Sunday, November 4, 2012

Survival Vulnerability

With the Hurricane coming, I was expecting a power outtage.  Coping with loss of power is an important survival skill.

I noticed a vulnerability.  Coffee!

While I have a french press and don't need the electric coffee maker... I usually use whole beans, and grind them with an electric grinder.  Luckily I had a bag of pre-ground ready to take to work, so if Sandy had eaten the lights, I'd have been okay.  But this isn't the usual situation.

Now, apart from getting a manual grinder ahead of time, what would be the procedure if I had a hankering for Java in the dark?

Well, I'm sure in my desperation I'd have improvised something.  Put the beans in a bag or between paper towels and just mash it with something heavy. This is a less than optimal technique. 

Then I remembered.  I have a marble mortar and pestle that isn't hopelessly tainted with cumin or other strong spice.  Were it so contaminated, I could line it with plastic.  Problem solved.  


GreyLocke said...

Or you could run them through a meat grinder like I tried once as an experiment. I don't drink coffee but my brother said it was "Okay" that's all he said though.

And I do have a meat grinder.

TrueBlueSam said...

Civil War soldiers used the but of a musket to grind their coffee beans. Experience taught them to add their sugar ration to their ground coffee immediately in case it got wet. Coffee was brewed in a tin cup, over a fire built with pilfered fence rails.

Anonymous said...

By it ground.

Murphy's Law said...

Dude, every survival larder should have a jar of instant for those emergency situations when you have to have the caffeine. Just a thought...

Vinosaur said...

We have one of these on hand for just such an emergency.

Roberta X said...

A: No plastic in the mortar! Ground plastic, very bad for you.

B: Two matching tablespoons, large bowl: you can mash roasted coffee beans one or two at a time. Coffee beans will break right up. This trick works on peppercorns, too. And it's good exercise for your hands! But you need a big bowl, bits tend to fly out.

Geodkyt said...

I'm with Murphy's Law.

Instant coffee sucks, but not as bad as "no coffee, lack of sleep, and pressure migraine".

You can eat instant coffee with a spoon, or dip it like snuff, if you have to. (Back when they had the serious instant coffee in the MREs, with Vitamin C added, before they replaced it with weak-assed Taster's Choice", we used to regularly dip coffee on patrol -- dump the whole pack between cheek and gun. and it'll absorb nicely.)