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IPFS News Link • Food

Coffee in a tube squeezes like toothpaste for brewing ... or eating

•, By C.C. Weiss

Arriving this month is yet another option aimed specifically at climbers, backpackers and all-around outdoor adventurers. Called No Normal, the new coffee style takes the form of a tube of dissolvable paste that can be mixed with water in a cup, spread onto breakfast pastries or simply gobbled straight out of the tube. It's one of the fastest, easiest ways to get a morning dose of caffeine before pushing off farther into the wild (or urban jungle).

Drinking coffee in the wilderness is much easier for those who really don't enjoy coffee, the folks who'll throw heaps of sugar and heavy cream into a half-mug of hours'-old pot-bottom paint with a smile.

Once you graduate to preferring specific brands, roasts and brewing methods, coffee in the wild gets more difficult – at least if you intend to enjoy it. Bringing along a full grinder, press/pour-over, beans kit can quickly overwhelm packing limitations for ultralight trips, and lightweight, ultra-portable solutions like packets of instant tend to miss the mark in the flavor department.

That's why No Normal, a Swiss startup, got to work coming up with an alternative. Its coffee paste definitely breaks from the norm, a squeezable concentrated concoction packaged in a 100-g (3.5-oz) capped aluminum tube that can be recycled after the last dollop of coffee dribbles out. The company says two teaspoons of paste dissolves in hot or cold water to make a cup of coffee. Each tube makes between 15 and 25 cups, depending on the size of your camping mug.

If you can't spare any water – say, because you need it all to hydrate during the all-day hike ahead with no reliable natural sources along the way – the No Normal coffee can be eaten right out of the tube or spread on food – No Normal suggests a banana or piece of bread. Unlike instant coffee or coffee brew bags, No Normal is slightly sweetened with natural Swiss sugar so it should taste better straight than dry, bitter grounds.

The ability to just eat it straight is what really separates No Normal from other backcountry coffee solutions. This eliminates the need to pack a cup, extra water and any of the other brewing paraphernalia necessary for other portable coffee solutions. It also has the promise of saving time in the morning and delivering a mid-afternoon caffeine burst without so much as stopping to take off one's backpack.