On the last day of 2015 I had the chance to head to the mountains and meet up with my buddy Lawrence Braun for some holiday hangs, breakfast, and the idea to make a great cup of coffee in the woods. This was fitting as Lawrence is one of my friends that loves great coffee and has more coffee gadgetry than anyone I know. I thought, if he likes the coffee then I can publicly proclaim the Jet Boil Java Kit a winner.
I have to say, its almost unfair to review this as just a coffee creation tool since it's a Jetboil, plus an attachment. If you've never used one or only used some other ultralight backpacking stove, you're really missing out. The Jet Boil stove itself is light, sturdy, and boils water wicked fast. What else really could you want? Now let's talk about coffee:
I judge all coffee equally, I don't really care if it was made by a trained barista or it was made in the woods next to an abandoned train (which this cup happens to have been). I want to be able to take fresh ground beans, measure proper water amounts, bring water to a boil, and easily stop that boiling process and pour my coffee into a drinking vessel. Without needing to test this a number of times I can easily say that the Jetboil does all of these things and still remains really packable, and there's just something about its design that makes it fun to use. Maybe its the the gas knob made from bent wire and brass, or the 12 year old boy in me that likes playing with fire, but I love this thing.
Packability: 5/5 Ease of Use: 4/5 Coffee Making: 4/5 Coffee Tasting: 3/5
Buy it! unless of course you already have something that makes great camp coffee, like my personal favorite, the aeropress. The only thing about the Java kit that I wasn't stoked about was the actual french press part of the process.
The mesh seems loosely tacked onto the plastic and flipping it either way before the plunge results in a really gritty coffee. (I drink french press coffee 5 days a week, Its supposed to be cloudy, not chunky.) My recommendation is this: if you need a whole coffee system, snag this Java Kit (especially while its on sale), but if you have an AeroPress or a collapsable pour-over, spend your money on the regular Jet Boil.
Big thanks to Lawrence for being a stellar model, coffee drinker, friend and for shooting the two images up top of me putting the Java kit together!