From two comments on a recent blog post I was:
- Directed to try another form of the instant coffee I have in my GHB and BOB stores (hat tip to Gwen Patton), and
- asked about the use of improvised heating devices (Hello Tim!) in the face of severe winter weather.
Coffee, The Other Food Group
Here are the contestants:
|Kershaw Leek shown for scale|
- G7 Instant Coffee. Trung Nguyen Co., Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Indocafe' Coffee Mix. Mfg. by P.T. Sari Incofood Corp., Indonesia and London, England
- UCC Coffee Mix. This one is a bit hard to list. Mfg. for UCC (Ueshima Coffee Co.) Kobe, Japan and Imported to Japan by a Hong Kong and Singapore group of holding companies who then export it here. I think.
- Trader Joe's Instant Coffee. Sold and Distributed Exclusively by Trader Joe's and mfg. in Korea.
- All four products contain instant coffee, sugar and a creamer.
- All recommend one packet per-serving.
- All serving sizes vary, making this a very subjective test.
My normal panel of testers were not available due to several conflicts: the Master Chief is off caffeine due to medical requirements (he always mumbles something about 'decaf and sex in a canoe' while brewing the first pot of the day). and the pre-teen does not like coffee unless it looks and tastes more like hot chocolate or a foo-foo Starbuck's drink.
The directions listed for each brand were followed to the best of my ability -- milliliters were converted to the closest fluid ounce ('Merica baby!) and the hot water added to one packet of coffee.
G7 Instant Coffee
Directions: Add 75 ml (2.5 oz) of hot water to one packet .
At 16 g (0.56 oz) per packet, this was right in the middle of the weight range. Strength was a bit strong, it had a bit more creamer than I might add if I was making my own cup of coffee, and sugar was good. I personally would add more water* (up to double?) if I was making one quick cup, or use two packets and add extra water if I was sharing this.
Indocafe' Coffee Mix
Directions: Add 150 cc (5 oz) of hot water to the 20g (0.70 oz) packet of instant coffee.
Strength was fine here too. The creamer was very good and the sweetness was perfect for me. At 5 oz., this is my perfect size of coffee. I would use two packets and the recommended amount of water for two servings.
UCC Coffee Mix
Directions: Add 140 ml (4.7 oz) hot water to one 17g (0.59 oz) of coffee mix.
Strength was a little less than the first two but still acceptable. Creamer and sugar were just about about perfect for me. At almost 5 oz, a good-sized cup of coffee.
Trader Joe's Instant Coffee
This is the coffee I have carried and used for quite a while in my camping gear, even before I started writing here at BCP.
Directions: Add 4-6 oz (I used 5 oz to keep things as close as possible) of hot water to one 12g (0.42 oz) packet.
This is weaker than the other three in strength, creamer taste and sugar. Mixed like this, I find the coffee too weak and have used two packets mixed into 6-8 oz of water for years.
*I did add almost 2 oz extra water to the G7 after trying all mixes using their directions and found the flavor acceptable, but it was marginally weaker than UCC and Indocafe -- and still a fraction stronger than Trader Joe's.
From Tim's comment about heating, I found this link to an interesting space heater.
I feel a simpler heater could be built, but this is an excellent way to use tea lights or a tuna can heat source.
- If you like coffee and need to have some every day, any of these four choices will serve you well.
- As with anything, pre-testing your choices is very important.
- Be open for suggestions!
- Heating is not just for comfort in the winter, it is a necessity for survival. Alternate means need to be explored if weather knocks out power and normal sources are unavailable.
In my order of preference:
- G7 Instant Coffee. 18 packets, local Asian market. Reg. $4.59, on sale for $3.79.
- Indocafe' Instant Coffee, 8 packets, local Asian market. $2.69
- UCC Coffee Mix, 10 packets, local Asian market. $3.89
- Trader Joe's Coffee, 10 packets Trader Joe's. $1.99
Try them yourself and let me know what you think!
As always, if you have comments, suggestions or corrections, please post them so we all can learn. And remember, Some Is Always Better Than None!
NOTE: All items tested were purchased by me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.