Decent instant coffee

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backwoods doc
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Decent instant coffee

Post by backwoods doc »

Anyone else out there frustrated by how lousy most instant coffee is (even Starbucks)? Frustrated, but not willing to pack a coffee press?

After reading some positive reviews, I bought a box of Mount Hagen instant coffee, which comes in single serving packets. It's actually surprisingly good for instant. One packet in 8 ounces of water seems to be about right, though some people might prefer 6 ounces.

Any other decent brands out there?
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Re: Decent instant coffee

Post by Ingo »

My first camp coffee was Maxwell House boiled in a pot of water (Folgers just wouldn't do ;)). So Starbucks VIA has worked pretty well for me. But I wouldn't mind finding something better, so it sounds like I should try Mount Hagen. And if I ever have a camping partner that hauls the french press in and the grounds out, I'll happily contribute some really nice ground beans :).
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Re: Decent instant coffee

Post by Bobcat1 »

Years ago, when I was dating a coffee-drinker, I kept Maxwell House singles around, which were accepted ok by my boyfriend who was pretty picky about a lot of things. Incidentally, I gave the last of them away to a guy who had forgotten to bring anything caffeinated on a Boundary Waters trip and consequently was having splitting headaches deep in the backcountry. He wasn’t too picky either😀
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Re: Decent instant coffee

Post by thesneakymonkey »

I am pretty happy with starbucks via but I wouldnt mind trying something new. I will have to give them a shot.
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Re: Decent instant coffee

Post by torpified »

Having been raised on percolated Folgers (which I started drinking when I was, like, 4), Via works for me. But I've meet backpackers who rave about Kuju coffee, which comes packaged in its own, adaptable-to-most-mugs, pourover system. It's pricey and weighty, but supposedly satisfying to the discerning.

https://www.kujucoffee.com/

(Bobcat, I can empathize with the fellow to whom you gifted the Maxwell House singles. About once per trip in the Sierras, I become convinced that I'm developing altitude sickness, only to realize that my headache is due to caffeine withdrawal---usually because I'd had only one packet of Via that morning--- instead. I now pack caffeinated shot blocs to address these episodes.)
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Re: Decent instant coffee

Post by Bobcat1 »

Yeah, I carry a bag of odds and ends of hot drink mixes, teabags, etc. I gave him all the coffee singles, and offered him some teabags too in case he needed more caffeine. It was a dad with two kids, a full days paddle from an entry point- his first night, our last night. I like to think the caffeine helped him have a great trip with the kids!
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Re: Decent instant coffee

Post by Ingo »

backwoods doc wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 6:58 pm After reading some positive reviews, I bought a box of Mount Hagen instant coffee, which comes in single serving packets. It's actually surprisingly good for instant. One packet in 8 ounces of water seems to be about right, though some people might prefer 6 ounces.
Tried Mount Hagen this morning and it certainly will do :) ! On my third cup, as I've tried different proportions--2 sticks per 12 oz cup seems about right for me. I'd also consider getting a jar, and repacking in a zip lock with a measuring spoon--might save some weight and definitely packing material, esp. for longer trips. For 2 people I'd be bringing 8 packets/day, like I do with VIA. Not sure if I like it better than VIA or not. Thinking I need to set up a blind taste test :D .
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Re: Decent instant coffee

Post by backwoods doc »

Yeah, my wife said I should do a blind taste test before posting anything. I'll be interested to hear your results.
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Re: Decent instant coffee

Post by torpified »

off topic, because it's not instant, and maybe more in-depth than anybody cares for, but I came across this and thought I'd leave it here:

https://www.adventurealan.com/best-camp ... er-coffee/
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Re: Decent instant coffee

Post by Ingo »

torpified wrote: Wed Dec 23, 2020 5:06 pm ... and maybe more in-depth than anybody cares for ...
HA! I have a little plastic 1-2 cup cone that's decades old. What I used for years, although I'm pretty sure I never timed the pour(s) or took 3 minutes :D . But never imagined one could write a whole article on it! Don't think I'll go back to packing out grounds though.
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Re: Decent instant coffee

Post by Midwest Ed »

My first thought was and with a bit of levity, "Where's the French Press?". Then I thought "yea, but it need to be Titanium or something similar." So I pulled out the old Googler and lo and behold found one on REI for $56 and ONLY 6.3 oz. I never make instant coffee at home (except when I rarely run out) but instant seems to taste great in the wilderness. Now I'm thinking about how good a REAL cup of coffee would taste. :D
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Re: Decent instant coffee

Post by glitch99 »

torpified wrote: Wed Dec 23, 2020 5:06 pm off topic, because it's not instant, and maybe more in-depth than anybody cares for, but I came across this and thought I'd leave it here:

https://www.adventurealan.com/best-camp ... er-coffee/
Exactly what I got just a few months ago! Haven't had a chance to try it on a trip yet, but my test runs at home have been excellent. I still prefer the French press to a pour-over, but the plastic press I have for backpacking is difficult to clean and just too bulky for longer trips.

Back on the original topic, I ordered a sampler of Maxim instant coffee from Amazon and it's pretty good (if you like sugar & cream - it's all pre-mixed). I prefer the 2 Rose Bud varieties and you definitely want to keep it to 8 ounces of water or less per pack. It'll do in a pinch and I might even take some with me for a quick afternoon treat, but none of the instant coffees I've tried pack enough punch to get me rolling in the morning.
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Re: Decent instant coffee

Post by johnhens »

We have used Trader Joe's instant cofee packets. They come with sugar and cream added though. Not bad.
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Re: Decent instant coffee

Post by Sdourlain »



I work for a Japanese and someone had brought this in, I believe its Korean though.. Has coffee, cream and sugar all in one packet. Not the best but better than dealing with a press and cleaning it up
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Re: Decent instant coffee

Post by Tortuga »

I'm a fan of cafe bustelo packets for backpacking trips.
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