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Early morning coffee

julieh

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Time of past OR future Camino
April 14-15
I’m starting the CF in SJPP in a few weeks for the first time and generally like and plan to walk early in the morning e.g 530-6. I also can’t imagine walking for long without having had a coffee. Is coffee generally available at most hotels, pensions, albergues that early?
 
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In the cities and larger towns you should find places open early. I am thinking of places like Logrono, Burgos, Leon, Astorga, etc. Otherwise, you mightn't find anything open before 0830 to 0900. Some places, like panaderias, seem to be open early as well, and serve coffee.
Seek and ye shall find! Have found some albergues turfing out the previous nights residents are doing brekkie and will cheerfully sell you a coffee!

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I’m starting the CF in SJPP in a few weeks for the first time and generally like and plan to walk early in the morning e.g 530-6. I also can’t imagine walking for long without having had a coffee. Is coffee generally available at most hotels, pensions, albergues that early?
Maybe. Maybe not. I love coffee and was not sure how I would function without it first thing in the morning. Most of the places I stayed that offered breakfast, didn't serve until after 7am. I was usually long gone by then and would stop at the first open bar/cafe I came to, usually around 8 or 9am.

*some grocery stores will carry prepared coffee beverages and I did pick them up from time to time.
 
1. You could chill a bit and discover about coffee and other issues as you walk. Expecting it to be like home seems somewhat unusual to my mind.
2. I have found just getting up and walking for an hour or so (you are unlikely to die) and then finding a coffee works for many people. It could possibly be a behaviour you take home.
2. On the Via de la Plata I had coffee at a few bars at 5:30 am open for the farm workers and the occasional stray pilgrim. I didn’t know about this before hand. In those places I didn’t need to walk the hour or two.
 
1. You could chill a bit and discover about coffee and other issues as you walk. Expecting it to be like home seems somewhat unusual to my mind.
2. I have found just getting up and walking for an hour or so (you are unlikely to die) and then finding a coffee works for many people. It could possibly be a behaviour you take home.
2. On the Via de la Plata I had coffee at a few bars at 5:30 am open for the farm workers and the occasional stray pilgrim. I didn’t know about this before hand. In those places I didn’t need to walk the hour or two.
I have thought I might have to let go of this habit - just scared of caffeine withdrawal headaches :)
 
A notable alternative is to pack a few sticks of the Necafe soluable packets and mix with some hot water.
I discovered them on the Via F. in Italy and was actually surprised that I liked them so well in a pinch, but I chose to purchase the ones with powdered cream in them. They were more enjoyable than any drip coffee albergues served with breakfast over the years. That said, nothing beats a bar's "cafe con leche" imo.🙂
 
I have thought I might have to let go of this habit - just scared of caffeine withdrawal headaches :)
You could start testing that theory out now - go on an hour's walk before coffee every morning and see how it goes. If you can't get out and walk in the morning because of work or other obligations, you could start delaying your coffee little by little each day.
 
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I’m starting the CF in SJPP in a few weeks for the first time and generally like and plan to walk early in the morning e.g 530-6. I also can’t imagine walking for long without having had a coffee. Is coffee generally available at most hotels, pensions, albergues that early?
Start imaging it. Start your morning at 530-6 and you will be one of the late risers. That first coffee about 5k later is the best. The Camino determines your routine.
 
Terrific idea- I do have some of those- do you think I might find hot water?
Terrible idea. Wake up, get dressed, wash face, brush teeth, backpack on your back, and start walking. Before you know it there there will be a bar ahead doing a bustling business serving coffee and more. Limiting your self to just coffee because ahead about another hour is another bar. Time for second coffee and a little breakfast. Without much effort you've already completed 10k.
 
Things change when you're on the Camino walking. I used to be slug-stupid until 2 cups of coffee were in me. After a couple of weeks getting up, packed, out the door and walking in very short order, I found I could survive delayed coffee 2 or 3 miles if I had to. Never a first choice, but very survivable. Physical exertion is stimulation on it's own. You'll do fine!
 
Terrible idea. Wake up, get dressed, wash face, brush teeth, backpack on your back, and start walking. Before you know it there there will be a bar ahead doing a bustling business serving coffee and more. Limiting your self to just coffee because ahead about another hour is another bar. Time for second coffee and a little breakfast. Without much effort you've already completed 10k.
Having faith that you are a coffee drinker I’m getting the visual and will try to embrace! Does that theory work walking out of SJPP? Thought only place was Orisson.
 
