A Fairtrade cup of coffee that goes anywhere.

By David / October 20, 2012

It’s coffee, it’s a bag. and it’s Fairtrade. What more could your next camping trip ask for? Grower’s Cup has come up with a interesting, all-in-one brewing system that is reminiscent of the French Press, less the press. We couldn’t help think of space station food-in-a-tube technology, but the idea intrigued us enough to investigate further and here is what we found:

Really…a bag?

Yep, and to be honest we were pretty impressed. The pouch is made of paper lined with polyethylene (the same stuff you find in a lot of plastic water bottles) and is divided into a filter compartment (top) and a holding compartment (bottom), with a tear away opening for the side pour spout:

The bag itself is surprisingly sturdy and should hold up nicely if tossed into a pack for camping or hiking. We wouldn’t run over it with an ATV or anything…but it will withstand enough to tag along.

How does it work?

As you can imagine, operating the brewer bag is pretty simple. Open the top, pour in about two cups of hot water, let it ‘brew’ or steep for about 5 or 6 minutes, and then (hear comes the slightly tricky part) pour the coffee from the side ‘pour spout’:

The promo video below shows the pouring process to be an effortless affair, but in reality the bag can be a bit unwieldy and it takes a little practice. That being said, you are pouring coffee from a bag, and all things considered, it really isn’t too difficult. Certainly easier than lugging your favorite brewer along on the trip, so let’s not belabor the pouring too much. If the pouring experience puts you off, you can always spring for their very inexpensive and reusable handy Bag Holder, however we feel this somewhat defeats the goal of not having to carry lots of kit along.

Most importantly…what about taste?

For coffee brewed in the equivalent of a plastic-lined lunch bag, this coffee tastes pretty good. Comprable to what you are going to get with pre-ground beans in a basic French Press, the coffee is smooth and flavorful. The two-compartment design moves coffee from the grounds to the holding area so as to not let the brew become bitter, as long as you do not let it sit with the full two cups of water for too long. The bag does not offer much in terms of insulation, so you are going to want to transfer to a thermos or get drinking pretty quickly to maintain optimal temperature. Grower’s Cup produces different Fairtrade roasts (check some of them out here) sourced from Mexico, Bolivia, and Ethiopia, among others.

Final Verdict…

The bagged brewer is a well designed idea and we like it. We love that it is Fairtrade, easy, relatively cheap, and very ideal for on-the-move uses. While it isn’t going to become your go-to brew, the taste is solid and on cold mornings outside the tent it will taste even better. Check out their promo video for a brief brewing demo and let us know if you get to try it out!

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