Gone Camping with Top Pot’s Camper Blend

Jenni shows us how to camp Top Pot-style.

This post was written by: Jenni Jobe

Summer is not complete in my mind without a camping trip or two–or twelve! One of the essentials of a good camping trip is a good cup of coffee in the morning, which has not always been an easy thing to come by.  But it is possible, especially with Top Pot Coffee Roasters (in house at our 5th Ave café) freshly roasted coffee. Amongst the mountains and trees of the Pacific Northwest, combine our Camper Blend coffee with a trusty brew method, and you can wake up at your morning campfire and enjoy!

Recently I went camping with a big group of friends, and I found the truth in the age-old adage of “if you brew it they will come”. Follow these steps and you too will be loved by your family and friends the whole camping trip. I was deemed the “camping coffee master,” and you can too. All it takes is bringing along a trusty brewer, picking up some Top Pot Coffee on the way outta town, and putting it all together when you reach your campsite. So pack up your gear, fill up a couple coolers, grab the coffee, and put up a “Gone Camping” sign. It’s time to get away from it all and refresh your soul in the great outdoors.

Reasons to bring Top Pot camping:

  • Increase your popularity amongst your friends. Doughnuts make everyone happy and having quality coffee while camping is hard to come by.
  • Keep your weekday morning routine and kick start your day of adventures in the wilderness.
  • Support Top Pot’s Camper Blend.
  • Invent a new type of s’mores with top pot doughnuts.
  • And remember: If you brew it, they will come.

Top Pot Camping Timeline

Friday 3p.m.
Take off from work a bit early, load up your gear and coolers and hit up your local Top Pot Café. Grab a dozen doughnuts, a cold brew coffee for the road and a bag or two of the Camper Blend for coffee provisions through the weekend in the mountains and trees. You can even have your coffee ground at the café.

Friday 6p.m.

Arrive and set up camp! Once the tents and sleeping bags are set for crawling into at a later hour, and dinner is in the works, find out where that box of doughnuts ended up. Ensure you get your favorite before the early bird catches the doughnuts in the morning before you roll out of the tent.

Saturday a.m.

Roll outta the tent and grab a doughnut to tide you over till the rest of breakfast is ready. Get your hot water started so you can get that coffee brewing. If you brew it, they will come.  And you will be loved. For full effect use Top Pot Coffee Roasters Camper Blend.

Sunday a.m.

Repeat steps from Saturday morning. Insider tip–if you train someone on Saturday you can sleep in on Sunday and roll outta your sleeping bag to coffee that’s already made!

Camping Brew Methods:

French Press

Top Pot French Press

The French press is a great way to brew multiple cups at a time and makes a nice full bodied cup of coffee. I recommend grabbing a stainless steel one as they’re more durable and you don’t have to worry about it breaking at the campsite.

  1. For every cup of coffee, put two tablespoons of coarsely ground coffee into the French press. Fill half way with water at about 200 degrees, or just before boiling. Make sure all the grounds are saturated with water.
  2. Brew for 1 minute and 30 seconds to allow the coffee to bloom. Stir and fill the press the rest of the way with hot water, leaving enough room to rest the plunger on top.
  3. Continue brewing for another 1 minute and 30 seconds to 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Now you can plunge slowly. Sometimes you’ll feel a little resistance; that’s OK. Don’t force it, you can always pull the press up a little and then continue pressing down. Pour and enjoy!

ChemexTop Pot Chemex brewed coffee

The Chemex will impress your friends and up your hipster game. This hourglass shaped brewer uses a thick paper filter to produce a smooth cup of coffee. This is also a good method for brewing a few cups at a time when you are making coffee for the whole camp site. The Chemex is slightly more technical than the French Press, however it is one of my favorite methods for brewing coffee.

  1. Place a cone-shaped paper filter in the top of the Chemex. Make three folds on one side of the filter and one fold on the opposite side to create a cone shape. Arrange the three fold side toward the front spout and one fold toward the back.
  2. Dampen the filter with warm water to preheat the brewer and rinse out the filter, pour the water out of the spout to discard.
  3. Use two tablespoons of medium-course ground coffee per cup. Place coffee into the deepest part of the filter.
  4. Heat your water to about 200 degrees or just before boiling. Pour enough water to wet all of the grounds and let sit for 30 seconds to allow the coffee to bloom.
  5. Pour your hot water in an even circular motion leaving about ¼-inch of room at the top of the brewer. Once the water filters through the coffee, repeat this step with a second pour to complete the brew.
  6. Remove filter once all the water has brewed through and discard into compost. Pour and enjoy!