I usually scout around the afternoon/evening befire to see if there is something that will open early.
The bakeries (panadería) are often open early, but sadly seldom have coffee. The fresh offerings will usually make up for the lack of coffee.
 
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I have thought I might have to let go of this habit - just scared of caffeine withdrawal headaches :)
Maybe you could take some candy with coffee flavour and reál coffeine. 🤔😊🥹
 
I’m starting the CF in SJPP in a few weeks for the first time and generally like and plan to walk early in the morning e.g 530-6. I also can’t imagine walking for long without having had a coffee. Is coffee generally available at most hotels, pensions, albergues that early?
No, not generally. Many cafes along the way do not open until 0700 or later.

However, I overcome this problem by taking some strong coffee singles (tubes / sachets) with me from home - Starbucks, etc. in a ziplock bag - one per day. I can use the hottest water that comes from the tap and put one of these single coffee portions into a water bottle filled with hot water. It is not the perfect cup of coffee, but it gets my engine started. Want it to wake you up - use two single servings in one 1/2 liter bottle.

You can find coffee singles in supermercados in most larger towns and cities. But do not expect to find a brand you are familiar with. I have had to buy a small jar of Folger's or another, locally available brand of instant coffee and use a funnel. FYI, I carry a collapsible silicone funnel and a spork with me on all my trips. The funnel helps me get large or unruly substances into the narrow neck of a drinking water bottle.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 
I’m starting the CF in SJPP in a few weeks for the first time and generally like and plan to walk early in the morning e.g 530-6. I also can’t imagine walking for long without having had a coffee. Is coffee generally available at most hotels, pensions, albergues that early?
I am very much like you in that regard but I learned is that some mornings I had to walk a few hours before I got my coffee. What I found through walking the Camino is that I am much more flexible that I ever would have imagined. Buen Camino
 
I’m starting the CF in SJPP in a few weeks for the first time and generally like and plan to walk early in the morning e.g 530-6. I also can’t imagine walking for long without having had a coffee. Is coffee generally available at most hotels, pensions, albergues that early?
I totally understand this. Last year I brought some instant coffee and most of the times there was a water cooker! I’ll start next week on the CF and will bring my coffee:)
 
I usually scout around the afternoon/evening befire to see if there is something that will open early.
The bakeries (panadería) are often open early, but sadly seldom have coffee. The fresh offerings will usually make up for the lack of coffee.
Excellent, me too . During the afternoon walk I also find my arrows out of town. That way next morning, I start the day with a direction.
 
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I always go looking to see where there will be coffee (and a bite to eat) in the morning, after arriving at my albergue, or simply ask the people working there. They will know what is open.
If you are leaving in a few weeks, it will still be really dark at 6, so why not wait a bit longer for when all the bars and cafes open? Bars on the Camino are different. Everyone is stopping there in the morning for their coffee and pastry or tortilla before going to work.
Another good reason to stay at places that serve breakfast, even though often it is just some toast with butter and marmalade. They always serve coffee too.
Have found a number of albergues have instant coffee machines. In a pinch, they will do until you can stop someplace for better coffee.
 
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Two recommendations (in addition to the great advice above):

1) Caffeinated chewing gum from Japan, "Black Black" - very helpful in a pinch, available on Amazon.

2) Instant coffee "Daybreak" from Ferris Coffee. Folgers and Nescafe are also good, but this one has body and richness which are surprising. Also very good mixed with cold water (not all instant coffees are).

 
Throw a bunch of instant coffee single serve packets in your pack with perhaps a lightweight, microwave safe cup and play the rest by ear. You'll see what I mean once you start walking.
 
I’m starting the CF in SJPP in a few weeks for the first time and generally like and plan to walk early in the morning e.g 530-6. I also can’t imagine walking for long without having had a coffee. Is coffee generally available at most hotels, pensions, albergues that early?
A couple of things:
If you are going to start that early please, please be kind to still sleeping pilgrims and your noise down to a minimum.
Coffee is important to the Spanish do I reckon by 6 - 6:30 you should find a coffee.
Finally look out for some spectacular sunrises!
Buen Camino!
 
