A couple enjoying coffee while camping
A couple enjoying coffee while camping

It fuels work. It fuels adventure. It’s a ritual. It’s a treat. And it turns out it’s even good for you, too. From individual health benefits, to the global economy, to social and cultural connections, the little brown bean plays an important role at KEEN and across the globe.

KEEN’s HQ is in the Pacific Northwest, an area known across the globe for a serious (bordering on obsessive) love of coffee. We do confess to guzzling coffee, then tossing the used grounds into our gardens and compost piles (for a healthy boost of nitrogen). Our java-mania led us to connect with local roasters Nossa Familia, partnering to create double upcycled bags and learn more about how coffee fits into our global economy. It’s one more way we put our values in motion to work toward a more sustainable world.

Filtered, pressed, or extracted; there are so many ways to brew coffee. Whatever your drink of choice (Latte? Americano? Cinnamon mocha cappuccino?), there are more reasons than ever to love it. Let us count the ways:

1. It’s healthy (in moderation)

Here in the Pacific Northwest, coffee is known as a gourmet delight — but it’s actually pretty healthy, too. Moderate coffee intake is linked with significant health benefits, including a strong heart and cardiovascular system. It’s also an effective source of antioxidants, which help defend cells and reduce the risk of common chronic diseases. (Can you overdo it? Um, yeah, definitely! But that’s true of most things, right? If your hands start to shake, maybe put down the coffee pot.)

2. It helps motivate

Coffee isn’t just for breakfast! As if we needed yet another reason to drink coffee, we all understand how a little caffeine can inspire ideas, extend our energy and keep us motivated. Go ahead, have an afternoon cup and reap the productivity rewards!

3. It’s good for the world

The business of coffee has evolved dramatically in the past couple of decades. It’s become a vehicle for successful independent farming practices, allowing family farms around the world to thrive (like our friends at Nossa Familia). Coffee is also a leader in the global fair-trade movement, helping to support diversity and respect human rights.

Coffee beans in Guatemala

Harvested coffee beans being ground by hand

A coffee pour for a tasting

4. It helps us connect

Like a meal with friends, taking a coffee break or sharing a cup of coffee with a friend or coworker is all about connecting. We’ve met some really cool people through coffee. Our love of coffee led to our Harvest Collection of twice-upcycled bags, featuring fabric waste/coffee sacks from Guatemala.

5. You can make it anywhere

Just add hot water! Coffee is incredibly easy to make, and you can literally make it anywhere you have access to water. One of our favorite places to enjoy coffee is outdoors. What better way to wake up while camping than to brew up your favorite beans? Here are a few tips for making coffee outdoors:

• Pick your favorite method. Just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you don’t have options. French press, Moka pot, AeroPress; most non-electric home brewing methods work great at camp. If you’re packing light, you don’t need fancy gadgets to make yummy coffee. A classic cone filter set-up does the job, too. It’s lightweight, easy to pack, and easy to clean.

• Use a hand grinder. Add a small hand grinder to your camp kitchen for the freshest possible coffee.

• Use an insulated mug. Savor the heat and flavor longer by using an insulated travel mug.

• Try packing evaporated milk or non-dairy milk. Unlike fresh cream, canned evaporated milk (or shelf-stable plant-based milk) doesn’t require a cooler until opened, making it a great alternative for camping. (Now that you’re in the mood for camping, check out some more suggestions for campsite cuisine.)

Side note: Although our preferred coffee venue is the great outdoors, we know the importance of a great barista at your favorite local cafe. In addition to outdoor shoes, KEEN has a line of workwear shoes for people who spend a lot of time on their feet (like baristas, servers, and bartenders). We are flattered to know baristas appreciate their KEEN shoes as much as we appreciate their coffee creations. Check out our PTC Collection here.

Making coffee while camping
Our camping setup includes a collapsible silicone pour-over cone, stainless steel hand grinder, and a KEEN mug of course ;)

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