July 5, 2012
Self heating coffee for those cold days on the trails when you need your caffeine hit.
It is literally white coffee, in a ring-pull can. Below the coffee section, there are magic, anhydrous calcium oxide crystals in the base and some water. To heat, you remove the base, press the button to mix the crystals and the water, shake a few times and leave for three minutes.
What you get is a modestly sized cup’s worth of coffee at near-on exactly the right temperature to start drinking. While you’re unlikely to get anything too gourmet from a can, I’d describe the Rocket Fuel as ‘passable conference centre coffee’, tasting a little like drip coffee that’s been left on the hotplate for a while. Not great, but far from terrible – and better than I’ve had from some Wild Bean cafés on the A14.
Yes (of course) you can just put nice homemade coffee into a mini-flask in the morning and drink that. The big sell of this, however, is the convenience: keep one in the car for the end of long, winter rides, or perhaps throw one in the bag for an overnight bivvy. At 407g for a mere 200ml of coffee (about half a mug) it’s heavy, but it’s way lighter than packing a stove. If all you’re having for breakfast is cold cereal, then a hot cup of coffee (they make chocolate too) might be just the ticket.
Overall: There are times when alcohol-free beer is appropriate. And so, there are times when self-heating coffee is just the ticket: at the end of a frigid ride or first thing on a frosty hill top particularly. For those occasions, I don’t mind admitting that I’ll reach for one of these. Now, where’s my shade-grown, Guatemalan, dark roast, flat white?