Wherever you’re camping in Australia, there’s one camp tradition that’s pretty universal – the great early morning coffee debate. Most campers have their preferred method of preparing their morning brew, from the humble sachet of instant, to the overnight 8 hour cold drip (not even joking, I’ve seen it done). Let’s welcome the Kamira Espresso to the camp coffee conversation.
Created in Italy, the Kamira Espresso delivers just what you’d expect from a country known for style and elegance. Handcrafted in stainless steel, the clean lines and graceful design certainly make a statement that is sure to bring your campmates to the coffee table.
The rounded base makes the Kamira incredibly stable, allowing it to sit on larger stoves comfortably. You’re probably not taking it on an ultralight hiking trip, but if you do, I’d urge great caution balancing it on top of your minimalist cooking stove.
While it’s not a heavy piece of gear (just over 1.3kg), the size and shape of the Kamira means it’s definitely better suited to car camping than dangling on the outside of your hiking pack. It’s made of steel, so the Kamira can stand up to a bit of bashing around in the back of the car and it definitely has the feel of something that will last you a long time. The little flap on the water reservoir might be a slight weak point, but it’s not essential to the use of the machine.
Working Out The Best Brew
Like any new piece of kit, I needed a bit of you-tubing to really make sense of the Kamira’s brewing instructions. For a process that can be simplified into 4 basic steps (add water, open/close valve, add coffee, heat), the machine takes some playing around and experimenting with in order to get the quality of espresso advertised on the box.
I found that to get the best results, I needed to fire off a blank shot of water before attempting the first brew of the morning. By doing this it makes sure there’s no excess water left in the pipes. By pre-warming the machine, the water draws through the valve into the pressure chamber with much better results.
Like any coffee machine, you’ll need to play around with your bean choice, but when it comes to grind, you’ll probably want it medium coarse. If you’re keen enough on your coffee to make the fairly sizeable investment in a Kamira Espresso machine, you’ll probably be hand grinding your own beans. So make sure you pack the grinder or you’ll have a sad campsite come morning.
In my opinion (and that of the willing mates that helped test it out) the Kamira makes a very decent single serve stovetop espresso. Its rapid boil time continues to surprise me; you’ll barely finish lighting your stove before the coffee starts pouring – so you’d better preload your cup. The Kamira comes with single and double shot options; together with the rapid pour, you can pump out coffee for all your mates in very little time.
Overall, the Kamira delivers exactly what it advertises and is a great option for lovers of a full-bodied espresso. The fast boil time saves on gas and delivers your coffo quicker than any alternative that I’ve come across. The Kamira is definitely one for the car campers among us and is equally useful as a home appliance between trips.
I’m not convinced that it’ll make it with me on every trip (I’m a minimalist at heart), but the Kamira definitely earns a spot around the campfire. It more than holds its own as the great Australian camp coffee debate continues.
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