Coffee in a tube squeezes like toothpaste for brewing … or eating

Prepare No Normal tubed coffee paste with the usual camp coffee gear, or with nothing more than a squeeze of the tube.  No Normal Coffee

Drinking coffee in the wilderness is much easier for those who really don’t enjoy coffee, the folks who’ll throw heaps of sugar and heavy cream into a half-mug of hours’-old pot-bottom paint with a smile.

Once you graduate to preferring specific brands, roasts and brewing methods, coffee in the wild gets more difficult – at least if you intend to enjoy it. Bringing along a full grinder, press/pour-over, beans kit can quickly overwhelm packing limitations for ultralight trips, and lightweight, ultra-portable solutions like packets of instant tend to miss the mark in the flavor department.

You can certainly use a backpackinig stove for heating up water to make a cup of No Normal coffee, but you don’t have to.  No Normal Coffee

That’s why No Normal, a Swiss startup, got to work coming up with an alternative. Its coffee paste definitely breaks from the norm, a squeezable concentrated concoction packaged in a 100-g (3.5-oz) capped aluminum tube that can be recycled after the last dollop of coffee dribbles out. The company says two teaspoons of paste dissolves in hot or cold water to make a cup of coffee. Each tube makes between 15 and 25 cups, depending on the size of your camping mug.

If you can’t spare any water – say, because you need it all to hydrate during the all-day hike ahead with no reliable natural sources along the way – the No Normal coffee can be eaten right out of the tube or spread on food – No Normal suggests a banana or piece of bread. Unlike instant coffee or coffee brew bags, No Normal is slightly sweetened with natural Swiss sugar so it should taste better straight than dry, bitter grounds.

The ability to just eat it straight is what really separates No Normal from other backcountry coffee solutions. This eliminates the need to pack a cup, extra water and any of the other brewing paraphernalia necessary for other portable coffee solutions. It also has the promise of saving time in the morning and delivering a mid-afternoon caffeine burst without so much as stopping to take off one’s backpack.

The first available flavor is a dark roast that No Normal says is made from 100% Fair-trade-certified Columbian Arabica coffee. We were surprised for a half-second it didn’t go for a medium roast to take the bite out of that initial coffee chew, but that’s just our Yankee sensibilities – Europeans live for that dark-roast kick. No Normal says this one has a strong, rich flavor with notes of chocolate, nuts and a hint of caramel.

No Normal says it uses 100% Fairtrade Arabica coffee to make its paste, sweetening it with a touch of natural sugar.  No Normal Coffee

No Normal has been marketing its tubular paste at the outdoors and adventure sports market and worked with dozens of outdoor enthusiasts while developing and refining the product. It launched this week at Munich’s Outdoor by ISPO show after making its first public appearance at the Yeti Xtreme Verbier freeride ski/snowboard event back in March.

No Normal took home an ISPO Award at the show for its unique take on coffee drinking (and eating), with the jury saying: “Whether stirred into hot water, simply sucked from the tube, or spread on a piece of banana – the jury was delighted and creatively inspired. Innovative and flavorfully convincing.”

The company officially launched its coffee at the show and is now offering the tubes for US$18, plus shipping. That’s certainly pricier than buying bulk coffee to brew, but taking the average of 20 cups per tube into account, less than $1 a cup doesn’t seem too bad at all … at least not if it is as “flavorfully convincing” to you as it was to the ISPO Award jury.

We quickly dropped in on No Normal’s web store and found that shipping to US/Canada is around $17 for one tube but appears to be free on orders of $20 or more – so prepare to brew and chew two or more tubes if you want your money going into product, not shipping.

Sources: No Normal, ISPO  View gallery – 3 images


Uncle Anonymous
At seventy, I still do a fair bit of backpacking in the summer, I can’t see any advantage that coffee in a tube has over instant coffee in a small container or even coffee beans and a small grinder. As for eating it out of the tube, there are caffeine pills for that. And as for spreading it on bread… 🤮 From my perspective, I see coffee in a tube as another solution in search of a problem.

If they can add sugar to it, can they crank in a bit of milk powder too?

I wake up screaming, shave my stubble, splash my face, then brush my teeth with a dab of No Normal coffee. Now my teeth are a lovely shade of tan, and I am so very, very awake. Half a banana, and I’m out the door, running to the bus stop. There I shuffle, head twitching as I wait for the bus. Perfection!

Actually, every food ever consumed in all of history by any creature on Earth can be made into a paste. Think about it. Then squeezing it out from a tube is trivial.

Why is this any better than powdered coffee? It weighs more, likely doesn’t keep as long, and I am sure heat will effect the quality of it packed in plastic. How about you just buy instant coffee and put it in a reusable tiny Tupperware. Problem solved and no trash

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