Better than you think!!
Perception for most people represents better than 90 percent of their reality. I'll try and change yours beneficially by providing you with data which will help alter your perception.
To begin with, I bought this since I've struggled with a smaller device, which made making coffee a challenge not worth attempting.
When one looks at this device, the words: car camping come into ones' mind. Actually, it's a product, which when properly adapted, works really great in various ways. One of which is coffee making.
The first action I took, was to remove the silicone bellow from the plastic base - which really isn't needed at all. Why it's there is to allow use on a large pot.
I use a 32 ounce nalgene wide mouth bottle to make coffee with this device and not a pot.
The lid and bottom supplied are superfluous, and have little or no reason to exist in a backpack at all. Or even for car camping.
By removing the bellow from the base, which is supplied, you decrease the weight at least forty percent.
Good deal!! Unless you own a burro to carry your pack and equipment, in which case you don't care!
How to get the most out of this product after removing from the supplied plastic base (pulls out easily):
Collapse the bottom molded side "rung" on the bellow onto the molded collar of the silicone structure.
This lowers the center of gravity, and further stabilises the entire bellow. You've done this after removing the plastic base.
Use a # 2 filter versus a # 4 - which works perfectly and is less weight. Sit the entire structure on the top of a wide mouth nalgene bottle (32 oz) and start making yor coffee. Don't forget the grinds!!
I store the bellow in a zip lock bag. Since I want nothing to do with the provided cover and base which comes with this device. Way too heavy!!
By doing what is suggested herein, you eliminate unwanted weight, and make a large unweildy device into a compact and durable utility for coffee making. As well as other uses.
To keep heat in while the water is filtering through the bellows, I use a piece of aluminum foil SHINY SIDE DOWN (this reflects the heat back onto the liquid - optional).
What else can you do with this silicone bellow?
I use it to rinse pasta to reduce the starch. I use it over a muffin or other food to keep the flies away. I use it as a veggie washer.
I place a small piece of foil on the bottom (inside the bellow), and then use it as a mix bowl to make bread dough. The dough is left in to rise. Works great!!
Lots of uses and practical too.
HOW TO CLEAN THIS DEVICE:
In reading various reviews for numerous silicone items, a common thread is that that silicone retains the odor, and sometimes the taste, of the last item it was used to make.
This is true for X cups and bowls made by another manufacturer as well. In this case, it is only coffee (taste and odor).
However, here is how to clean silicone and make it relatively odor free and taste free:
Boil a pot of water. Into the water place four large heaping tablespoons of baking soda - mix same.
Immerse the silicone bellow upside down into the hot water. You've turned the heat off - by the way.
Leave it upside down in the water for three to five minutes. Take it out, and rinse in cold water. This process will nuetralise any odor or tase that was absorbed by the silicone.
YOU SHOULD DO THIS WHEN YOU FIRST PURCHASE THIS PRODUCT. Since present in the pores of the silicone, are A MOLD RELEASE COMPOUND, which is not really very good for you - even though "food grade".
Now that you have prepared the product for use, what you can do, is use food grade MINERAL OIL, which is sold at most grocery stores.
Coat the interior of the bellows with a light film of the mineral oil.
Mineral oil is non anerobic, will not grow bacteria like cooking oil, has no odor or ill effects whatsoever.
Optional, is to then immerse in clean hot water to remove residual oil, which has not migrated into the pores of the silicone bellows.
This last step will seal the surface (not permanently) and prevent (for the most part) the migration of taste and odor into the pores of the bellows.
You repeat this process every once in a while to maintain the device as desired (in so far as taste and odor is concerned).
I hope this helps, since this product when properly modified as suggested, works really great.
When you review the information on the package of this product, no information do they give you with repect to proper maintenance of "it".
That's why I wrote this, since this isn't my first time at the "rodeo". I had to learn the hard way, you get to learn the easy way!!!!
GOOD DEAL REI!!!! At less than 13 bucks no less - and a dividend on top of it too!! What a life!!!
Morning life saver!
Thank God for good morning coffee! This product makes a much better cup of coffee than my MSR filter does. It tastes as good or better than the coffee coming out of my coffee pot at home.
So here was the test....
Made coffee from the GSI system and from the coffee pot. Tried them both and they tasted the SAME!!! Then served then to my dad who is a coffee snob and he could not tell anything different either.
It folds flat and looks to be very durable (Wish we could put add on comment later after field trials on the reviews - because time will tell).
Only negative is that you have the filter and grounds to pack out. Which to me is not that important compared to having yucky coffee in the morning.
Because your using a filter, (which is good and bad) you don't have the little black stuff at the bottom of you cup as you do with the MSR filter.
It weighs in at 4.7 oz or 133.2 grams. So a little on the heavy side compared to my MSR filter which comes in at 1 oz.
So over all I have to say this:
I have my new best friend to backpack with!
Buy this and you will as well.
Makes good coffee; packs flat
I like this coffee cone - packs nice and flat so not nearly as bulky as regular coffee-making cones. Note that the diameter of the flattened cone is pretty large though, so you'll still need to find space for it.
