Upcycling ideas: a DIY mini wild coffee-tea set with a ‘french’ press


Fresh air, windy and rainy days in my country, it’s the Autumn.
In the woods, the ground is covering itself with a carpet of leaves,
I can see some bare trees around me, all is getting ready for the cold season.
It’s time for a warm drink in bushcraft style! 

I got the idea of this project from some light cooking kit for a coffee or a tea in the bush.
I was searching for something without frills and versatile.
The Moka, that here in Italy is everywhere, is a fantastic coffee maker but it is designed only for coffee!
In this case I needed something really, really simple: a pot to boil water and something to filter coffee or infusions, not a simple cloth filter, but a press… a french coffee press.

The ‘Illy’ pot


The pot and the coffee press

Luckily I have found in my sideboard an empty ‘Illy’ coffee can and I realized that i couldn’t throw it in the trash.
It could be used as an non-hermetic food canister, but with some changes it could works better as a small cooking pot in a coffee/tea making kit!
Using steel wool I have rubbed off all the printing on the outside of the can.
Then with an hammer I have flattened the sharp inner ring.
I have used some rivets and small metal parts to make inserts for handles in the lid and in the tin can.
As lid handle I have used a simple keyring and for the tin can handle a stainless wire, hold in place with flattened metal nuts (see also this other way to hold the wire).

The french coffee press

I have used a jar lid with the same inner diameter of the can and with a hole-saw, I’ve drilled a round hole for the ‘filter’, secured with four screw (easy to remove to simplify the cleaning process).


You see the quotation marks, because I have used for this purpose a stainless steel shower drain cover (obviously new!) I can safely say that… works!
As you can see in the photo below and in the first of this post, the plunger is a threaded rod and the knob is a small wooden drawer handle. All is held in place with small nuts.


The stove

To avoid open fire to boil this little quantity of water I’ve decided to make a ‘classic’ backpacker alcohol stove.
This fits perfectly inside my small pot.
The stove is called on the web ‘Super Cat Stove’ (have a look to this site http://www.supercatstove.com/ if you want a comprehensive study on it) and it is really easy to make.
You need a 3oz cat food can (empty! my cat likes this kind of stoves!) and … a paper hole punch!
Punch a row of holes at the same distance around the top rim and then, a second row of holes under, in the space between the upper holes.


a-  Cat food can; b- The can cleaned; c- Using the paper-punch; d-  The stove.

This is a multi fuel stove!  You can use it with solid fuel tabs and denatured alcohol or hand sanitizer gel!
It doesn’t require the use of a separate pot stand!
Remember that it’s really light and if you don’t want to see a fireball in case of wind… find a sheltered spot!

How to use the kit for a coffee

If you are using alcohol, fill the stove with a small quantity, and ignite it with a firesteel or a lighter.  You’ll see a big flame, wait until the alcohol starts boiling, then place your pot (filled with water) on the stove, you’ll see now small flames out from all the holes otherwise…You’ll have to restart the fire!


When the water start simmering (or boiling if you prefer), move away the pot.
Remember that the stove will burn until the fuel is consumed!
Add a tablespoon of coffee in the water, stir it and wait few minutes.
Put the coffee press on the pot and pull the plunger down, this will remove the coffee sediments from the water.

Pour your coffee into a cup, use sugar, honey or nothing…
and enjoy the moment with your bushy coffee!

Ciao, Bye, Tschüß, またね!


18 thoughts on “Upcycling ideas: a DIY mini wild coffee-tea set with a ‘french’ press

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