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The coffee ritual

 
gardener
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What would we drink in the morning if we were limited to the 100 mile food experiment.
 I drink coffee, I like cofee, maybe it's like nicotine and I have an addiction. Across the street is a coffee hut and it has a constant stream of cars every morning.
 What would you be drinking if through some catastrophic event occurred and no imported coffee or teas were available.
Looks like Youpon is the only caffinated North American tea and it doesn't grow near me.
Is it just a ritual? Like packing a pipe with tabacco or fly fishing is it the process?
 
gardener
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Location: Central Indiana, zone 6a, clay loam
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I do love coffee. Mostly the flavor. I actually don't like the caffeine, but decaf doesn't taste as good. I think there really is something about a hot drink in the morning, especially in the colder months. If coffee weren't available, I'd probably just drink herbal tea or water.

I haven't tried it, but cleavers (Galium aparine) is supposed to be a good coffee substitute and has caffeine. The plant is actually in the same family as coffee. Cleavers are extremely abundant where I live and I would bet other places too. https://www.wildwalks-southwest.co.uk/how-to-make-wild-cleaver-coffee/
 
Robert Ray
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Ah, Galium aparine perhaps all is not lost it does grow here and would grow in my zone, but this is the first I have ever heard of it.
 
rocket scientist
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Hey Robert;
Being a confirmed coffeeholic that is one Scary  scenario !
OMG NO COFFEE???

Ok so humans are resilient adaptive creatures.
We (I) might be miserable, but a substitute  hot beverage drink  would be figured out.
Would it be caffeinated?  I doubt it.
Would we become naturally hyper vigilant without stimulants?  I suspect so...

Let us hope that this horror scenario never becomes a part of our reality...






latte-photo.jpg
[Thumbnail for latte-photo.jpg]
 
pollinator
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Trade - including very long distance trade - has been part of human history since we first became humans. Some theorise that the ability to trade with unrelated humans is what made us human to start with. And the items that formed the backbone of the early trades were small high value items; commonly tools, ornamentation (jewellery, fine cloth etc..), flavour (eg the spice trade), or drugs.

Lower value items, like bulk foods, were traded over much smaller distances.

Where modern trade has deviated from this is trading bulk goods over distances that were previously reserved for high value items.

I see little trouble with transporting coffee a longer distance, but I get concerned when eg wheat is transported globally.

Answering the original question; if i had to drink locally I would probably need to drink water, beer, or wine. Although a few boutique gin distilleries have popped up locally too.
 
master pollinator
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I presently see this as an absolute nightmare scenario as well... However, I will be relocating this year, and when I acknowledged that I would be gardening more and in a more rural area, this thought has definitely crossed my mind.

I've not done much research into this yet. However, I recall that chicory was used as a substitute during the world wars. I have also tried yerba mate and guarana when living in less-urban areas, and when I didn't have the luxury of a coffee joint in bicycling distance.

I wonder what might be grown in North America, specifically in a northern continental climate. Maybe I'll be out of luck, but I'll definitely try. Don't want to give up my hot drink just yet. :)
 
Robert Ray
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Michael, I think the Russian and Polish famines of the early 20's are an probably a good thing that comes from the ability to transport wheat. If aid agencies asked as Hoover did to be in charge of the distribution of the aid offered initially to insure those in need recieved the foods/aid provided that would prohibit some of the percieved issues we often hear of. I need another cup of coffee now.
 
master gardener
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Since my (part time, not truly necessary) job IS coffee, I'm guessing, I'd be out of a job, and have a wicked caffeine withdrawal headache, for a couple days. But, maybe I'll be able to skip the headache, if it doesn't happen in this century any time soon. One of my long term pipedreams plans is a greenhouse big and tall enough to support a few dwarf citrus trees, a few banana plants, a dozen or so coffee bushes, and maybe a few other subtropical/tropical/ Mediterranean items.
 
pollinator
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I've started drinking a lot of coffee lately and have started mixing my coffee grounds 50/50 with ground chaga fungus. This creates a very agreeable flavour. So if I could not access coffee I would go 100% chaga, just no caffeine content though.
 
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I’d probably go to tea made from all the bee balm and other mints I have growing around the house.
 
gardener
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In the unthinkable scenario that I have to give up coffee... I would start improving my tea leaf fermentation to get my tea to turn into something close to black tea.

I have several... maybe 5? tea plants in the forest garden. I tried making black tea once, but it didn't turn out very well. Probably a cultivar thing mostly. Japanese tea isn't really suited to it.

