Backdoor Survival: The SHTF Emergency Coffee and Tea Kit

I like coffee. I also like tea. While I could live without both, they add comfort to daily life. Additionally, being able to make teas is useful for many herbal remedies. Sure, you can do either with any sort of container than can make water hot, but some tools are better than others. Here’s Samantha Biggers at Backdoor Survival, talking about The SHTF Emergency Coffee and Tea Kit. The excerpt below may contain affiliate links for Backdoor Survival.

Coffee and tea are both things that should be in your food stockpile. A short to long emergency can be hard enough without being forced to do without something you are used to having. Consider that coffee and tea are also excellent for trade if you are looking for barter items to put back.

Perculator

I had been considering adding a quality peculator to our preps. While we have a French Press, that is not the same thing. We have found that French presses take more coffee to get the same flavor. Stanley recently had a sale that allowed me to pick up one of their quality percolators for almost half the price it normally sells for. I trust Stanley products so it was just too good to pass up.

The percolator is 1.1 liters so it makes enough coffee for several adults to have a few cups. I like that my Stanley is stainless steel and not aluminum like a lot of percolators out there.

French Press

As I said, I don’t want to rely on a french press for my coffee but they are worth mentioning. For more info on making coffee with a french press, check out this article.

Secura French Press Coffee Maker, 50-Ounce, 18/10 Stainless Steel Insulated Coffee Press with Extra Screen

This is a french press that actually may change my opinion of them. While writing this post I actually found a larger stainless steel french press. The 51 oz capacity is much better than the 34 oz of most and it is stainless steel rather than fancy plastic or glass. If you do want a french press, this is the one I would recommend getting for household use.

Coffee Options

Matt and I have been buying green coffee beans and roasting our own for many years now. It saves a lot of money over buying quality coffee at the grocery store and we get to roast it to a precise level we like rather than having to settle for beans that are often too dark. It seems like a lot of coffee brands have decided to go with a darker roast even if the bag says it is a medium roast.

Buying green coffee beans allows one to experience greater variety. Coffee has a lot of complex flavors. The region and variety of coffee as well as the harvesting and packaging process of the green beans all have an impact on the final flavor.

For green or roasted coffee beans, I recommend Coffee Bean Corral or Fresh Roasted Coffee. Coffee Bean Corral just sells green coffee beans while Fresh Roasted Coffee sells both roasted and green coffee beans. If you are unsure of what types of coffee you want to put back, Coffee Bean Corral has some very affordable sampler packs.

Whole Bean Roasted

Getting beans that are roasted but not ground is another option for those that want some coffee that doesn’t go stale in the bag as fast as ground coffees.

Ground Coffee

While this is very convenient, it doesn’t have the flavor and the shelf life of whole bean coffee. At the same time, I think ground coffee that is sealed in #10 cans is not a bad thing to have as part of your stockpile. It is inexpensive and does the trick.

Green coffee beans lose up to 20% of their weight when roasted. It is usually lower but it does vary based on the variety of coffee and how dark you like to roast it. This is important to keep in mind when buying green beans and calculating how many you need to put back to meet your long term food storage goals.

Deals On Coffee In Cans and Sealed Bags

I am going to include a few options here that my Dad likes. While we roast coffee and take it to him, he gets nostalgic for some brands. I have not tried these brands myself but I trust his opinion on this one. I do have to say he likes coffee with chicory in it sometimes. It is a bit of a French and Southern thing so I won’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of chicory coffee.

French Market Coffee, Coffee & Chicory, Medium-Dark Roast Ground Coffee, 12 Ounce Metal Can (Pack of 6)

You get 6 sealed 12 oz cans of this coffee at a bargain price. My Dad just had me order some for him. The roast is a true medium-dark roast from what he has told me.

Community Coffee

This is another old Southern brand of coffee that is a bargain and a lot of people seem to like. You can get big cans of it online at Wal Mart. There are many roast styles and blends available so you may want to try out a few before you stock up. The Wal-Mart cans I just linked to are really inexpensive. You get 2 cans at 37 oz each for just $20 at the time of this writing.

Let’s talk about tea for a minute.

A Kettle or Two

A good teapot is important. While I like an electric kettle, a good stainless steel tea kettle or a cast-iron kettle that is lined with ceramic is a better option for an SHTF situation. If you have the space then I don’t blame you for having both.

Chef’sChoice 681 Cordless Electric Kettle Handsomely Crafted in Brushed Stainless Steel

While us preppers talk a lot about situations where the grid is down, the truth is that plenty of bug in situations and emergencies happen and the lights stay on. If you have some backup power like a Jackery you can also run some things a few times a day.

My mother in law gave me this exact electric kettle because it was a spare she had. She actually bought it used too. This is a real workhorse. I have used this kettle so much because it heats water up fast. When we were unsure about our supply of propane, I used it to get water boiling before using it for cooking foods on our electric hotplate.

I also use it to get water to boiling to pour over dry beans that I want to cook in our crockpot slow cooker. It gets the bean cooking process going a lot faster and is great for when you forget to put the beans on soon enough or want to give soup a headstart.

Cast Iron Tea Kettle With Strainer

This is the tea kettle I am after. I like it because it can double as a steamer for our wood stove and it comes with a built-in strainer so using bulk teas is really easy. This pot is cast iron. Some cast-iron kettles are just designed to add humidity when using a wood stove. They don’t make great tasting tea. We were given a kettle that was just cast iron and it always seemed to give off an odor. It was labeled as not suitable for water used for consumption You can get cast iron and ceramic lined kettles in many different sizes too if you prefer something that is tough but not just metal.

