BRIPE COFFEE BREW PIPE KIT
TEST SERIES BY JOHN R. WATERS
INITIAL REPORT - August 30, 2017
LONG TERM REPORT - December 11, 2017
John R. Waters
jrw at backpackgeartest dot org
Canon City, Colorado USA
5' 9" (1.75 m)
175 lb (79.40 kg)
My backpacking began in 1999. I have hiked rainforests in Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico, glaciers in New Zealand and Iceland, 14ers in Colorado and Death Valley's deserts.
I hike or snowshoe 6-8 miles (10 km-13 km) 2-3 times weekly in the Cooper Mountain range, with other day-long hikes on various other southwest and central Colorado trails. I frequently hike the mountains and deserts of Utah and Arizona as well.
My daypack is 18 lb (8 kg); overnights weigh over 25 lb (11 kg). I'm aiming to reduce my weight load by 40% or more.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: BRIPE, Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2017
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.briping.com
MSRP: US $84.95
Listed Weight: 11.89 oz (337 g)
Measured Weight: 12 oz (340 g)
Designed in Costa Rica
Made in China
NEEDS A BLUE FLAME LIGHTER FUEL (Butane) - NOT INCLUDED
The BRIPE Coffee Brew Pipe is described as "the ultra-light, ultra-portable coffee brew pipe". It is sold as a kit which includes the actual BRIPE Coffee Brew Pipe, a Quad jet torch for heating the pipe, a reusable variable filter, a thermometer and a coffee tube. This all comes packaged in a very nice wool carrying case. The case measures 3.7 in x 5 in x 1.8 in (9.4 cm x 13 cm x 4.5 cm) and closes with a fold over flap which is held closed by a thin stretchy wrap around band. It looks very much like what my wife calls a "clutch" purse.
The Brew Pipe itself is made from copper and is just under 5 in (12.7 cm) high when assembled including the base and the coffee tube. The cup part of the Brew Pipe is 2.5 in (6.4 cm) and is tapered with a small tab in the interior to hold the thermometer. The sipping tube mouthpiece appears to be plastic and protrudes from a cork piece that attaches to a copper pipe tube extending from the cup. The diameter of the base is 3 in (7.6 cm). The thermometer is just over 5 in (13 cm) long with a circular read-out on top that measures 1 in (2.5 cm) and has numbers large enough to be surprisingly readable numbers. The Quad jet torch is the heaviest item in the kit once it is filled with the blue flame/butane fuel. It weighs a little over 5 oz (142 g) when full. Lastly, the coffee tube which looks like a capped test tube from my high school days measures 5.5 in (14 cm) long and carries 3 teaspoons (15 g) of ground coffee. My kit came with coffee in the tube, but according to the website coffee is NOT included. I got mine at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market so it might be a "special" media sample.
All the components of the BRIPE Coffee Brew Pipe Kit appear to be well-made and show no signs of defects.
|Retail BRIPE Brew Pipe Kit|| |
|Retail BRIPE Package Back|| |
|Quad Jet Torch|
|Cup with Reuseable Filter|| |
|Thermometer Gauge|| |
|BRIPE Ready to Go|
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
Instructions are clearly stated on both the website and accompanying the retail packaging. It's rather simple; only six steps:
Step One - Put the filter inside the body of the BRIPE to cover the stem hole.
Step Two - Add ground coffee or tea to the BRIPE body.
Step Three - Add water and stir it in with the ground coffee or tea leaves.
Step Four - Use the included jet torch to heat the cuo and stir again (use thermometer to stir). Bring the brew temperature up to a maximum of 185 F (85 C).
Step Five - Now let the brew cool down to 140 F (60 C). If desired add sugar and milk.
Lastly, Step Six - Blow air into the stem making bubbles, then suck the brew through the stem.
There aren't any care instructions that I could find on the website, however on the underside of the retail packaging there are instructions for cleaning the Brew Pipe if it gets tarnished. When the time comes, I'll submerge the entire Brew Pipe in warm water, add a teaspoon of salt and squeeze in half of a lemon. Once it's bright and shiny again, I'll wash the Brew Pipe in warm water and soap and rinse well. After a towel dry, the Brew Pipe will be ready to go again.
