GSI Personal Java Press
If you are like us and wake up in the morning thinking “coffee coffee coffee!!!” then you are likely traveling with a French press too. Long term international travel requires budgeting and spending a dollar or more on a cup of coffee every morning will certainly eat through your savings. Before we left we considered all the options for making our own coffee on the road, instant coffee, manual cone filer coffee, French press mug and even cowboy coffee, but in the end we decided on the GSI Java Press. We wanted something durable and capable of serving at least 2 people. What would have been ideal is a French press plunger attachment for our Pinnacle dualist, but GSI hasn’t made that. We’ve been using the Java Press for 8 months nearly every day and will review its function, durability, and coffee quality.
There are some nice features of this press which made us choose it over the French press mugs. The Java Press is a French press and a mug. Having the mug is really nice to ensure you don’t end up with over brewed coffee and sludge at the bottom of your cup. It is lightweight, durable, and packs up small.
While these are all nice things it is far from perfect. The first thing you notice when you go to pour coffee is the dribble. If you pour too fast it will dribble right down the side of the carafe. Pour a little slower and 90% of the time it will pour without spilling. Plunging can be really difficult as can pulling the plunger. This might be due to the fact that our screen is bent but the fact that the screen is bent is an unfortunate problem as well. These are all things that we have adapted to so we can have coffee with us whenever we want. The neoprene sleeve keeps the coffee warm enough to get you through the entire pot (20 oz). It does serve both of us, and as we found when we were traveling with 5 people on our bike tour it will give us enough coffee to get us on our way. The neoprene comes off making it easy to clean, which you will probably want to do after the first few dribbles.
The Java press definitely stands up to our abuse. We’ve stuffed it in tight bags and checked it on airplanes, hauled it 1,500km on a bike tour and used it almost every day for eight months. It shows some wear but that is to be expected. Even with the bent screen it still prevents grounds from getting into the coffee. I’m sure it will continue to take more abuse in the years to come.
So how good is the coffee?
It’s pretty damn good. If you use a French press for your usual cup of coffee it will be no different. I think this French press traps the grounds a little better than other French presses. This is pretty key as finding coarse ground coffee is next to impossible where we’ve traveled. We usually only find espresso grind coffee which can leak right through the screen of a normal French press. So all in all the coffee is excellent.
I give the Java Press a 7 out of 10. I would have made the same decision to buy it knowing what I do now because in my opinion it is the best travel French press on the market. If you are looking for a lightweight durable travel French press then the Java Press should serve you well. They also have a 30oz and 50oz java press available to support your free loading friends when they are drooling over your freshly brewed coffee on your next camping trip.
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