The best solution I've found to good, hot, and quick coffee on the trail.
- Fast and easy
- Tastes good
- No trash
- No extra gear needed
- Weighs only a few grams for a week's worth.
- Instant coffee has a bad rep
- Not great if you have to be a coffee snob on the trail
Over the years I've tried many different ways of making coffee on the trail and they all seemed to have their drawbacks either because the pots were too heavy, bulky, or generated too much trash. On a chilly wet morning, after walking up to Col de Balme from Trient and barely finding the refuge in the fog, I had an epiphany. Just wanting to shake off the chill with something hot I ordered broth and a coffee. It's just an elderly couple that run the refuge...nice people. Anyway, I could see back in the kitchen as the man prepared the coffee and it was Nescafe...instant! But there was a catch...you could see him carefully measure the coffee and water and gently stir it. Maybe it was the circumstance, but it was one of the best cups of coffee I'd had. I decided it might not be a bad idea for backpacking and, as it turns out, it is a great idea! It's very light to carry, generates no waste, requires no gear other than mug and kettle (which most of us carry anyway) and a good quality instant coffee will make a decent cup of coffee if you're half careful with the measurements and don't try to make it too strong. Though powdered milk and a bit of sugar won't hurt if if you do. I use Nescafe Classic and it's worked out well. No, it isn't my locally roasted home-brew...but on the trail...it's awesome!
I've tried it all for coffee on the trail and this works best for me.
Source: Available at most grocery stores.
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Current Retail: $31.99