I suppose I could get used to drinking green tea as a morning beverage... but that would be the later compromise.

Speaking of that. It's time for my coffee ritual.
 
master gardener
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As a non-coffee drinker, you would think it would be difficult to empathize, alas, I really do appreciate a quality green tea in the morning. I agree with the sentiment that there's something about a hot drink in the morning when the house is cold.

The savings grace may be that there are some cold-tolerant tea plants out there, and pound for pound, I suspect you get more tea from dried tea leaves than coffee from coffee beans, so I may have to convert the lot of you - for safety reasons of course!
 
master gardener
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I thought this was going to be like the alternative to the tea ceremony.....

I just have one cup of coffee a week. On a Sunday morning I try not to wake anyone up, and make myself a latte with real milk (assuming we have some spare). I remember my Dad doing this for us as children very seldom as a real treat. The rest of the time I drink loose leaf black tea with a little milk. Lots of it.
 
Robert Ray
gardener
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It is a ritual for some people, that required cup of java. Do you scrape the foam off your Guinness? Do you stir your grean tea with a bamboo whisk?  French press, cold brewed, flavored? All surrounded by our own weird rituals like lucky socks.
 
gardener
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Cleavers would certainly be easy to harvest, just walk through them!

Yarrow makes a good tea. It's the only tea that tastes good to me without any sugar. It may not be good for extended use or by people who have thick blood, though.
 
gardener
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i’m growing tea, but it will be a little while before i could provide myself with a cup every morning.

this time of year i like to have a pot on the woodstove, making long, slow steeped twig teas so it’s easy to come in from working in the cold and have a quick cup of something warm. just finished a pot of sweet birch (Betula lenta) twig tea. the next may be a mix of sassafras and spicebush. hemlock’s a good one, too (eastern hemlock, Tsuga canadensis, not the poisonous herbaceous plants!). no caffeine in these, but somewhat ritualized!
 
pollinator
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Chicory or mint tea
 
Carmen Rose
pollinator
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I forgot - I just discovered that douglas fir needles make a really good tea and have a sizeable amount of vitamin C in them.
 
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Hi, I once switched from coffee to tea and thought my head would burst. Then I found dandelion, mint, orange flavored, raspberry, blueberry, white pine needle, and tried whatever I could use to experiment with. Some success and some failures. I love a hot drink and sip it all day long.
 
gardener
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We do have coffee growing here (nextdoor, in fact), but as others have pointed out you need to have a lot of bushes even for just your own consumption. Also they all come ripe at the same time and need to be harvested and dried together, so you need a big patio (usually tennis court size, or bigger). AND the weather (frost) and resulting diseases have been killing our coffee plants lately, so most people just have a coffee bush because they're pretty.

All that said, I lost my coffee ritual when I moved from NY to Japan in those dark days prior to a Starbucks or even Mr Donut on every corner, and no good coffee in the market. I worked in an office that had an enormous thermos of green tea going all day long, and I never looked back!

That said, I would love to see yerba maté (Ilex paraguaiensis) become more widely known. It grows in temperate regions, is great for the environment (the tree is large, you harvest a portion of the leaves every few years, but the trees stay forever, and they grow well with other crops), the trees need pretty much no care, and there are some breeding programs for improved flavor, higher or lower caffeine levels, heat resistance, etc. The leaves need to just be dried and can be drunk as tea or with a straw (chimarrão/yerba maté/tererê). They can also be fermented and end up like black tea-- not the same, but similar and delightful in their own way.
 
pollinator
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When I lived in Alaska, the natives drank "tundra tea" which I later found out is also known as "Labrador tea"
I liked it, collected the plant, and drank quite a bit, but I don't think it grows near where I live here in Michigan.
I also think there is some question about the safety of some of the compounds in it...
But, I'd love a good cup of tundra tea to reminisce about my time in Alaska.  
 
gardener
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Robert Ray wrote: What would you be drinking if through some catastrophic event occurred and no imported coffee or teas were available.


Walk south until I hit coffee growing country . . . And don’t get in my way! :P
 
steward
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So many good alternatives!

I think roasted chicory root or roasted dandelion root come the closest in flavor, but they are admittedly a far cry from coffee.. The chaga suggestion or addition sounds like it would make it better.

There are a bunch of commercially available mushroom beverages these days as coffee substitutes (Mudwater is one) but I haven't tried them. They could become a big(ger) thing with supply disruptions. Does anyone like those?

