The Great Convergence consists of:
- An 18-ounce Kleen Kanteen water bottle, which you may know from such posts as The
126 Days of Festivus, Part 1.
- A regular old neoprene can-insulator-cozy-thingie. Not an essential element of the Great Convergence, but nice to have. Keeps the bottle from rattling in your cage, if nothing else. Mine's from local convenience store chain and cyclist oasis Kum & Go (which has a corresponding immature rhyming nickname, but I'm trying to reclaim this place as a family blog after my potty-mouthedness earlier this week. If you figure it out, keep it to yourself.)
- One packet of Starbucks Via instant iced coffee mix. Yes, I know, boo, hiss, Starbucks. Stay with me, fellow coffee snobs.
So here's the deal. You're out on a ride, and your energy's flagging. Dang, a little caffeine would just about do the trick right now. Luckily, you're carrying your water in an 18-ounce stainless steel bottle and you just happen to be packing one of those Starbucks packets. Pour one into the other (do I have to specify which way to pour, or can I trust you not to try to put 18 ounces of water into a packet the size of your thumb?), shake well, and chugalug. Instant cold energy. Even better, if you happen to be near one of those Kum & Go stores, pop in and hit them up for some ice. You're carrying an advertisement for them... how can they refuse?
Proponents of plastic bottles will no doubt let me know that there's nothing in this recipe that requires stainless steel... but I suspect that getting the coffee taste (and color) out of a plastic bottle could be a challenge. The Kleen Kanteens (as their name suggests) kleen up nicely post-coffee-portage. Thus, I recommend 'em over plastic in this application.
Is it the world's greatest, most wonderfullest coffee? Nah. But it's surprisingly tolerable for being a) instant, b) Starbucks, and c) instant Starbucks. Plus, the cold Via packets have some sugar in them, so there's the tiniest simple-carbs kick on top of the caffeine. All things considered, it makes for an easy and tasty mid-ride pick-me-up.