Ceramic Lined Cast Iron

This teapot is very similar to the one above but is much larger at 101 oz and it has a ceramic lining that many people find appealing. You can get the same style in a smaller version through the link above as well. These are really pretty and functional teapots that will last for many years.

Tea Ball or Strainer

These devices allow you to buy bulk teas. Buying tea by the pound is so inexpensive compared to tea bags. It is actually shocking how little tea is in a box of 20 or 100 bags. A lb of organic green tea on Amazon from Davidson’s Tea is under $10. To get that same amount of product in a premade tea bag, you would need to spend more than $50. While there is nothing wrong with having some tea bags on hand especially if you just have some that you like to drink occasionally and not regularly, for SHTF tea stashes, most of your tea stash should be bulk tea if you plan on drinking it with any regularity during the course of a long emergency…(continues)

Rogue Preparedness: How to Store Green Coffee Beans and Roast Off Grid

Who doesn’t like coffee? Morgan at Rogue Preparedness has an article on roasting your long term storage green coffee beans. Sure, you can store roasted beans, but fresh roasted beans make so much better coffee. You could even store already ground coffee, but ew, no. Green coffee beans can last 20 years in storage and still make nice, fresh coffee after being roasted.

Coffee is considered a vice by many but when it comes to coffee, it’s going to be highly sought after in any emergency, disaster, off grid situation. Coffee has been a staple of many households for…it’s existence, basically.

There’s some conflicting information online about how to best store coffee beans, whether green (raw) or roasted. I’m going to offer my advice based on my own personal experience and advice given from actual coffee roasters and aficionados.

I’ll also be talking about how to roast raw coffee beans off grid.

First, let’s talk about how to store roasted coffee.

There are some hardcore coffee drinkers out there that will tell you roasted coffee is only good for 6 months after packaged and/or opening. Roasted coffee can be stored for years and it’ll still have that nice caffeinated effect. I have never found any evidence that coffee will go “bad”, as in unable to drink.

I’ve even heard people say that ground coffee will only last a few hours after being ground! Maybe as far as the freshest taste goes, sure, but coffee will still be plenty potent for years to come after it’s been ground, or even as roasted coffee beans, just as long as it’s stored properly.

Will the same taste quality be there? Probably not. But it’s still coffee.

The best ways to store roasted coffee would be in an opaque container, meaning something that isn’t clear. Notice the type of packaging that coffee comes in. Just as long as light can’t directly shine in, it’s a good package.

A mylar bag with an oxygen absorber works great. You can also just store it in a mylar bag without an oxygen absorber, though the oxygen absorber will greatly help the longevity of taste.

You’ll also want to keep the coffee stored away from heat and moisture. Keep it out of the fridge and freezer, too.

I’ve drank ground coffee from a container that has sat there for years and brewed it up and it’s tasted fine and also did the job that coffee is supposed to do; give me that sweet, sweet caffeinated feel.

Next, let’s talk about storing green (raw) coffee beans.

I like to store raw coffee beans in addition to regular coffee because…why not! Raw coffee beans store for a significant amount of time, years, just like roasted coffee. I like the satisfaction of roasting my own coffee.

There are a few different ways to store green coffee beans.

But first, just like with roasted coffee, you want to store your green coffee beans in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.

The first way is to vacuum seal it and then place the vacuum sealed bag (which is usually clear) inside of a burlap bag or some other opaque bag.

You could also store in a mylar bag with an oxygen absorber.

You could also store in a burlap bag.

Lastly, let’s talk about how to roast raw beans.

The video above shows how I roast my coffee with propane. There are several different ways to roast coffee at home in small batches like shown in the video above, but this is just one of the easiest.

You’ll need:

  • Popcorn popper
  • Aluminum foil
  • Propane stove
  • If you don’t have a propane camp stove, you can use a fire

Cover up most of the holes of the popcorn popper with aluminum foil. You want to roast the coffee so closing the holes allows the coffee beans to roast.

Prepare your fire or propane stove setup outside in a well ventilated area.

Put the green coffee beans inside of the popcorn popper, close lid.

Keep the heat on the propane fairly low, but not too low, you’ll want to experiment so that you’re not roasting the beans too slowly or too fast and not burning them. I’d suggest starting out with just a handful of beans to get the hang of the process first.

Place the popcorn popper over the heat source and rotate very slowly, sometimes letting it sit for a few minutes at a time without rotating, just be sure to keep a very close eye on it. It may take 5-10 minutes for it to ‘heat up’.

The popping noises you’ll start to hear are completely normal. Once you hear the first ‘pops’, that’s when it’s just about ready. The popping will continue, even when it’s at a medium roast.

When it comes to how long you should do it, this comes with experience. Once you hear the first cracks, they should be medium brown, or you could continue to roast to make them a darker coffee bean. It’s up to your personal preference.

As an FYI, you don’t need a popcorn popper or propane, it’s just one of the easiest ways to do it as you have full control over the process.

If you’re doing it exclusively over the fire and don’t have all that new-fangled gear, you can just put the coffee beans in a pot or pan with a lid. You’ll want to stir frequently, while at the same time keeping the lid on so that it roasts. Lift the lid, stir, close for a minute, lift the lid, stir, close for a minute, etc. until you hear that first ‘popping’ then try to stir while keeping lid fairly closed. You want it to roast, but you also don’t want it to burn, so the beans need to be moving about.

Then, grind and enjoy! You can buy a manual coffee grinder. You can grind them with a rock. Or a mortar and pestle. Or you can place them in a bag and hammer them.

Of course, you can always store instant coffee, as well.

Coffee is a staple in the prepper community and has a great shelf life. As far as I’m concerned, coffee doesn’t go bad. I’ve never heard of an instance that coffee has gone bad.

Conquer tomorrow, by preparing today!