Coffee doesn’t necessarily help you to surf better, but coffee is a crucial part of any surf trip.
As a UK based surfer, I often find myself in some of the more extreme places on the UK mainland. Places where Starbuck is nothing more than a character in Moby Dick. I love these places – not just for their potential for surf – but also for the fact that you can take your salty beard and beaten-up van and cruise effortlessly far from iPhones, Instagram and large coffee chains.
Pleasures are simple and usually revolve around nature, the odd bizarre encounter with a farmer, and coffee. And so being far from electricity and civilization, I have found that my best companion on a surf trip has become my trusty moka pot. Yep, the elegant-looking aluminium pot of Italian origins which when heated builds up steam pressure to force hot water through coffee, has itself become a veteran of many van-based surf trips. The reasons for my devotion to the humble moka pot are wide-ranging, but my top four would probably be:
1. The days are long on a surf trip.
Days can be long in a van when the lashing onshore wind is making you forget what you are doing there. Or maybe simply it is summer on the north shore of Scotland and the days really are just very long. Either way, you always seem to have a lot of time in the van. The moka pot gives you a wonderful opportunity to procrastinate and forget that the Magicseaweed surf forecast didn’t seem to get the conditions quite right this time. So you have all the time in the world – why not get the stove and pot out and brew something special?
2. On the road, home is where you put your head down to sleep.
One of the joys of having a house on wheels is that you can park up and sleep for the night with more liberty than your more land-based brethren. Unfortunately van dwellers have also slept in more than their fair share of motorway stations, supermarket car parks and busy roads. Pulling out your best friend after a morning of restless sleep on the road is like pulling out Scarlett Johansson from your sponge bag after weeks at sea. Or better.
3. The Moka pot is both an olive branch and a wingman
The Moka pot has an amazing personality and can do a job whatever the situation: not only being able to smooth over cracks with your partner on the road, but on different missions to lure in chicks.
The simple ritual of grinding the coffee, filling the pot with water and freshly ground coffee, heating the pot until the brew is just over half complete, removing the pot from the heat and then adding milk/sugar to taste has variously saved me from my non-surfing partners’ comments like: “next time, can we not go the middle of nowhere just to surf?”
On the other hand, in times gone by the smell of freshly brewed coffee has brought various members of the fairer sex to the side of my van. Although truth be told, it has brought a lot more bleary eyed beanie-wearing dudes.
4. The taste
Perhaps most importantly, the taste really is excellent. And funnily enough, Bean and Ground coffee is an ideal choice for any adventure, not just because of the tasty coffee but coming as they do in the handy sachets which keep that dangerous moisture away from your fresh coffee. The sachets containing different coffees also allow you to mix up your breakfast, lunch and dinner which can be quite a luxury. I once even used their useful coffee guide to fill a hole in my van.
I could go on. But if you are still thinking of taking your next trip without a gas stove, moka pot or van with a side door which can be opened to view the surf, then I’d say think again. A moka pot is a small investment with a big reward.
And that is why I’ll never give up my moka pot.
Thanks everyone, hope you enjoyed my guest post. If you see me on the road, drop by for a coffee!