Traditionally, coffee-loving commuters have brewed coffee at home and poured it into travel mugs or purchased it mid-commute in paper cups with plastic tops. More recently, coffee has been getting easier and easier to brew on the move. The latest all-in-one brew-and-carry option, the Stanley Vacuum Coffee System, nests a boiling pot, French press and insulated mug into a neat, portable package.
Stanley's Vacuum Coffee System is similar to French press travel mugs like the GSI Commuter Java Press, with one key difference: it includes not just the French press and mug, but also a pot for boiling the water. This makes it a handy all-in-one system for camping, backpacking, picnicking and other outdoor activities.
To use the Coffee System, you simply boil the water in the pot over the top of a camp stove or other heat source, brew the coffee following the French press procedure, press the grounds down and pour the coffee into the vacuum-insulated, double-wall bottle. You now have a liter (1.1 qt) of coffee that'll stay hot for up to 24 hours. If you need to take all the components with you, there's dry storage in the stopper for the coffee grounds and you can slide the French press and pot back over the base of the mug, carrying it all in one package.
The system's lid includes two cups for sharing the brew with someone special (or just your grumpy, half-awake camping mate). The mug can also be used to keep a cold beverage chilled for up to 20 hours.
Having discovered the benefits of French press coffee on my recent Overland Expo trip, I'd prefer this system over the Hey Joe mug we recently covered. Thanks to an integrated heating element, that mug is more convenient for day-to-day use, but the Stanley offers French press-brewed coffee-of-your-choice over electrically heated, limited-selection pod coffee.
Stanley will launch the Vacuum Coffee System in 1-L and 500-ml (17-oz) sizes in the Northern Hemisphere fall, with retail prices to be set at US$60 and $50 respectively. The 500-ml model has the same general design as the 1-L version we discussed above, but its insulation numbers drop to 15 hours hot/13 hours cold.
Another option for those considering an all-in-one camping coffee system is the Jetboil Java Kit. This system doesn't give you the nice double-wall, dual-cup drinking gear, but it does include a neatly integrated canister stove.