Caffeine Tea & Coffee info for Survival and Prepping.
Research and Prep
My history with Tea and Coffee;
One of my vary favourite memories is a very simple phrase that was put to good use and taught to us by Sgt. Brew up David, our affectionate nic-name for him. To this day I do not remember his last name, but I do remember that every time and I mean every-time we stopped, winter or summer, he called out to us, “brew up” It drove the Unit commander and company commander nuts, it also taught us the benefits of having cup of tea, the long lasting tea caffeine help needed to get us through long and I mean long hours with no sleep and little food. In our ration packs we found Tea, Coffee and the winter rations had Cocoa. Another Sgt. taught us to put cocoa into our coffees to make a very potent brew in winter time, nothing like returning from a long night of sentry duty or some form of training in temperatures up to about -50* in your bell tent or L-trench to warm you up. Just make sure you do not need to go to sleep anytime soon. If so I would suggest the apple cider or apple juice packet into your hot water! Nice flavours and no caffeine to keep you up during your long 4 hr. sleep period.
Teatime, I was used to with my Grandparents on both sides of the family, in fact it was not until about the second year in the Canadian Forces that I had my first cup of coffee! Yes they both have caffeine but the spike has a much different curve. Coffee is a very sharp spike, get up and get going kind of spike, but the spike is short lived. Tea, has a gradual curve spike to it, it takes longer to get up to the full level as well as longer to level off till the point in which you need or want another cup, this is a much more gradual and long lasting curve. The very type of curve that is needed to help you keep going and going and going, sort of like the energiser bunny. Coffee is great, smells great and helps you wake up in a hurry, but you crash soon after. So I recommend coffee to get going first thing in the morning while you make your thermos of Tea, which will last you the rest of the day!
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Now with all that being said there are quite a lot of variables. For one there are hundreds if not thousands of Teas, there are hundreds of coffees! Some Tea tastes like coffee and some coffee (very few though) taste like Tea!
We could get into the deep history of both of these caffeine drinks, but there are literally hundreds of sources for that so let’s just skip to the chase, the bare history the bare facts, shall we. While we are on the topic of caffeine, there are lots of other sources that as well, the best known is of course Chocolate and Cocoa. That my dear readers is a whole other Blog post still to come, but lets just add in here, chocolate/cocoa has its place here briefly. The soft and delicate flavours and variety of chocolate and cocoa are both great with coffee/tea on by itself. You can add them to other beverages, boosting them up, benefit from the caffeine and medicinal qualities of some chocolate and almost all cocoa.
All three share some basics, great for survival, great for trading and good will during or after disasters and they have health benefits as well. When you are wet, cold hungry or tired they can boost your spirits, give you a boost, raise your core temperature, assist in keeping you warm as well as helping and assisting during those hot months in regulating your body’s temperature and heat resistance.
Caffeine is in all three; Tea has the most per volume per pound, coffee the most per cup and chocolate the most per savoury bite.
When you are backpacking or making your bug out or excursion guide, please keep the following in mind. Tea has the longest lasting ability and convenience per pound. A pound of Tea goes a very long way, as much as up to a year per person. A pound of Coffee loaded with caffeine for that quick fix in the morning, needs to be conserved much more as a pound of coffee might only last you a month or less if you are a heavy coffee drinker and is more expensive at the time of writing. A pound of chocolate or cocoa might very well only last you a week or so if one is addicted to it, so you can see its Trading Ability, if you have some and they do not and are chocoholics.
During ancient times both Tea and Coffee has been used for trading, currency and giving us health benefits, here are some of them;
Ancient Romans, Greeks and Mongols to name a few, used to pay their soldiers in commodities, which included of course Gold which also included Salt, Tea and Coffee! During disasters, living after society breaks down, major disasters in which the authorities are unable to establish themselves for weeks to years, theses commodities can be traded in place of currency.
Far fetched you say, well just look to events such as DarFore, the Soviet Republic, Uganda, Mogadishu, India and Pakistan as well as Haiti to name just a few recent events. Yes there are lots more, but that just gives you a good frame of reference. What good is money, if there is no government to give it weight, what good is money to a post apocalyptic event such as the Tsunami that swept through the pacific regions just a few years ago. The people that were left, used goods to trade, they included Coffee and Tea. Paper money is nice, but you cannot drink it and it cannot keep your body alive.
Some Teas and Coffees are made from plants and organisms that are not coffee and tea plants. To name a few examples some mushrooms and lichens are made into both Tea and Coffee, now to be honest I do not know the difference there, except I think it has to do with the cultivation and preparation of the substances into the prep stage before we actually use them for beverages. There is a coffee being sold now that is made from mushrooms, it helps you sleep, gives you energy and health benefits as well. I can not take this as I am allergic to mushrooms, there here is a link to get in touch with a very nice friend of mine named Sue, OrGano Gold Coffee by Sue Sutcliffe, and this link www.GourmetBlackCoffee.com/ for more information on this as well. She will be willing to give you all kinds of information on this as well as she is able to sell you some !
Some medical, herbal and healthy teas are made from Blueberries, Stinging Nettle and Chaemole to name a few. Keep a look out for different things you can make teas from as you travel. Become familiar with plants and lichens so you may collect these in your area. Some you need to take the whole plant including the roots and others plants are only safe if you take either the leaves or stems, so there is quite a steep learning curve here.
A great medicinal beverage that will literally keep you alive and well can be found in winter and spring, it is full of vitamin C, and grows on trees. Actually it is part of the tree, the smaller pines, those little ends on the bunches, they look slightly different than that of the main part of the branches, just take off a few from each small tree, never strip the entire tree bare as you will kill it. Just drop it into boiling water, stir and you have Pine Needle Tea. Now before you get to making the tea, you can pop it into your mouth and chew on it, not quite like gum, but it helps to keep you alive. To fortify the Pine Needle Tea you can also collect some of the new sap that seeps out of the tree, or make a small spigot to tap into the tree. (Never take more than you need or leave the spigot in the tree or the tree will die!) Look for Sugar Maples as these are the best for this; you can put some into the Pine Needle Tea to help sweeten it and the maple syrup will help you survive as well.
Green, White, Red, Pink, Teas all have some medicinal and herbal benefits as well. Some of them do not have caffeine and some have more than regular Black Tea does. There are lots of variations in the different subspecies alone, so you can look them up later on the web. The green, white, red and pink teas are all similar though different from each other. Some are helpful in weight gain, adding nutrients, help regenerate blood cells and the list goes on and on.
I started a blend of Green and either a white, red or pink tea everyday for 2 weeks as a experiment. Green Teas were always the base with the others being used to supplement the flavour and health properties. After about 2 weeks I noticed with some surprise the following benefits to MY system;
More energy both during the day as well as when the work day was over, able to withstand the heat and humidity much better. I also discovered another personal observation; I had less body odour! When I took my cloths off at the end of the day, or after a heavy job in the sun or inside a stuffy hot building, there was less and less smell involved. After approximately Three weeks I stopped using deodorant. There are some not so favourable health concerns with some of the aluminium oxides that are used as well as other chemicals involved and health concerns. This to be fair was also in conjunction with a new modified diet designed to cut out junk foods and bad fats. So as part of a healthy diet or survival diet in the woods, either camping or just getting away from it all, Tea provides lots of benefits and reasons to keep it around.
Teas are always in my Backpack, which is the basis for my bug out bag/kit. (Teas, plural and multiple) I also have a small bottle of coffee there as well for those mornings I just want a nice cup of coffee or might need the kick or to help with that migraine that might pop up if I sleep wrong or the day before was long and nasty.