Aeropress

The Aeropress is perfect for brewing single cups of coffee relatively quickly, and it’s small so it is a convenient space saver, especially if you’re backpacking to a campsite. It is also great when people are rolling out of their tents at varying times.

  1. Place a filter in the cap and fit the cap onto the chamber. Set the chamber onto a steady mug and put one scoop of finely ground coffee into the chamber. Give it a little shake to level out the coffee.
  2. Pour 200 degree, or just before boiling, water into the chamber up to the number 2.
  3. Stir the coffee for 10 seconds. Insert plunger at an angle and pull up slightly to create a seal. Press down gently for 20 to 60 seconds until you hear the hiss of the escaping air.
  4. Remove the chamber from your cup and add 6 ounces of water for one cup of coffee.

You can adjust the amount of water based on your preference; the less you use the stronger the coffee will be. To clean, remove the cap and push over the grounds. The coffee puck will pop right off, ready for compost! Rinse with water.

The History of Cold Brew Coffee

The history of summer’s favorite drink.

With summer in full swing, many coffee drinkers turn to cold brew coffee to get their morning fix. Delicious, thirst-quenching, and packed with caffeine, cold brew coffee is more popular than ever. But how did this powerful drink come to be? The answer is more complex than you might expect.

Coffee–Kyoto Style

The Japanese have been cold-brewing their coffee since the 1600s. Some people believe that the practice was passed on to the Japanese by Dutch traders who cold brewed their coffee to store on their ships. It was an easy way to keep large quantities to reheat later.

Whatever way the Japanese first discovered the cold brew method, it became immensely popular. The Kyoto style of cold brew may have changed over the years, but the current method is beautiful to watch. Water is dispensed, one drop at a time, through the coffee grounds and into a lower collection chamber. This brewing style creates coffee that is very aromatic with a light body, which is especially nice on a hot day.

Toddy—It’s All in the Name

Have you ever wondered why some people called their cold brew “toddy?” I did too.

In 1964, Todd Simpson, a chemical engineering student from Cornell, was introduced to a Peruvian-style of coffee extraction. It wasn’t long before inspiration struck. Simpson created and patented The Toddy. The system was first created with the same goal as the Dutch, to cold-brew coffee which would then be heated up before consumption. This would reduce the coffee’s acidity. Sensitive stomachs around the world rejoiced!

It wasn’t long before Simpson’s discovery was being used to create both hot and cold brewed coffee. Thus the modern era of cold brew coffee was born.

Re-discovery

The history of cold brew coffee is a circuitous journey filled with lots of re-discovery. As far as I can tell, different groups of people created this delicious beverage at different times, each thinking that they had been the first to discover it.

For example, a section in Scientific American reported the cold brew concept as early as 1847. They called it “essence of coffee” and deemed it “genuine stuff.” It seems that it was even bottled and available for purchase.

All of these stories of re-discovery have lead me to one conclusion: cold brew is a globally loved beverage. No matter what the reason, as a society, we will never be without our cold brewed coffee.

Cold Brew—What Top Pot Makes Today
Top Pot’s practice for making cold brewed coffee is called the immersion method. We combine coarse ground Guatemalan coffee and water, carefully monitoring the PH levels while steeping the mixture in a refrigerated environment at a consistent temperature for 24 hours.

It takes trial and error to find the perfect water-to-coffee ratio. Most experts say to start with 3/4 cup coffee beans for every 4 cups of water.

This process may seem time consuming, but it’s a small price to pay to create the delicious coffee you’ve come to consider your go-to summer drink.


When did you first discover cold brew coffee? What’s your favorite way to get your summer coffee fix? Let us know in the comments below.

We love making cold brew coffee, and we want to share that love with you. Make sure to check back in on the blog for details on an exciting cold brew happy hour coming soon to all cafes!

How to Host a Top Pot-Inspired 4th of July Party

It’s almost time for the big midsummer celebration. That’s right, can you believe it’s the 4th of July already? The 4th has always been one of my favorite holidays; the weather is warm, the days are long, and there is a feeling of celebration in the air.

