Coffee Outside: an outdoorsy twist to the coffee shop ride

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Coffee and cycling, cycling and coffee. It’s a beautiful, long-standing pairing and the coffee culture among cyclists is bigger than ever before. The coffee shop ride is an integral part of a cyclist’s routine, and cyclists who travel are rarely seen without carrying an aeropress and their own favourite local coffee beans. Meanwhile there is no shortage of coffee shops that are welcoming to the clicking and clacking of cleats or the less-than-appealing sweaty appearances of post-ride cyclists.

Those who do not appreciate coffee may dismiss the coffee culture as snobbery or even dependency (caffeine being one of the few legal stimulants in bike racing), but the coffee gathering is so much more. It’s precious bonding time with friends, fuel for the day ahead and support for local businesses. It’s a simple joy that we all revel in.

Now, a growing trend among urban cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts is bringing the coffee gathering outside and during the week. “Coffee Outside” takes the morning cup of joe routine and adds in the elements of adventure, community and even some zen. Instead of rushing out the door with a thermos or some money for an office coffee run, Coffee Outside brings people together over a relaxing cup of coffee while enjoying the parks and riverbanks your city has to over.

Cities like Portland, Los Angeles and Seattle all have regular Coffee Outside meetups, and if your city doesn’t have one yet, I’d encourage you to start one. The concept is simple. You pack coffee making essentials like a mini stove, water, your favourite ground coffee, a filter holder and a cup. You then ride (to avoid traffic!) to a scenic place to meet your friends, make coffee and enjoy breakfast. You then pack it back up and head to work. Refreshed and properly caffeinated.

Coffee Outside
Coffee Outside essentials: coffee, jetboil (or mini stove), filter holder, mug. All pretty compact and lightweight.

Recipe for a successful Coffee Outside gathering:

  • Nice weather. This is not required but certainly more enjoyable.
  • Yes, you may have to wake up a little earlier than usual but trust me, it’s worth it.
  • Willing friends. But going solo to be one with your surrounding works too!
  • No work allowed rule. Part of this gathering is to enjoy nature, good coffee and each other’s company. Let’s not ruin it by stressing about work.
  • A stove. I’d recommend a Jetboil Flash or mini backpacking stove.
  • Coffee prep device of your choice. Filters and a holder for a simple pour-over coffee is probably most convenient.
  • Water and good coffee. Obviously.
  • You could bring instant coffee but that’s sacrilegious in the coffee scene and snobbery will occur.
  • (Steel) mug
  • Make you coffee, catch up with your friends, Instagram the experience, pack it all up again and ride to work. It’s like a 4-in-1! Your get some exercise, friend time, breakfast and relaxation all at once. What’s not to like?!
Don't like a backpack? Here's how you can go minimalist style.
Don’t like a backpack? Here’s how you can go minimalist style.

Have you done Coffee Outside? Please share your tips or your regular meetup in the comment section below.

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