The Pipamoka, Your New Favorite Way to Brew Coffee On Your Next Road Trip
Adventurer and travel writer Breanna Wilson knows a thing or two about being nomadic. She lives part time in Mongolia, the literal land of nomads, for heaven’s sake. So, when she heard about the new Pipamoka, the nomadic coffee maker where she could brew a solid cup of coffee anytime, anywhere, she had to get her hands on one and put it to the travel test. This was her experience using it during her latest adventure – a five-day road trip exploring Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.
I’m hitting the road, working on a story for Aer Lingus, the Irish airline that’s safely delivered me into Dublin before handing me the keys to a rental car for a week of exploring wherever my little heart desired. Basically, it’s a dream assignment. (Trust me, they’re not all this great.)
I’ve packed everything I need for a week of adventures – from city clothes to walk the streets of Dublin in, to cold weather and rain gear for just about every other situation that will be thrown my way from Ireland’s rain and fog-filled wintery conditions. And while that might sound like a lot of stuff to bring on a one-week trip, don’t be fooled, I pack light. Like, carry-on suitcase, backpack, and that’s it, light. It’s the only way I travel. I can’t be bothered with too many pieces of clothing that I won’t wear anyways, too many unessential gadgets, too much… stuff in general.
Which is exactly why the new Pipamoka caught my attention. I was already a fan of Wacaco’s Nanopresso, taking it with me to Mongolia on one of my fall adventures last year (which just may have included hunting with eagles and tracking snow leopards in Monoglia’s Altai Mountains). The Nanopresso was one of those pieces of equipment that I didn’t even notice packing and bringing with me, but one that made all the difference on my trip. And I was excited to see if the Pipamoka would do the same.
Throwing it in my backpack, not even adding one full pound of weight, I had everything that I needed for my first brew in that compact little container – the reusable filter basket, a coffee scoop, the twist-up water chamber, an insulated mug and lid. I’d stock up on ground coffee in Ireland and fill my Hydro Flask with hot water each morning at my B&Bs for two full brews throughout the day.
No other gadgets. No unnecessary waste thanks to the reusable filter basket (I even found a use for the brewed coffee grounds thanks to a beauty hack I was dying to try out). No batteries or recharging – it’s all hand-powered. And not to mention it’s durable and super easy to clean. Basically, the Pipamoka was made for my on-the-go-lifestyle, and I am here for that.
Since I was driving the Wild Atlantic Coast in mid-January, a less-than-ideal time for exploring the windy, rainy west coast, going in search of outdoor adventures and off-the-beaten path experiences, having the Pipamoka handy was essential to getting through this road trip. Which I also happened to be doing solo. With plenty of long days of driving and no one to provide entertainment to keep me awake at the wheel, being able to pull over and brew a cup of coffee, no matter where I was, was a pretty essential part of my trip. (And now, my travel life.)
Whether I was heading out for a day of sea stack climbing with the world’s only professional sea stack climber, or just meandering my way through old fishing villages along the coast, having my Pipamoka with me was the best road trip companion a girl could have asked for.
And, after using the Pipamoka for five days, I learned a few essential tricks along the way.
Be smart about how you pack your coffee – otherwise prepare for it to go everywhere.
Whether you’re bringing your favorite grounds or beans from home or picking some up on the road like I did, you’re going to run into the inevitable – coffee grounds get everywhere. And while the filter basket comes with a convenient funnel to help you during the brewing process, it’s the times when you’re not brewing coffee – traveling with the grounds, throwing them in and out of bags, moving them constantly – that you should (or shouldn’t be) most concerned about keeping them packed for freshness and to avoid having grounds go everywhere in your rental car, or worse, your suitcase.
A small dry sack or packing cube doubles nicely as a way to store your bag of grounds or beans. It adds an extra layer of durability, it’s great for catching whatever grounds or beans escape from the bag if you didn’t close it the whole way (which happens easily enough when you’re in a hurry) and it’s much more environmentally friendly than using a plastic bag. Plastic containers also work, if you can spare the space, but dry bags shrink down in size, are easier to throw into a bag with less worry and you can always reuse it when (heaven forbid) you’re out of grounds or beans.
Pro tip: I had an empty Nuun Hydration tube that made for a great way to carry a little supply of grounds with me when I was out hiking and exploring and I wanted to keep my day pack light.
Save a cup, reuse your Pipamoka mug for coffee on flights, for end of day beers… anything, really.
The beautiful thing about the Pipamoka mug is that it’s a great mug. It keeps liquids hot (or cold) for three to four hours, fits nicely in your hand and has an easy to screw off and on lid. So, when you’re between brews, why not make the most of this great little piece of equipment that you have with you and use it for coffee on flights, an end of the day brew or as your bedside (or sleeping bag-side) water cup. You’re already brewing without a filter – this is just one more way to reduce your carbon footprint while on the road. Every little effort counts.
Get creative with your coffee – make a cold brew, make tea, add spices, or since I was in Ireland… Irish whiskey!
Just because you have one cool little coffee maker doesn’t mean you’re limited to making a plain old cup ofcoffee. Get creative with what you brew – go for a cold brew in hot weather, or a tea in cold weather, add spices like cinnamon to your grounds for a little something extra or even bring a little travel bottle of something a bit stronger.
Cold brew instructions: Fill the water chamber with cold water, drop in the filter basket and let sit for a minimum of one hour before twisting to brew.
At the end of the day, use the grounds to make a coffee ground face mask to help rehydrate and tighten your skin.
Traveling is rough on your skin. Like, really rough. Make the most of your leftover coffee grounds by mixing in coconut or almond oil (I used a packet of the Bulletproof MCT Oil that I carry with me to make bulletproof coffees) and use it as an exfoliating face mask at the end of the day. It will help nourish and rehydrate your skin, and it’s even said to help with wrinkles – a claim I’m always willing to put to the test!
So, after five days of driving the west coast of Ireland on the road trip of lifetime, warming up between some of the coolest adventures in the world with a hot cup of coffee thanks to my Pipamoka, it’s fair to say I’ve found my new favorite travel companion in this nomadic coffee brewer