It’s no surprise that sailors like to enjoy their drink. But today I don’t want to discuss the afternoon glass of wine or the sundowner gin and tonic, but rather the ever important morning cup of coffee. There isn’t a single sailor I’ve met that doesn’t like to wake up each morning and enjoy a hot cup of joe, usually while sitting in their cockpit and enjoying the serene surroundings at the first bit of each morning. How you go about making that cup of joe though varies as much as each cruiser themselves since I doubt many of us have had the luxury of dragging along our automatic drip machine from home. The most widely used methods I’ve seen out there are the french press, the percolator, or the very simple instant coffee mix. Mostly these methods are used out of necessity because they follow the number one rule of living on a sailboat: keep it compact. We don’t have the luxury of the bulky items like Keurig machines or even the popular automatic drip that you find occupying 95% of homes.
I’ve just been introduced to a new way to make coffee though, where not only is the item small, and even better, extremely lightweight, but it makes the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had. Introducing, the AeroPress coffee maker and JavaJug. I’d actually first heard about the AeroPress coffee maker from a review done by a fellow cruiser, and through months of begrudgingly cleaning the grounds from my french press, of which never seemed to want to completely leave the filter, I kept thinking there had to be an easier way, my mind always drifting back to the AeroPress that I had read about. Finally one day I decided to do something about it and contacted the company to see if they could help me out with my dilemma. A few hours hadn’t even gone by before I had a reply from one of the employees who was enthusiastic not only to help me out, but for me to try out a brand new on the market product, the JavaJug, a companion product of the AeroPress. After a few weeks of having both of these items at my disposal, I have to tell you, I probably won’t go back to anything else.
The main product review I’m doing here is for the JavaJug, but since it’s meant to go with the AeroPress I’ll give an explanation of how both work. First, here is the AeroPress and all it’s components.
Tiny, right? Plus the whole thing only weighs about 7 oz. The AeroPress works best by making a single serving of coffee, although depending on the size of your mug, you could probably make about two cups worth at one time. The first step is to take a filter and place in the bottom cap before screwing it into the cylinder. Place this on top of your coffee mug. Then using the pre-measured scoop that is provided, use one scoop of grounds per cup of coffee and place it inside of the cylinder. Have a kettle of boiling water ready (I like to use our Bodum electric water heater) and fill to the number matching how many cups you are making. Using the stir stick, swirl the grounds in the water for 10 seconds. Take the plunger, making sure the rubber boot is slightly wet, and slowly put pressure down, taking about 20 seconds to push all the water through the filter.
This is where things get even better than just making a cup of coffee. What you’ve just done is make a shot of espresso. From here you can leave it as it is and sip it as espresso, dilute with water to make regular coffee, or my favorite so far, add milk and make a latte. A latte!! Without all the hassle of super fancy or expensive machines! But I still haven’t gotten to my favorite part, the clean up. When you’ve finished making your cup of coffee all you need to do is unscrew the bottom cap, hold the cylinder over the trash, and push down on the plunger until it pops out the paper filter and all the grounds. I won’t lie, it’s been a few weeks now and I still giggle like a toddler each time I push out this perfectly formed barrel of grounds with a satisfying ‘PLOP’ sound at the end. Because the plunger is so air tight there’s nothing left in the cylinder, and a quick rinse is all you need to get it ready for round 2.
So that’s how the AeroPress works, but now let’s add the JavaJug into the equation. Say you have two different people that want their morning cup of coffee, such is the case on our boat, or possibly even four. Or, maybe you’re really looking to get your caffeine fix one morning and would like to have 32 oz cup ready to go. I know we’re not truckers, but sometimes on a night shift it can feel like it. This is where having the JavaJug makes things even easier. This companion product, to quote the company, “Makes it easier to press, brew, & dilute more than one cup of coffee”. Instead of placing the AeroPress cylinder over your coffee mug, you place it over the JavaJug. The two cups of concentrated coffee are pushed into the JavaJug, and then diluting into two cups of American coffee, you fill with water to the designated 2 line inside. Now you have two 8 oz cups of coffee that can be poured into their respective mugs and tasting exactly the same.
Even better than the ease of being able to make multiple cups of coffee at once though is the storage. All of the parts of the AeroPress machine fit right into the JavaJug, with the measuring cup and stir stick going into the cylinder, which then sides into the JavaJug and clasps shut. All of it is held in one place, and it’s even appealing enough on the eyes to store out on your counter. One more great thing about the JavaJug is that it can double as your kettle to boil water. Just place it on a stove or campfire, and you’re ready to be a coffee making fool. If you have any questions on the whole process, make sure to check out their video on YouTube.
So what are my thoughts on the JavaJug? I love it! I love the AeroPress, I love the JavaJug, and I think they’re a perfect combination together. It’s incredibly simple to make both of us a cup of coffee in the morning, and it’s so smooth that we’ll usually be on 2-3 cups before lunch finally rolls around and we have to force ourselves to stop drinking it. The fact that we get to store everything together in one handy little container makes it very appealing to us, along with the fact of how light all of it is. Even adding the the JavaJug it’s still all under one pound. If I had one complaint at all about the JavaJug, it’s that there is already some rust appearing on the little lever that clasps everything shut, but other than that, it’s been amazing. A must have for every boat and cruiser.