Here are some Top Pot inspired ways to spice up your Independence Day. Almost all of these items are available at our cafes, but all can be replicated at home! Feel free to drop by the stores for the supplies you need, or try your hand at them in your own backyard.

Raspberry, White, and Blue

There’s nothing like a refreshing Italian soda on a warm summer day. These thirst-quenchers can easily be made into a perfect celebratory drink. Use raspberry, vanilla, and blackberry syrups in soda water to create a patriotic treat. Or, layer these flavors to create a flag in each cup. Start by pouring the raspberry syrup, then slowly pour blackberry syrup on top. Vanilla can be added after that, or can be substituted with a little splash of half and half.

As American As Apple Fritters

Top Pot Doughnuts Blueberry Fritter

Blueberry fritters are one of Top Pot’s featured summer doughnuts, and it couldn’t come at a better time. Serve a mix of our apple and blueberry fritters as a sweet appetizer or as a pairing with your after-dinner coffee.

Espresso Topped Ice Cream

There are lots of amazing recipes out there for espresso ice cream toppings (I have a whole list I want to try). The easiest way is to melt one tablespoon of espresso powder in four tablespoons of hot water. Once dissolved, pour over vanilla ice cream and serve.

If you really want to liven things up, add one tablespoon of Ovaltine powder to the espresso powder before melting. This will transform your plain old vanilla ice cream into a dessert version of Top Pot’s classic ovaltine latte.

Cold Brews for a Hot Day

Cold Brew Coffee Top Pot Doughnuts

Spending a day out in the sun can be exhausting. Serving a cold brewed coffee is a great way to jump start your second wind. Cold brew is made by steeping coarse-ground coffee beans in water for an extended period of time–usually 12 hours or more! Serve this super caffeinated drink as the sun sets and the fireworks begin.

Doughnut Dessert

patriotic sprinkled doughnuts

No 4th of July party would be complete without dessert. This year, why not mix up the traditional dessert offerings and create a doughnut cake by stacking Top Pot’s vanilla cake doughnuts on your serving tray. These doughnuts have a patriotic theme and require less clean up than sheet cakes or pies.

What are some of your favorite Independence Day foods? Let us know in the comments below.

5 Things to Know About Top Pot Coffee

When you think of Top Pot, you probably think about hand-forged maple bars and delicious old fashioned doughnuts. What you may not know is that we’re also coffee roasters. Our passion for quality extends beyond our doughnuts and is reflected in every aspect of the roasting process.

Here are the five things to know about Top Pot coffee.

100% Arabica

There are many different varieties of coffee bean, but Top Pot’s coffee is made from 100% specialty grade Arabica coffees.

Arabicas have a wide taste range, but tend to be sweet and fruity in flavor. In comparison to Robusta (another commonly used type of coffee), these beans have almost double the concentration of sugars. They grow slowly, taking several years to mature. One tree can produce anywhere from one to twelve pounds of coffee a year.

From Latin America to Africa, our coffee is sourced from the best co-ops and estates in the world.

Small Batch Roasting

Top Pot coffee is roasted in small batches, by hand, on our traditional cast iron coffee roaster.

Small batch roasting means that we can pay attention to every detail of the roasting process. With our concentration so tightly focused, we’re able to respond to each batch’s needs and make sure every bean is the highest quality.

Over Ten Years of Hand-Roasting

Top Pot has been hand-roasting since 2002. All of our coffee is made in downtown Seattle at our 5th Avenue location.

A Wide Selection of Coffee

Top Pot is proud to offer 5 proprietary blends:

  • Diplomat (Drip)
  • El Presidente (Espresso)
  • Decaf (Drip and Espresso)
  • Federale (Drip and Espresso)
  • French Roast (Drip)

We also have a variety of single origin coffees and seasonal blends. Come by any of our cafes to check out the selection.

Our Philosophy

At Top Pot we believe that coffee should be allowed to speak for itself! That’s why we roast on the lighter side of the roast spectrum to let the subtle nuances of our coffee really come through in the cup. Most of our blends are a full city roast, which leaves the coffee at its sweetest. This allows the coffee’s distinct flavors to come through.

Stop by any Top Pot cafe and get a free 12 ounce cup of drip. Simply show the barista this blog post and bam! You’ll be caffeinated in no time. It’s just our way of saying, “Thanks for reading!” This offer is good through Sunday, May 29, 2016.