When you are out there in the wilds, getting a decent coffee can be a real issue, so we did some research to find out the top six instant coffee solutions when backpacking, camping, and rock climbing.
Pros & Cons of Using Instant Coffee When Camping
You probably appreciate the taste of an excellent home-freeze drying instant coffee, but carrying all that kit is not always practical, so most people compromise on coffee flavor and drink instant coffees.
But does it have to be a compromise? Lets take a shallow dive into the Pros and Cons of using instant coffees during outdoor adventures.
- Instant coffee satchels are a lot less weight to carry compared to coffee beans
- Anything that has the word ‘instant’ allows you to make instant coffee faster
- No residue and fast cleanup, no worries about left over coffee grounds and disposal and all the goodness is in your belly
- Taste Difference, but with the products below we omit that the gap is closing quotes our office coffee snobs.
So what brand of instant coffee is the best instant coffee for camping?
Many people believe that the taste of our selected brands of instant coffees that will be introduced below is comparable to freshly brewed starbucks via instant coffee or italian roast.
Just a quick guide about what your going to need for a good instant coffee packets when camping. It’s simple
Once you have your selection of instant coffees your going to need:
1. A source of cold water to boil to hot water then your going to need
2. A coffee mug and that’s all!
Just pour the sachet contents into your cup of boiling water, and you are set to go! Your cup of coffee doesn’t get any harder than that.
Waka Medium Roast Colombian Single-Serve Instant Coffee
What we like
Type: Colombian Arabica Coffee
Weight: 2,83 grams per pack
Price: $11.99 for a box of eight Sachets
Waka Coffee was born in 2018 with a mission statement to “Help people enjoy coffee, wherever they are.” Their choice of bean also suggests that they aim to create the best instant coffee.
There are two main types of coffee beans used these days. “Robusta” is the more accessible and cheaper alternative whilst the “Arabica” bean is the more sought after of the two.
Fortunately for adventurists Waka instant coffee brand features premium “Arabica” beans for their instant coffee products, which offers a more complex and richer well balanced flavor to the coffee.
One of the few instant coffee brands also uses advanced “Freeze Dried” technology, which locks in a deep and distinctive taste.
Waka uses 100% Colombian beans and does not blend the beans with inferior beans to cut costs something we are huge fans of here at Venchas.
Of course, just with all instant coffee, it is fast to make and does not require you to bring a heavy coffee-making kit on your trip. This excellent instant coffee dissolves 100% in your cup, which means no leftover coffee grounds to be thrown away.
The coffee comes packed in a box containing eight single-serve sachets, each weighing 2.83 grams. The caffeine content for a sachet is 70 mg, which is less than some competitors.
The company is socially aware and donates 4% of its profits to fund the “Add hot water, give water program.”
Coffee experts describe the flavor of this coffee as “well balanced, sweet chocolate and darkish caramel.” Adding that the instant coffee tastes “just like freshly brewed coffee”.
You can buy the coffee in one or two stores, but the best place is through the Waka website or from Amazon.
Alpine Start Original Blend Instant Coffee
A close favourite
Type: High Altitude Colombian Arabica Coffee
Weight: 3.1 grams per pack
Price: $8.99 for a box of eight sachets
Alpine Start (the company) was founded by Matt Segal, a professional rock climber, so as a product it was created especially for the outdoor life.
The company is socially aware and donates 1% of all sales to the “Protect Our Winters Foundation.”
The space-saving, lightweight, sachets are very convenient for packing into a backpack. The small packets will take hardly any space at all and are so comfortable to use.
The original Blend coffee is 100% high altitude medium roast Colombian Arabica bean, and the flavor is sealed in non-perishable singe sized packets.
The coffee is brewed to perfection, and then they dehydrate it to seal in the maximum flavor. To enjoy this instant coffee, you add either hot or cold water, depending on your preferences.
The product is both dairy and soy-free and is sold in a box containing eight single-serve packs, each of which contains 120 mg of caffeine.
This vegan product has a sweet taste without the sugar content. It only contains 4 grams of sugar.
The manufacturers of Alpine Start carried out a blind taste test between their brew and Starbucks coffee by a margin of 2 to 1.
Colombia is one of the world’s leading coffee producers thanks to its climate and high altitude coffee plantations.
Over 2 million Colombians and over 500,000 coffee farmers work together in bringing this excellent coffee to market.
Alpine Start also offers Non-Dairy Coconut Creamer Latte and Dirty Chai Latte. You can buy this product in selected retail stores, but the easiest way is the Alpine Start website.
