End times. The fall of man. Dark fates foretold in ancient scriptures, intuited by man, writ large across our modern skies. Now more than ever it's important that we prepare for the coming end of days. If you don't have your ducks in a row by now for the basics of disaster preparedness then do yourself a favor—turn off your computer box, stop reading this article, and get yourself to the nearest general store for basic supplies.
Are you ready? Read on.
If you're anything like me, you're already well-equipped to deal with the coming onslaught of emergencies headed our way, both man-made and God-sent. But with the basics out of the way, now is the time to wonder: do you have enough coffee and coffee-making essentials stored properly to survive in your basement, first floor, second floor, garage, office, vehicles, and emergency bug-out bag? If the answer is no, this is your listicle.
I have extensively researched this topic over countless sleepless nights, and created some brand new tips on how to keep up your supply of delicious coffee in the dark days before us. Coffee will serve so many purposes after the fall of man. Whether to remind you of the comforts of the before-times, serve as goods for bartering, or merely to put some pep in your step while you're out patrolling the perimeter, you'll be glad you took our advice.
A proper prepper stores the perfect water.
Your hot water tank will be a go-to for emergency water when the wells run dry and the aquifers are tainted, but a 55-gallon drum of emergency water is an essential now, before civilization comes crashing down around us. Since you'll be using at least some of that water for coffee, ensure that your 55-gallon barrel lifesaver is treated for both safety as well as maximum brew potential.
Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood and Dr. Christopher H. Hendon have written Water For Coffee, a Sprudgie Award-nominated book which we recommend adding to your basement analog library (because when the grid freezes up and the cloud goes *poof*, your Kindle will be kindling).
We asked Mr. Colonna-Dashwood, a UK Barista champion and World Barista Championship finalist, for his tips on storing water for coffee after the apocalypse. He offered some recommendations: “A food-grade water container, precise scales to .2 of a gram, our book, [and] a calculator to figure out the sums and a selection of mineral slats to add.”
“The water should be distilled to start with,” Colonna-Dashwood added. That means if you're collecting rain water, you'll need to plan ahead. The product offered by Third Wave Water may do well for this very need; after the sinful media elites who carelessly maligned them get their just desserts, TWW products will continue serving their purpose from deep within your bunker fortress. Consider stockpiling now.
An AeroPress for every disaster kit.
In terms of size, functionality, durability, and ease-of-use, the AeroPress should be thought of as the de facto Proper Prepper brew method du jour. An AeroPress can fit in your bug-out bag, it's lightweight, and can be used to store all kinds of things when not being used for coffee brewing—gold nuggets, human teeth, or whatever passes for currency in our darkest timeline. Most importantly, in my opinion, is the AeroPress's ability to brew at lower temperatures. Boiling water will be a luxury, or in the worst cases, a necessity for killing toxins that have leeched into your water supply from the ruined world above. Boiling takes a good deal of fuel, and any steps one can take to lessen the impact on your limited fuel supply should be considered. With an AeroPress, you'll only need to heat your water to 180 for a decent cup of prepper brew. That's good!
But perhaps the best part is that the AeroPress is a relatively inexpensive brew method to stockpile. Hoard some now while paper money still has value, and spend the money you'll save on preparing a full-size aquaculture system for your tilapia farm—a fabulous source of renewable protein and fertilizer.
Consider your coffee options.
Sure, keeping a healthy supply of whole bean stored in your basement freezer is a fine idea—just tape over that one-way valve to avoid freezer burn. When the grid inevitably collapses, transfer the goods to your deep-dug root cellar. When the time is right, you could use a quality hand grinder to grind your stash, but that's only if you have the strength of heart, spirit, and body…not to mention the appendages necessary for such a task. No, friend, it just wouldn't be prudent to put all your eggs in the whole bean basket.
But what about storing green and roasting at home? A vocal faction of preppers believe that storing green coffee, then pan-roasting it, is best for maximum storability and use as a bartering currency. My belief is that one should prep for practicality and convenience without sacrificing too much quality, so I believe that while green coffee is arguably the best way to ensure the freshest possible prepper product, the amount of time and energy required to roast and grind the coffee is impractical and inconvenient. A home roaster might prep this way, but the Average Joe should heed my recommendation: pre-ground coffee, nitrogen flushed, and stored the best way possible will yield the finest results.
The market for this kind of coffee product is moving quickly. In the past, we've written on Sprudge about Perfect Coffee, which was acquired last year by Blue Bottle. I support and recommend getting yourself a month's worth of pre-ground Perfect Coffee for the end of days. Store the pre-ground bags in a ziploc bag with hand-warmers, and vacuum that sucker. When the sun goes dark and you've got little hope left, you'll be glad you don't have to hand-grind a freezer pleaser, and instead can use the best pre-ground this lonely, dying planet has to offer.
The launch of Sudden Coffee could also upend and virally disrupt our proper prepping coffee solutions. As that project grows it will be worthy of consideration for survivalists, mountain men, suburban doomsday cultists, and unfathomably wealthy tech types ready to turn San Francisco into their own personal post-apocalyptic Thunderdome when shit goes down. We're talking Google Bus barricades and ray guns, people. It could happen tomorrow.
A proper boil.
While the Kelly Kettle is by far the most resource-economic method of boiling water, if you use your PowerPot V Thermoelectric Cook Pot to boil your water, you can power up your necessary brewing electronics. That way, you can attach your Acaia Lunar scale up to its USB and charge it up while you wait for the water to get just hot enough to brew a World Championship winning AeroPress. When that's charged, you'll be able to charge your iOS or Android device up so you can chart your brew profile as you go. If the internet is down, which it probably will be, use your HAM radio to announce your current and best profiles. (HAM will be like Twitter, Slack, and Snapchat all rolled into one after the world ends.)
In the prepper economy, coffee is good as gold. But all the coffee in the world won't mean a thing if you aren't prepared in advance. Make the necessary purchases now, while the internet is still up and functioning, and be sure to invest in a renewable and refined source of water collection above all else. Now is the time to prepare for the end. Because after all, you never know when today is merely the day before…
Zachary Carlsen is a co-founder and editor at Sprudge.com. Read more Zachary Carlsen on Sprudge.