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Instant Coffee that actually tastes great!

As a person who always needs his coffee, this is certainly no exception while camping or backpacking.  It is one of the first things that come to mind when I wake up and nothing is more comforting in the mornings while I’m on a backpacking trip. 

I recently discovered a new brand of instant coffee that actually tastes good and easy to pack with you.  Alpine Start is the name of the company and I highly recommend them to anyone who is looking for great coffee on the trail but does not want to deal with coffee ground or cleanup of a pour over.  I used to use the Starbucks “Via” instant coffee but since sampling Alpine Start, I don’t think I’ll ever go back (and I love Starbucks Coffee).   Check them out here:

10 Replies

Hi mrmojangles -

If you (or anyone else) is looking for delicious and easily packable coffee, I suggest Geo by Treeline Coffee Roasters. I cannot recommend the Geo highly enough! Easy to pack. Easy to prepare. Tastes amazing. Great company with skilled roasters who have direct relationship with coffee growers. Definitely worth taking a look @

@mrmojangles I have been pleased enough with Starbucks Via, but I'll check out the Alpine Start stuff next time.

I'm sort of spoiled here in Japan -- there are literally hundreds of Via-like instant coffee packets from different brands available in most grocery stores. The coffee game is strong here, and I can choose all manner of flavor profiles, acidity levels, etc. in my to-go packets. Great for traveling, for sure...just stash a few in my bag and go!

I, too, am a Starbucks "Via" fan, especially the Vanilla Latte, but I am willing to try the Alpine Start.

aka "Boonerelli"

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Do we not think a super light French press is worth the few oz it adds to the pack?


I certainly enjoy my French press when car camping and sometimes take my lightweight pour over filter when backpacking.  My main hesitation with a pour over while backpacking is dealing with the grounds and rinsing the filter.  Not a huge inconvenience but I like the idea of less cleanup, especially when the instant coffee is nearly as good as fresh coffee. 

Yea, the thing about the Via packets is that they're decent, but probably more importantly for me, easy to pick up at any Starbucks or supermarket. Will check out the Alpine Start ones though, love my coffee.

If I have resort to instant, Medaglia D'Oro Espresso is actually pretty drinkable . It comes in little hard, too, so you don't even need a container , unless you need to count every ounce of weight.


My favorite, though, since I'm a coffee nerd, is to grind my own, then use my Handpresso Wild Hybrid, which is basically a mini bike tire pump with a real portafilter on it! You pump it up to 16Bar pressure and it makes fantastic shots! As you can see in the pic I posted, if you're lazy, it can also use pods. 🙂

Since REI doesn't carry it, you can get it at Whole Latte Love.



Thanks for the recommendation! I checked out their products and bought a package of the dirty chai latte. I was really excited to see that it's non-dairy!

Thanks for the input!! I need coffee as well, for my trips I usually hit up my local Asian foods store, there are some amazing instant coffees from Korea that I have been using for around 10 years and they are usually cheaper and taste better than the American counterpart!