Brewing Coffee, the Nectar of the Gods

Let’s tackle a very serious subject: brewing coffee. Tea drinkers, with their convenient little baggies, will never know the challenges that coffee drinkers have to go through to obtain their beverage of choice. And land dwellers may also be unaware of the difficulties that cruisers have to go through each day. So today’s question is, what is your preferred method for brewing, what we have been known to refer to as, the Nectar of the Gods?


Morning beverage on Two Fish as we approach the Galapagos.

What we don’t do:

Let’s start with what we don’t do. In spite of my comment yesterday about running the generator to brew a cup of coffee, we do not use an electric coffee maker! We did, on the charter cat, to satisfy up to eight crew and guests, but we also fired up the generator every single day, first thing after getting up, and kept it running for hours on end. If your morning routine is to run your gen set, you can take advantage of this luxury.

It’s worth noting that when we purchased the Bunn coffee maker for the charter cat, we did so with the promise that it could brew a pot in 3 minutes. After getting it back to the boat, we learned that the manufacturer’s assurance was only partially true. It was able to do that if it had been left plugged in with power, keeping a reservoir of water heated to the proper temperature. This is easy to do in a house with 24/7 electricity running to every wall socket. On a boat, that only gets AC power when the generator is running, or the inverter is turned on, it’s not quite so efficient.

Another thing we don’t use are the single-serving Keurig machines. They work on the same principle that I described above, and thus have all the same shortcomings for a boater. Unless they are used with a refillable cup, they also produce a horrendous amount of trash. Believe it or not, there is a store here in Martinique that sells nothing but those machines, and coffee pods. There are literally walls and walls of them!

Before I describe what we do use to make a cup of coffee, I should confess that neither Rebecca nor I are connoisseurs. We’re not particularly picky about the coffee grounds that we use, and we don’t grind our own beans. We drink our coffee black, and as long as it’s strong, we’re generally satisfied.

Boater friendly coffee options:

Presently, our standard method for brewing coffee is to use a French Press, similar to this one. We scoop some coffee grounds into it, boil some water, cover the grounds, and in 10 minutes or so, we’re presented with a few cups of coffee goodness.

While visiting with some new friends on their cat, they showed us the Aeropress that they use each day. It essentially works the same way, but in a nice streamlined package. It looks perfect for a boater!

When I last wrote about coffee, someone mentioned the Melitta pour-over coffee maker. We don’t have one now, but have used one in the past. I think it’s also something that could work quite well for a boater, or a traveller.

We also have on hand a few little single-serving coffee baggies, like tea bags. They work exactly as how you’d imagine. Throw one in a cup, cover with water, and let them sit. We don’t use them on a regular basis but they’re nice to have around as a backup.


Single serving bags, du Martinique!

Frost also came with a pretty nice old-school percolator-type Espresso maker, not unlike this one. It works by some sort of magic that I haven’t yet tried to figure out. It does make pretty tasty Espresso, something that I often enjoyed after dinner, before my doctor told me to cut back on caffeine (the horror).

If you’re a cruiser, or traveller, I’d love to hear what you use to brew coffee. As for you tea drinkers, just keep giving thanks that your daily routine is so much more simple.