Isn't there a bush for more northern climates that produces a coffee like bean substitute? Oh, found it: the Kentucky coffee tree (from here https://www.offthegridnews.com/off-grid-foods/8-coffee-substitutes-you-can-grow-in-any-climate/).

I know a lot of folks love yerba mate, but that is not my favorite.

There was a tea alternative to grow for a certain climate (Southern U S.) that I read about that was highly caffeinated as well, but far easier to grow in some places, but the name escapes me.

EDIT:  found the Southern caffeinated tea alternative - yaupon! More about it here:  
https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/08/04/429071993/heres-the-buzz-on-americas-forgotten-native-tea-plant.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
steward
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Oh hey, check out this blend. I'm not a fan of Ashwaganda because it makes me cranky (when it's supposed to do the opposite!), but I might be able to tolerate yerba mate in a blend like this.

One could mix and match their own blends similar to this at home.

Raven-Roast-coffee-alternative.jpg
Raven Roast coffee alternative
Raven Roast coffee alternative
 
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Green Beans can be kept and roasted whenever the wish arises
My experience is thst fresh roasted is much more rich and satisfying than dead coffee (dead = over 7-10 days old)
Also most generally available coffee is Robusta - less flavour - more caffeine problems than Arabica.
100% Arabica cofee may not be as disturbing as the regular cooffee and coffee that is 100% Arabica is usually marked as the Arabica bushes require more attention, crop lower and therefore are more expensive.
We pay $14 for a 2lb bag of greent beans (16 oz green beans is said to make 12 oz of roasted cofee - that's why coffee is often sold in 12oz packets)

Asher Yaron on how fresh roasted coffee works https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaQNy0Ef4YY

More  info on roasting coffee on a frying pan bit.ly/realcoffeeprocess

There's a big marketing push for mushroom coffee and it seems overly expensive given the ingeredients.
I don't see why adding mushroom powder (eg from Paul Stammets site fungi.com) to ground coffee or to the cup of coffee is any different from making our own from the two ingredients - apart from the fact that some of the "mushroom coffee" has little to no mushroom extract in it.

Green beans should keep for a while.
(Asher Yaron talks about the best coffee he's tasted from Java which is aged 7 years before being relesed.)

Coffee (one of the major cash crops in some areas of the world) may be on it's way out.
Coffee is tending towards being grown at higher and higher altitudes globally as temperatures rise so the cost of buying lsnd and diminishing acreage for growing means that coffee will probably increase in price, disappear or be replaced by engineered hybrids eventually.

Coffee is not local so some of us find that a difficulty
Complete abstinence from all non local things could be fun but, where I live most metal is created elsewhere with ore from other countries etc. etc.
Maybe energy put into innovative mainstreaming of wiser ideas for improving nature's balance etc. has a more massive and long term effectiveness than being caught in a 100%er trap in any areas of change right now.


 
Robert Ray
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Dandelion, yarrow, many mints varieties, raspberry, chicory are all accessible to me. As readily as pine needle for tea are available to me, I'm afraid I like gin better and with all the junipers nearby I can make that. My 100-mile food experiment might rely on the cleaver seed for my caffeine, I've ordered the seed and I'll try that.  Limiting all my needs (steel) to a 100-mile radius would definitely be a challenge. I'm not sure what a 100%er means Roderick but with supply challenges that are currently present being a Locavore food wise might become more of a reality for awhile.  The coffee ritual the after-work beer ritual winding up or winding down food and drink play a big part in starting the day as well as ending the day.
 
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No worry for me LOL
I am allergic to coffee. Can't stand the smell (stench?) of it.
I'm a tea drinker. ANY tea will do, as long as I can sip a cup in silence ( in the morning, after I wake up). Home made from my dehydrated herbs/wild shrubs/ forest/bushes  etc. or store bought  and only the Twinning's Earl Gray:-)

 
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I've been 100% spoiled on an organic coffee called KickAss, roasted by KickingHorse, a coffee roasting company in Canada.   Been grinding it and setting it to 'brew' with our fresh, cold, well water over night, then drain the Toddy brewer into a carafe .  Voila.  It provides one week of fresh-every-morning shots of cold-brew coffee.  No acid, no dizzying side effects of caffeine, just lovely fresh coffee.   What would I do without Coffee?  I like a few store-bought herb teas, and have no problems turning to whatever I can find in the wild, be that Fir needles, the chaga I see growing on trees around here, or tapping into the endless supply of lovely dandelion roots to roast them and enjoy.  Also have a few wild herbs to add some nice flavor.  Point is, I enjoy a hot brew of something in the mornings.  
 
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