This may be the single most important question I’ve seen asked on this forum!!!!
I also am a coffee junkie, so thanks for all the replies🌞☕
 
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Throw a bunch of instant coffee single serve packets in your pack with perhaps a lightweight, microwave safe cup and play the rest by ear. You'll see what I mean once you start walking.
Do most albergues have a microwave ?
 
Do most albergues have a microwave ?
😄
A lot do, but impossible to predict which ones do or don't. I can say in my experience I stayed in a lot of albergue with microwaves. Barring that I'd say if a morning cup of Joe is that important bring a little clip on water boiler, a lightweight cup and a Ziploc baggie full of your favorite instant coffee, and of course you can get instant in Spain as well.
 
A worthwhile item to bring along for those of us who enjoy a cup of tea or coffee is portable heater. Here is an example of several: https://prnt.sc/nCzP6BXJgY82
This is an excellent “water boiler” - I bought several others which were no good and ended up with this one.
Terrible idea. Wake up, get dressed, wash face, brush teeth, backpack on your back, and start walking. Before you know it there there will be a bar ahead doing a bustling business serving coffee and more. Limiting your self to just coffee because ahead about another hour is another bar. Time for second coffee and a little breakfast. Without much effort you've already completed 10k.
This may work on the Francés, but not on the lesser walked caminos.
Two recommendations (in addition to the great advice above):

1) Caffeinated chewing gum from Japan, "Black Black" - very helpful in a pinch, available on Amazon.

2) Instant coffee "Daybreak" from Ferris Coffee. Folgers and Nescafe are also good, but this one has body and richness which are surprising. Also very good mixed with cold water (not all instant coffees are).

The “Daybreak” looks very good. Can you get it in Spain? I do not like the instant coffee I have found in Spain and bring the Carte Noir instant from France.
 
Two recommendations (in addition to the great advice above):

1) Caffeinated chewing gum from Japan, "Black Black" - very helpful in a pinch, available on Amazon.

2) Instant coffee "Daybreak" from Ferris Coffee. Folgers and Nescafe are also good, but this one has body and richness which are surprising. Also very good mixed with cold water (not all instant coffees are).

Where did you buy this? The coffee:)
 
The “Daybreak” looks very good. Can you get it in Spain? I do not like the instant coffee I have found in Spain and bring the Carte Noir instant from France.
I looked on the site, and it doesn't appear to be available yet. I doubt that this small US coffee company will be exporting to Spain, but who knows?

Also, it looks like the tubes that it comes in are bulkier/heavier than something like Starbuck's Via.
 
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I’m starting the CF in SJPP in a few weeks
This is a great topic with many threads. Last year, I took instant coffee packets, a 220v immersion heater and a REI cup recommended by someone on this forum. I got up 30 minutes before departure, made my coffee and drank it while packing my bag and other "duties". Coffee is a staple and should not be hard to find, but I never wanted to take a chance. Buen Camino!
 
Thank you Trecile - I am sad to see Daybreak instant coffee is no longer available online. Sorry everyone. We ordered directly from their US website in 2021 and still have a few boxes left. (I guess they are even more precious now). I am sure they were poised to ship internationally, so I emailed the company to ask what happened and if/where it is available. I will post here with any updates 🙏

The “Daybreak” looks very good. Can you get it in Spain? I do not like the instant coffee I have found in Spain and bring the Carte Noir instant from France.
I too like the Carte Noir instant coffee from France ❤️

Having faith that you are a coffee drinker I’m getting the visual and will try to embrace! Does that theory work walking out of SJPP? Thought only place was Orisson.
There is a place, halfway between! Warm and rejuvenating all around, especially in the rain or on shocked legs. Nice people and nice morning coffee 😊

huntto ithurburia.JPG
 
I’m starting the CF in SJPP in a few weeks for the first time and generally like and plan to walk early in the morning e.g 530-6. I also can’t imagine walking for long without having had a coffee. Is coffee generally available at most hotels, pensions, albergues that early?
I hear you. I'm the same way. If there isn't a coffee machine, you should come across a place with coffee, usually within 2 hours. If you are using the Brierley book, the maps will show a tiny coffee cup, to indicate a cafe bar Along the way.
Bring a headlamp--you will need it to see the Camino arrows until the sun comes up.
I'm female and didn't feel comfortable walking alone before sunrise. If you're female, you might want to stay close to other walkers until the sun comes up.
I always bring a small hard plastic container and try to obtain a pastry, croissant, etc the day before to take with me to eat the next day, if I get hungry before I reach a cafe bar in the morning.
 
