Camp Coffee

Andrew Sanders

Northern Commissioner for Caslm
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{ADMIN NOTE - I thought I'd split this off into it's own thread}

Plus ca change
Two campuchinos and a lardy cake please, that's a cappuccino made with Camp coffee Mmmmmm. "Ready, Aye ready".
 

Young Col

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Coulsdon, London/Surrey
No, not that kind of camp...
Camp coffee - as a mere lad I recall seeing those bottles of chicory essence with a picture of a bloke in a kilt sitting by a camp fire. But what on earth was it and what did it taste like? Was it a wartime/post war substitute when we couldn't get proper coffee in the UK? But it must have been sold until the 1970's or so. Can you still get it?
Colin
 

Pete Thomas

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McLean, Virginia
- as a mere lad I recall seeing those bottles of chicory essence with a picture of a bloke in a kilt sitting by a camp fire. But what on earth was it and what did it taste like?
Not sure it was pure chicory essence, it might have had a small percentage of actual coffee.
 

Bude Bill

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I live in North Cornwall.
Thats the stuff

Thin square bottle, two teaspoonfuls per cup would blow your head off.

Back then, don't talk about the war, it was thought to be luxury.

The Lardy cake came much later but was more welcome. Finest one I ever found was in Fareham Hants.
 

dooce

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Daventry
Camp tasted slightly better than ersatz coffee, an amazing German invention made from acorns, or so I am given to believe.
Indeed it was - as a 12-year-old flute-player, I did a concert tour of East Germany, so long ago I think Europe and Britain were still connected by a land-bridge, and all we had to drink was this disgusting concoction. I thought "ersatz" was just the brand name, till I did German O level and found it means particularly nasty cheap substitute.

A bit like another German creation then - Aldi.......

Very nice re-branding/makeover by the way Pete :welldone
 

Pee Dee

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Dorset
Indeed it was - as a 12-year-old flute-player, I did a concert tour of East Germany, so long ago I think Europe and Britain were still connected by a land-bridge, and all we had to drink was this disgusting concoction. I thought "ersatz" was just the brand name, till I did German O level and found it means particularly nasty cheap substitute.

A bit like another German creation then - Aldi.......
Hey! Don't knock Aldi, we do all our food shopping there now, and save at least £20 a week. Have tried most of their "unknown" brands and they are just as good, and sometimes better than the popular brands. Check them out.;}
They don't sell Camp coffee though:(
 

Pee Dee

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Dorset
No, not that kind of camp...
Camp coffee - as a mere lad I recall seeing those bottles of chicory essence with a picture of a bloke in a kilt sitting by a camp fire. But what on earth was it and what did it taste like? Was it a wartime/post war substitute when we couldn't get proper coffee in the UK? But it must have been sold until the 1970's or so. Can you still get it?
Colin
Col, don't say you never tasted Camp coffee:w00t:
It was probably the first introduction to affordable coffee for the masses.
My mother would make it with hot milk as a nightcap - delicious:welldone
Yes, I think you can still get it, seem to remember seeing it recently somewhere.
 

AlanU

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Enfield, North London
Yup, as a kid we used to have it and I remember it with affection.
Perhaps that is due to rose-tinted taste buds.

It seems it's been brewed/congealed in Glasgow since 1885 as a product to enable our soldiers overseas to have a quick refreshment.
Perhaps the first 'instant' coffee, before freeze drying and granulation?
The label which portrayed a Sikh servant bearing a tray for a Highland soldier has been changed to depict the Sikh and soldier seated as equals, enjoying a cuppa.
'Ready, aye ready' is still on the pennant. Which I find, somehow, re-assuring.

They say you should never go back, but I've got to try it again. Just the smell is sure to be a time trip.
 

Young Col

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Coulsdon, London/Surrey
Yes Pete, my brother here on a visit reminds me that I probably did try it as a child. Not sure I want to again though. I'm not as old as OG to remember ersatz though. PoW stories always talked about ersatz coffee made from acorns.
Colin
 

losaavedra

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392
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Rojales, Spain
I remember this stuff from late 40s / early 50s but also had some at home more recently, from supermarket in the 80s / 90s, as I used to take a two litre thermos flask of weak coffee to work daily and tried it once instead of the usual 'instant'. Didn't go as far so switched back!

Anyway Wiki has something on what its made of ...

"Camp Coffee is a glutinous brown substance which consists of water, sugar, 4% coffee essence, and 26% chicory essence. This is generally used as a substitute for coffee, by mixing with warm milk in much the same way as cocoa, but it is commonly found on baking aisles in supermarkets as it is also used as an ingredient in coffee cake and other confections."

Also this link is about current labelling changes to make it more PC.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-404516/Camp-coffee-forced-change-label-PC-brigade.html

I was also interested, here, in the reference to the German word 'ersatz' which seems to simply mean 'replacement' or 'substitute', without the 'cheap and nasty' connotation. So, as one can do with German, 'ersatzreifen' becomes a 'spare tyre' and 'ersatzteil' a 'spare part'. Acorn Coffee may well've been cheap and nasty but you'd need some horrible construction like 'entwurdigenubelkaffee' to actually say so!

My son, who is in the film biz, is currently completing his own production under the banner of 'Ersatz Films' ... which is why I was spurred on to look that word up!

Must get out more!
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Mike, you're right about ersatz. There's no negative connotation. And manufacturer supplied spares are Ersatzteile as well - not just the aftermarket questionable quality jobs.
 

Pee Dee

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425
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Dorset
Thanks for the info on Camp coffee, now we know what it is made of, I thought there was more coffee in it than that, put me off now:(
Anyone remember Bev? Remember the label, but can't remember what it was.
OK sauce. Rinso. Turf. Digger ****.......................:mrcool
 

losaavedra

Member
Messages
392
Location
Rojales, Spain
Let's try this ... once upon a time I worked in a tobacconist where we'd weigh up all sorts of weird tobacco mixtures (and snuff if anyone knows what that is!). One of the popular sold-loose tobaccos was No. 9 Dark ****. Black as pitch and a tar rating to match!

Later edits ... there you go, it doesn't like that word. Let's try Shaggy Dog Story ...

... OK, we'll call it No, 9 Dark Shaggy then!!!
 
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