Do Coffee Like a Cycling Pro
Lex Albrecht is a professional Canadian road cyclist based in Montréal. A member of the Canadian National Cycling team and UCI Women's World Tour team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank, she recently placed 5th at the Canadian National Road Cycling Championship and has represented Canada at the World Championships on three occasions. Lex loves coffee and drinks more of it than almost anyone I know, which is one of the reasons we get along so well! You can read more from Lex on her blog at LexAlbrecht.com or follow her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
I love bikes. I love fun. I also love... coffee.
Over the years as a cyclist, I've traveled to over 20 countries. I've learned how to win, how to lose, how to keep trying and sometimes how to make the impossible possible. I've learned how to ask for help and where I might find it, how to give help in return and recognize when it might be needed. I've learned how to listen to my body, ignore it sometimes, take care of it, and push it past its limits... The list goes on.
I've also learned the joys of having the right tools to make my favourite drink: coffee. I now have a nice collection of coffee making tools, and I have a favourite method for pretty much any situation. Here's some of the gear that I use:
Espro Ultralight french press:
The night before super early travel days I pre-grind my coffee. That may be sacrilegious, but I leave the patented plunger (the best part of ESPRO, if you know you know) out, and twist the top lid on to keep as much fresh air out as possible. In the morning I just add water and go (and hopefully make my flight).
I’ve also used my Ultralight for long endurance rides in the cold. I put it in my middle jersey pocket. The mug itself is so light that it’s actually quite comfortable. Then I have a warm pick-me-up to enjoy throughout the day on the bike. Caffeine gels are fine sometimes, but there’s a time and a place...
Bonus: it doubles as a hydration flask. I still prefer to hydrate with coffee;).
These foldable paper pourover filters are my short-trip hotel-stay go-to when hot water in large quantities is a hassle to come by. I make hot water with the in-room coffee maker, pop a filter over one of the cups, grind coffee with the Porlex, and I’m set. Japanese innovations. Gotta love 'em.
Kalita Wave Dripper:
I use my Wave dripper at home and on the road. It holds more coffee and water than my other pour over options, which means I can make more coffee at once. But I have to be somewhere with a good sized kettle to make it worth my while. Pro tip: A medium-sized Keep Cup is the perfect size to stash a stack of filters into during travel.
This is a classic favourite for long trips, because of its versatility and its compact size. Plus, it's popular brew method in the "cycling world", and there's nothing like some early morning AeroPress team-bonding as we do our brews together. Pro tip: the Porlex Mini grinder fits perfectly inside of the AeroPress plunger which lets you maximize that precious luggage space.
Timemore Nano Carrying kit:
If you are a true coffee lover, this should be your go-to whenever your destination has a kitchen stove. It’s luxurious and has everything, including a precision-pour kettle. There’s often a feeling of “roughing it” on the road, and that sacrifice wears on me over time. I feel fancy with this kit, and heaven knows that a bit of luxury during weeks and sometimes months on the road is refreshing...
My espresso machine.
When I start really missing espresso, I know I have been away from home for too long. On the other hand, when I begin to get tired of espresso, I know it’s time for another trip. It's fun to come back to my set-up, and though I keep my ACME mugs for my day-to-day coffees, I have fallen in love with notNeutral's matte black cup selection. The feel of the mugs are almost velvety, and there's something about the angles of the inside of the cup that makes the coffee flow out in a magical way...