Coffee, most of us can’t live without it, or think that we can’t…
While considering food types to add to your survival food storage, don’t forget the coffee! If it ever comes to the point of having to dig deep into your food storage, finding pounds of stored coffee will be a welcome sight (assuming you drink coffee). The traditional morning start to the day for most people begins with the aroma, taste, and caffeine kick of a cup of coffee. Just think how many people would be cranky without that morning cup or two… In fact, I can hardly think of a better barter item than coffee, if and after TSHTF.
So, what kind of coffee should you buy and how should you store the coffee to retain it’s flavor and freshness over time?
We have bought a variety of coffee over the years. Some have been just the beans, most of it has been the ‘ground’ variety, and there is even a use-case for freeze-dried; all in in a variety of different packaging.
Beans require that you grind them (a possible problem post-SHTF unless you have a hand grinder or alternative energy to power your electric grinder), but will result in the best coffee flavor and will store the longest.
Pre-ground coffee is the majority use-case for most people, and does require drip-brewing-percolating as well as filters or a screen for the grind (same goes for starting with whole beans).
Freeze-dried coffee is the simplest, quickest and easiest, although most will agree not quite as good tasting. Having said that, in my opinion freeze dried coffee should not be overlooked due to the fact that it requires less fuel/energy (just add warm/hot water) than other methods… especially favorable for consumption under living/environmental/societal conditions that are less than favorable (post-SHTF or on-the-road/trail).
You may also consider GREEN coffee beans. Green coffee beans are coffee beans that are not yet roasted. I personally have not tried roasting my own beans yet, but I plan to give it a try one day. Some quick online checking indicates that it’s pretty easy to do (beware that it is a ‘smoky’ process) and there looks to be a wide variety of roasting methods out there. Apparently freshly roasted coffee beans make for a very good cup of coffee (makes sense). Also, the shelf life of green coffee beans is apparently much longer than roasted or ground coffee since once the bean has been roasted-the volatile oils will begin to evaporate and tend to create a “stale” flavor over time if exposed to oxygen/air. Green coffee beans can be purchased and then sealed in containers with an oxygen absorber for even longer shelf life (unless they come sealed already from the mfgr.).
Regarding coffee storage, one thing that you should already be doing is rotating your survival food storage inventory, which will keep the food from getting too old. That in itself could be enough of a solution depending on the size of your inventory and how long it takes to go through your rotation.
The best storage condition for long term freshness retention is to buy sealed air-tight packaging. Don’t expect coffee that is packaged in bags to stand the test of time… if you can smell the coffee through the bag, then it is venting to the air outside and is not air-tight. Obviously, coffee that is sealed in cans or jars are air-tight and probably your best bet for long term storage.
A valuable barter item, to be sure…