TRYING IT OUT
The "BRIPE". I find that an interesting, short and memorable product name for a little device that allows me to have a jolt of coffee in a few minutes. It's a BRewing PIPE. A BRIPE.
I'm happy to have the honor of testing the Coffee Brew Pipe Kit. It comes complete with the BRIPE, a Quad jet torch, a reusable variable filter, thermometer, carrying case, and a tube of coffee so I can make coffee right away...or...wait a minute...the Quad jet torch is empty. Darn, I can't get coffee right away. I need to go buy a butane refill can. Oh well. Obviously, they can't ship the Quad jet torch filled with butane.
The design is really quite interesting. The BRIPE cup and handle are pure copper as is the cooling stand which probably is one of the reasons the retail price is $84.95. To make a cup of brew, all I have to do is place the stainless steel filter in the cup and rotate it to the desired filtering hole size. There are 3 sets of different size holes to allow me to use different ground coffee sizes. I will need to experiment with this a little more to see what the results are. This is one test where I may be wide awake for a while after doing some trials.
Anyway, after I put the filter in, I add the coffee grounds then add water up to the waterline and stir the grounds around a little with the provided thermometer. Then, HOLDING THE BRIPEtm BY THE CORK INSULATION (SO important) I use the Quad torch (which I filled up from the butane can I purchased separately) and bring the contents to MAXIMUM of 185 F (85 C) for 1 to 3 minutes, as the instructions say. The time difference is because it will take different times based on ambient air and how well I position and hold the Quad jet torch and whether I burn my hand and drop the BRIPEtm. The copper gets HOT.
Once it gets to launch temperature, I set it on top of the nice copper stand that came in the kit, stir it a little more and add milk, sugar, whisky, or whatever. It needs to cool to 140 F (60 C) apparently so I won't blister my lips. Once it is cool enough, I blow GENTLY into the stem to make bubbles and then I can suck my brew through the stem and enjoy my drink.
Well, I did try out the BRIPE once before this field review at the BRIPE tradeshow booth at the Outdoor Retailer Show and it was pretty nice.
I'll be seeing how this packs and how it works with different coffee ground sizes, how easily it cleans, how it holds up after 16 weeks of use, whether I get questioned by a park ranger about what I am doing, and so on.
It certainly looks like fun and I DO like coffee. So stay tuned.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
I've used the BRIPE more times than I kept track of, but below are some of the noted locations and the weather conditions at the time. I estimate I've used the BRIPE over a dozen times on hikes and backpacking trips.
West Avon Preserve in Avon, Colorado - The elevation of Avon, Colorado is 7431 ft (2265 m), but the high point and elevation gain of the trail is unknown by me.
Weather Conditions on the day of my hike were cloudy with a temperature of 51 F (11 C), with 31% humidity with sustained winds of 5 mph (8 kph) and wind gusts to 21 mph (34 kph).
Upper Piney Lake Trail in Vail, Colorado - the Elevation from start to finish: 9362 - 9800 ft (2854 - 2987 m).
Weather Conditions for this day were sunny and dry sustained winds (measured with my handheld anemometer) of 6.7 mph (10.8 kph) and gusts to 10.6 mph (17.1 kph). Temperatures ranged from 41 to 51 F (5-11 C).
Stag Gulch Trail and Squaw Creek Trail, Edwards, Colorado - Elevation gain over the 5 miles (8 km) we hiked, was approximately 1000 ft (300 m) to a high point of about 9300 ft (2800 m).
Weather Conditions during the daytime were partly cloudy with no wind. Temperatures ranged from 51 - 65 F (11 - 18 C) depending on the shade and the time of day.
Old Vail Pass - Ten Mile Canyon Recreation Trail, Vail, Colorado - Elevation: a gain of 900 ft (270 m) to a high point of about 9000 ft (2700 m).
Weather Conditions were cloudy to a steady drizzle with light intermittent breezes averaging 2.8 mph (4.5 kph). It was a cool 43 - 50 F (6-10 C).
|Waiting for the Brew!|| |
|It's Coffee Time!|
OBSERVATIONS FROM THE FIELD
Well, it's been about 8 weeks and the BRIPE still is serving up great expresso.
