When There is No Coffee

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

I’ve had a splitting headache since this morning.  I’ve tried natural cures, then taken Excedrin for Migraine, then later Aleve, but nothing has helped.  I was thinking “Why do I have this headache?,” then I realized I got busy and didn’t get my coffee this morning.  I always have two cups.  Now I am paying for my oversight.

This got me thinking, if there is a disaster and we can’t get our morning coffee, there would be a huge number of sufferers like me.  Mr Apt Prepper keeps telling me it’s time to wean myself off, but I am not ready.  What are our options?

1.  Stock up on coffee (and the water to brew it!)

Green coffee beans

Green coffee beans last much longer than roasted ground coffee.  My favorite is Kona coffee.  I keep a small amount with my food storage.  One of the first things I learned was how to brew coffee off grid.

Instant coffee

When I go camping or backpacking I bring the little instant Starbucks Via packets as they are lightweight and flavorful.  I have even tested the expired ones, and they turned out fine.  I have a about a week’s worth.

Don’t forget to stock up extra water to brew your coffee.  As we are learning from the recent water emergencies such as the one in Toledo Ohio, threats to tap water can occur at any time.  Make sure you stock up on water.

Tip:  Make your supplies last longer by using less and avoiding waste.  Some ideas:  Make iced coffee from the previous day’s old coffee.  You can also freeze leftover coffee or iced coffee and use to cool your next batch.  You can also stretch coffee grounds by reusing them the next day and using a quarter less grounds for the next day’s brew.

2.  Stock up on other caffeine sources


Like Captain Jean-Luc Picard of Star Trek The Next Generation, I prefer Earl Grey, and keep a box just in case.  I also have some Chai and black teas as backup.

Colas and other sodas with caffeine

I am not much of a soda drinker, but Coke, Barq’s Root Beer and Mountain Dew are examples of sodas that contain caffeine.  They may be an alternative for some.

Energy drinks

Red Bull and other energy drinks also contain caffeine.  But you have to watch your intake, as some have additional additives that cause rapid heartbeat or high blood pressure.

No Doze

Pills would not be my choice, but for long drives and having to stay up all night, they may be necessary to stay awake.

3.  Herbs or energizing herb teas

Certain herbal supplements and teas are known to boost energy such as ginseng, yerba mate, ashwagandha.  (When taking herb teas or supplements, be aware of both benefits and/or side effects.)

I have tried alternatives such as dandelion tea, which has a lot of health benefits, but I have not found one that is as satisfying as my morning coffee.  Flowers like hibiscus can be made into teas as well.  Of course if it were grid down SHTF type situation, I am sure I’d be grateful for anything, even pine needle tea which I have brewed as well.

4.  Slowly give up the coffee habit

A co-worker of mine who used to drink two cups of coffee daily like me slowly got himself off.  He switched gradually to one cup of coffee a day for a couple of weeks, then switched to tea.  In another week or two he switched to herb teas and no longer craves the caffeine fix.

I’ve actually cut down from my previous four cups to two cups, but that’s as far as I got.

My excuse is, I don’t smoke, drink or shop for recreation, so I allow myself this one indulgence.  I just have to make sure I make it a point to keep adding to my emergency stash.  Even if nothing happens, I know it won’t be wasted.

 © Apartment Prepper 2014

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  1. We are coffee addicts. We opted for caffeine tablets for the get home bags. Lightweight and no brewing required. More incentive to hustle home to the real java.

    1. Hi Jennifer o, after I read your comment I put caffeine tablets on my to buy list Thanks for the comment!

  2. I used to drink at least a pot a day of coffee. I’ve weaned down to 2 or 3 cups a day, and that has taken a long long time 🙂 I have been researching how to grow coffee…

    1. Hi Eleanor, Let us know if you are able to grow coffee- that would be a great skill. Thanks for the comment.

  3. My first thought, when I saw your title on Google+, was: “Noooooooo!!!!” 🙂 But seriously, this is one thing I will not worry about if it gets taken away from me. We are avid coffee drinkers, but I plan to do without if we must. I look at coffee as pure luxury, not a necessity. I would hate to waste my precious water brewing coffee. Sure, we’ll have a few days of misery, but in the long run, I think a cold-turkey wean would do us good.

    And just so you know, this takes a lot of faith (or insanity?) for me to say this. ha!

    1. Tonya, that is true, coffee is a luxury, and that is smart of you to wean off it now. Thanks for the comment!

  4. It is very interesting, but if you buy a pedal crank generator and/or hand crank generator,
    you will have power to make your coffee. They work very well, and I am very happy since I really like coffee as well.
    Thank you and keep up the good job 🙂

  5. Five years ago whern I started prepping, I started buying extra coffee every week. I finally got to the point where I had nearly twenty extra containers of coffee, so I have backed off and decided to use up a few of them. I also store 4 gallon bottles of water that I have started rotating thru. I ended up with twenty bottles. I buy ten on gallon bottles that I use in my coffee every week plus two to four cases of small bottled water. We use them up each week or store them ahead. I also have a big burkey water filter with extra filters. This supposed to be good for 6000 gallons. Plus we have several empty containers for water if we actually get into a shtf situation. Also have several propane bottles and spare gasoline containers that we rotate thru several times a year. Once you make the investment, its not that expensive to keep up with.

    1. Hi cee, That’s great. Sounds like you have a nice stash of coffee set aside, and everything else that’s needed. Thanks for the comment.

  6. We stock up on ground coffee and keep a 6 cup french press. All you need is the hot water ground coffee tossed in and then press after 5 or 10 minutes. Took my cue from Europeans who do this as their main process.

    Great coffee too

    1. The french press works really well, and I was amazed at the fine coffee flavor. Thanks for the comment Ric!

  7. I love coffee and hate the taste of hot tea but like iced tea, weird I guess but there are coffee substitutes one is a weed that grows almost everywhere chicory, the root is dried, ground and roasted like coffee then added to coffee to stretch your supply, you can buy coffee with chicory in it already, chicory can also be brewed alone and has a coffee like quality, not really a big fan but I know where to get a coffee substitute when needed

  8. I also have been stocking up on coffee. It may be a luxury item but would sure help keep the “normal” in an emergency and makes a great barter item.
    A recent study said coffee drinkers lived longer also, another good reason to not totally quit.
    Those little individual single packs are great for BOB’s , etc.

  9. In July I received my second Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker as a birthday present. I still have my original, but after 6 years, the rubber plunger was so worn it took a practiced touch to prepare my morning latte. I can also attest that the paper filters can be used up to 5 or 6 times if you wash them and set the somewhere flat to dry. The first 300 filters that came with it lasted me almost 6 years of pretty regular use.

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