Is There Coffee Beyond a Keurig?

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When we decided to live full-time in an RV, we found that our Keurig did not make a good fit for our new lifestyle. I knew it was time to find a better way to make a cup of coffee. It did not take too long before I found myself deep in the rabbit hole of coffee brewing.
Keurig replacement Asobu Cold Brew

I have always been on a quest for that perfect cup of home-brewed coffee with little success. For years we used a Cuisinart 12 cup auto drip. It consistently would have a pot of coffee ready for us every morning. Then we started to notice a trend in our coffee habit. We had stopped making coffee during the week since we were buying lattes and mochas on our way to work and we did not drink all the coffee we made on the weekends. So, we decided to purchase a Keurig. After many years of use, I wondered could there be coffee beyond a Keurig?

The Keurig

The Keurig let us try new roast of coffee as well as coffee from different roasters. It was a step up from the Cuisinart 12 cup auto drip that we had; however, the cup of coffee you got was nowhere near a perfect cup.

Searching for an Alternative

When we decided to live full-time in an RV, we found that our Keurig did not make a good fit for our new lifestyle. I knew it was time to find a better way to make a cup of coffee.

Was there going to be coffee beyond a Keurig? So I started my research. It did not take too long before I found myself deep in the rabbit hole of coffee brewing.  I never dreamed that there would be so many ways to make coffee not to mention all the types of coffee. Is all that came to my mind was the scene from Forest Gump where Bubba Blue is telling Forest all about the ways to prepare shrimp and the different dishes that contain shrimp. I pulled myself out of that rabbit hole to make a list of what I would like out from my next coffee maker.

5 Things to Consider

The 5 things to consider when looking for coffee beyond a Keurig. The top two criteria that we wanted in the next coffee maker would be that it would need to be lightweight and compact. When you are RVing every pound counts, and the Keurig weighed in at 12 pounds and took over one and a half square feet of precious real estate on the counter. Not to mention the space needed for all the Keurig pods and accessories that consumed over half a cabinet.  

The next thing I wanted was for the coffee maker to be durable. So when that day comes, at some point it will, and it comes flying out of the cabinet after a travel day and lands on the floor it does not shatter into a thousand pieces.

Since we plan on doing a lot of boondocking/dry camping, we would prefer that our next coffee maker not use electricity. We would rather use the batteries to run other items in the RV and not have to worry about running a generator. Out of curiousity to see how much electricity the Keurig would use we plugged it into our Kill-A-Watt to find out.  We found it used 1200 watts while heating the water and would cycle from 5 watts up to 500 watts to maintain the water temperature. It also had a constant draw of 5 watts when off.

Finally, clean up needs to be done with as little hassle as possible, which is one of the things that makes the Keurig so convenient. You grab a pod, stick it in the machine, push the button, then toss the used pod in the trash.

The Contenders

With keeping size, weight, durability, power use, and ease of clean up in mind I dove back into the rabbit hole, this time I came back out with five viable options for coffee beyond a Keurig; French Press, Moka Pot, AeroPress, the pour-over, and cold brew.

French Press

The French Press was the first eliminated. Most French Press use glass, and we all know what happens when glass hits the ground.  Though there are a few stainless steel options out there that we considered. However, I did not want to dig the grounds from the bottom of it after each use, so I moved on to the next brewer.

Moka Pot

The Moka Pot seemed interesting since it brews coffee with pressure. It is supposed to make a more concentrated cup of coffee than other methods. They are lightweight, compact, did not need electricity, they are made from metal so it would be durable, clean up did not seem too terrible. It is one that I will have to try later. I just was not 100% sold on it right now.


I came close to buying an AeroPress since it is compact, lightweight, durable, and cleanup appears to be hassle-free. The AeroPress still might make it into the RV.


There is a vast selection of Pour-Over coffee makers out there. You can find them made from a variety of materials with the option for paper filters or stainless steel. I did end up getting the Melitta 1-cup Pour-Over coffee brew cone for my wife, Read more here.

Cold Brew

I looked at several different cold brew coffee makers ranging in price from $30 up to $100. Then one day while we were at the store I saw the Asobu and found it quite interesting. It was not too big; 5 inches diameter and 13 inches tall, so while brewing, it would take up very little counter space. It only weighs 2lbs when empty it is reasonably light. Since it is a cold brewer it does not use electricity nor would it need a heat source. They use a durable Tritan plastic for the brewing carafe and use stainless steel in the construction of the mug. The only question left was would cleanup use a lot of water? The only way to find out would be to purchase one. It did not come home that day, but as fate would have it, the Asobu would wind up in the RV.

A Gift

When my birthday rolled around my wife seemed gitty to give me my gift. I opened it to find the Asobu cold brew inside. I could not wait to make my first batch of coffee. On our next trip to the store, we purchased some Thomas Hammer Fireball Blend coffee from the bulk bin so that I could brew my first batch.

One of the drawbacks to cold brew coffee is how long it takes to brew.  So, you will want to be aware of how much coffee you have. Or you will be waiting up to 24hrs for your next cup of coffee. The other is the filter cleanup, which goes for all reusable filters. They need to be rinsed well between uses since I can get up to six servings out of a batch it not that big of a drawback.

The upside of cold brew is that it requires no heat source to brew a batch of coffee. The coffee you get from cold brewing is much more concentrated. A batch of coffee from the Asobu can make 3 cups of eye-popping and intensely flavorful coffee or 9 cups smooth and mellow coffee. My favorite way to drink cold brewed coffee is 4oz of cold brew with, 4oz whole milk,  2oz of ice, and 2oz of water. As far as brew times go, I have found that 18hrs is the minimum amount of time for it to steep. You should not exeed 24hrs for your brew time.

I thoroughly enjoy every cup of coffee that I make with it the Asobu. You can use the concentrate not only for a drink but as an ingredient. It makes for really delicious coffee ice cream and works well for other recipes that call for coffee.  We will provide some recipes in the future as we develop them for RVing. There is defiantly coffee beyond a Keurig.

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Don McElfresh

Don McElfresh

Marine Veteran with a background in engineering. With over 20 years experience in leadership roles in retail and news media. Started full-time RV living in March of 2018 to get back to enjoying life through hiking and photography.

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About Us

We are sharing our adventures to not only document our full-time living in a 5th wheel but to provide others with information.  Our extensive research involved searching for answers to these questions: how to begin this lifestyle, what RV is best to live in full-time and what jobs could we do to support our dream.  However, we did not find a lot of answers out there that pertained to our quest.  Quickly we realized people choose this lifestyle and their RV for many different reasons.  There is no right or wrong answer.  We are here to provide you with another perspective.

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