Grower's Cup
Mount Hagen
Alpine Start
Libra Coffee
Kuju Coffee
Nature’s Coffee Kettle

Recent Coffee Reviews

Alpine Start Original Blend Instant Coffee

rated 4 of 5 stars If you’re looking for instant coffee you’ll do well finding Alpine Start. Upmarket of center, Alpine Start offers a boldness, a complexity of flavor not often found outside of the fresh-ground-and-lovingly-brewed set. For those not married to the traditional method of coffee brewing, Alpine Start also allows a greatly reduced base weight and packed size in comparison. Best For: Well, you know—alpinists, apparently. Fast-packers, thru-hikers, college students, and commuters, also. All those… Full review

Mount Hagen Organic Fairtrade Instant Coffee

rated 5 of 5 stars Excellent taste and portability; the BEST tasting Instant Coffee! Mount Hagen Organic Instant freeze dried coffee is a wonderful backpacking answer to having our java in the morning... or anytime! I've been using it for about three years and believe it's the best tasting organic instant. You could pack the whole container at 11 oz; but reserve that for car camping. It comes in a glass resealable container, but I split my designated morning brew into each morning's breakfast in a plastic sandwich… Full review

Cafe Bustelo Espresso Instant Coffee

rated 5 of 5 stars Great tasting, single-serve coffee packets. Cafe Bustelo Espresso Instant Coffee is the closest thing to brewed coffee I've had on the trail. I've tried a variety of the instant, single-serve powdered packets and liquid single serve concentrates, and by far prefer this brand. By following the directions you'll get a brew that tastes like the coffee served in Central and South America, which is typically strong and flavorful. It's the only instant that I don't mind drinking black. I tried it out… Full review

Trader Joe's Pour-Over Coffee Brewer

rated 1 of 5 stars Hard to imagine a use for this one. It's expensive, makes weak "coffee" that tastes like plastic and then there's the disposal problem. I'd tried one of these brew-in-bag systems once before (from a different source) and it too was terrible. So now, a couple of years later, I thought I'd try it again. Retrospectively, I can't think of why I thought this was a good idea. You pour hot water into the bag and you can make it weak or strong. I chose strong. I waited the recommended time plus a minute… Full review

Starbucks VIA Ready Brew

rated 5 of 5 stars Next best thing to a coffee press. I love my Jetboil Coffee Press, but I'm not always on trips where I have enough water to wash it out after brewing. I've used Folgers coffee bags for 20 years and tried the cheaper instant coffees, but Starbucks kills it with this stuff. It's just great—quicker and neater than fresh ground. Packs small and light and very little trash. Full review

Starbucks VIA Ready Brew

rated 3.5 of 5 stars I'm a coffee snob that normally only drinks "Charbucks" swill when I'm desperate and there are no quality options available. That said, VIA is my go-to source for an enjoyable cup of coffee when backpacking. As I said, I'm a total coffee snob. When at home or car camping, I make my coffee in a French press. But when backpacking, I love VIA.  It weighs almost nothing. It takes up almost no space in my pack (generally it simply fills space that would otherwise be voids in my pack). And there is no… Full review

Grower's Cup Specialty Coffee Coffeebrewer

rated 1 of 5 stars Saw it, bought it, tried it. It was bad. I had fresh Cascade mountain water, measured exactly, heated as directed, steeped according to instructions, and then shared with a friend. We each had a smallish cup of weak, sour coffee. Starbucks VIA is the nectar of the gods compared to this. Then I had a bag of soggy, heavy grounds to carry out. If this product was used on a long backpacking trip you'd have quite a load to carry out. I'd not recommend this product. Full review

Starbucks VIA Ready Brew

rated 2.5 of 5 stars Great Taste, "land" Filling. Could have something to do with Starbucks deal w/Costco, I don't know. These tiny packs of coffee make a wonderful, delightful, full bodied cup of brew that doesn't taste instant. The coffee itself gets 5 stars. Wasteful giant Costco style mega blister pack, then repackaged in groups of three inside that package...I'll bet the two layers of exterior packaging outweighs the little packs 2:1. Anyway, tastes good! Starbucks gets zero stars for considering the environment. Full review

Starbucks VIA Ready Brew

rated 4.5 of 5 stars Starbucks taste good on a regular day... Starbucks is AMAZING first thing in the morning after hiking all day and camping out all night. A taste of civilization in the backcountry. If you can boil water, you can easily have a great coffee in the morning before your next day of hiking. This is a lightweight compact treat to help keep morale high. Full review