I’m a “must-have” morning coffee person. Tea doesn’t cut it, nor does hot chocolate or anything herbal – it’s gotta be strong black java. Pretty particular, huh? Just try and mess with my morning ritual and see what happens.
So what does a java junkie like me do in the backcountry? Instant coffee isn’t up for consideration. I’ve tried coffee in tea bags – yuck – where even squeezing the last drop from two bags doesn’t begin to create anything resembling a cup of coffee. I’ve tried bringing ground coffee and filters, but hate having to carry out the extra garbage. I’ve tried filterless coffee filter cups – too slow. I’ve even tried French press-style coffee in a built in press/coffee cup – tastes too strong and there’s the coffee grounds to dispose of again. But after years of trial and error, I think I’ve found the answer.
We were hiking in Utah’s Grand Staircase National Monument a little while ago and stopped in Escalante to pick up a few supplies. While in one of local outfitting stores, I happened up a thin plastic package filled with liquid and marked boldly as “Java Juice.” Turning over the packet, I read the fact that it was a 100% shade-grown, organic, kosher coffee extract, just add water.
I couldn’t resist. I picked up a packet and headed off to camp. Next morning, I gave it a whirl. Rip, pour, add boiling water and ahhhh – ambrosia. The instructions say to mix with 10 to 12 ounces of water. I went for the upper end and was glad I did. It was a big, bold cup of flavourful coffee. I bought more and squirreled them away for future backcountry trips.
Until this morning, when my Bodum broke and I couldn’t resist. Note to self: Stash minus one.
What is the one backcountry luxury that you’d rather not live without?