We reckon that instant coffee isn't anyone's first choice, but sometimes it's required to get caffeinated on the move. Alpine Start didn't blow us away, but it's decent.
Alpine Start still tastes like instant coffee, but it's better than many options on the market and will do in a pinch.
Open packet, pour into vessel, add water. Done! Can't get simpler than that. You don't even have to heat the water up first.
Instant coffee is weird, let's face it. Alpine Start's mission is to make a version that tastes good, but when compared to freshly brewed coffee, there's just no way it can measure up. However, when tiny packets are literally the only option you have then, by golly, they sure can taste good. We found this one about on par with the Starbucks VIA and decidedly not as good as First Ascent. We did like it more when brewed with cold water than hot though.
In the right situations, even instant coffee can hit the spot.
Ease of Use
The simplest way of delivering caffeine that we know of, just add the packet to warm or cold water and voila! Liquid energy!
Anyone can make instant coffee, no special knowledge or training required.
Instant coffee packets are individualistic by nature, so this isn't an obvious group option. But because the packets are so light, you can easily bring enough to caffeinate a small army without even noticing the weight in your bag.
Instant coffee packets are undoubtedly the most portable way to get your fix. And they're sealed and self-contained, so you don't have to worry about spills or leaks when all your gear is stuffed haphazardly into your pack.
A box of 8 of these packets will only weigh you down 1.56 ounces — and that includes the box! This is a stellar option for the weight-obsessed through-hiker, backpacker, bike-packer, or whatever other weight-conscious activity you enjoy.
A whole box of these puppies won't even add 2 ounces to your bag.
For anyone wanting to save on weight, space, and brewing time, Alpine Start is here to save the day. While it's not the tastiest way to get your caffeine fix, it's pretty decent and will do the trick. And you can feel good for supporting a smaller company instead of a giant chain. That being said, we preferred the OTHER small Colorado option, First Ascent.
Bonus: Alpine Start also has some fun sweeter options available, and they're all dairy-free! There is a Coconut Creamer Latte made with, you guessed it, coconut, and a Dirty Chai Latte made with traditional chai spices and soy milk. Yum!