When you go backpacking, it’s a good idea to include some easy to prepare instant coffee in your backpack. Coffee is a great beverage at any time of the day, and it can give you a boost when you are on a backpacking trip. In this review, we are going to review 10 of the best instant coffee brands for the backpacker. You can also get some insights about what distinguishes different instant coffee brands and what you should look for when picking one out.
The Best Backpacking Food Options
Backpacking is a fantastic way to explore the outdoors, be it locally or in a different city or state. You get to discover the serenity of all that the great outdoors have to offer, and you can make it a day trip or go full-on camping. While you are having a great time exploring the outdoors, you may have to say goodbye to some of the comforts that are easy to access on a typical day. You are not going to be able to prepare your meals as usual, so there has to be a good, smooth alternative.
Any foods you take with you while backpacking or camping should be ready to eat or easy to prepare. You need some foods that are rich in energy to give you an extra boost as you make your way out and about in the outdoors. It is also vital that the food items be lightweight so that they do not weigh you down more than necessary and hurt your back. The first thing you should do before you head off to start backpacking is to figure out the weight of your bag. Make sure you test it out on your back so that your trip is smooth.
There are many recommendations for the best backpacking food ideas. Here are some of the top ones. Nuts, whole grains, trail mixes, fruit, jerky, and protein bars are all examples of lightweight, delicious, and nutritious food that you can carry on your next trip out. Dehydrated meals and instant oatmeals are also good options because they are easy to prepare with only some hot or boiling water.
Backpackers also have to get something to drink. You need enough water first to avoid dehydration, especially if the weather is hot and harsh. Tea and coffee are also backpacker-friendly beverages. When you use the single-serving packets, they are light, easy to prepare, and the warmth and caffeine they offer can help you stay alert, focused, and energized on your trip. You might need a cup of coffee first thing in the morning or an extra one or two during the day. This means you might only need to carry one packet of instant coffee, or more if you intend to have more than one cup of Joe.
Instant coffee is a good choice for your next long hiking, camping, or backpacking trip. It is easy to prepare and can give you a much-needed caffeine boost. There are many options for small single-serve instant coffee packets with a great flavor and taste.
You can first refer to the tasting notes for more information on how to start comparing coffee beans, roasts, and blends. You can get tips on the differences between light, medium, and dark coffee roasts. You can learn about texture and smooth blend coffees. In no time, you may earn yourself a reputation as a coffee connoisseur.
How to Make a Cup of Coffee While Backpacking
Making instant coffee while you are backpacking or camping is simple and easy to do. All you need to carry with you are the instant coffee packets, your condiments of choice like sugar, sweetener, powder milk, and some hot water in a thermal flask. Most instant coffees come in powder or granule form. You’re also going to need a cup and a spoon to stir, and that’s it; you are all set to get your cup of Joe.
One of the first things you have to consider is the roast of the coffee. The darker the roast, the strong the roasting flavor. If you don’t like the dark roast coffee flavor, you can opt for a light or medium roast instead.
When looking for the best coffees that are quick and easy to prepare, you should consider a few different factors. While you might not get the full-bodied goodness and richest and best coffee taste when you don’t make brewed coffee the traditional way, instant coffee is still a top option when you need to get a cup of coffee on the go.
Best Instant Coffees for Backpacking
There are several great instant coffee brands for backpackers. We put together this list of the 10 best instant coffee options and did a short review of each in turn. You can learn more about some familiar and not-so-familiar instant coffee options. You can always do a taste test to get a taste of each option first.
Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee
The first product in this review is from none other than Starbucks. If you love Starbucks coffee, you are in luck because the coffee giant has a single-serving instant coffee that is good for the hiker, traveler, and backpacker. It is called Starbucks VIA instant coffee. You can also find it on other roast levels. This Starbucks VIA instant coffee has a Pike Place flavor, but other flavor options for the product include Colombia, French, Italian roast, Veranda, and Decaf Italian roast. Starbucks VIA Pike Place is a smooth, medium roast instant coffee with cocoa and roasted nuts flavor notes.
Inside each box of Starbucks VIA instant coffee, you get 50 individually wrapped packets of coffee. The small packets are single-serve packets and easy to carry around, open, and prepare into a delicious cup of Joe.
Starbucks Via instant coffee contains 100% Arabica beans. These have been processed into micro-ground instant coffee. Each serving of Starbucks VIA medium roast coffee contains about 130-140 mg of caffeine, which is higher than many other instant coffee brands and more than enough for an energy boost during your trek. You can also go for a decaffeinated option instead.
Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee is easy to prepare compares with coffee beans, and you don’t need a coffee maker to make some good coffee. You serve your fresh brewed cup of coffee hot or cold.
The Starbucks company is known for producing delicious coffee. If you prefer to taste a smooth house brand rather than a medium-roast, you can try another one of its products, the Starbucks VIA instant coffee house blend. This is a smooth coffee also with a but and cocoa taste. You can also do a taste test with some of the other Starbucks VIA instant coffees available.
