I’ll admit, this may be an odd choice of gear to review, but then again, not really if you know me. (And really, this is no more odd than a food dehydrator – which had served us well, at least for awhile until the charm wore off).
No, this is about priorities. Big ones. Caffeinated ones.
Coffee is a luxury for some, and a necessity for others. I land heavily in the latter camp. I can’t function, think about functioning, or even shower until I have a dark roast in my hand. And I must be caffeinated until about 2PM from April-September, then a little later in the day during the colder months.
I was a late-adopter of Keurig. I was more of a purist who believed that the only route to excellent coffee was grinding beans and steeping them, or using a french press, or just a drip coffee maker if I was in a hurry (let it be known that I was also a late-adopter of ipods, smartphones, texting, streaming audio and video – basically everything that makes life more convenient).
So what happened? Keurig held a trade-in event in Madison where if you brought them an old coffeemaker, you’d get a free counter-top Keurig. So, out of curiosity and in the interest of saving $100, I stood in line for three hours and eventually walked away with one. And damn if those Keurig folks didn’t know what they were doing – because I kept walking and never looked back. Soon, I had to admit that the drip no longer fulfilled that instant gratification of a quick-caffeinated jolt. It didn’t take long and that Keurig became a beloved member of the family, and the old Cuisinart resides in a dusty corner of the basement (just incase the Keurig, God-forbid, fails on us of course).
When it comes to camping, quality coffee is top of mind and has always been a point of emphasis for me. And when I’m canoe/kayaking/car-camping, I’ve learned that relying on whatever coffee someone else brings, just isn’t an option. For nine years, I ground coffee and loved using my NRS filter to no end. It’s worked great, and I’ve bought more than one. I’ve recommended it to some and gifted it to others. But since we no longer buy ground coffee or beans, it’s not all that appealing to buy a pound of coffee exclusively for those instances when I camp.
So I started searching for a travel Keurig, assuming it existed (it doesn’t). Then, I stumbled across this same topic on a backpacking site and the “As Seen On TV” Presto MyJoe caught my attention. Apparently it’s been well-known for coffee/camping fanatics for quite sometime. Again, it’s no surprise that I’d be late to the game on this one too.
Presto Overview Video
What We Like:
This thing makes Keurig coffee on par with the counter top version, right down to the “shhhhssshshshshtckuchhhhh” suction sound at the end – a delightful sound at that.
It’s super simple to use. Just put the pod (store-bought, reusable, plastic or netted) in the base. Screw the water holder on top of the base to puncture the pod. Add hot water and press the pump one to three times slowly until the water is gone. And then carry on with your day.
Best yet, it’s lightweight, small and packable for any type of camping (so long as you don’t mind giving up a little space – it’s about 4″ x 4″ x 9″ so it’s big-ish, but not cumbersome). I certainly consider it a luxury but a neccessary luxury when it comes to coffee, so I’ll make room – there will always be room in my kayak hatch for you, sweet, sweet MyJo! Also, since there are no moving parts or delicate mesh to get squished (my only real complaint with the Mugmate), it’s a rather sturdy piece of plastic to shove into a stuff sack.
Lastly, you can’t really argue with the price point. Common for products like this, it’s cheap (As Seen on TV for 19.95!) Amazon sells it for $15 but you can probably find it on the endcap of a Walgreens aisle for $10. It’s so cheap and important, I might stock up on a couple incase I capsize and my MyJoe floats downriver. Oh rue the day! Better to be prepared, right?
MyJo is the most unexpected and best solution to a modern-day reality of convenience I’ve encountered since Sonos, and again, I’m not looking back.
What I don’t get is why Keurig hasn’t made their own version. Currently, they don’t make a portable/travel Keurig. But because there’s still a need to boil water separately, there’s plenty of opportunity to improve on this device – by making it able to boil water within it. It seems only fair that since we don’t have flying cars, we could expect modern enginneering to produce what is essentially a heated water bottle to move some hot water through a concentrated coffee pod with consistent results. But maybe it’s just around the corner? In the meantime, I’m packing “heavy” with my little MyJo.
The Final Word:
There was a time I was excited to get back to civilization just because of good coffee. That just shouldn’t happen – and it doesn’t anymore. MyJo has rendered my old method of brewing camp coffee archaic since now I can take my pods on the road and enjoy consistently-brewed coffee just like at home. If you too are a Keurig junkie and can’t camp without a solid cup ‘o joe, it’s worth the low cost-of-entry.
They say that the most important meal (despise that word) of the day is breakfast. For me, coffee is my breakfast, so I’m pretty serious about it and therefore, the coffee better be good. Now that I no longer have to wait to steep, I enjoy instant Keurig-gratification wherever I’m adventuring. Cheers!
Dimensions: 4.1″ x 4.1″ x 9″
Weight: 14.1 ounces