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Van coffee making essentials

Mount Baldy

I bought my van off of Craigslist for $4,200 while I was living in Portland, Oregon. The super cool dude that sold it to me owns 2 Stroke Coffee Company in St. John’s. He mainly used it for hauling motorcycle parts and put the name of his coffee shop on the side of the van, and it looks cool so I’ve kept it….But because I’ve kept it I almost constantly asked if I sell coffee.

This winter I was up in the mountains outside of Los Angeles, just chilling in the woods like you do. One evening a group of people came over to me and told me that they will be back in the morning to get some coffee from me. Before I could tell them that I didn’t sell coffee they launched into asking me how I make the coffee. Drip? Pour Over? Aeropress?!

On a regular basis, I am asked if I sell coffee by cold surfers making their way back to their cars. Also, the Dave Matthews Band Festival at The Gorge in Washington proved the coffee lure was strong.

Of course, there are a million ways to make coffee in the van but the way that I settled on was using a french press. The kind of coffee maker I was going to use became a fairly large part of the build and how I built out the storage.

Electrical appliances were out. Pour over has that Chemex bottle that I didn’t want to find a place to store, clean, or replace every time I broke the thing. The french press seemed like the right choice. I use a single burner butane stove to boil water and cook all of my meals. It is not recommended to use a butane stove inside small areas (because you can die) but with a window open and a fan running, I haven’t had an issue. Yet. I also use the stove to heat up the van before I get out of bed on cold mornings. Waking up in the woods in a van to a cup of hot coffee is pretty fantastic

I use a 34 oz glass french press, something similar to what you’d get from Starbucks, and It works great until it breaks. And when it does, I will replace it with a vacuum sealed stainless one.

Someone once told me that if you use it every day to make sure it’s the exact right thing. Coffee is a big part of my day and one of my favorite things to wake up to. A nice heavy, handmade coffee cup that feels good in my hand is the icing on the cake.  

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