When I first got this cone I noticed the strong yucky chemically/plastic smell and figured, well, this won't work... I washed it thoroughly, but it still had the smell. So then I tested it by making a real cup of coffee and compared it against my regular coffee cone - the coffee tasted pretty much the same, so the chemically smell didn't affect the taste of the coffee. It smells a little less now and the smell is mixed with a coffee smell, but I don;t mind it so much anymore.
Nevertheless, this cone makes good-tasting coffee. Another advantage is the bult-in saucer for your drippy cone after you've finished making your coffee.
Probably too large and heavy for backpackers, but you could leave out the saucer and it would be a little lighter, though it would still take up as much space.
I suspect the silicone will absorb odors, so this will probably end up just smelling like ocffee rather than like petrochecmicals...
As the 5 star definition says - Perfect. It doesn't get any better.
I've been using a percolator for my most recent car camping adventures with marginal success. Decent coffee, too many parts to wash up (7 if you count the cup) and the loose grounds are a pain. All resolved with GSI.
First of all it makes good coffee. Coffee shouldn't be boiled or ran thru the grounds more than once (or so my coffee snob friends tell me). Percolators do both, the GSI does neither. Pack good coffee, drink good coffee.
Easy to clean - the grounds are contained in the filter - just grab it and toss. A quick rinse and it's ready to go. Since it's silicone, it doesn't get hot even after running boiling water through it.
It's not limited to size of portion. One cup or 6 is no problem. The #4 sized filters are the standard size for 12 cup coffee makers at home.
Finally the collapsible deisgn is a huge space saver and you don't have to pack it carefully to keep it from being crushed or deformed.
Like Bigger Al said above - This is the bomb!
You couldn't make this one better.
I've used the molded plastic coffee makers in the past and found them to be too bulky, and have often worried about them getting bent and malformed in my pack. And I don't want to be without my coffee in the morning. The GSI unit quells my concerns.
It's so simple, you wonder why it isn't more popular. The rubber does have a bit of a smell to it, but it doesn't impart itself on your coffee. It's not very heavy, and doesn't take up much space as a disc in your bag.
Some may prefer to use units with a built in filter, but I usually make individual servings at home, wrap the filter around the coffee, and put a ribbon of masking tape on it to keep it all together. This works out pretty well.
On the trail, this thing just gets a little splash of water to rinse it out, then it's dried and put away.
It's the only trail coffee filter I'll ever need.
I used an electric kettle and french press prior to receiving this product. The difficultly of cleaning and lack of water made my press a real pain to use. This over the cup drip maker, however, was PERFECT. The lid really helps keep the heat in while brewing. I would typically pour the boiling water over, place the lid on top, go take care of my personal hygiene and come back to a far better cup of coffee than I was going to find at the Dining Facility. Clean up was as simple as removing the #4 filter and grounds, rinsing it out every few days.
I unfortunately misplaced the one I used on my last deployment... so I'm here to order a replacement for my upcoming tour. Could easily be used for backpacking or the casual car-camper, as well as a quick cup of coffee at the house.
Needed something that would allow me to keep my coffee love strong while on a grueling schedule trip through NE. It was all car camping but it was up and out at sunrise with little time to be playing around with the press or perculator. Bought this based off the reviews and even with high expectations they were surpassed. First, I forgot the filters so let's go back to college and a paper towel did just fine so it's adaptable. I used a high quality fine grind coffee and just perfection! Quick is key! Dump water in, coffee comes out in your travel cup, dispose neatly of grinds, rinse, stow and go.
Might not seem like a big deal for some but this is the coolest thing I've added to my gear arsenal in a long time. Perfect for the soloists especially! Viva la coffee!
I just love this thing
I'm a coffee fanatic and make pourover daily at home. This is really well designed, and I use it camping or just to take with to make pour over away from home.
It's light and small. The circular base fits on Nalgenes, coffee cups, and carafes. The base is ridged to allow air to escape. Smart! Plus, the lid doubles as a cover to hold the heat in while you're brewing and waiting for the water to drain.
When camping, this method is perfect. Instead of trying to bang grounds out of a Nalgene, you just carefully lift out the #4 paper filter and grounds, shake out the grounds, and then pack out the paper filter.
Best of all, the coffee is perfect (when I make it).
Works Well but Pour Slowly
I am not a coffee drinker, but bought this as a surprise for my husband who likes to start his day with a cup. We use a keurig at home, so rather than buy coffee and filters specifically, we brought home some of the coffee pods from a recent hotel stay. (We used The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf pods which are the flat circular type.)
Our first experiment left the pod floating which didn't allow the water to adequately drip through the pod. On our second attempt we poured more slowly and ended up with a surprisingly good cup of coffee--comparable to home-brewed.
Who would of thought!
What a great idea and its so simple. Made my first cup today in my kitchen to test it out and it worked exactly as advertised. Not the best cup of coffee I've ever had, but certainly on par with any drip coffee maker. I have a kerig for day to day use but for camping this item is perfect. I'm a car camper so I can't attest to the weight or size, but for what I need it for, it packs down small, cleans up easily and appears very sturdy. No more instant coffee for me. I highly recommend this item.