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Kokekaffe: A Look at Norway’s Steeped Coffee

Norway camping coffee Kokekaffe

If you’re not Norwegian, chances are you’re not familiar with the tradition of Kokekaffe. But if you like full-bodied coffee, maybe you should be! It’s an easy way to brew coffee on the go and produces a unique cup of joe.

Kokekaffe is something like cowboy coffee: a rough and tumble preparation method that results in robust, full flavor. Since there’s no filter, all of the coffee’s natural oils stay in, resulting in a rich drink. But be prepared for some coffee grounds in your cup!

What is Kokekaffe?

Kokekaffe, which means steeped coffee, is a popular Norwegian brewing method. When it’s prepared on a hike, it’s called Turkaffe, meaning hiking coffee. It’s so simple that you can carry the supplies in a backpack. When it’s time for a fika (Swedish coffee break), you can pull out a camp stove or start a fire and brew a fresh pot of tasty coffee!

Kokekaffe is traditionally made over an open fire in a tin or copper kettle, though many Norwegians brew it on the stove. You don’t need any filters or fancy equipment, and it’s a very low-waste brewing method.

Coffee on Norway's tundra
Enjoy Kokekaffe anywhere — including the Norwegian tundra! | Image: Kurkul, Shutterstock

How do you make Kokekaffe?

Kokekaffe is essentially coffee that has been steeped like tea. To make it, all you need is coarsely ground coffee and a tea kettle or other heat-safe container. You can grind your coffee beans ahead, but for the best flavor, bring along a manual burr grinder. You can get in an arm workout while you hike!

When you’re ready to brew, boil the water first and then remove it from the heat. Add the coffee grounds and stir so that they’re evenly wet. Then let the covered pot steep for 5 minutes.

When the steeping time is up, gently stir the grounds so that they begin to sink. Wait a minute, and then gently pour the coffee into cups. You’ll end up with some grounds in your cup, but that’s okay. This isn’t a coffee method for perfectionists!

Steeping coffee on camp fire

What kind of coffee beans do you use?

You can use any kind of coffee to make Kokekaffe, from light roast single-origins to dark roast blends. It depends on your preference, and many types of coffee can be delicious when prepared this way.

But if you want to make the most authentic Kokekaffe, you’ll stick with light roasts. Norwegians typically drink light roast coffee, which is easy to drink black and allows more of the bean’s complexity to shine through. Light roasting is particularly good with gourmet single-origin beans, allowing you to taste the unique flavors of your coffee’s origin.

Start brewing!

Now that you know what Kokekaffe is, why not give it a try? You can brew it while camping, hiking, or even in your backyard or kitchen. There’s nothing subtle about this coffee — and that’s just the way the Norwegians like it. We think you’ll love this robust, velvety coffee, too.

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Header image credit: Shaiith, Shutterstock

Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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