Picked up two very cheap, but in my opinion, very essential items for the home, office and field. After giving them a few goes I think they’ll serve wonderfully and I’m adding them to my regular pack.

The first is Cup-pour-ri. Its essentially one of those single cup coffee strainer/brewer devices (though I suppose you could put loose leaf tea into it if you insisted, grin). I’ve owned a few of them but most are simply glorified and unsatisfactory tea makers. Points I like about the Cup-pour-ri are that it is:

  • Made specifically for coffee
  • Heavier weight plastic than other versions
  • Dishwasher & microwave safe
  • Balances over normal cups for dripping
  • Acts as its own scoop
  • Holds exactly enough coffee for a large cup

The only recommendation I would make is for the user. Even though the filter is very fine, some grinds of coffee and grinders create a lot of fine coffee bean powder so I’d grind beans coarsely or ask for your local shop to grind them that way to minimize grit when using Cup-pour-ri. About French Press consistency should be fine.

The second item is Fold-A-Cup by Coghlan. I think I’ve owned many of those terrible collapsing cups and found them to be somewhere between useless and counterproductive as drinking vessels. Unlike the sectional collapsing models, the Fold-A-Cup is actually a semi-rigid rubber that folds in on itself and holds about 7oz when deployed. The grade of rubber is very high and easily withstood water at a full boil poured directly into it without any appreciable softening. The top rim of the cup taper in slightly which is handy to reduce spills; a nice touch for campers. The handle, while appearing small is actually quite stable and supported a full cup of coffee.

Both Cup-pour-ri and Fold-A-Cup are available from REI for about $3 a piece… far cheaper than that Lexan and Titanium backpack press status symbol. ;-)