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Liveaboard Essential: Good Coffee

Pour Over Coffee


For Jeff and I, coffee is priority numero uno in the morning. I’m not one bit ashamed to say that I’m addicted to coffee; the taste, the smell, the romance of sitting in the cockpit as the sun creeps over the horizon, overlooking a secluded cove with a hot and perfectly brewed cup full.

However, when you live aboard a smallish sailboat, making coffee is not always as simple as turning on the coffee pot. You need consider space, water usage, electrical demands, etc. When we first started this adventure of living on our sailboat, we experimented with a few different coffee methods. We made grumpy early morning runs to Starbucks (very short-lived). We tried instant coffee, and while it’s convenient underway; it’s not great for regular enjoyment. Many cruisers make french press coffee, which is delicious, but requires beans ground to a specific coarseness and too much water to rinse the grounds out of the container.

In our search for a boat-friendly coffee system, we were not willing to sacrifice flavor. It wasn’t until we took a trip home that Jeff’s mom introduced us to the Starbucks pour-over brewing system. This is so simple and makes cup-by-cup delicious coffee. It is mess free, efficient, and takes up as much space as a coffee mug. We’ll probably still use it when (if) we live on land again someday. It’s basically a a cone shaped mug with a hole in the bottom that you put a filter and coffee grounds into. No special grounds are needed, just the brewing variety. Place it over your empty coffee cup and slowly pour boiling water over the grounds. The brew drips right into your mug.  It’s a great solution for efficient and electricity free coffee making.

If you’re really serious about lightweight portability and pack-ability on your boat, you can find a plastic version at Williams- Sonoma and a silicone collapsible version at GSI Outdoors.

How to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee aboard your Sailboat

1. Begin heating water

2. Place pour-over brewer with a filter inside over coffee mug.

3. Measure desired amount of coffee grounds and place in filter.

4. Pour water over the grounds in slow phases, allowing the water to extract the flavors and caffeine from the coffee grounds.

5. Toss the grounds, rinse the brewer.

*We have no affiliation with the products/companies mentioned.

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