That's right. Coffee you steep like tea. It comes in compostable (coffee) bags, and all you need is hot water (which lodging usually provides for free even if they do skimp on the caffeinated beverages), and creamer (the powdered kind is mobile-friendly, even if it's not the most luxurious). They're also a great alternative if you're going camping and don't want to pack your French press or drip coffee maker.
Personally, I've been steeping my coffee at home as well as on the road—it's less wasteful than brewing an entire carafe for my self. Plus, the coffee is just as rich and flavorful as the kind you'd brew the traditional way (although if I had to compare, I'd say you end up with something similar to French press coffee).
If you're curious about steepable coffee, there are a handful on the market you can try out. Here are the ones I've been testing for the last few months (in the car and on my couch) that get the Well+Good stamp of approval.
The best steeping coffee bags
Wildland’s coffee tastes slightly chocolate-y, and rich and creamy in consistency. It’s also a nice medium roast, so it’s not at all bitter or too strong. It’s recommended that you steep between three and seven minutes, although if you steep it longer than seven minutes, the flavor will intensify, and you’ll get a little bit more caffeine out of the bag. Each box comes with five bags (but if you get the 20-count, you’ll get 5 percent off, and the 40-count is 10 percent off).
Nobletree’s Dromedaire Cuvée is a light-medium roast that has notes of hazelnut, pear, and chocolate. Each box features small-batch roasted coffee (which hails from Brooklyn, NYC) that’s Fair Trade USA Certified. Steep for about five minutes (or longer if you want it stronger). For me, this tasted like high-end coffee you’d pay big bucks for, and its flavor was pronounced enough it only needed a little bit of milk.
I’m indecisive, so I went with Chamberlain’s variety box, which features the Early Bird Blend (a light roast that’s bright and sweet—and the highest offering in caffeine strength), Social Dog Blend (a medium roast that’s velvety and sweet), Careless Cat Blend (a medium roast that’s smooth and warm), Night Owl Blend (a dark roast that’s creamy and rich), and Family Blend (a medium roast that’s smooth and rich). So far, my favorite is the Family Blend, which reminds me the “Donut Shop Coffee”—a comforting classic in every way.
Memory Lane is a medium roast that features notes of Swiss chocolate and fig. According to the founder, “This is a coffee for everyone; a coffee that sparks joy in coffee connoisseurs and new coffee drinkers alike; a coffee that makes excellent espresso and a fantastic pour over. But most importantly, a coffee that will take you walking down Memory Lane.” And it’s true—there’s something very familiar and comforting about this coffee. It tastes like home, no matter how many miles away from it you are.
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