After 9 days [so far] on the road, I've realized that a cross-country trip can teach you a lot of things. Going to Florida for spring break? You learn how to get there as fast as possible and never want to leave. Going to New York City? You learn how to cling to the steering wheel for dear life through the Virginias. Going to Oklahoma? You learn to entertain yourself by counting cows in pastures along the way.
Whatever the destination, I've realized that any road trip can teach you a lot about being resourceful.
Along the way, we learned to use empty gallon jugs to save the water from our cooler's melted ice – which came in handy when we needed to rinse off dirty feet or wash camp dishes. I've become an expert at squatting [if you know what I mean]. No showers? Find a nearby body of water or college campus. But perhaps most importantly, we learned how to brew coffee while driving down I-90, or cruising through Grand Teton National Park, or while sleeping in our Subaru. When you don't know when or where you'll find coffee next, you tend to get creative.
So here's how it works, in a nutshell. I know you're going to read it when you check out the official recipe below, but this is the one-sentence recap.
You measure course ground coffee and water into a glass bottle, let it sit for 12 hours, pour it through a mesh strainer into another bottle, then mix it it with water, either heated or over ice and enjoy. It's that easy. 4 steps to coffee, anytime, anywhere, any situation.
We started steeping the coffee when we stayed the night at Devil's Tower in Wyoming. And we filtered and drank it when we were ready to leave Dubois, Wyoming. That same morning, after waking up in the front seats of the car, we tried to leave a motel parking lot, only to find that one of our tires had gone flat. What fun.
Take it from me – this coffee solution is a lifesaver. When I was driving down a gravel road to find a free campground as night approached, this saved the day. After a patchy night of sleep in Iowa because of my irrational hallucinations about wolves and serial killers, this woke me up and helped me drive out of that corn-infested state. Even after a raccoon woke me up at 4am in Grand Teton National Park and I couldn't go back to sleep because I thought it was a baby bear, this coffee made my morning [somewhat] functional.
Easy Overnight Cold Brew Coffee
- Total Time: 12 hours 5 minutes
- Yield: 8 1x
No coffee maker? No Keurig? Not necessary! Make coffee anywhere, anytime in just a few easy steps.
- 16 tablespoons course ground coffee
- 20 ounces cold water
- Additional water
- Mesh strainer
- Optional: Coffee filters
- Add coffee and water to a large glass container.
- Shake or stir together to combine.
- Allow to brew for 12 hours at room temperature.
- Using a mesh strainer and a funnel, pour coffee into another large container. [Glass, preferably.] If desired, you can also place a coffee filter in the mesh strainer to further filter the coffee. We've tried it with and without, and haven't noticed much of a difference. Using a filter takes much longer.
- After you've filtered the coffee, you have two options: heat it over a stove or drink it iced. Either way, mix 4 ounces of coffee and 4 ounces of water per serving.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 12 hours
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