Chance favors the prepared!

Why coffee should be a part of your preps

Editor’s note: Please welcome Liz Thornton to!

I’m stockpiling coffee in case of a looming SHTF scenario. It’s something I’m taking very seriously and treating as a high priority. If coffee is part of your daily life, here’s why you shouldn’t take it for granted either.

Let me take a few steps back and introduce myself. My name is Liz Thornton and I am just an average American mom whose highest priority in life is the safety and well-being of my family. I’m generally a very happy and optimistic person, but I’m also very aware of the harsh realities of the world. The more I learn about the world, the more I discover that the relative peace and safety that many of us enjoy in our daily lives could be completely upended from one day to the next. In the past couple of years, my Husband and I have immersed ourselves in the preparedness community, and preparing ourselves for various worst-case scenarios.

One of my hobbies in my free time (which I have increasingly less and less of), is writing about coffee. I fell in love with both making and drinking the stuff as a teenager, and I have worked in many coffee industry jobs throughout my life. I’m not ashamed to admit it, coffee really is something that I couldn’t live without. I know that statement might be controversial, as it may not technically qualify as a core survival necessity to stay alive in the short-term.

I made this quick guide to summarize some of the reasons why would be so important in a survival situation. There are countless scientific studies that show that everyone from stay-at-home moms to endurance athletes at the highest levels, experience great performance benefits from moderate amounts of caffeine. Sadly caffeine has gotten a bad wrap in the past. Yes, there is a real potential for misuse and adverse effects. However, when used properly there are real physiological benefits from coffee. These benefits will be especially magnified in times of extreme hardship, when sleep is in short supply, when stress levels are at their peak, and when we need an on-demand burst of energy in a critical life or death situation.

The commodity value of coffee cannot be overlooked. I was stunned when I learned that it was almost impossible to grow the coffee bean in the continental 48 states! This means that what we take for granted now as a very abundant and low-cost commodity, might become very scarce in the United States in the case of an economic collapse or major world conflict. Due to the laws of supply and demand, even the simplest instant coffee packs could carry incredible barter value. Considering the fact that this is a commodity that many are overlooking, storing an adequate supply for yourself could put you and your family in a very advantageous position.

For me personally, the greatest benefit would be the boost to morale. Times may soon become very difficult, in a way that you and I could not even imagine. I think it will be nice to take some time out to enjoy the small comforts that we used to take for granted.

What are some of the things that are important to you in your day-to-day life? These are things that you might be overlooking when formulating your own preparedness plan. I strongly encourage everyone to do an honest inventory of themselves based on this question. Don’t worry if it might sound petty and trivial to others. What’s important to you is what it is going to take to make it through. Coffee is just one of those things on my ‘must have’ list, and I’m not afraid to admit it.

I would like to thank James for working so hard at creating and maintaining this resource at Plan and Prepared. I am very honored for this opportunity to be able to share this information here. My hope is that his reach continues to grow to more and more readers. His unique perspective that he offers from his life in law enforcement is so incredibly valuable to the preparedness community.

Stay Safe,


Editor’s note: The shelf life of freeze-dried coffee (like this one) is decades when left unopened, and several years once opened. Trust me, what you don’t use as a morale boost could be a valuable trade good.


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8 Responses to Why coffee should be a part of your preps

  • Hi Liz. I’m guessing we have been working on our 50# sack for 12 years. Once we opened the bag, we stored the rest in food grade 5 Gal. plastic buckets with good lid. A plastic bag was dropped in the 5 Gal. bucket, the cocoa powder added, and then the plastic bag was folded over or wire tied. The buckets were stored in the root cellar where it is dark and generally cooler. We use it in baking, frosting and hot chocolate. For every ounce of chocolate called for in a baking recipe, substitute 3 TBSP cocoa powder. Technically, you could add 1 TBSP oil for every 3 TBSP cocoa powder, but we don’t and it turns out fine. I’m chocolate powered and I doubt I would be able to tell the difference if the oil was added or not.

  • Thanks Ron! Chocolate is another GREAT example. Do you know how long that cocoa will last in powder form? Is the sack airtight?

  • Hello Liz. I feel the same way about my chocolate. We never acquired a taste for coffee but I would surely die without chocolate. We’re winding down on our 50# sack of cocoa powder and it will soon be time to snag another sack. I write in my book how important my 50# sack of cocoa powder is… “for me, an essential nutrient and building block of life.” 🙂 Sounds like you can relate. But seriously, chocolate and cocoa powder would be my equivalent to coffee. All the best! Ron

  • It’s funny to think of coffee has currency although the inner survivalist in me could most certainly see it happen. I can’t even get outta bed without a cup of coffee these days. I’d like to knock it on the head and be caffeine free but its just not in my DNA. And adding it to purified water for a better taste is sound advice. Nice one

    • I can totally relate! I’ve tried going caffeine free so many times, and other than during my pregnancies… I have never been able to maintain it.

      Thanks for your comment!

  • Welcome, Liz! That’s a really nice infographic. I didn’t know a lot of those facts about coffee–but I do enjoy a good cup of joe. Talk about high gains for the small amount of effort it takes to store some beans. Plus, even if the power goes out, there’s always good ol’ cowboy coffee.

    • Thanks so much for your kind words Angelica! You’re absolutely right about the cowboy coffee… all you really need is a grinder, a pot and a fire. Of course, there is a learning curve involved if you’ve never done it before and you might end up burning your first batch.

  • I pack a couple boxes of NoDoze just in case brewing a pot of Joe is not a choice. Caffeine headaches are no trifling matter.

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