Taking the plunge

Forget about cowboy coffee, that hideous, gritty brew cooked in a pot over the campfire that people try to pass off as, well, authentic. And don't reach for that jar of instant, either.

If you want a morning shot of joe before going hiking or firing up the outboard or raising the sail, make the real thing with the Hector Press ($22; www.active-gear.com), an all-in-one French coffee press and insulated mug.

Just put your ground coffee in the bottom of the mug, add 20 ounces of hot water, put the lid on and let steep. After four minutes, push the plunger slowly to the bottom, and you're done. The extra snap-on lid transforms the press into a travel mug so you can take your coffee with you.

The interior of the double-walled cup and the plunger are made of stainless steel for durability and easy cleanup. The press works with loose tea leaves, too.

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