Tips for Enjoying Perfect Coffee on Your Outdoor Walks

I like to walk quickly, both for a touch of fresh air and to get my heart up. Being a film photographer, I do still enjoy slowing down at time too to take the time to capture photos along the way. After a couple attempts to take coffee along on the photowalks, I have found I need to do a touch of research to understand how to keep my coffee experience enjoyable. There is little joy in warmish bitter dark water. I hope you find this helpful.

There are a few specific considerations to maintain the best taste and temperature. Brew the coffee slightly stronger than usual; a 1:14 or 1:13 coffee-to-water ratio instead of the standard 1:15 can help balance the strength, especially if you plan to add milk or cream later. Adjust the brew time based on your method: for a drip coffee maker, stick to the standard settings; for a French press, brew for 4-5 minutes; and for a pour-over, maintain a steady, consistent pour to ensure even extraction, typically 3-4 minutes. Use water just off the boil, around 200°F (93°C), as this temperature extracts optimal flavors without burning the coffee. Some of these may be your normal process, but I thought it was good to point it out if they will be a change.

Preheating your travel mug with hot water for a few minutes before adding coffee helps maintain the coffee’s temperature longer. This will also lessen the shock to the hot coffee going into a cool surface. Fill the travel mug with coffee that’s slightly hotter than your drinking preference since the initial heat loss when transferring to the mug will bring it to a more ideal temperature. Use a high-quality insulated travel mug designed to keep beverages hot for extended periods, ideally those that advertise keeping drinks hot for 6 hours or more. Avoid brewing the coffee too hot to prevent a bitter taste; keep it within the optimal range of 195-205°F (90-96°C) during brewing.

If possible, drink your coffee within 1-2 hours of brewing to enjoy the best flavor, as coffee will still become stale and lose its freshness over time. If you add milk, cream, or sweeteners, consider adding them right before you start your walk to ensure they don’t alter the coffee’s flavor over time. Finally, keeping the lid securely on your travel mug will help maintain the temperature and prevent spills. Walking slowly with the lid off of your drink mug will cause a much faster drop in your drink temperature.

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