Sometime in 2013, while I was on tour with Elijah Ocean, I became a coffee snob.
I had grown to dread truck stop coffee, which was either burned, or too weak to have any noticeable effect on my central nervous system. I was also spending a good portion of my meager daily budget on shitty coffee.
When crashing on someone’s couch, it was a pain to rely on them for the 2 to 5 cups of coffee my body demands within 20 minutes of waking up. And when you travel with a band, rallying the troops to get everyone to a coffee shop, Waffle House, or breakfast place can take literal hours.
But! What if you could make your own amazing coffee wherever you traveled? What if you didn’t need Starbucks, McDonald’s, or Pilot?
So in Baton Rouge, I bought an Aeropress. It changed my attitude toward traveling.
Making a delicious cup of coffee became easy. I’d pick up a bag of fresh-roasted single-orgin beans and make a cup whenever I wanted. It put a dent in the tedium of touring and gave me a fun distraction (look, sitting in a van for 6 to 12 hours every day gets old; it doesn’t take much to be entertained.)
Example: Here’s my buddy Aaron on a later tour with Michaela Anne, making coffee at 75 mph:
For the next tour, I picked up a hand burr grinder, a metal filter (I don’t know if this is the one I have, but the principle is the same: no paper waste) and a cheap digital scale.
Now I have everything I need to make amazing coffee wherever I go.
Here’s my Aeropress recipe. There are myriad versions out there. This is just the one that works for me.
- 16 grams of freshly ground coffee
- 210 grams of water (30 seconds off the boil)
- Invert Aeropress
- Pour in enough water to wet the grounds
- Stir mixture until all the grounds are wet. Wait 30-45 seconds.
- Pour in water until scale reads 85 grams. Briefly stir.
- Turn Aeropress at 45-degree angle and spin 10 times so the grounds and water swirl together.
- Put filter and cap on Aeropress. Flip over onto mug.
- Press plunger down slowly. Stop the moment you hear a hiss.
- Put mug on scale, zero it out, and pour in 125 grams of water to dilute.
Here are my favorite single-origin beans: