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Letters To The Editor

Long-Term Storage of Coffee?


Dear Editor,

In all my preparations I have yet to figure out what I’m going to do about coffee. Those pre-ground bricks of coffee go stale rather quickly and I don’t have much freezer space to begin with. Also, I don’t want to depend on my freezer for my food storage needs. What are some options for me, or am I just going to have to face TEOTWAWKI coffee-less?

Addicted in Georgia


Dear Addicted,

Pull yourself up by the bootstraps, hon! Southerners have been making do when coffee has been scarce or non-existent. Let’s take this in two parts…

First of all, if you just can’t stand the thought of anything else BUT coffee, then you’re going to have to find some green unroasted coffee beans and store them in an oxygen-free environment. Here’s an explanation from the Coffeemakers Café website:

“Coffee freshness is determined by the time since roasting, as opposed to when the beans were harvested. In the right conditions, coffee beans will keep for years until they are roasted. Once roasted however, the flavorsome coffee oils are brought to the surface of the bean and will deteriorate and rapidly become rancid. Also after roasting, coffee beans produce coffee gasses (mostly carbon dioxide) for a little over week, with most of the gasses being released in the first 2-3 days. Once the gasses have been completely released, the coffee is stale.”

So it would seem that vacuum sealing those beans in a jar with oxygen absorbers would be one way to go. When you’re ready for coffee, just roast up some coffee beans and take it from there.

And secondly, you can use that weed that grows so prolifically in the South for a coffee substitute as well. Walk out into your yard… you’ll find chicory sprouting up everywhere. You’ve been mowing it down for years. Chicory greens are excellent for eating and the root has been used by southerners as a coffee substitute for several hundreds of years.  In fact, Community coffee brand blends coffee and chicory together and it’s the ingredient that makes New Orleans coffee so unique. But even before we southerners found out about it, chicory was used in coffee by the Dutch since the mid 1700s.

Go to for some simple instructions on how to use your chicory as a coffee substitute.

Thanks for writing!

The Editor


Essential Oils In Your Medicine Chest?

Dear Editor,

I’m a new subscriber and after reading your newsletter mentioning stocking up on medicines, I wondered if you were familiar with essential oils. These are wonderful for use as alternative therapies for various conditions and there are several reputable online sources for them. Just make sure you get “therapeutic grade” oils as they’re the best.



Dear DG,

Yes, we are familiar with essential oils here at Off the Grid News… in fact, we ran an article not too long ago about how to make your own essential oils! You can find that article at //

Thank you for writing and welcome to Off the Grid News!

The Editor


Got a question or comment for the editor? Send it to [email protected]


  1. I was going thru some old email & found this one, the article referred to coffee beans if I read it right what about the ground coffee in the bags that we buy? I have bought some that say 2016, can you empty
    they out & perhaps put them in mylar bags or jars & vacuum them? I would hate to waste them with every-thing going up in price.

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