When you live totally off the electrical grid, and don’t often buy commercial products from the store, you learn to live like every day is the Apocalypse.
Mesquite coffee is (or should be) the Apocalypse Coffee of choice for people who live where Mesquite trees are ubiquitous.
Here is how we make our Mesquite coffee. It’s some of the best coffee you’ve ever had (of any kind), and people order it from us from all over the U.S. It’s that good!
Normal Equipment Needed
Mesquite Trees w/Pods
13×9 Baking Pan
Apocalypse Equipment Needed
Mesquite Trees w/pods
Fire or Heat
How to Make It
Mesquite Coffee became very popular in Texas during the war years 1861-1865 when coffee made from coffee beans became unavailable. And the thing is, Mesquite Coffee is not a “sacrifice.” It is actually a fantastic coffee beverage, and doesn’t at all taste like a coffee substitute.
I can’t emphasize this enough… Mesquite Coffee tastes like coffee. Like really, really good coffee.
The process of making Mesquite Coffee begins with harvesting the Mesquite Pods. They are ready to harvest during the months of July and August. Some years it is later but it is almost never earlier. The best ones to pick are tan or off white in color. Some pods even have a little purple on them. The color can vary from tree to tree. The really thin or flat ones are not good to harvest. The longer (6-7”), plump and dry ones are the best. You can also shake the pod by your ear and hear the beans rattle inside. When they are dry enough to harvest they have usually already fallen off the tree. Slightly green, unripe pods can be taken off the tree but they will then need to be dried in the sun. The pods need to be harvested before too much rain falls on them as this lowers the quality of the pod.
After the harvest, break the pods in 2-3” sections. In a 13×9 baking pan, spread out a single layer of pods and roast them at 350 degrees F for about 30-35 minutes, if you like dark roasted coffee. When we first started (since we live off-grid) we roasted our pods in solar ovens. You can use a regular oven, or you can darken them in a cast iron skillet or over a fire. If you like a lighter roast then shorten the amount of time they are in the oven. When they come out of the oven, they will be giving off smoke. This is normal. Then grind the pods (the whole pod) and after it is ground, you will have a coffee that has ground up pods and the intact Mesquite beans in it. The beans themselves are very tough. Don’t try to separate out the parts or to make it look like store bought coffee. It doesn’t grind up that way. The whole bunch is “mesquite coffee.”
We use a percolator to make the coffee. You can make it any way you make regular coffee. *Only you use 1/3 as much Mesquite Coffee* I’ve even used a Keurig with the special reusable cups and it worked great! The amount and length of time to percolate it depends on your personal preference, but ounce for ounce Mesquite Coffee makes on average about 3 times as much coffee to produce the same strength or boldness.
Hardcore Apocalypse Method: Pick mesquite pods. Dry them. Break them into 2-3” pieces. Roast them near a fire on a hot rock until they are nearly black and smoking. Drop them into a pot, bowl, or cup of boiling water. Steep until desired strength and consistency. Filter out pods. Drink coffee! (Avoid zombies.)
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