Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Prudent Prepping: Coffee Post

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Now we concentrate on what to do in, and how to plan for, the long term via Prudent Prepping.

From two comments on a recent blog post I was:
  1. Directed to try another form of the instant coffee I have in my GHB and BOB stores (hat tip to Gwen Patton), and
  2. asked about the use of improvised heating devices (Hello Tim!) in the face of severe winter weather.
So first things first, here is the coffee test.

Coffee, The Other Food Group
Here are the contestants:
Kershaw Leek shown for scale
Left to Right:
  • 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.
Several very important points!
  1. All four products contain instant coffee, sugar and a creamer.
  2. All recommend one packet per-serving.
  3. All serving sizes vary, making this a very subjective test. 
The Taste 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.

Emergency Heating
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.

The Takeaway
  • 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.
The Recap
In my order of preference:
  1. G7 Instant Coffee. 18 packets, local Asian market. Reg. $4.59, on sale for $3.79.
  2. Indocafe' Instant Coffee, 8 packets, local Asian market. $2.69 
  3. UCC Coffee Mix, 10 packets, local Asian market. $3.89 
  4. Trader Joe's Coffee, 10 packets Trader Joe's. $1.99
    Strictly by price per packet, Trader Joe's is the leader -- but in my taste test, any of the other three are superior, with G7 winning on the combination of value per-packet and taste.

    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.

    No comments:

    Post a Comment

    The Fine Print

    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

    Creative Commons License

    Erin Palette is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to