Loved that pond tip, especially – thank you Tweva!
Mine is about coffee. Green coffee beans cost around $5/lb online (shipped-in, plus S&H) and last for years in burlap/jute/canvas. One site I read said that, at cooler temps, you can get up to 25 yrs shelf life out of them, but I have no personal experience of that.
So if you are concerned about your java when SHTF, buy some green coffee beans. One place I know of online is called http://www.SweetMarias.com. I have ordered from them for 4 yrs now and always get excellent coffee; I buy the 8-pack sampler (8 lbs for $40; they do have smaller sampler packs, plus non-sampler straight coffees, single estate) and you get a variety of coffees from around the world.
You don’t need fancy equipment to prepare green coffee beans, either:
1) Dry-fry them in a pan on medium-low heat (no higher – they keep cooking after you remove from heat!) for about 4-8 minutes, depending on darkness of roast desired. Stir constantly while “frying.” There are also oven-baked methods you can find online, if stovetop isn’t your thing. A lot of this info is contained in Sweet Maria’s library, too.
2) Blow off the separated husks when removing from pan onto a cookie sheet.
3) COOL/off-vent. This is critical. You must put them on a cookie sheet or something for at least 3 hrs. Up to 24 hrs if you can.
4) Grind. You can either do this after cooling, or as you need. This is the only part you’ll need special equipment for, but you can buy a small grinder (even electric) fairly inexpensively, or find on Free Cycle or Craigslist, or you can even get a hand mill for when SHTF.
Coffee will be a valuable commodity when SHTF, but even with shipping costs, this is some of the least expensive “good” coffee I can find, even now.
If anyone has personal experience with shelf life of the green beans, I would love to hear more info about this part of it (I always drink mine up before I remember to test duration, but I do have some burlap and want to try it!). Also I could use a fire and a pan if I had no electric, but does anyone want to hazard a guess as to how the oven method might fare in a solar oven? Thanks!
Edit: I feel I should make a nod to the fact that the scent of roasted coffee carries far, though I suspect most people on this forum realize that. So does just about any kind of coffee (even pre-ground, industrial-sized, sealed cans of Folger’s), except maybe instant. So unless you’re far away from others, I realize that roasting coffee beans may not be the best idea for SHTF, but I think this info will be helpful anyway. And even if you are unable to prepare it at that time, the beans would likely still be good for barter!