The committee has voted. The results are in and winner of the very first Hiking the Wild’s Backcountry Coffee Showdown is Stoked Roasters! Before I describe the winner please read the following disclaimers:
1- Neither Starbucks or Stoked supplied me with their coffee for free. My hard earned greenbacks paid for them both.
2- I do not, nor have I ever claimed, to be a coffee connoisseur. I was in fact lectured at a small, to remain nameless coffee shop, that the term “bold” was a made up term and had no place in describing coffee. Yet, I know what I like and will freely share my thoughts.
3- I drink my coffee black. No cream, no sugar. Nothing but the bean and the water. If you like to doctor up your coffee, fine by me, but just note my assessment was done purely with black coffee.
Overall, instant coffee has come along way since the Folgers instant coffee of my youth. Both Starbucks and Stoked Roasters are indescribably better than what was available in the days of old. Yet, in a head to head comparison Stoked Roasters Stoked Stix rose to the top. Most instant coffees deliver a decent first taste but leave behind a watery note. In contrast, Stoked provided a consistent depth of flavor throughout the whole cup. The aroma of the cup kept me engaged the entire cup and begged me to brew another one. I was weak and obliged.
Stoked Coffee is now my official Backcountry Coffee. I will be carrying it as part of my standard gear. So if you see me in the wild feel free to hit me up for a Stoked Stix. I will make sure to carry a few extras.