Discussion in 'Meals and Menu Planning' started by andreas, May 18, 2008.
MMMMMM good idea!
Well, after two expeditions here's my take on Java Juice:
Flavor: OK, but nothing to get excited about. I found I sometimes wished for another half-packet or so in a 12oz mug. The flavored varieties really didn't do a thing for me.
Caffeine efficacy: Fine, as with instant, double loading does the trick.
Packaging: This is where it looses out significantly in my book - about a third of the times I'd open a packet (usually in the pre-dawn darkness) I'd get some splashed on my clothing. It can be tough to remove from some fabrics. Then there was the morning I missed a droplet smeared on my face... Wondered by the yachties were looking (more) strangely at me...
Packability: naturally, I feared a squashed packet soiling the rest of my food, so I packed it separately - a bit of a nuisance. Instant still wins out in this category.
Adaptability (ie. can it be made with cold water in a pinch): OMFG :x - Some of the worst stuff I've ever tried to put in my mouth (and that was as far as it got)...
Price: expensive compared to instant, about 3:1
Cuteness of logo: slightly above average - better than Folgers, not as nice as the young lady on Mexican Nestle Instant (these were both solo trips, remember?)
Overall: I'm going to stick with instant Folgers for now.
A note on Starbucks Via
I received a couple of packets of Via in my stocking for xmas, and while i'm usually a proponent of my french press and good local coffee grounds, I've been rather impressed by the Via. I'm pretty sure that contrary to popular belief, Starbucks hasn't just made another instant coffee replica...they've ground their coffee so finely that it isn't felt when mixed with the appropriate amount of water...I'm not 100% positive, but I'm fairly certain that this is the case. Either way, I still prefer the good stuff if I can pack it/have time to brew...but in a pinch, I approve.
I also got some Via in my stocking. It's pretty good, tastes just like starbucks coffee. When I was at SB the other day I saw them at the counter and was shocked at the price! Each little packet only makes 1 cup (8oz), so it's kind of a rip off. It's almost the same price as a tall (I think that's the size), and you have to make it yourself. I guess if they made it too cheap people would buy that and not come into the store?
At home instead of brewing a fresh pot of coffee for myself, the only coffee drinker in the house, I use Nestle Instant Espresso. I little goes a long way. I've taken it camping before too. I just measure out a bit into a zip-lock bag. When I need it I boil a cup of water, add a teaspoon of the powder and my coffee's made.
I am also the only coffee drinker at home. I happen to like Starbucks espresso and their Lighter Note coffees. At home I use an Espresso machine and have used instant or a one cup drip maker on the kayak or hiking trips. After trying a free sample of Via coffee I am sold. It does the trick. It is tidy, easily stored, reuires no cleanup and doesn't turn into a dark tarry lump with the dampness experienced at the coast. On day trips its easy to then preheat a thermos, fill with boiling water and then bring, tea bags, hot chocolate or Via to keep everyone happy with only one thermos required. On multi day trips you can boil up after breakfast and keep a bottle of hot water ready for the mid morning break.
As for cost, buy a 12 pack of Via and it's way cheaper. I am used to paying more for things like precooked bacon, powdered eggs that I take on trips in the boat so a few cents more for my morning coffee is worth it.
i bought a three-pack the other day. it cost $3.45. that's $1.15 per cup. the coffee is pretty good, but the cost is unacceptable. what does it work out to if you buy the twelve-pack?
I've avoided chiming in here, because I don't know about availability in your area, but Bustello makes an instant, dark roast coffee that tastes better than anything you'll ever get at a $tarbuck$, at a fraction of the cost. It comes in lightweight plastic jars, though you could portion-pack it in tiny zip-locks, if youwant to pack out a bunch of trash, or re-use them next trip. The real challenge will be finding a bodega that sells it, but the Bustello company has been growing, and widening their market, so it may just be possible...
Amazon ships it, albeit from Florida. Google it up.
Gotta say I am a brew it from grounds guy, myself, but it is interesting to know of the quick and easy options.
I spoke to the Starbucks Canada rep today and she filled me in on a few details about their instant coffee. A 12 pack of Via will cost you $11.95 plus tax. So for $.99 a cup you can have instant that is superior ( in my opinion) to any other instant. It comes in several flavors to suit your coffee taste.
It is a mix of previously brewed, then dehydrated coffee and freshly roasted beans, microground to a fine consistency. There are no chemicals or preservatives added during or after the process.
I think it is clean, easy to make, stays dry during hikes or paddles and provides the much appreciated buzz in the morning.
You will have to decide if it is too expensive for you.
One thing that bothers me with the Via is that when you open it and pour it into the hot water the coffee clumps up from the steam and is difficult to get out. Maybe you're supposed to put the coffee in first then add hot water? But I heat the water in the microwave in my cup.
Via goes into empty cup first for that very reason. No need to stir.
Re: Starbucks Via
thanks for the info WG.
so; for a six night trip, Via would cost me 12 bucks.
for the same money i can buy two pounds of good ground coffee.
i think i'll stick with my travel mug french press and ground coffee.
Anyone tried this?
Wow. And I thought I was a high maintenance kayaker! How long is that extension cord and how do you protect it from the salt water, Robert? :wink: :roll:
Couple folks I have paddled with like those permanent filters. They can be a bit fragile, though, and require stowage inside a cup or similar en route. Certainly save on mess, however.
Aside: This instant stuff avoids the ritual each morning ... I kinda need that pause and sort-it-all-out time which brewing enforces. Used to be a cut and run guy, but I really enjoy mornings as the world wakes up.
Something I just remembered... haven't used them in more years than I care to think about, but most health food stores sell cloth steeping (tea) bags, that are re-usable, and can be used for your favorite coffe grounds as well.
I had a french press which definately produced a superior cup of coffee but made a mess and required water to clean. For me it simply wasn't worth the effort.
Seems that my kayaking trips are built a little different. I want to be up and on the water in well under 2 hours. If I take the time to dawdle over my coffee or anything else it won't happen.
I use it at home. I like it better than on top of the cup type.
Also I got this for camping use.
It is sturdier and I can screw to water bottle. A friend of mine gave me a tip for using it. Put the coffee and hot watre in the bottle (not in the filter) first, attach the filter, drink right out with the filer attached.
I'm using the MSR filter also, works really well.
As for speeding things up in the morning to get going, no problem. Take a breakfast on the "run" and you can be on the water within 45minutes.
I have a French Press Cup I bought at Starbucks.
However...I consume no more coffee on kayak trips.
Protein shake and a CLIF (oatmeal based) Bar and I'm ready in 10 minutes.
A slow-release protein shake that mixes easily in water...and the BEST I've ever tasted.
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