For me, having a fresh coffee on the mountains is my one luxury. I’ll cut down weight elsewhere, but fresh coffee no way.
So far I’ve always used the AeroPress, in fact I’m a bit of an evangelist for it. The AeroPress is pretty light and easy to use, I just take ground coffee with me. The only slight hassle is that it requires little filters to use, but I pop them in my wallet and job done. There are some other good cafetiere type gadgets too and of course the Growers Cup packets which are pretty good, and certainly the lightest and easiest. In short, it would take quite a lot for me to swap my AeroPress.
So enter the Cafflano… this is a brilliantly packaged coffee maker that includes a hand grinder. Yep, this is one for real coffee geeks. I’ve been grinding coffee at home for a year or so and found it improving quality marginally, but enjoying the time it takes. On a mountain slowing down is even more appealing.
The coffee maker is made up of a cup, a filter dripper, a hand-mill grinder and drip kettle and cover. The grinder is a ceramic burr style and of good quality and is of comparable quality to my Hario grinder. Now you probably aren’t going to take scales on the hill, but this it holds the right amount of beans and with a little experimentation then I found the right grind. It screws into the tumble, over the filter.
The ground coffee neatly lands in the filter dripper made from stainless steel negating the need for filters, a big advantage. It’s easy to clean too.
The hot water is then decanted into the ‘drip kettle’. This also acts as the lid and is of a convenient size for a coffee. There’s a little spout at the top that lets the water out in a steady flow that helps the brewing process. I found the spout a little too near the lip as water kept splashing over and I’m not overly convinced a careful kettle pour would make too much difference, but it would be good on the hill if you’re boiling water in a pan it would be helpful.
It’s also really easy to clean as well. The coffee I’ve had out of it has been excellent for a drip over style. Plus I’ve used it loads at the office as well and it’s very convenient.
Like so many of these things, it started as a Kickstarter project and this is an early iteration. For additions, I’d like to see an insulated cup – I found my self not using the tumbler at all but putting it in the excellent Stanley One Hand Vacuum Mug. And also lowering the spout on the kettle.
It’s also pretty pricey at £65, but you’re looking at £25 upwards for a hand grinder anyway, and the engineering is really precise. Will it mean I’ll take this instead of the AeroPress? Well, it could do, but if I had the choice of buying both from scratch I’d probably still go for the AeroPress and ground coffee option. If you want to grind your own coffee then I’d imagine you getting an awful lot of use out of the Cafflano, on and off the mountain. Thirsty now. I’m off for another one
It’s available from www.thefowndry.co.uk
Words and pictures Daniel Neilson