The Coffeebrewer is best described as a disposable French press. The unique brewing system is designed to preserve the coffee’s natural oils. This enhances the delicate flavors and finer aromas of the coffee, which otherwise can only be achieved by using a French press.
- Inside the pouch is a filter with 26 g (0.9 oz) of freshly ground specialty coffee.
- To brew 3 cups of coffee, all you need is
- Open it
- Pour ½ L (16.9 oz) hot water in
- Let it brew 5-8 min
- Pull string to open pour spout
- PE coated paper
- Size is like A5 paper and thickness is 1 cm
- 5 types available
- Weight – 45 g (1.6 oz)
- Retail – $3.50 per Brewer
I am not a coffee drinker, but my wife Melissa is and since I am all for having company on my adventures I try to make them a positive experience for her. That is where coffee plays a role; it definitely makes her days better. This is what intrigued me about the Grower’s Cup Coffeebrewer. It is an innovative way to make a quality cup of coffee in the backcountry, and I would not have to worry about “tainting” my stove with coffee. I really am not a fan of it.
I first saw the Coffeebrewer are the Outdoor Retailer Show when I was at a booth for some other items. Grower’s Cup is a small but innovative Danish company. They started working on it in 2002 looking for an answer to having a descent cup of coffee without machines or special brewing equipment. After the OR Show they reached out to set me up with a couple of brewers to review. Melissa happily obliged.
To test the Coffeebrewer, we brewed coffee. We took them on two trips to the outdoors and used my Jetboil stove to boil up the appropriate amount of water. All three flavors were tested. Two of the flavors were tasted by several others to get some more impressions; they are all coffee lovers.
The Grower’s Cup Coffeebrewer is an innovative design. The bag is made to be the filter, brewer, and pot all in one. We tested three different flavors. The Bolivian is delicate with an aroma of marzipan and chocolate. The Ethiopian is a round aroma with taste of strawberries and aftertaste of chocolate. The Mexican is a sweet aroma of butterscotch and aftertaste of dark chocolate. According to Grower’s Cup, they vary in their strength, of the ones we tested the Bolivian was the strongest and Mexican was the lightest. These strengths can be varied by the amount of water used, and how long you let them brew. Overall, there is a total of five, with Honduras and Nicaragua rounding out the collection. The Nicaraguan is more of a classic flavor with nice balance, and the Honduras is a sweeter coffee.
The bag has been created with a polyurethane coated paper to protect it from getting soaked during the process. The bag itself is designed with a zip lock top and clear rounded base so the bag can stand up when it is full. The bag itself essentially has two compartments: the filter compartment and the reservoir. There is a spout on the side of the bag that is opened by pulling out a red tab that opens it and makes it ready to pour. To make the coffee it is a three-step process.
- Open the Bag
- Pour ½ Liter (16.9 oz) of hot water in the top of the bag and close it
- Let it brew 5-8 minutes depending on strength and pour yourself a cup
The Coffeebrewer is basically a hybrid between a filter dripmaker and a French Press. The filter has been designed to make a better cup of coffee by preserving the natural oils and flavors of the coffee, therefore, a richer taste. When the water is poured in, it will filter through the coffee into the reservoir. It, however, will continue to brew until the first 1 ½ cups have been served and then the remaining coffee will sit below the level of the filter, and the brewing process will stop. This means the coffee will not go bitter over time like in a French Press. Grower’s Cup sources some of the world’s finest coffees from around the world. All their coffees are “single estate” which means they are from named cooperatives and will have a unique flavor and aroma. The berries are hand-picked, hand-sorted and processed in the best possible way to guarantee an exceptional coffee experience. On the Grower’s Cup website, you can even find out about all the different beans. For example, the Bolivia is from the region of El Alto. More specifically the Coaine Farm in Municipio Cranavi. The coffee is 100% Aribica, fair-trade and organic certified. It is processed by being washed and is grown at altitudes ranging from 1000-1700 meters. Each type has a section to explain a bit more, which makes you appreciate your coffee more.
Grower’s Cup is founded on four principle values: funquality, freedombility, socialbeing, and in honesty. The values essentially mean that they are making specialty coffee easy to enjoy anywhere, anytime. Be able to share it with the people in your life and be authentic and transparent to their growers and customers. They are aware that they use more packaging material per cup but are quick to note that they use no aluminum. Their paper is from reforested Swedish wood, and the PE is not harmful to the environment. They say they will continue to take responsible initiatives and actions to reduce their carbon footprint. The packaging is a bit much, but at least they address it and are working to use the best materials possible. You are not tied to machines as long as you can get hot water.
Ease of Use (50%)
The Grower’s Cup Coffeebrewer is not only innovative by design, but it was fairly easy to use. All three times I made the coffee, I used my stove to boil the water and while that was going on I prepared the bag. The red tab is a little difficult to remove. I was afraid I would pull it to hard and snap the tab before I got the bag all the way open. With a combination of strength and precision the tab got removed. It is best to do this before boiling coffee is in the bag as you do not want to risk getting boiling coffee on you, especially when in the backcountry. From there the rest is really easy. Just open the bag and pour the boiling water in. The zip-lock top was easy to open and close, and the bag sat upright very well. I never had any of them fall over even when sitting on top of rocks and other objects in camp. The brew times varied each time based on the desired strength preferred and the type of coffee. Once it was time to pour we found it much easier to do if you first open the spout a little by hand to give it a rounded shape rather than just being a slit. This helped it pour better and not drip down the side as much. The design truly did work and with a clear bottom, you can look inside to see if you missed any.
There were some differing opinions on the taste as there always will be. All agreed that the coffee seems to be high quality but most of the testers all like stronger coffee and therefore, felt like all three varieties were a little weak, even when brewed longer. I think this may be due to them all being from Seattle where strong coffee is common. Some felt like the flavor was good enough and the strength about right to go creamer free compared to what they normally did. They said they usually cut the strength with a creamer but would barely need any if at all with this coffee. The bag is a lightweight and easy to pack. It is flat until you use it and even when packed away I did not have any durability issues with it. It seems pretty tough, but I still would try to transport it without bending it too much as that could cause weak spots. The one interesting thing is that once used the bag will be a bit messier and slightly heavier than it was before use. It is good to have a sealed bag to pack it home in. I just used the packaging from our breakfast to pack our trash home.
Overall, the care and design of the system is definitely high with this system. I really like what Grower’s Cup is doing in regard to working with “single estate” growers for an authentic taste. They also should be commended for the transparency with their growers and customers. The system truly works too. It is easy to use and makes a good cup of coffee assuming it is the flavor and strength you like. All the testers we had thought it was a bit weak in flavor strength. I think with time I could have found a combination of brew time and amount of creamer that worked well for me. The flavors also vary and have some definite differences so you will need to try them all for yourself. I generally use a Starbucks via in the backcountry as it is very easy, but it is not as genuine a flavor as this. If you are truly a coffee lover, then I suggest giving these a try. The Grower’s Cup Coffeebrewer retails for $3.50 each. They also offer a plastic Easy Serve Holder to go with it if you want. As always, your mileage may vary.
Pros [field name=iFrame]
- High quality coffee
- Easy to use
- “Single estate” farms and coops
- 5 flavors available
- Lots of packaging per cup
- Messy and heavier to pack out, bring a garbage bag or use and old food bag
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