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ProView – Hikers Brew Coffee

“Our culture runs on coffee and gasoline, the first often tasting like the second.”

Edward Abbey, Down By The River, 1982

When the desert anarchist icon of the 20th century wrote these words, I like to believe he just had not had the time to find good coffee while he was stewarding Arches National Park in the late 1950s. Had he found the time, though, he would have filled his car up with gasoline to get to the coffee shop… thus fulfilling his own prophecy.

Hikers Brew Coffee

Product Description: Hikers Brew focuses on creating sustainable coffee that you can be proud to take on your next outdoor adventure. Our mission is to promote sustainability within the outdoor and food packaging industries. To support this mission, we offer a small multi-use and compostable package that keeps coffee fresh. This allows avid adventure seekers to take it with them anywhere they go.

Offer price: $15.00

  • Taste
    (4)
  • Usefulness
    (5)
  • Eco-Friendly
    (5)

Summary

If you do not drink a ton of coffee but cannot leave home without it when you head out camping, hiking or traveling then the Venture Pouches are right for you. Drink more? Don’t like the excess packaging? Hiker’s Brew does sell 12oz bags of their coffee. Let’s keep drinking coffee and limit our impact in doing so!

Overall
4.7

Pros

  • Company is very sustainably focused
  • Variety of coffee flavors
  • Pre-portioned Venture Pouches make trailside coffee brewing an ease

Cons

  • Venture Pouches create a lot of packaging waste
  • Grind seemed inconsistent

It is hard to separate both coffee and gasoline from our outdoor adventures. Early morning wake up calls, late night arrivals and marathon travel days go hand in hand with pushing the boundaries of our local haunts. For many of us, coffee is instrumental in “keeping the stoke alive” while we pursue outdoor adventures. Hiker’s Brew Coffee is here to help make our favorite cup of coffee taste a little bit better and go down (environmentally) a little bit smoother.

Taste

Disclaimer: Coffee preferences are highly personal and the quickest way to a heated argument is to tell someone their favorite roast/blend/region/brewing method/grind setting/coffee shop is wrong. Best to avoid that scenario. That being said, I will not be heading my own warning in this review. Take my opinions with a grain of sugar in your cup and that will help them be more palatable.

Coffee should not be flavored; let’s get that out of the way first. Coffee is highly complex and it can, and rightly should, stand on its own merit. Adding flavors tends to mask the coffee flavor – which for many of you, is the goal. Hiker’s Brew sells 6 different coffee options: medium and dark roast coffees and flavored coffees like Hazelnut, S’Mores, Vanilla, and Caramel. Let’s focus on the medium and dark roasts first.

Overall, Hiker’s Brew medium and dark roast coffees brew a fine cup. I was never disappointed with my coffee. In fact, it always tasted better in a tent or in a camp chair than it did on the couch at home. I was pleased the find the medium and dark roasts did not vary much in flavor as I typically shy away from dark roasts; this meant my 6-pack sampler had 2 pouches of coffee I preferred instead of my anticipated 1 pouch.

Now let’s talk about flavors: Hiker’s Brew offers 4 classic flavors. Despite my penchant for a robust cup of natural coffee, I found these 4 flavors (Hazelnut, S’Mores, Vanilla, Caramel) to be smooth and palatable. I attribute this to Hiker’s Brew’s goal of keeping the ingredients natural: this means that these flavors are accomplished via natural means instead of some lab-created concoction. For those that enjoy sugar, creamer or whatever you add to your coffee while out adventuring you won’t be disappointed by these flavors as they are true-to-taste and help keep coffee brewing simple in the backcountry.

Usefulness

The big perk to the Hiker’s Brew Venture Pouches is that they create a pouch of coffee that is roasted, ground, flavored and packaged in a 36g serving. This makes planning your coffee on your trip simple. No need for scoops, creamer, sugar, or any of those other additives. These pouches are pre-portioned for the ease of anywhere-brewing. I found that these pouches were as fresh on the day of delivery as compared to a month later. I would not expect the same from a 12- or 16-ounce bag of ground coffee. Now, as useful as these pre-portioned Venture Pouches are there is a ton of waste. The convenience is created at the cost of excess packaging. Nearly 10 of these Venture Pouches equal one bag of 12 oz of coffee. That is a lot of excess packaging, in my opinion. However, in an effort to combat that, Hiker’s Brew is focusing on being as friendly as possible to the earth.

Friendliness to the Earth

I was not very excited about the amount of packaging until I learned more about Hiker’s Brew and their commitment to sustainability. Their coffee is not certified Fair Trade or Organic, but they do purchase beans that are Fair Trade and Organic. Why no certification? The added flavors keep them from being USDA approved organic.

Now for the big effort: their packaging is compostable. They are ASTM D6400 Certified which, according to their website means that the packaging can be tossed back into your home compost bin, or your municipal compost pick up. Not everyone composts and not every municipality has compost pick up. So, the benefits of this packing might not be wide reaching. However, this is another strong effort from a company to make choices that limit the amount of unnecessary waste and pollutants that end up back in the environment.

Final Word

If you do not drink a ton of coffee but cannot leave home without it when you head out camping, hiking or traveling then the Venture Pouches are right for you. Drink more? Don’t like the excess packaging? Hiker’s Brew does sell 12oz bags of their coffee. Let’s keep drinking coffee and limit our impact in doing so!

Shop Hikers Brew Coffee on Outdoor Prolink. Not a member? Apply today!

About the Gear Tester

Outdoor Prolink Pro
patrick-betts
Patrick Betts
Technical Director :: Front Range Climbing Company

Patrick Betts is the Technical Director at Front Range Climbing Company and is based in Moab, Utah. He has been in the Outdoor Industry since 2009 and guides year-round in Colorado, Utah, and beyond. When he is not guiding, you will find him traveling to climbing destinations around the world. Patrick is an experienced adventure photographer who enjoys taking photos of people pushing their own limits and capturing the landscapes of the areas that rock climbing takes you. Follow along @adventurethrulens

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