One of our bumper stickers: PEACE LOVE COFFEE (stacked, so Peace is first….although some have suggested that Coffee needs to be first because how can you have peace and love without coffee first?). But, we digress. The point is: no matter where you are when traveling, it is easy to make your very own pour- over coffee. This is our preferred method since the resulting brew is fresh and potent. Even if you prefer french press or drip coffee, you will still be happy with the taste of pour- over and happy to save a whole lotta money. We even made our own pour- over in Paris, Amsterdam & Shanghai, China! All you need is hot water, a cone (plastic ones are easy to put into a purse or backpack) and a filter (we like Melita’s Bamboo brown filters), and , of course, a cup. We travel with a Made in the USA stainless steel travel mug as well as a Nissan stainless steel (made in Japan) thermos….the thermos is way too bulky to take internationally, so we use it when we travel in our van. AWESOME to awake and have all the makings at the ready for that first cup of the day! (another digression is in order: the stainless steel mugs from China are thin and stain easily, retaining very little heat and are hard to clean). Sometimes, like in Paris, a paper cup is more practical.
So much money has been saved using this simple (and better) approach: we estimate hundreds. Don’t get the idea we are cheapskates, please. In Paris, for example, espresso is the preferred method . BUT, we get headaches from espresso. Without our handy- dandy coffee set-up , we would have been zombies in Paris, walking about with glazed eyes and pained expressions! Surprisingly, most cafes or convenience stores will give your hot water for free. In the USA, even with so many cafes and, yes, Starbucks and Peets, we find that pour over is still the best, AND ALWAYS ORGANIC! Luckily, Starbucks and some independent cafes are now offering the pour over option. This is fabulous. However, for a daily intake of 3 to 4 cups for us, that would add up to more than we care to spend on coffee. Once in awhile we do partake of pour- over in a cafe. Supporting a small business feels good and, hey, we don’t want to be accused of rigidity!
IRONY ALERT: WE ARE ARDENT LOVERS OF COFFEE SHOPS, SO IT IS HIGHLY IRONIC THAT WE SELDOM LIKE THE COFFEE THEY SERVE! SO, WE GET HOT CHOCOLATE, LATER IN THE DAY, AND ENJOY one of the cafe’s pastries as well. THE SPECIAL AMBIENCE OF A CAFE IS ONE OF LIFE’S GREATEST PLEASURES. BESIDES, MOST CAFES OFFER THE ENTICEMENT OF CONVERSATIONS WITH OTHERS. (READ: MEET NEW PEOPLE, MAKE A NEW FRIEND)
ADDED BENEFIT: We even make coffee while driving. Of course, this means one drives while the other makes the coffee. The mug sits in the coffee holder (imagine a vehicle without one?), the cone sits atop the mug, coffee poured into the cone & filter, thermos in hand ,and…..BINGO….hot , darn good coffee at the ready. Money saved, no stopping at an (ugh) gas station or (ugh) convenience store….and TIME saved as well. PLUS,, the aroma of coffee wafts about the van. We call it “VAN COFFEE.”