Some links in this article are ‘affiliate links’ which means we may earn a small commission if you choose to purchase something from the link. Don’t worry, it costs you nothing extra. Learn more.
If you’re a coffee drinker on land, you’ll for sure be a coffee drinker on your boat. On land, you might have had your coffee pot set to ‘wake up’ before you so you could push a button and be savoring your freshly brewed cup in minutes. On a boat…not so much. I’m the only coffee drinker on our boat, so no one else empathizes with me the importance of that morning mug to get the day started.
A Few Things I’ve Learned…
Warming up water uses precious resources. If you like a warm cup of coffee, you’re going to be using propane or power. Propane is a consumable resource, and by that I mean, the more you use, the more often you’ll need to refill your tank. When you have solar, power is plentiful, but only when the sun is high…which probably isn’t first thing when you wake up in the morning. There is a solution, but it’s not immediate (see below). BUT when it’s cold or you’ve had a long night, resources be damned…make that pot because in reality, your crew will be better off with your first cup in you rather than not and feel your wrath.
Water quality matters. You likely drink the water from your tanks, as we do, but we recommend installing some type of filtration system in the galley for drinking and cooking. If this isn’t an option, I’d recommend using a Brita filter pitcher. I’m not saying that using the water straight from your tank will make a bad cup of coffee. I AM saying that using filtered water will make your cup of coffee even better.
Cheap coffee needs some help. In terms of our budget, food is the easiest place for us to save money. Sure, I could get a beautiful bag of 8 dollar fair-trade coffee, but when compared to the ‘big plastic tub coffee companies’, it’s hard to justify its cost. BUT cheap coffee tastes…cheap. Here are a few solutions:
- Cinnamon = Shaking some ground cinnamon over your grounds before making a pot will give your coffee a cinnamony flavor, which is quite nice.
- Salt = Yes, this is a weird one, but adding a small pinch of salt over the grounds before making a pot helps cut out any bitterness and bring out it’s sweetness.
- Vanilla = Don’t like cinnamon? Try adding a few drops of vanilla extract to your grounds before making your pot. This gives a subtle vanilla flavor and it’s a heck of a lot healthier than synthetically flavored coffee.
Try these and find your perfect brew. Doing one or all of these things really makes a world of difference!
The Best Way to Have Coffee In Warm Weather
Most of our cruising is in warm climates, so having a steaming hot cup of anything is not real high on the priority list. Shortly after we moved on the boat, I learned about ‘cold brew coffee’, and I tried ‘brewing’ it (which is really just ‘steeping’ it for a long time) and I was shocked…I actually liked the flavor of this ‘set and forget’ method even better than what I was currently doing! It has a much smoother flavor, so I’m a cold brew convert. If you prefer warm coffee, you just heat the cold brew up, but one of my favorite was to drink cold brew, is iced coffee. It’s a perfect marriage.
Making Your Coffee The ‘Cold Pressed’ Way
For my favorite 1 liter (8 cup – but 3+ mug) stainless steel french press pot (which I started using before boat life and has been perfect aboard, zero rust, no glass, highly recommend!):
- Add 3 tablespoons of grounds into the pot with a small pinch of salt and a few shakes of ground cinnamon
- Pour in filtered water leaving an inch of space at the top
- Let steep for ~12 hours (Coffee-making is part of my evening routine)
- In the morning, slowly press the coffee (my kids loves doing this)
- Serve over a few ice cubes
Every coffee drinker has their way of making the perfect cup, and it took me awhile to find something I was happy with on the boat. On land, I’m a half and half and sugar girl. On the boat, I drink mine with some Parmalat milk and a smidgen of simple syrup. Simple syrup is super easy to make and works perfectly for iced drinks. Just mix equal parts boiling water and sugar and you’ve got it. I make and store mine in this salad dressing shaker. (I have another for actual salad dressing, lol.)
Here’s to enjoying your perfect cup of coffee while cruising with your family…cheers!
P.S. Sign up to receive more shareworthy info and tips about family cruising via our newsletter. And don’t worry. We won’t SPAM you. We won’t share your email address either. We only send you an email a few times a month that shares notables that every cruising family can use with top posts and timely tips that don’t necessarily get published on the site. Let us help you save time. We’ve done the work so you can just do what you love…spend time cruising with your family!
More Coffee on a Boat Resources:
- https://www.foodnetwork.com/videos/perfect-coffee-0149135 Even Alton Brown suggests adding a pinch of salt to the grounds. (love him!)
- https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_make_cold_brew_coffee/ How to make cold brew coffee