3 Coffee Singles Tips: Faster & Easier Coffee

March 29, 2023

by Eric Thompson

A superb cup of coffee can be tough and feel far away when distanced from your dedicated kit of grinders, beans, and kettle at home, but coffee singles can offer a solution. All you need is a source of boiling water, a mug, and a coffee single for a cup of tasty brew anywhere in the world. They are a tasty alternative to instant coffee.

Singles are a good balance between quality and weight. Remember, whether you're on the trail or traveling, ounces turn into pounds. Weight saving isn't the only plus, as coffee singles save time compared to a classic pour-over. With a french press single, you simply treat it like a tea bag, letting it steep for 5 minutes while dunking it to get good agitation.

3 Tips for Coffee Singles

Although coffee singles aren't espresso the fundamentals remain the same. If you're familiar with other brew methods, these tips should sound familiar.

Here are 3 tips for getting the most out of your coffee singles while away from home:

1. Water

Water chemistry is a big conversation in the specialty coffee world, as quality water is fundamental to great-tasting coffee. Be sure to filter any water that you plan on using to brew through at least a basic carbon filter. Bring any water from a natural source to a boil before using. Though, if you're in a pinch, anywhere that produces clean and safe hot water will be adequate. You may not get the highest quality flavor due to impurities, but it'll work in getting coffee in your mug.

Each single is portioned for one 12oz serving.

When it comes to temperature, aim for around 200°F. If you don't have a thermometer or way of controlling the temperature, just boiling the water and waiting a few minutes should be fine. If you have access to electricity, a gooseneck kettle is always a fantastic way to get a consistent temperature. Pour in some hot water to heat up your mug to mitigate heat loss before steeping, maintaining the target temperature longer.

2. Extraction

Over-steeping your coffee will cause over-extraction, which will give your coffee a strong but bitter and off flavor. Steep travel singles for 5 minutes, dunking to create agitation. This ensures that you fully saturate your grounds for proper extraction. Extraction pulls out the oils, solids, and acids in a coffee, some desirable while others are not. A balanced cup of coffee is always the end goal. Temperature, pressure, and time are the variables that we focus on when extracting.

There are two different methods of extraction that translates to coffee singles. Like in specialty coffee, there are percolation and immersion methods. A french press is an immersion brewing method in which your coffee grounds are fully immersed in water while extracting. Percolation refers to the method in which you have a bed of coffee that has fresh water poured through it, like in a pour-over.

3. Freshness

All coffee needs to be rotated to ensure that the freshest beans with the best flavor are being used. Like whole beans, singles do go stale with age. The oils in a coffee can become rancid, giving an unpleasant and sour flavor. You can tell by giving your coffee a smell before brewing. If it smells mildewy or muted, don't use it. The scent should be indicative of the flavor profile of the coffee within.

Be sure to rotate your coffee singles every 3-5 months to keep the freshest coffee in stock. We nitrogen flush our pour-over singles, extending their life to six months before they need to be replaced. Where a consistent supply of whole beans, like a Geisha whole bean, will be the freshest way to maintain coffee, holding onto singles gives you options between convenience and freshness.

Final Thoughts

By now, you should be able to use coffee fundamentals to get a stellar cup of coffee when on the move.

Brewing coffee can be a little complex, but the fundamentals of getting a good brew remain the same.

Be sure that your water is sourced well and filtered, be careful to saturate your grounds fully but be cautious of over-extraction, and hit and maintain a target temperature for a certain amount of time to be sure that your coffee is saturated well.

On the road, on the trail, or in the office, a tasty brew is minutes away. Once you've finished with your coffee singles, save them and be sure to throw them in your compost for a happy garden.