My favorite is instant Vietnamese coffee. I prefer Vinacafe brand. Easy, already has cream & sugar in there, small, light, and makes a delicious cuppa! You can get them at this link, or in large packages at your local asian market.
Loc: Central Michigan
Folgers makes regular ground coffee in pouches, exactly like tea bags. Its every bit as good as brewed at home coffee and its not instant. It takes (2) pouches in a 12 oz cup. Ive eliminated all my cooking stuff as a result. I carry a 12 oz Ti cup, very small water pot and a long Ti spoon. That's it. Like you, I LIVE for my morning coffee and perculator's are heavy, slow and a pain. Instant mixable coffee doesn't suit my tastes either.
For shorter trips I always bring frsh coffee (usually Peet's) and brew it with a filter. However, for longer trips I bring instant and to help with the so-so flavor, I put in a half packet of hot chocolate (normally I never sweeten coffee) However, I'm heading out on the JMT this summer and I have hit upon a new idea for flavoring the coffee (don't laugh!): I'm going to dissolve a spoonful of Nutella in it: chocolate, sugar, protein, and a dose of fat. I tried it and it isn't bad. A nice little calorie kick. I'm also switching from Starbucks instant to Megdalia d'Oro, an instant expresso. I can't say for sure that it tastes better than Starbucks, but it's pretty good and a lot cheaper. By the way, my brother, in his "normal" daily life , likes to dissolve a Milky Way bar in his coffee, and then add non-dairy creamer. Ugh! But it might taste good to me out on the trail if I had it:)
I am a coffee fiend! I started out with Starbucks viA, but it just didn't have the kick. I try to keep my base weight under 15 pounds but I will sacrifice the weight for coffee and now I bring an Aerochino. It is basically a French press.Check it out on Amazon!
As for me. When backpacking I usualy make Coffee for 3-4 people. I use the Maxwel House Filter Packs. I boil water then just let the pouch steep for a bit. It's not great... but its not bad. Easy for a small group.
Loc: Texas...for now
I haven't found an instant coffee in dark roast or one that would do. Instead we have tea bags meant for loose tea and I use them for my coffee. Works quite well and I'm happy, especially as I like it a bit strong as well.
"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day
I'm not an instant coffee person myself, but I do drink lots of coffee. Drip filter, french press, lattes, cappuccinos, etc. One thing that I found was good for instant coffee (for my tastes) was micro ground packets. The ones I've had were from Starbucks, and to me it was more like "real" coffee than the instant versions. I think Starbucks ones were sold as VIA, or something like that. It's been a few years since I had some, so not sure they even sell it. I've seen it sold in grocery stores here in Canada too, so there may be other brands that might work. Basically, from what I gather, it's coffee beans ground up really really fine, that you end up drinking the grounds and don't notice it. It's like a fine powder consistency. That might fall under the "gourmet" camp coffee.
oops, just noticed someone else also mentioned the VIA earlier.
I wonder if you ground up whole beans really fine, if you could then mortise & pestle them fine enough to act like the micro grind VIA does, and then you could buy whole beans in the kind that you like. I should buy a m&p and try it.
Loc: Central Illinois near Springfi...
It might be possible to grind coffee fine enough with mortar and pestle. I have used the blade type coffee grinders, which aren't very good for grinding coffee, to make flours from grains. It might be possible to grind coffee fine enough with a blade grinder, but probably not. The process for making chocolate from cocoa beans uses a roller grinder and is called conching. This process is used to make Coffee Thins. Coffee Thins look like chocolate, but they are coffee and (probably) cocoa butter. Small roller mills are used in India to grind spices and they occasionally show up here in the US. I think that these roller mills might also be used to grind pigment for paint. If you can find one, they are pretty pricey. A mortar and pestle and some persistance might be the simplest way to make micro fine coffee. I have wanted to mix coffee and dark chocolate with almonds to make a breakfast bar, but the coffee always seems to be gritty. There are chocolate covered coffee beans made for snacks, but I've never tried the commercial ones and mine did not turn out so well.