GSI Outdoors JavaPress and JavaMill Review

The Evolution of a Coffee Snob

A few months ago I wrote a post about finding good coffee on the road. One of the options is to simply make your own.  We’ve been using a GSI Outdoors’ JavaPress for years –  actually decades come to think of it.  Made of lightweight, durable plastic it’s brightened many a morning while tent camping or slumming in a cheap motel. As time has marched on, GSI Outdoors has updated their reliable JavaPress, managing to improve on perfection.

With good coffee much easier to find on the road these days, we still appreciate the ease, convenience and value in brewing our own cuppa joe. And, in a nod to our increasingly picky palates, we’ve added a critical new piece of equipment, GSI Outdoors’ JavaMill, a hand-crank grinder. So if you’re a fellow coffee snob or just appreciate good design, read on.

javapress by GSI Outdoors
Thousands of cups served and still going strong.

On the road field testing.

We love camping but an early summer drive from California to Texas ended up being a motels and Airbnb trip. It was just too damn hot to camp. But, as always, we  brought our coffee gear.

In addition to our usual bag of tricks was the new GSI Outdoors 30 oz. JavaPress and their JavaMill hand coffee grinder, which they kindly provided us to test.

We also home roasted a batch of fragrant Flores beans to take with us. We’d been using this bean for a few months with our home set up – a Rancilio Miss Silvia espresso machine and a Baratza Vario burr grinder – so the bar was high.
JavaMill and JavaPress by GSI Outdoors


The new JavaPress has many improvements that make it a joy to use and brews a great, clear cup of coffee. Made of BPA free plastic the cylinder is shatter resistant and crystal clear. A trim 4.5″x4.2″x7.7″ the 30 ounce size is perfect for two.

The insulated jacket slides on and off without any any annoying velcro. The simple design makes the complex job of making coffee before you’ve had your coffee much easier. And it’s easier to clean as well.

The fine mesh strainer and silicone ring makes a good clean pot of coffee – mud free! The spout pours well without dribbling. A minor disappointment is that when in “closed” position the lid isn’t spill proof.

JavaPress parts

Little tweaks make a big difference.

The best new feature is the handle. Yes, the handle. At first, the nylon webbing handle seemed flimsy and that it wouldn’t be up to the task of safely pouring a steaming hot beverage. But it works perfectly, never a spilled drop.

The beauty of this handle is that it packs flat against the side of the JavaPress. I know, it’s a little thing, but when you are trying to efficiently pack all of your gear into the smallest possible space, having a simple cylinder without a hard handle sticking out that just doesn’t want to fit ANYWHERE is a thing of beauty and a joy forever. 

Handle works great!

JavaMill, how did we survive without you?

How you grind your beans is an often overlooked element in brewing the tastiest coffee.  Simple and compact, the JavaMill sports a high quality ceramic burr grinder that is easily adjustable from fine espresso to coarse French press.

A petite 2.5″x2″x6.3″, you never have to leave home without it.  And you’ll never have to sneak into the gas station bathroom with your electric grinder when you’re on a camping trip!

GSI Outdoor JavaMill

Another brilliant handle design from GSI Outdoors.

Like the JavaPress, the handle is a high point. It quickly snaps from grinding position to storage position so it can be packed away efficiently.

Like all good hand grinders, it takes time to grind your morning fix but this unit does a great job in a compact space. Just remember to have the handle in the correct orientation for grinding…lesson learned the hard way.

The bottom cup that holds the ground coffee concerns me a bit. Held in place by friction, it feels like it could slip off. But it’s easy to hold the bottom while grinding. – just in case.

All in all, quality equipment from a small US company. Just the kind of folks we like to support. Thanks GSI Outdoors!

Handle in storage position

Just the facts, nothing but the facts.

Luckily for us, the coffee market has grown along with us – lots of roasting, grinding and brewing options out there. GSI Outdoors’  JavaPress line comes in a personal size (15 oz, $22.95) and a group size (50 oz, $55.00) in addition to the 30 oz, $37.50. And it’s available in stainless as well as the BPA free plastic.

The JavaMill at $37.50 is a super deal. One load of beans fills our stove-top espresso perfectly and the grinding process provides a wonderful morning meditation. Depending on how strong you like your coffee, grinding for the JavaPress turns your meditation into a mini-upper arm workout – bonus feature!

Other GSI Outdoors brewing options include old school percolators in modern stainless, pour over and drip systems from hummingbird  to condor size, stove-top espresso pots and enough mug and cup choices to please the most finicky coffee cowboy or girl. Plus many other products designed to enhance your outdoor and travel food experiences. Still family owned, they live up to their pledge to provide the best Gear, Solutions and Innovations.


What's been your experience?

Anyone else tried the Java line from GSI Outdoors?  Let me know what you think!


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