Alpine Start Instant Coffee
For instant coffees designed with backpackers in mind, we recommend the Alpine Start instant coffee. Any outdoor person looking for easy to carry instant coffee with great flavor should consider this brand. Sometimes backpackers can struggle to find a single serving instant coffee product with spectacular taste, but Alpine Start is just that. The company is one of the best premium, on-the-go instant coffee makers.
This Alpine Start instant coffee original blend has a medium roast level. It has a smooth, rich, and full-bodied flavor. This premium instant coffee is made with 100% high altitude Columbian Arabica beans. Each box of Alpine Start contains eight single-serve packs, and this offer comes with three boxes of the original blend. The coffee has 120.9mg of caffeine per serving.
The individual packets of this Arabica instant coffee make it very easy to carry around. You can throw a couple of sachets into your backpack to make a cup of coffee easily later on. One notable fact about the Alpine Start coffee is that it also dissolves in cold water and other beverages like milk.
Besides the original blend, the Alpine Start company also makes other products. The instant coffee is also available with added creamer latte or as a dirty chai tea latte. It all boils down to how you prefer to enjoy your morning, afternoon, or evening cup of coffee. You can do a taste test of these to see which one you like the most. The good thing about Alpine Start instant coffee is that you can easily carry a few sachets with you on your next outdoor trip to make a really good cup of coffee when you need it most.
Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee
There are lots of different coffees on the market. Some of these are innovative and new twists on the instant coffee that we all know. These options offer health benefits, ease of use, and other novel features. These might be particularly good for the avid backpacker needing an added kick during their long and possibly tough trek in the outdoors. Mushroom coffee is an exciting product. We chose to review Four Sigmatic mushroom coffee because it is best in this coffee niche.
Four Sigmatic is one of the leading brands in the space. The company makes a range of mushroom products like coffee and probiotic nutritional supplements.
You may be wondering why they use mushrooms. Mushrooms have many health benefits like improving focus, memory, well-being, and immune support. This particular option from Four Sigmatic is the Lion’s Mane and Chaga flavor, but the other options are Adaptogen and Cordyceps and Chaga.
You may be wondering what mushroom coffee tastes like. It does not taste like mushrooms. Instead, it has the same delicious coffee taste that you expect from any other coffee. You can enjoy a cup of coffee from Four Sigmatic with dairy or nut milk or another creamer. If you are looking for a novel type of instant coffee to give a try, then consider doing a taste test with Four Sigmatic mushroom coffee.
Four Sigmatic mushroom coffee is an organic and Fair Trade crash-free coffee. It is made with contains Chaga mushroom powder, and this gives a high level of antioxidants. Four Sigmatic instant coffee is not too high in caffeine content, with about 50 mg per serving. The product comes in coffee packets that are perfect for the backpacker. You can also find this mushroom coffee mix in Keurig cups.
Mount Hagen Freeze-dried Coffee
The next product in this review is a kosher free-dried instant coffee. Mount Hagen instant coffee is one of the best coffee blends for the backpacker, hiker, camper, and traveler. It is made from 100% Arabica coffee. When it comes to organic coffee options, Mount Hagen organic instant coffee is one of the top choices. It is a quality coffee, and with the freeze-drying process used to dehydrate it, you know that it has a superior flavor profile.
Each box of Mount Hagen coffee contains 25 single-serve sticks of instant coffee. The product is also available in a jar or as a resealable 7.05 oz. doypack bag, which you can use to refill coffee jars. The coffee comes as caffeinated and decaffeinated options, with the caffeinated option containing about 40 mg of caffeine per serving.
Mount Hagen is a leader in Fair Trade coffee making and sets a high standard for the entire coffee industry. It is made with single-origin Arabica coffee beans cultivated in Papua New Guinea. These have been grown under fair and sustainable working, growing, and environmental conditions. The company is committed to fairness and respect in all parts of the value chain.
Mount Hagen coffee has a complex and sophisticated flavor, with a mild and velvety taste. It is a delicious option for your morning cup of coffee brew or when you are taking a break from the hiking trail.
Trader Joe’s Coffee
Another one of our picks for the best coffee for backpackers is Trader Joe’s instant coffee. Each box of this product comes with 10 individual packets of instant coffee. Each packet also contains creamer and sugar. This means that all you have to do to enjoy a cup of coffee while you are on the hiking trail is to add hot water. Each order from this company comes in two boxes. Trader Joe’s coffee is made from 100% Arabica coffee.
If you are out on the hiking trail, you do not have time or the resources to make a fresh cup of brewed coffee. A good substitute for ground coffee is Folgers instant coffee, which is available as single-serve packets of coffee, each containing about 60-80 mg of caffeine per serving. The product is also available in other formats including, a plastic jar with a flip-top lid and Keurig cups.
Folgers coffee is a classic roast made of 100% pure coffee with a medium roast level. You can easily prepare the instant coffee by combining a single packet with some hot water.
Folger’s coffee beans are roasted in New Orleans, Louisiana. The company started in 1850 and promotes sustainable sourcing.
As for the tasting notes, the flavor and taste of Folger coffee are both well-balanced. You can do a taste tester to experience this for yourself. The product is also available in other versions and flavors, and there is also a decaf blend.
