HOW A COFFEE HABIT BROUGHT LATTE TO THE WILDERNESS
I originally bought a small French press to wean myself off my four-cup-a-day coffee habit. Two cups should really be plenty, I reasoned. Especially if they were high-quality, French-pressed goodness. And it worked. The French press was easy to use, the coffee was satisfyingly tasty and the entire process of brewing the cup was enticing.
So enticing, in fact, that I decided to bring my French press along on a camping trip with friends a few years back. We’d have to make coffee in batches, but the superior taste would be worth it. Plus, what was the rush? We were camping (with style and all the necessities).
One morning, a friend said she wished she could have a latte instead of straight-up coffee. We tried simmering some milk in a pan on the camp stove, but the froth was painfully missing. French press to the rescue! We poured hot milk into a clean press, then moved the plunger up and down quickly inside the glass chamber. Surprisingly, we generated a nice froth, and the Camp Stove Latte was born!
Over the years, we’ve found that we needed a bigger French press when camping, mostly because everyone wants in on the action. The kids want frothy hot cocoa, and the grown-ups want fluffy lattes with breakfast and sometimes with s’mores in the evenings. It’s not uncommon these days to have two, or even three, French presses in our collective camping kits, with different presses designated for different tasks. But am I still drinking only two cups a day? Well, maybe not when I’m camping, but that’s OK!
Shawn Connally is the Director of Digital Media for Make: Online and Craftzine and a big fan of good java.