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Traditional Finnish Campfire Coffee

Traditional Finnish Campfire Coffee
04.06.2019 Maria Ariyo

Nature is close to the heart of every Finn: you can find forests, lakes and seashore near almost every city and town in Finland. In addition to the outdoors, coffee is also close to our hearts. If you combine the two, you are going to have a near perfect day. Traditionally coffee has been brewed in a pot on a campfire, and the smokey flavour adds an interesting take on our favourite drink. Gather your bags, find those hiking boots and journey into the wild to try out Finnish Campfire Coffee!

We have come a long way from making coffee the way our grandparents used to do it. In fact, brewing coffee in a pot — both indoors and outdoors — used to be the norm to them, yet today it’s more of a nostalgic trip to the past for most of us. Remember, this brewing method can also be used indoors on any kind of stove. However, if you go outdoors, brewing a pot of coffee on a campfire does add a little extra to your hiking day. Nothing better than a cup of hot coffee in between walking across the hills and the forests?

campfire coffee in a cup

What to Remember When Preparing Campfire Coffee:

  • What kind of a pot do you have? Make sure it can take the heat and can be placed on direct fire. The pot should also have soot on it, this adds the flavour! Soot will slowly form the more you use your pot on a campfire.
  • You should use fresh ground coffee and make sure your ground coffee is coarse enough. Why coarse coffee? Since the coffee will be brewing for several minutes, coarse coffee grinds release the aroma a bit slower, whereas too fine coffee grinds will brew too fast and turn bitter.
  • If you are brewing your coffee outdoors on a campfire, make sure you have a long stick or something you can use to move the pot off the fire — it will heat up.
  • Pot brewed coffee tastes more full-bodied and richer than filter coffee, as the coffee fats remain in the drink and are not filtered. Yummy.

How to Brew a Delicious Campfire Coffee:

  1. You need fresh water for the pot, about 2dl per cup.
  2. Bring the water to boil, and move the pot off the fire once the water is boiling. Let the water cool down for 1 minute.
  3. Add about 6g of ground coffee per cup (that’s about one really full teaspoonful) in the pot and mix well.
  4. You shouldn’t boil the coffee, it burns easily and turns bitter! This is why you don’t leave the pot on open fire once you have added the ground coffee.
  5. Let the coffee rest for about 4-5min and wait for the grinds to sink to the bottom.
  6. Coffee is ready! The best temperature to serve it is 75-80℃. Try not to pour the coffee grinds to your cup.
  7. Remember to wash the pot properly after each use, it’s important the coffee fats or old coffee grinds don’t stain into the pot.

Campfire Coffee Outdoors Extras:

  • Some hardcore campers say that you shouldn’t use tap water for your campfire coffee, but fresh spring water instead. Just remember to pay attention to where you are camping and to the water quality of your surroundings.
  • Traditionally you would add a hint of salt to the campfire coffee… are you brave enough to try this?
  • A lot of magic is related to campfire coffee, some say you should talk to your pot when brewing. So, hold on to your juiciest gossip and spill it out while brewing coffee outdoors!

Dark and roasty coffees are an excellent fit for campfire coffee. Try these coffees: the nutty Colombia Sierra Nevada, the chocolaty Brasilia Fazenda California or the sweet Peru Amazonas.

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