Words and imagery by Kona Ambassador, Trevor Browne.
Time is slipping away at too fast a rate these days. This seems to be especially true in the mornings. While hurrying to make breakfast, I’m usually juggling my time between having a shower, checking the latest Instagram post, getting annoyed by the barrage of unread messages already piling up in my inbox and kids screaming at me to take them to school. All while my coffee and oatmeal get cold. Sound familiar?
Maybe there is a way that can give us a little reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the morning schedule. It would be nice to just slow down, reclaim your life, enjoy the outdoors and maybe sneak in a little extra time on the morning bike commute to work. The solution is called #coffeeoutside and it’s nothing new. Many groups around this small world of ours have been meeting up on two wheels for a while now, to just slow down and brew up a good cup of joe. Imagine a quiet half hour where you can just meet with a friend or group of friends (hell, I’ve even done it solo) to make human and outdoor connections, and ease into enjoying a delicious cup of coffee. Think of #coffeeoutside as a way to fit some magic into your day. And yes, it is even possible to do this in the winter.
First things first. Schedule a morning where you and or your friends can set aside half an hour, or more, to make #coffeeoutside happen. It’s best to keep this consistent so that you always have something to look forward to and eventually have it become a habit. Once you’ve scheduled a morning that works the next step is to find a location. This preferably has a nice place to sit, possibly covered and out of the wind, not near a major traffic zone, and, if its winter, make sure there is easy access so that you aren’t trudging through two feet of snow. Luckily for me, I live in Montreal near a small mountain called Mount Royal, where there is a plethora of hideaways and paths, but any park will do.
Once you’ve booked a time and place and you are dressed warmly it’s now time to focus on making the coffee! There is a smorgasbord of options for this, but it all comes down to 5 elements: coffee, water, heat, brew method, and your favourite camp mug. The tools can be as complex or as simple as you want. I use an MSR Pocket Rocket bikepacking stove along with a 750ml pot, a Nalgene bottle to hold the water, some local fresh ground coffee, an Aeropress and my favorite Miir camp mug. If it’s really cold I might even forego the stove and Nalgene and just brew my coffee at home, pour it into a thermos and it’s ready to go once I arrive at my secret hideaway. Again, this is my method. The fun part is learning to use your own kit and refining your technique. If you are in a group, it’s always fun to see and learn about the wide variety of methods that people use. Oh, and don’t forget the snacks. If you’re in a group try taking turns buying some local fresh baked goods. Try using #adozendonutsoutside as a new hashtag!
It’s all about slowing down, making connections and doing something that is fun and active even if it’s in the middle of winter. Get outside, ride your bike, help build community, and conjure up some #coffeeoutside magic.