Proper Off-road Coffee
Never suffer through a cup of ‘instant’ out bush again.
Everyone loves waking up to the gentle sounds of waves lapping at the sand a few feet away, or the tranquility of the forest in the morning, or the natural beauty of the Outback as the first rays of sunlight crest the horizon. We stumble out of our swags, give last night’s fire a bit of a stir to get the coals heating the billy, have a bit of a stretch while the water boils, then throw a bit of instant coffee powder in the bottom of the cup and fill it up. Blurgh!
Instant coffee sucks compared to real coffee and I don’t feel even a little pretentious saying that. Sure, it does the job in a pinch but it’s hardly an experience that you want to have regularly. It’s like getting a mate to punch you in the face because a trip to the ER is more pleasurable than visiting the in-laws… it does the job but it’s hardly enjoyable.
One man has come up with a remarkable solution to this annoying problem however. Matt Beshara is in the 4WD, Caravan and Camping industry and has seen heaps of coffee setups and reckons that he’s dialed in the perfect solution. “I wanted the ability to get a coffee on quick and easy without having to pull the machine out, set it up every time and then have to pack it all up again,” he tells us. “As we all know how tedious setting up camp can be, one less thing to do means more time relaxing.”
The man (some may call him a genius) has built a custom enclosure out of marine ply, which is mounted vertically next to the fridge in the back of his Prado. It slides out, and presto! Mini coffee bar ready to go. Matt has utilised a pair of Full River AGM batteries under the bonnet, which can be linked together with the flick of a switch giving him 205Ah of juice to play with when the need for caffeine kicks in. To keep them topped up (as well as the camper batteries), he’s wired in a Redarc BCDC1240 DC charger which keeps everything humming along nicely. The whole show can be charged from the vehicle’s alternator, but not to 100%. By doing it this way, he’s able to charge the complete system from the roof-mounted 100W solar panel and even disconnect the starter battery if he’s in the one spot for a few days.
Pretty clever, eh? Well strap yourself in – because this thing is about to blow your mind.
Keeping an eye on all of this is the Victron BMV702 battery monitor with Bluetooth. Yep, this can all be controlled and monitored from the comfort of Matt’s camp chair via his smart phone. He can see the state of charge, amps used, amps going in, amps going out, wattage, history, voltage, hours remaining, and more. It also logs charge cycles, low/high voltage levels, low voltage alarms and other details. It’s enough to make Tony Stark feel like a low-tech sucker…
Nope, they don’t make 12V espresso machines (at least not that we know of), so Matt’s running a Projecta Intelliwave 1,000W inverter to pump 240V into the Caffitaly espresso machine (which is the lowest power draw unit he could find, at 950W). The remote for the inverter is mounted on the coffee drawer. Pull the drawer out, turn the inverter on, drop a pod in the machine, and bam! When you’re done turn the inverter off and slide her away.
Now this is bush inventing at its finest. Hats off to you, Matt. We like ours white with no sugar thanks mate!