Kuju Coffee Review

Final Update

I was able to take along some Kuju Perfect PourOver packets with me on a multi-day backpacking trip into Pisgah National Forest in the Shining Rock Wilderness. We had some beautiful early fall weather with some chilly mornings and evenings that was perfect for testing out some coffee.

Waiting for a cup to brew while making breakfast.

Me and my hiking partner were able to test out the coffee both in the morning with breakfast and in the evening, after we had eaten dinner. For my final review, I will highlight a few areas that I considered when testing out the PourOver packets:

Preparation:

Preparation was easy and can be done with beginner outdoor cooking skills. Simply boil some water and make sure your Pocket PourOver pouch is deployed correctly in your cup/mug/container of choice. We did find with one of our mugs that had a wider mouth, it was difficult to get the wings on the pouch to secure to the mug on their own. The below pictures show coffee at dinner and coffee at breakfast. The first time, we couldn’t get the pouch to fit securely by itself, so we had to hold it which proved to be a little dangerous because of the hot water and difficult to hold the wings and pour at the same time. The next morning, we had better luck with the fit by folding the wings inward so that they grabbed the outer lip of the mug better.

There is a little bit of clean up that I had to keep in mind after using the pouches. The spent grinds have to be disposed of/stored somehow. It’s not much different than disposing of a filter in a traditional drip coffee maker. Just keep clean up in mind when planning for your cup of joe in the great outdoors.

Poor fit on wider mug meant we had to hold the pouch as we poured over the hot water.

After adjusting the wings, we found we could pour without having to hold them securely on the sides of the rim.

Taste:

I’m going to be honest, I am not a coffee connoisseur. I can’t tell you about the floral notes or the body profile of the coffee I drink. However, I do like when my coffee tastes good and both the Bold and Light roasts that Kuju provided for review were fantastic.

I have tried both instant and drip coffee  on the trail in the past. Instant coffee has improved drastically in both ease of use and taste. However, based on taste, I will give the nod to Kuju and the two roasts that I tested (Bold Awakening and Angels Landing).

When I am backpacking, I drink my coffee black. This is mainly due to the fact that I don’t want to have to deal with taking along any kind of creamer. I liked both the light and dark roasts this way, but my friend claimed that the Bold Awakening was a little bitter for his taste without adding any cream.

Enjoying the coffee on a cool fall morning.

Do’s and Dont’s:

Do: Test your cup/mug/container out before you go. Just make sure that the pouch wings will fit securely.

Do: let your coffee steep if the bag get’s submerged. It’s the best of both worlds. Let it sit and get a stronger cup of coffee.

Don’t: try to squeeze the remainder of the coffee out of the filter too hard when removing the pouch. It seems like a good idea, but I wasn’t very careful and had some grounds pour out over the top of the pouch into the mug and even had the filter rip once.

Dont: forget that the filter pouch has wet grinds in it. Practice Leave No Trace principles. If you packed it in, make sure you have a way to pack it out.

Oops.

Much by mistake, we had the opportunity to test out the pouches in an unconventional manner. I had shown my buddy the pouches while we were packing for the trip, so he knew that I was reviewing them and that is how we would be preparing our coffee. I had failed to give him much explanation on how they were to be used, so I had a good laugh when I got to where Fred was preparing breakfast and had dropped the Pocket PourOver pouches into our mugs of hot water as if they were tea bags. We just shrugged it off and went with the mistake and enjoyed the coffee that morning, albeit not the usual Kuju pour-over way.

Conclusion:

This is the best coffee that I have had while backpacking. This is due to multiple reasons:

  • It’s good. The taste was great and I felt like I was drinking a high quality cup of coffee.
  • It’s easy. Perhaps not as easy as instant coffee, but easy and intuitive enough that I didn’t wish I was doing it another way.
  • It’s enjoyable. The whole experience is fun. Hearing the drip of the coffee, pouring over the hot water. The whole system was a fun way to make coffee.

Thanks again to Kuju and 4 All Outdoors for the chance to test this product!

Kaleb R.


Coffee. It’s a part of daily life and the cornerstone of many morning and evening routines. Coffee can also be a big part of the backcountry experience. I have vivid memories of drinking coffee in the mornings to kick off a hike as well as in the evening after logging many miles to stay warm.

The Company

Kuju Coffee was “founded by two Eagle Scout brothers” who started their search for a better coffee experience that could be enjoyed anywhere. Click here to see specifics on their story.

Kuju uses what they call “Conscious Sourcing” when procuring their coffee beans. The describe this as going even further than utilizing fair trade wages, but seeking out farms where they can “make the greatest impact.”


The Product

Specs:

  • Each filter pouch = 1 cup of coffee
  • Brew time: 3 – 5 min

I will be testing and doing some field reviews of two different roasts from Kuju:

  • Bold Awakening:
    • Dark Roast
    • Earthy – Dark Cocoa – Dried Berry notes
  • Angles Landing:
    • Light Roast
    • Floral – Nutty – Citrus notes

Drip Mechanism:

Pocket PourOver:

The Pocket PourOver refers to the entire product from Kuji. It is billed as an all-in-one drip system that allows you to brew a cup of coffee in a variety of containers. All you need is some kind of mug/cup/etc. and hot water.

The Pocket PourOver can be best described as three different parts that make one whole product:

The Filter: The filter acts as a bag for the coffee grounds that has a tear off tap that you remove when you are ready to pour over the water.

Secure Steady-Safe: Cardboard flaps unfold to  anchor the Pocket PourOver system to your beverage container of choice.

Coffee: You can’t forget the reason why this product even exists.

Thoughts:

I plan on using the Kuju filters on a couple of upcoming backpacking trips, as well as some other outdoor activities where I am on the go.

There are two things that I really like about this system so far:

  1. Pre-measured coffee: There is less concern about too much or too little. This is something that I struggle with when making coffee on our drip maker at home. I can’t ever seem to get the appropriate coffee/water ratio.
  2. Coffee Anywhere: Really, if you have hot water, and some kind of cup, it appear that this product will let me make a cup of coffee.

There are two things I am going to keep my eye on:

  1. Durability of filters before use: I’ve noticed along the top perforation of the filter that a couple of the perforations have opened up into a small hole. Also, some of the creases of the filter appear to be worn and a little thinner as if they are tearing/degrading.
  2. Clean up: I’ve used a variety of methods to make coffee on the trail. Some are a little messier than others and require a little more effort to clean up. I’m interested to see how the Kuju Coffee filters work in that regard.

Thanks to 4AllOutdoors and Kuju Coffee for the chance to test out this product. Keep an eye out for an update in about a month or so.

-Kaleb