A few things I learned:
* The BRIPE holds 4 ounces (118 ml) of water. Since a standard cup holds 8 ounces (237 ml), the BRIPE holds a 1/2 cup.
* I need to always refill the butane torch before leaving on a trip. The full torch lasts about 30 minutes. That's long enough for about 15 regular 2-minute BRIPE heat-ups and up to 8 cold weather 4-minute BRIPE heat-ups. Times varied based on ambient temperature and how cold the water in the BRIPE was.
* The torch needs to be filled upside down, as with any other butane lighter. There are really good videos on YouTube to explain how to reload a butane lighter.
* The full torch lasts long enough for several cold weather BRIPE servings, but I, for one, like being prepared. I purchased a large butane refill can, so it really is kinda big to pack. So I just make sure the torch is topped-off.
* FYI, the torch works great for lighting a campfire!
* I discovered that the coffee pods for pod-based coffee brewers work great to pack, as do the coffee packets, sugar and creamer they leave in motel rooms. Of course, I also like to grind my own coffee and take the grounds in a zip lock bag. BRIPE supplies a tube in their kit for coffee grounds, but it just does not hold enough for me. A sandwich zip lock bag holds enough grounds for a week.
* I need to rinse the BRIPE as soon as possible, so the used coffee grounds don't harden up and clog the stem tube.
I just pour some water in, swish it around and blow into the stem tube, then toss the water out and dry it with a tissue. I don't want a soaking wet BRIPE in the kit pouch.
* We tried making tea with some green tea leaves. It works. But, neither my wife nor I like just a few shots of tea, so the effort, to us, is not worth the result.
Perhaps if there was a real strong need by a tea drinker for a few swallows of tea, but my wife says "No" and there we are.
* BRIPE says it should take about 1 to 3 minutes to brew to 185 F (85 C), but in blowing snow at 33 F (.6 C) it took me about 5 minutes, and I did it twice (I needed more caffeine). At 60 F (15 C) it does take 2 minutes to bring ambient temperature water to 185 F (85 C) in the BRIPE with the torch.
* I have not been arrested or even questioned yet about what I am doing. Of course, we are on trails in the middle of nowhere. Not sure I would do this at the local shopping mall.
* I used instant coffee with no problem at all. In fact, I even used instant coffee packets complete with creamer and sugar and made just great results.
* It doesn't need a lot of instant coffee, since the BRIPE only is 1/2 cup. There was a residue on the interior that did not show up when I use ground coffee with plain sugar and dry creamer. It was easily cleaned up with water and some finger scrubbing though.
* I also tried using instant hot chocolate, instant tea, and instant apple cider. I'm a person that likes a MUG of hot chocolate or cider. It works in the BRIPE, but, like the tea leaves, it is just not worth the effort for me for a half cup.
* There is a ring around the bottom interior of the BRIPE that can collect some residue from sugar, creamer and instant coffee. It is easily cleaned with a cotton swab and I should clean it thoroughly before storing the BRIPE for a long term to avoid any possible mold.
The BRIPE itself shows no sign of wear. The copper is ever so slightly discolored, but would clean up well with copper polish if I wanted to do that. I prefer it looks like I used it though.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.
I was concerned about the durability of the internal metal screen, but I can see now that it is quite rugged and does allow me to use different coffee ground sizes.
I found that out the hard way by NOT setting it right the first time and using coffee grounds that I ground too fine. The results were gritty, of course.
But if the screen is in the right place, it will filter out the size of grounds being used.
The torch looks like new, even though I actually did use it for camp fires and log fires in the fireplace. It also has survived being dropped in a foot of snow and gotten wet in rain and snow squalls. It's quite rugged and very useful.
Using the BRIPE for a half cup of coffee is definitely faster than setting up a small cook stove and pot to boil water. However, when I boil a pot of water, I can fill a mug and sit and enjoy a few cups while enjoying the scenery. I found myself making at least two servings with the BRIPE because a 1/2 cup was just not enough. So, it probably was not that much faster in the long run.
It certainly is a fun accessory and converstion starter on the trails!
Properly cared for, I think the BRIPE will be able to produce expresso and half cups of coffee for a long time.
Thank you to BackpackGearTest.org and BRIPE, Inc. for the chance to stay amply caffeinated on the trails!
John R. Waters
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