Stoked Roasters Instant Coffee
We highly recommend
Type: Colombian Arabica Coffee
Weight: 3.4 grams per pack
Price: $9.00 for a box of eight Sachets
Worthy of mention as a second runner up to Waka Coffee Stoked Roasters Medium Roast Instant Coffee is another coffee in a sachet product made from Colombian Arabica beans.
Each sachet is very slightly more massive than Waka, and Alpine Start. I was uncomfortable that advertisements are not very specific on the origins of the coffee, other than to say it is is a 100% certified organic instant coffee.
Eventually, looking at the box was the only way of finding this out.
Stokes calls themselves the “Official Coffee of the Outdoors.” How they justify this designation, I would love to know.
The product tastes pretty good, and it is one of the better instant coffees, but it is similar in price to both Waka and Alpine Star, packed the same, but the lack of product information on the website and in adverts loses it a few points.
You can buy Stoked at Stoked Roasters.
Maxim Original Korean Instant Coffee
Type: Local Sourced Origin (unconfirmed)
Weight: 12 grams per pack (this includes sugar and whitener)
Price: $23.15 for a box of 100 Sachets
In Korea, you will find quality instant coffee on sale everywhere. If you visit a business, they will provide instant coffee, and the brand most commonly seen are these Maxim sachets.
They have a unique feature: they put the sugar first, then the creamer, and then the coffee, so if you pinch the pack at the right point, you can choose from black coffee, white coffee, or white coffee with sugar, all from the same sachet.
The problem is that the small sachets contain very little actual coffee compared to the other brands I have listed, that you will probably need to use two packs instead of one.
Most people find the coffee to be pleasant enough to drink, but nowhere can I find out what type of beans are used.
It is a much cheaper product, just between you and me, no one i know uses only one pack. You can get away with using two packs instead of one, it probably still works out cheaper. You can buy Maxim on Amazon.
Jiva Coffee Cubes
Type: Colombian Coffee (Arabica) with unrefined cane sugar
Weight: 8 grams per cube
Price: $9.99 for a box of 12 cubes
This product is the only instant coffee in my list that comes in solid form. Each cube contains coffee and sugar, and you add it to a cup of hot water to make the coffee.
There is a version with no sugar as well. The product with sugar is so sweet that you will not need a creamer.
Each cube comes individually wrapped in cellophane, so there is no need to pack the box in your backpack. You can just fill unused space with individual cubes.
It is a quality coffee used, and the taste is well received. If you like sugar in your coffee, then this product probably belongs higher up the list, but either way, it certainly merits inclusion. You can buy Jiva on their website
Cafe Bustelo Instant Espresso Coffee
Type: Unable to find a variety of coffee (it just says expresso)
Weight: 2.5 grams per pack
Price: $9.50 for a box of 24 sachets
This product is another cheaper coffee; although this product has a hefty price tag on Amazon compared to the prices, it can be purchased in stores.
It can be bought in stores for $1 for one box of six, but on Amazon, they sell four boxes of six for $9.50.
The coffee is nothing special, and this product only narrowly merits inclusion in this list.
Honourable mention Mount Hagen
Mount Hagen organic instant dark roast and taster’s choice house blend are one of the best instant coffees we tasted.
The Mount Hagen product is source from Papua New Guinea and their coffee crystals are fair trade and sealed in glass. Try their instant decaf coffee or a Mount Hagen single serve packets on your next camping trip.
Comparing the list against our top pick Waka Medium Roast Colombian Single-Serve Instant Coffee
When reviewing these products, we were looking for a convenient package that contained a product that was easy to use and had a taste that was comparable to freshly brewed classic roast. We used Waka Coffee to be our standard.
The products in the list (the first five anyway) were in the same range as Waka (Café Bustelo was included for people wanting a cheaper alternative and not so concerned with flavor).
Out of the six products reviewed, when we considered the convenience of use, five were packed in small individual packets. We figured they were the easiest to carry and quick to make the coffee. The sixth product was also contained in a single cellophane pack and came in a solid form.
That product, the Jiva Coffee Cubes, went down the list slightly because we believe it takes longer to make the coffee than a powder. Unfortunately to the dissapointment of a few readers we decided not to do the Ftarbucks via instant.
Or Mcdonalds coffee versus douwe egberts pure gold best instant pvp. We dont have that many Starbucks via my area and douwe egberts brand is hard to come by.