Preparing Coffee In The Wild With The Bripe
Bripe, costa rica, Tim Panek, Craig Hall
MRV: The Buzz, Your RV Lifestyle Insider. Written By: Andrew Malo
Artisanal Coffee In The Outdoors: The Bripe
A Simple, Portable, Coffee Maker That Allows Anyone To Make Great Coffee Anywhere And Any Time
Alfred Peet arrived in California from Europe and supposedly said, "I came to the richest country in the world, so why are they drinking the lousiest coffee?” With that thought as a catalyst, Peet started Peet’s coffee and influenced the founders of Starbucks to bring quality coffee to Americans. Now there are quality coffee options in just about every city and town in the United States.
The same thoughts must happen in the outdoors. A camper could think, “I am in the most beautiful place in the world, why must my coffee taste so bad?” People like Tim Panek and Craig Hall have decided to do something about it. They are founders of the Coffee Brew Pipe, or “Bripe.”
“Tim wanted good coffee when he was doing hikes in Costa Rica, where he lives,” says Craig Hall, co-founder of Bripe, “he came up to visit me once and had a crude prototype of the Bripe made of copper.” Up here is Ottawa, Canada, near Montreal. Hall is one of the first fair trade coffee roasters with two cafes and a roasting company in Ottawa, having been there for 18 years. “It is a family run business,” he explains.
“Our mutual friend Matt, who is like a Viking surfer-welder dude, made the prototype of the idea.” Hall says it was Panek’s idea and he came to him to help implement it. Since then, it has been a whirlwind of activity in production, experiences, and outdoor life.
“We became friends because I would go down to Costa Rica a lot and eventually became acquainted with Tim,” Hall explains, “and Tim would come up here [to Ottawa] to fight for First Nation’s rights. We are a natural fit.” Hall likes the outdoors, he says, “It is something we like to do in Ottawa – canoeing, hiking, other activities.”
After Panek introduced the idea, they started working on finding the right materials to make the product. “Copper is great because it malleable and easy to work with, plus a great conductor of energy,” Hall explains. Hall says it was challenging to come up with the prototype, but he enjoyed it. After coming up with the idea, the first prototypes were made in Montreal. “They were really great,” Hall says, “but the cost per unit would just be way too expensive.” He started to look for other options and, through a mutual friend, met a Canadian who works with a small factory in China. “They have an engineer in China,” Hall says, “and they are ethical and reliable, plus keeps cost per unit down to a very manageable number.”
So how does the Bripe work? “We wanted to make something that could give you a quick, delicious espresso size cup of coffee,” Hall explains. The Bripe has an interior core that heats up really quickly, “it takes about a minute with a blue flame lighter. You put some ground coffee in and water, heat it up to 180 degrees, let it sit and drink it at 140 degrees. How does one know what the temperature is?
With the thermometer that comes with the kit, of course. Having worked so long in the Coffee business, Hall adds his expertise to the Bripe kit. Along with the Bripe mechanism, there is a filter, a stand to put the hot Bripe on, and a thermometer. Hall says, “it’s simple to make, simple to clean up – if you happen to be by a river, just wash it out there.”
Hall and Panek have experience using the Bripe on their adventures. Hall tells a story of him going down to Costa Rica with some friends to surprise Panek for his birthday. “He was so surprised! He recovered quickly and we had a birthday week,” Hall recalls, “we went around shooting Bripe videos in the rainforest, experiencing terrible electrical problems in a rented car, and sitting by the beach singing songs by the campfire.” Truly a regular outdoor adventure experience. Hall explains that these types of moments are what make being in the outdoors so good – and all the while, “we had the Bripe with us.”
Craig Hall and Tim Panek hope the Bripe will be many a-camper’s companion on trips into the wild, as it is with them. As of early February, their indiegogo has over $18,000 worth of investment. They hope this will propel their product forward for people to get their hands on. And, of course, someone who has been a coffee roaster for so many years has his favorite coffee. “I love Ethiopian. It is unique and has fruity, berry-type flavors, with hints of bergamot.”
A graduate of Northeastern Illinois University in Education, Andrew has
taught for the past decade in Chicago, New Mexico, and Japan. He
enjoys tinkering with trucks and motorcycles, woodworking, reading and