the Dutch noun moer which means “a layer of sediment”. While this might not sound appealing but this method really works and will satisfy your coffee craving.
There are different methods of making moerkoffie, but simpler is always better.
- Check the instructions of your chosen coffee for the correct coffee-to-water ratio. The rule of thumb is to use no less than 60 grams of coffee per litre of water.
- Add cold water and ground coffee to your coffee pot.
- Place on stove or fire, and allow to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Pour into a coffee cup (traditionally an enamel mug) through a fine strainer, to filter out the coffee grounds.
- Add sweetened condensed milk, to taste.
- Add hot milk to adjust the strength of the coffee to your taste.
- If the weather’s cold, or if morale is down, a shot of brandy or rum might be added.
WATCH THE WATER TEMPERATURE
The key to great coffee is to make sure that the water is very hot, but doesn’t actually start boiling, which can make the coffee bitter. Your best bet is to heat the water enough so that the coffee grounds move through it without it actually boiling – at least not bubbling violently.
Another idea for camping is to make coffee in your Moka Pot.