A great cup of coffee in the middle of nowhere. Its a conundrum as much as it is an necessity. I mean, if you spent all that time and effort to get to that wildly remote location, then it’s probably a great place to have a fantastic cup of coffee, right?
But as an adventure picnicker, you can’t always trek in with a portable coffee bean roaster, a bean grinder, espresso pot, and a bag of exotic coffee beans pooped from the butt of a rare caffeine-addicted jungle cat. Sometimes the journey requires a minimalist approach. Sometimes you have to make compromises – even with the coffee.
So this review is not about a great cup a coffee. It is about a palatable cup of coffee in the remotest of places. Yes, java snobs, we’re talking about instant coffee….
Yes, I know. Instant coffee means hopelessness, futility, and sadness. It means succumbing to mediocrity and banality. It means giving up. But as any intrepid adventurer with a taste for danger and Ethiopian Yirgacheffe will tell you, sometimes concessions have to be made.
Yes, java snobs, we’re talking about instant coffee….
But this is where Cafe’ Bustelo has done the near impossible: they have created a palatable cup of instant coffee. If you’ve spent the previous night drinking heavily around a campfire, you may even say it is downright good.
Of course, being the java junkies that you are, you will probably want to use two packets for every cup. But you end up with a very drinkable cup of coffee that is strong, rich, and not too bitter. And you didn’t have to bring any elaborate outdoor coffee making gear like titanium espresso pots or failure prone ultralight French presses.
So, take a deep sigh and imagine yourself bravely pushing deep into the yawing mouth of misadventure, your body light and encumbered, your steps lively and nimble, your psyche fearless and resolute. You stop and reach into your pack and pull out a handful of tiny magical packets hued in vivid yellow and red (colors in nature signifying danger and unbridled excitement!). They are slippery and malleable and give you confidence. They are truncated Pixie Sticks of crystallized consciousness and printed on the side of each, in a retro, travel poster font, is “Cafe’ Bustelo”. You smile, armed with the knowledge that you will have coffee, no matter what that ill-spirited demon, calamity, has in store for you.
Cafe’ Bustelo Instant Coffee comes in small cardboard packs of six that are similar in size to a packet of cigarettes, so if you really want to be cool in instant coffee circles, you could always roll a box up in your tee shirt sleeve. But a word of caution here: convenience can be a bit wasteful. Between the cardboard box and individual packets, it’s quite a lot of packaging for a few cups of coffee. If weight and space are less of a factor, a better option would be to buy the 36 ounce Party Size of Bustelo Espresso Gound Coffee, repackage what you’ll need for your outing in a reusable container, and bring along a portable coffee maker of some sort. The Party Size Bustelo container is recyclable, but can also be reused as a handy storage container.
If space, weight, and convenience are top priority, however, Cafe’ Bustelo Instant Coffee Packets are hard to beat. So the next time you are in the coffee aisle of your local grocery store, look down (probably way down, on the bottom shelf, hidden beneath the Starbucks display). You’ll find a little yellow and red box that may very well become your new favorite hiking companion.