The venerable Stanley brand has introduced an innovative way to enjoy coffee in an outsized Vacuum Coffee System in their Mountain Series that integrates a boiling pot, French press, vacuum insulated bottle and two cups. If you think of Stanley as the rugged thermos your dad took to a construction site or on a fishing trip, it’s that but so much more, as evidenced by a robust and varied product line.
Vacuum Coffee System
Out of the box the Vacuum Coffee System looks like a vacuum flask on stainless-steel steroids. It’s big and beefy and you’d never take it backpacking but for car camping it’s perfect.
The vacuum-insulated bottle, which comes in a 1 and ½ liter size, forms the core of the system. It nests first into a Fresh press, a plastic cage with mesh on the bottom, that slides into the boiling pot, the outermost piece. The boiling pot has a long handle that pops out from the side at a 90 degree angle. On the top is the stopper, which has a compartment to store loose coffee in, along with two nested cups.
I didn’t have any trips planned but my friends, Monique and Glen, had just purchased a tear-drop trailer and were anxious to hit the road. With its curvy, stylized lines the new trailer was a perfect match for the Stanley coffee maker so I handed it over and asked for a full report.
It was a cool, overcast autumn day in Northern California when they brewed their first pot of coffee. After boiling water on their stove, they poured it into the long-handled pot, then slowly pushed the French press, with their coffee in it, down into the pot. French press aficionados recommend pouring a third of the water in to let the grounds “bloom” for 30 seconds, then pour in the rest of the water. After pouring two cups of steaming coffee into their mugs they transferred the rest of the coffee into the one liter bottle. Following a chilly bike ride through the woods they were delighted to return to a still-hot cup of coffee from the double-walled, insulated vacuum bottle. All in all it was a successful test with two thumbs up from Monique and Glen.
Stanley, with a tag line of “built for life” has making quality food and beverage storage products since 1913 when William Stanley, Jr. developed the first all-steel vacuum flask. Stanley, who held 129 patents related to electricity and insulation, was later inducted into National Inventor’s Hall of Fame. Acquired by by Seattle-based PMI in 2002, the expanded product line now includes Classic pieces like the rounded green lunch boxes you see on job sites, to newer Adventure and Mountain items for outdoor recreationalists such as coolers, flasks, wide-mouth food jars and cook sets. Outside Magazine named the Stanley Vacuum Bottle on their list of “The Most Influential Gear of All Time” in 2012.
Unlike other vacuum sealed containers, Stanley bottles aren’t breakable because they contain no glass, only two layers of steel. There is no BPA-containing plastic inside either, as steel is naturally BPA free.
The Stanley Vacuum Coffee System is a rugged French press coffee maker that will brighten any coffee-lover’s morning on a camping trip, and will last a lifetime.
The Stanley Mountain Vacuum Coffee System is available from Amazon for around $55 for the 1L size and $45 for the ½ L size.
Dimensions and weight:
- 1 liter size: 4.7W x 13.4H in; 2.41 lb
- ½ liter size: 4.1L x 11.2H in; 1.66 lb
Disclosure of material connection: I received a test sample from Stanley but the opinions expressed are solely my own.