From airplanes to hotel rooms, there are contingencies for nearly every coffee-on-the-go situation. My tiny travel coffee kit (it all fits in the Aeropress bag) can make me a great cup of coffee anywhere there is electricity but it takes a little startup capital.
I am always on the lookout for easier, less hassle ways to brew a cup of coffee in a pinch. That is why my interest was piqued a few weeks ago when I stumbled upon the Trader Joe’s Pour-Over Coffee Brewer. There is a whole market segment dedicated to simple and disposable ways to source a good cup of coffee.
Here are my musings on the disposable Trader Joe’s coffee brewer (spoiler alert: I was not impressed) as well as two viable coffee-on-the-go alternatives.
The Trader Joe’s Pour-Over Coffee Brewer
The Trader Joe’s Pour-Over pouch can be purchased at the store for $1.49 or online for $18.49 for a six pack. It contains 20 grams of pre-ground Arabica coffee. The title is a bit of a misnomer as it is not a pour-over but an immersion brewer (like the French press).
The packaging had a best by date (5-20-17) and stated that the coffee was packed in Denmark. I was curious if this was pretty standard for Trader Joe’s coffees, but could not find anything about where their other coffees where packed or roasted.
It surprised me when I opened up the top of the pour-over pouch to check out the inner workings. I expected to see some sort of coffee tea bag on the interior perhaps like they have for single brewers (non K-cups) in hotel rooms. Instead, there is a rectangular filter in the top of the pouch that holds the coffee. Outside of this filter is room for more water and an outlet to a spout for decanting your coffee when it is finished brewing.
To use this Trader Joe’s Pour-Over pouch, simply add hot water up to one of the two fill lines (for a stronger or weaker cup) and let steep for four minutes. When it is ready, decant and enjoy a mess-free full immersion brew.
The average daily temperature is rising, you can hear the drone of lawn mowers throughout the neighborhood and, most likely, your urges to sit outside and drink a cold refreshing coffee drink have returned. It is cold brew coffee season again (I’m a little late actually).
If you have never made cold brew at home, it is one of the more simple brewing methods. You need minimal equipment and experience. I recommend starting with my Introduction to Cold Brew Coffee post. This will give you a basic understanding of the process and a recipe with an equipment list. If you have never read it, go now and get started.
If you have brewed a batch or two of cold brew or are just looking for some ways to experiment with your coffee, this post is for you. I am upping the cold brew ante and sharing a couple of my favorite cold brew hacks to get your summer started off on the right foot.
Here are three cold brew techniques that will help you take your cold brew coffee to the next level (or at least give you some fun experiments to try).
Easy Kyoto Style Cold Brew
Credit for this technique goes to Prima Coffee and this sweet post featuring a DIY Aeropress Kyoto method (and a Hot Bloom recipe) from last year.
Kyoto Style Cold Brew is a different take on cold brewing coffee. I like to think of it as the cold brewing equivalent to a pour-over (since most other recipes are full immersion). For this brewing method, ice cold water is dripped over a coffee bed for a period of hours and the cold brew slowly drips out of the bottom of the coffee bed into a collection container.