It’s (way) past time to do another post on travel gear – one of my and my wife’s favorite subjects (and a serious weakness). A (long) while back I wrote about my personal bag made by Nomatic. When it comes to travel, I favor products that are a marriage of form and function. My Nomatic messenger bag certainly fits that bill, and our new Pakt Coffee Kit does as well.
Like a few items I’ve purchased over the years, the Pakt is the result of browsing down the rabbit hole on Kickstarter. I’m always on the lookout for things that will make travel more efficient. When my wife and I travel – especially on Field Band tours – we like to bring our coffee with us because…hotel coffee. We started with the vaunted AeroPress, whole beans, and a small hand grinder. Now, the AeroPress makes a good cup of coffee but it was a little unwieldy to work in a hotel room for not a lot of coffee. The next contestant was French press travel mugs. Again, it made good coffee but dealing with the grinds was a little annoying. It was also a lot to pack between the mugs, coffee beans, and grinder.
Enter Kickstarter and the Pakt Coffee Kit. I’ll start out by saying that I wanted to wait to review the kit until after taking it on tour but…
So, I made coffee with it Saturday. First, the components of the kit seem to be all well thought out and well made. Most of the components are made of stainless steel and are protected by silicone sleeves.
The kit is stored like Russian nesting dolls – the coffee grinds container fits into the mug, which fits inside the kettle, and they all go inside a case that also houses the kettle base, a spoon, and a reusable filter.
The kit weighs a little less than four pounds; not light, but also look at what you’re carrying. It was easy to set up and didn’t take very long to make two cups of coffee. So, how did it fare?
I prepared the coffee the way I normally do our Chemex (which during this pandemic has become our number one way of making coffee each morning, shunning our very good coffee maker, a Bonavita). We still enjoy the ease and surprisingly flavorful coffee our Nespresso makes…and I still have an ibrik to make Turkish coffee in the evenings…I might have a problem.
Where was I? Oh yes. I work in grams so I placed the kettle on our digital scale and poured water to the fill line to see how many grams it was – 300. I then ground the coffee with the same ratio to water as the Chemex – for me 19:1 (I know, you probably think it should be more like 16:1…)
Anyways, the kettle beeped when the water was ready. The temperature was around 205 degrees F so I let it cool just a bit before pouring over the coffee. One of the truly great features of this kit is the kettle’s spout. Pour over coffee requires a narrow, controlled stream of water, which normally requires a long spout. That would take up too much space in a kit like this so they came up with this cool design that gets the same result – ingenious!
The resulting coffee was very smooth, clean, and flavorful. Easily the best tasting coffee of the three travel methods we’ve tried. Of course the true test will be when we take it on the road, but for now I’m quite impressed with Pakt. The retail price on their site isn’t cheap (on Kickstarter it was quite a bit less), but if coffee is important to you when you travel, you should at least check it out.