Whether you’re gearing up for a doomsday scenario or just a prudent householder stocking up for the long term against hurricane season, there’s one consumable you might have overlooked: coffee. While technically a luxury item, coffee is such a big part of many people’s daily routines that having to go without it can become a genuine hardship.
A large percentage of regular coffee drinkers are physically addicted to the caffeine contained in their daily cup of java; withdrawal from caffeine can result in pounding headaches, shakes, heart palpitations, lethargy and mood disturbances.
Preppers Barter Coffee
Even for non-addicts, coffee can have valuable benefits, especially during trying times in an emergency scenario. It lifts the mood and promotes a sense of normalcy, helping to support morale. Being a stimulant, coffee can provide a necessary edge when it really counts.
Since coffee has such great value to so many people, the savvy prepper can find other uses for it besides a quick buzz. A situation in which coffee supplies are disrupted might provide plenty of opportunities to barter for necessary supplies for those who’ve planned ahead and laid in a good supply of java. This could be extremely advantageous in a long-term urban survival situation.
Growing Coffee and Using Coffee Substitutes
The knowledgeable gardener may decide to plant home-grown coffee trees if the climate is right; however, these very seldom produce enough berries for consumption, even in optimal conditions. Even if you do manage to persuade a coffee tree to fruit, the process of turning the berries into coffee is both time-consuming and labor intensive.
Other plants can satisfy your need for a warm, flavorful drink; however, few supply the kick and unctuous taste experience of a good cuppa coffee. Acorns, iris seeds, chicory root and dandelion root can all be roasted and ground to make a passable hot beverage.
Storing Coffee for Long Term Preparedness
The trouble with coffee in a preparedness context is that in the form most of us are familiar with — roasted beans, often ground — it has a short shelf life. Heat, moisture or contact with oxygen cause coffee to lose its flavor and degrade. If you decide to stock up on bulk containers of ground coffee, remember that they’re only going to last for a year or so before they begin to lose their flavor and become rancid. However, if you store ground coffee or beans in sealed plastic bags with oxygen absorbers and then in a sealed bucket with more oxygen absorbers you should be able to extend the shelf life considerably.
Instant coffee has a good shelf life but the taste is generally substandard for most coffee drinkers; although in a survival situation where there is no other choice, instant coffee may become more valuable than gold to those who just have to have a cup of coffee. Store in sealed containers in a five gallon bucket with oxygen absorbers.
Bulk green coffee beans — ones that haven’t been roasted — have better longevity than roasted and ground coffee. Although they will begin to degrade over time while in storage, they’ll still retain their taste for some time, especially if stored in oxygen sealed containers. You will need to roast and grind the beans yourself before using them, and they make even better barter because you can trade for the beans and the prep work. If you’re storing coffee for barter, pack in small tradable containers or bags.
The best long-term solution for the coffee-loving prepper is to buy and store canned green coffee beans. These can have a shelf life of many years if stored carefully, ensuring that you’ll be well supplied under most conditions. Make sure you have some way to roast them when needed and a hand grinder in case there’s no available power.
Organic green coffee is best due to its not having been sprayed with pesticides and other chemicals including GMOs. However, organic coffee may be difficult to locate for long-term storage. Check online and in health food stores.
If it’s the caffeine you’re after, preppers should consider storing caffeine pills or powder , which is a cost-effective solution to caffeine cravings; also a highly barter-able item.
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