One thing that most Americans all have in common is an addiction to caffeine, in the form of a morning cup of coffee. In a worst case “end of the world as we know it” situation, dealing with the “coffee problem” will be an important aspect of survival.
Caffeine is a pretty strong drug. If you’ve been drinking it every day for 40 years and all of the sudden you stop, bad things happen.
A few years ago, someone bought a can of decaf coffee by mistake here on the farm. It was not labeled like decaf coffee usually is and we didn’t realize we were drinking it. By the second day of drinking it, both my father and I were practically useless human beings. I had a terrible headache, the worst I have ever experienced, and no energy. My dad, who was on several powerful pain medications at the time, was in severe pain (not counting the headaches) and claimed his pain pills didn’t work anymore. It took every bit of strength and will power we had to get the farm work done. On day 3, my son noticed the coffee wasn’t real. I drove as fast as I could to a gas station and bought a cup of coffee. Almost immediately, I felt human again. This was my “wake up call”. I certainly don’t want to face the stress and uncertainty of TEOWAWKI feeling like that!
Unfortunately, coffee does not grow here. Without imports from far away lands, there is no coffee. So in a true post apocalyptic situation…. we ain’t going to have coffee in the United States.
Another unfortunate fact is that roasted coffee beans and pre ground coffee doesn’t store long term very well.
One solution is to quit coffee now. Now, I will be completely honest. I have no plans to do this. So long as the world has not gone completely to hell in a hand basket… I’m drinking coffee. But not having the addiction would be a wise choice.
Another solution is to store some coffee and after things go to pot you can wean yourself off slowly. Because coffee doesn’t have a great shelf life, the best option for this plan is to store bulk instant coffee. Freeze dried instant coffee will last forever and provide the caffeine you need to wean yourself off.
Some people store raw green coffee beans and plan to roast and grind them when they are needed. Green beans have a fairly long shelf life. To me this seems a bit silly. If we reach the point where society has fallen apart to the point of “no coffee”, I can think of 100 better ways to spend your time than roasting coffee beans… but that’s just me. If you really love your coffee, maybe you can justify the extra work. Just keep in mind that when it’s gone, it’s gone.
Yet another solution would be finding coffee substitutes that do grow in your area. I have a friend in Texas who makes “mesquite coffee” from roasting mesquite seeds. It has even more caffeine than coffee and tastes similar enough.
Will we ever see a time in America where coffee isn’t available? I have no idea, and truthfully there is probably a slim chance that things will get that bad. BUT… being prepared for such an event and having a plan is a fairly simple and inexpensive prep. Storing away a bulk supply of freeze dried instant coffee is cheap insurance that might make life easier in the event of a total collapse of society.
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