Espresso with an Altitude

GSI Mini Espresso Maker

Fall is just around the corner, which means the ideal backpacking season is about to begin. And part of the challenge of mountaineering is leaving behind civil comforts and routines – like your morning shot. Right?

Leave it to Washington-state natives to infuse rugged outdoor sports with a shot of brewed sophistication (and snobbery?): the GSI Mini Espresso Maker ($20) is a truly trek-worthy device. Clocking in at 7 oz, the aluminum construction disassembles for easy cleanup, and features a brass steam pipe (for Italian flair). Simply add beans and water, throw it on the camp stove, and presto(!), you’ve got 2.5 ounces of liquid hiking-fuel in 90 seconds. There’s a lot to be said for having barista-quality joe anywhere you go, from your back yard to the Himalayas. Die-hard backpackers wouldn’t think of bringing an espresso maker alongside their sawed-off sporks, but for the rest of us, nothing goes better with a view of a sunrise at 9,000 foot altitude than a shot of espresso.

Take Note: In our opinion, the Handpresso Wild is still the heavy weight champion of the portable-espresso maker league, but for those who aren’t ready to drop $100 on creature comforts for backpacking, the GSI model does nicely.

Buy Now: $20

By Matthew Claudel