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Reviews > Cook Gear > Cooking Accessories > Jetboil French Press > Owner Review by Kurt Papke

Jetboil Coffee Press - Owner Review

Review Date: November 30, 2008

Tester Biographical Information

Name
Kurt Papke
Age
55
Gender
Male
Height
6' 4" (193 cm)
Weight
220 lbs (100 kg)
Email address
kwpapke at gmail dot com
City, State, Country Minneapolis, Minnesota USA

Backpacking background: mostly in Minnesota and Oregon - all of the Superior Hiking Trail and Border Route, Isle Royale, dayhiking and backpacking in the Columbia River gorge.  I've done extensive dayhiking in Utah, Colorado and Oregon.  I am mostly a Spring/Fall season backpacker, but easing into more cold-weather/Winter trips.  I have been an ardent coffee drinker for many decades, but until Fall 2008 I drank tea when backpacking.  I now enjoy a steaming cup of freshly-brewed mocha java on a cold morning.

Product Description

Jetboil Coffee Press componentsThe Jetboil Coffee Press is an accessory for the Jetboil PCS backpacking stove that upgrades the stove/pot system to be used to brew coffee similar to a French press.  To brew coffee, water is brought to a boil in the PCS mug, ground coffee is added and allowed to steep, then the plunger of the Press is pushed down to compact the grounds.  The metal mesh of the Press prevents grounds from being ingested.  Coffee can be drunk directly from the PCS mug, or poured into a cup.

The Press components are shown in the photo at left.  At the top are the two disassembled pieces of the plunger, and at bottom is the mesh screen.  The screen is shown upside-down from the orientation it would be used in the PCS to show the bottom flange which fits tight against the walls of the PCS cup and prevents coffee grounds from escaping.

Product Information
Manufacturer
Jetboil, Inc.
Manufacturer website
http://www.jetboil.com/
Year manufactured
2008
Listed Weight
0.8 oz (22 g)
Measured Weight
0.8 oz (22 g)
MSRP
$19.95 US

Field Information

I purchased my Jetboil PCS over two years ago, but bought the Coffee Press in preparation for a Fall 2008 backpacking trip to Isle Royale.  I also used it on a second backpacking trip to the Superior Hiking Trail in October.  These trips are depicted in the following table:

Dates
Location
Altitude
Approximate
temperatures
Trip Photo
September 7-14, 2008
Isle Royale National Park,
Michigan
600 to 1600 ft
(180 to 490 m)
Night: 40 F to 50 F
(4 C to 10)

Day: 50 F to 65 F
(4 C to 18 C)
Isle Royale
October 14-17, 2008
Superior Hiking Trail (SHT),
northern Minnesota
800 to 1300 ft
(245 to 395 m)
Night: 28 F to 40 F
(-2 C to 4 C)

Day: 45 F to 60 F
(7 C to 16 C)
SHT in Fall

Usage Information

Press assembled and ready to place in PCSPlunger all the way downTo use Jetboil Coffee Press, I first assemble the pieces as shown in the photo at left, often doing this while the water is coming to a boil.  The two pieces of the plunger are screwed together, the plunger is inserted through the hole in the top of the cup lid, and the screen is screwed onto the plunger making sure the flange is oriented down.

Then, I add ground coffee to the hot water and let steep for 3-5 minutes.  I normally put the cup lid on right after the coffee is added to keep everything warm.

Next the plunger is pushed down to compress the grounds to the bottom of the cup.  When this is done, the top of the plunger fits flush with the top of the cup as shown in the photo at right.

Sip and enjoy!  But I have to be very careful of not burning my tongue - the coffee is extremely hot, as the insulated PCS cup keeps the liquid from cooling off much.  In fact, I normally pour my coffee through the drinking hole in the PCS cup lid to a small cup to cool.  That way I can enjoy several smaller, hot, cups of coffee without waiting a long time for things to cool off.

Tear down/packing

Screen at bottom of PCS cupPlunger pieces on top of fuel cannisterAfter I'm done drinking I remove the Press assembly and discard the grounds.

I then swish the mesh screen in some water to wash off the grounds.  I don't spend too much effort getting it real clean, as the next plunge into boiling water will sterilize it pretty well.

Next I unscrew the mesh screen from the plunger stem and drop it flange-up into the bottom of the PCS mug as shown at left.  If it is put in flange-down, the fuel canister will not nest properly and the mug cover won't fit on.

Next the fuel canister goes in, cap up.  I then unscrew the two pieces of the plunger and drop them into the mug as shown at right.

The stove itself goes in next, and the mug cover is put in place.


Observations/Performance

The Jetboil Coffee press makes as good quality coffee in the back country as I've ever tasted.  The taste limitation seems to be in the aluminum mug walls - they just don't seem to make as clean tasting coffee as glass.  I fresh grind quality beans the night before I leave on a trip and store them in a zip top bag or a small airtight Nalgene container.

Cleanup is easy, and all the parts pack into the PCS mug.  Sort of.  With the mesh screen on the bottom, the stove is pushed up far enough that the mug lid doesn't fit tight and seems to fall off if not packed tightly.  The stove igniter seems to press against the mug lid.  Around the time I started using the coffee press my igniter stopped working.  I can't say with certainty that there is a direct cause-and-effect situation, but the timing and the fact that the Press pushes the igniter against the lid seems suspicious.

The other issue I have is the plunger pieces rattle around inside the mug.  It is noisy enough that I can hear it when I'm hiking.  I suppose I could put some toilet paper or other soft item around the fuel canister to keep the pieces from rattling, but I've been too lazy and/or forgetful so far.

The plunger pieces also seem easy to lose.  I've dropped them several times out of the mug and either had to wash the dirt off or search for them in grass.  I am a little concerned that I'll lose one of the plunger pieces some day.

Conclusions

I really like my Jetboil Coffee Press, and regret that as Winter comes on I'll have to give it up as the canisters don't work well at sub-freezing temperatures.

Likes:
  1. Makes great coffee.
  2. Reasonably priced.
  3. Minimal weight and bulk - makes multiple uses of the PCS mug.
  4. Easy to use once I got the hang of it.  It took me a few mornings to get the mesh screen oriented with the flange down the first attempt.
  5. Easy to clean.
  6. Sturdy, and so far, reliable - not much can go wrong.
Areas for improvement:
  1. Mug cover does not fit tight and falls off with the Press stored inside.
  2. Plunger pieces rattle around noisily.
  3. Small pieces that are easy to lose.
  4. It is very easy to screw the mesh screen on upside-down.  I don't see why the hole and threads on the bottom have to be exposed to make it so easy to mess this up.
  5. Unless I pour the coffee into another container I can't make a hot breakfast while I have my coffee.
  6. Easy to burn my tongue on the scalding hot coffee.

Kurt Papke


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Reviews > Cook Gear > Cooking Accessories > Jetboil French Press > Owner Review by Kurt Papke



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