If you want a delicious coffee that tastes like a drip coffee brew but is available as an instant coffee product, consider trying Waka instant coffee. This is available as light or medium-roast coffee. The flavor is Colombian, and you can learn more about the coffee from the tasting notes. This smooth-bodied, well-balanced coffee has a delicious flavor and notes of citrus. Each box comes with eight single-serve instant coffee sticks.
The Waka Coffee company produces a range of products. The coffee brew has exceptional flavor, and that could be partly attributed to the drying process. Waka instant coffee is freeze-dried to preserve its flavor and easy to prepare.
This instant coffee is made from 100% high-quality Arabica beans. It is packed in California, and there is about is 8.75 mg of caffeine per serving.
Jiva Freeze-dried Coffee
When you talk about single-serve instant coffee, most people imagine an individually wrapped packet or sachet. Usually, the coffee comes as a powder or in granule format. As one of the best instant coffee varieties out there, this next product in our review is one you want to try.
Jiva coffee gives instant coffee a unique and new twist. Instead of having your instant coffee as a powder and in a packet, you can enjoy it as a cube. Jove instant coffee cubes are made by adding one cube to boiling water and waiting for just a minute. This is a convenient way of tasting and enjoying your morning cup of coffee.
One of the best things about this innovation is that it is perfect for carrying with you while you are backpacking, camping, or on the hiking trail. You only need the instant coffee cube, the condiments like sugar, and some hot water. There is no need for a French press, a coffee maker, or a Keurig.
Jiva is a company that is making strides to package instant coffee in a novel manner. Currently, the coffee cubes are available in several different flavor options. There is instant hazelnut coffee, instant caramel coffee, and a mocha coffee.
Jiva coffee cubes are made from 100% Colombian Arabica beans. They are freeze-dried to preserve more of the coffee taste and aroma. These cubes have high quality and exceptional coffee flavor and taste. They have added raw cane sugar and organic flavor extracts.
The Jiva Arabica instant coffee cubes have a smooth and well-balanced flavor profile for the tasting notes. There is 120 mg of caffeine per serving of coffee.
Nescafe Clasico Instant Coffee
One of the leading brands and the first pioneers of instant coffee is Nescafe so that this list might be incomplete without one of its signature coffee products. In many parts of the world, Nescafe is a household name. Its coffee is available in many different formats, like the single-serve packet, which is ideal for hikers and backpacking.
Nescafe Clasico instant coffee produces a dark-roast instant coffee in individual packets. Each box comes with 12 packs. This is very convenient for anyone who is backpacking and needs a convenient and easy to carry and prepare coffee packet. You can make your morning cup of coffee in a minute or so. The package weight is 1.2 lbs. You can also find the dark roast coffee in a jar with a weight of 10.5 oz.
It is made from 100% pure coffee roasted with careful craftsmanship and expertise. There is about 57-65 mg of caffeine per serving. As far as the tasting notes, there is a rich and bold flavor. There is a reason why Nescafe is still around as a coffee company, and that’s the consistent quality and rich flavor.
If you are looking for a nutrient-dense coffee option, then consider the VitaCup instant coffee sticks. This is a genius keto coffee, which can be prepared as a hot or cold brew. Each box comes with 24 on-the-go sticks.
The coffee sticks are infused with many important vitamins and nutrients. These include vitamins B1, B5, B6, B9, B12, D3, MCT oil, cinnamon, and turmeric. One of the health benefits of this option is that it helps you stay focused and increases your energy. This comes as a medium roast caffeinated coffee.
This coffee option contains many of the daily vitamins that you need, and it is also keto-friendly. You can brew this premium coffee packet anywhere and at any time. All you have to do is add water and milk and sugar, as you prefer.
If you want a vegan, sugar-free, and gluten-free healthy boosting medium roast coffee while you are out backpacking k, then the VitaCup coffee stocks are one you should try. The company produces a range of healthy infused teas and coffees.
There are so many great instant coffee brands to choose from, whether you get Mount Hagen organic instant coffee, Alpine Start, Trader Joe’s, or a Starbucks VIA instant coffee. We only touched on a few good brands, but there are so many more- some new and innovative and others more established and tried and trusted.
When you are looking for a top instant coffee brand that is suitable for backpackers, you have to consider many factors. In this review, we looked at many of these. In our list of the top 10 instant coffee options, we touched on many of these.
You have to first ask about the best coffee quality as indicated by the source, drying method, Fair Trade agreements, and what other customers have said about the product. You might look at whether the instant coffee is a house blend or a single-origin coffee.
The roast level of the coffee is significant because it determines much of the flavor. Some people prefer a light roast, while for some, a dark roast is just right. Midway, you can also opt for a medium roast. The tasting noted of these instant coffees can give you a better idea of what to expect if you can’t have a taste test right away. You should also look at how the instant coffee is packaged, how easy it is to prepare on the hiking trail and any added condiments like sugar and creamer. We trust that this review of 10 of the best instant coffee for backpacking can give you a great place to start.