I think we can agree that titanium makes everything better, can’t we? Whether it’s high-end bicycle frames, the McLaren F1 toolkit, or anodised fasteners in the engine bay, titanium brings a much-needed boost to even the most humdrum of objects.
The Vargo titanium travel coffee filter is a case in point. Weighing just 37gms (50gms with the mesh travel case) and only measuring 87mm x 71mm, it’s an ultra-lightweight solution to a problem no one really has. And, at nearly $50/£50, it’s an expensive way to shave a few grams off your pack weight especially if, like me, you’re using a 175gm double-walled aluminium vacuum mug.
But that’s to miss the point. I travel a lot. An awful lot, and getting good coffee in your hotel room is harder than you might think. However, if I pack the Vargo travel filter, I can make a great cup of coffee no matter where I am, whether that’s the side of a mountain, on the edge of a snowmobile trail, in a remote log cabin, while I’m out ultra-running, or even just staying in a Travelodge outside Heathrow.
Patience is needed; the filter bed is small, and if you like your coffee strong then it will be full, leaving little space for the boiling water. But dribbling it in and waiting for it to seep through before carefully adding more is surprisingly satisfying, adding a Zen element to what is usually an automatic process undertaken without thought or intervention.
And, the fact that it’s titanium makes me smile every single time I use it; the way it seems to float in my hand is worth every penny – and because it represents a significant investment (yes, I did pay for it myself…) I take care not to lose it. Which is not something that can be said of the little travel cafetière that preceded it.
Carlton Boyce @motoringjourno