For lovers of real coffee, these handy pouches from Grower's Cup look like they could be a good answer to being able to transport and successfully brew a genuinely tasty cup of joe-on-the-go. The blends are all fair trade and organic and come from Nicaragua, Honduras, Ethiopia, Guatemala and Bolivia, with each region having its own character (Roast/Body/Acidity) described and outlined in a chart on the back of the pack.
The idea is that you pour boiling water into the pack, close it and allow to brew, before squeezing a clever spout bit at the side to make it pourable. The inside of the pouch somehow has a gadget that means it's self-filtering too. Each pouch gives about 1 1/2 to 2 standard sized mugs of coffee. After pouring the first cup the brewing process supposedly stops, meaning you don't get acrid overbrewed coffee for your second cup.
In use, the instructions weren't entirely clear, with some confusion surrounding what to do with the red tab. The recommendation is for you to measure the hot water, which is a bit tricky if you don't have your handy travel measuring jug or a calibrated water bottle, but the amount required pretty much fills the pouch anyway, so guesswork would be unlikely to ruin the end result. Once left for the appropriate period of time (between 5 and 8 minutes depending on how strong you like your coffee) you're supposed to pop open the side spout bit to pour your tasty hot beverage. This was a touch tricky too, with the pouch not really cooperating too well, but I did manage to pour the coffee into a mug without spilling any, so it did work. The end result was a very palatable cup of coffee, lacking in gravelly grounds in the mug, so in that sense, it did its job well.
In essence, this is a treat you might pack along for perhaps one or two brews, rather than being a daily source of good coffee while cycle touring. It's a bit fiddly, and produces a lot of waste (the packet) as well as being on the bulky side to pack. But, it's not really intended to be for ultra weight conscious cyclists, it's intended to be for those who want a good cuppa on the move- be that in a car, on a bike, a motorbike or just camping. As such, it does just what it says on the tin.
Not quite as simple to use as it claims, but makes a nice now and then treat for touring lovers of real coffee.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Growers Cup Speciality Coffee
Size tested: Any
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Aimed at anyone wanting a cup of real coffee on the move.
There are other means of making a brew while touring which might suit better, but it's a nice occasional treat.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Internal filter prevents grounds being poured into mug.
Available in 5 varieties- all fair trade and organic.
48g per pouch, with 24g being the coffee itself.
Pouch is sturdy but the mechanics of preparation and opening the pourer are on the tricky side.
Makes good coffee but instructions could be clearer and pourer needs to be easier to open.
Not really designed to be durable anyway, but sturdy enough to hold your coffee without leaking.
Not the lightest for 2 mugs of coffee, but also includes weight of preparation means too so not too bad considering. More of a treat than a regular coffee making mechanism.
Less than coffee shop prices and makes almost coffee shop quality coffee when there's no sign of one.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Made good coffee but quite tricky to open pourer.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Fair trade and organic, variety of blends, end result was very drinkable
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Instructions, pourer spout operation
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly, as a treat.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Not your everyday source of coffee when touring, but a nice treat now and then.
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 1.65m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.