I'd say if a morning cup of Joe is that important bring a little clip on water boiler, a lightweight cup and a Ziploc baggie full of your favorite instant coffee, and of course you can get instant in Spain as well.
Which is exactly what I do. I carry the Carte Noir refill and with the lightweight spoon put the dose I want into an equally lightweight plastic beaker in which I have heated the water. Thus avoiding some unnecessary weight and equally unnecessary rubbish…
it looks like the tubes that it comes in are bulkier/heavier than something like Starbuck's Via
 
Well, I’m not coffee addicted but I do understand you.
What I cannot miss is a great, freshly squeezed orange juice after breakfast that includes, of course, “una taza de café con leche”.
So, for all you coffee addicted, I include this image.

4E600B6C-1513-416A-A637-D79EFC20B0C4.jpeg
 
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How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I hear you. I'm the same way. If there isn't a coffee machine, you should come across a place with coffee, usually within 2 hours. If you are using the Brierley book, the maps will show a tiny coffee cup, to indicate a cafe bar Along the way.
Bring a headlamp--you will need it to see the Camino arrows until the sun comes up.
I'm female and didn't feel comfortable walking alone before sunrise. If you're female, you might want to stay close to other walkers until the sun comes up.
I always bring a small hard plastic container and try to obtain a pastry, croissant, etc the day before to take with me to eat the next day, if I get hungry before I reach a cafe bar in the morning.
I am female as well and walking alone -
I agree re darkness and
I hear you. I'm the same way. If there isn't a coffee machine, you should come across a place with coffee, usually within 2 hours. If you are using the Brierley book, the maps will show a tiny coffee cup, to indicate a cafe bar Along the way.
Bring a headlamp--you will need it to see the Camino arrows until the sun comes up.
I'm female and didn't feel comfortable walking alone before sunrise. If you're female, you might want to stay close to other walkers until the sun comes up.
I always bring a small hard plastic container and try to obtain a pastry, croissant, etc the day before to take with me to eat the next day, if I get hungry before I reach a cafe bar in the morning.
Thank you for suggestions - I am female and will definitely find others to walk with in darkness :)
 
I totally understand this. Last year I brought some instant coffee and most of the times there was a water cooker! I’ll start next week on the CF and will bring my coffee:)
What is a water cooker!!???
 
What I cannot miss is a great, freshly squeezed orange juice after breakfast
Me, too! The fresh squeezed orange juice is far better than any I have had fresh in the US and I ordered it often whenever I saw one of those "machines" behind the bar. The color of the orange juice is always so bright and vivid; ours pale in comparison and are not nearly as naturally sweet.
Screenshot_20230328-202959~2.png
 
What is a water cooker!!???
Electric water boiler. Pitcher sitting on a heating element you boil water in. I too have seen quite a few in albergue.
 
After stumbling along in a decaffeinated fog every morning for 31 days on the Frances last year as I abdicated my morning routine to early cool starts, I am planning my pre-walk mornings around coffee on the portugues in a couple of weeks. No coffeeless hair shirt for me this time. I’ll bring packets in case of emergency, but plan to scout out early-opening cafes each afternoon.
 
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Electric water boiler. Pitcher sitting on a heating element you boil water in. I too have seen quite a few in albergue.
Oh! you mean a kettle? Cultural differences. Electric kettles are normal in most places....but maybe not in USA?? I live in New Zealand. Happy travels and I totally understand the need to find coffee...but real coffee ☕😁
 
If your real concern is caffeine withdrawal headaches you can take caffeine tablets with you to use in emergency situations :) Better still is to allow the anticipation to grow for the first 5 km then enjoy the social pilgrimage scrum at the next bar as you kick back with your Zumo and cafe con leche.
 
Hello
On the Primitivo in March (two weeks ago) I took a 0.5 litre flask and a small supply of instant coffee and creamer which are lightweight. We did not start much before 0730 so in many hotels and auberges it was not a problem to ask for boiling water to put in the flask. Even if we had the hotel/auberge breakfast with cafe con leche it was good to have a flask of coffee, especially given the driving rain on most days. Coffee on demand was most welcome!
 
Throw a bunch of instant coffee single serve packets in your pack with perhaps a lightweight, microwave safe cup and play the rest by ear. You'll see what I mean once you start walking.
I brought a ziplock with instant coffee and a microwave safe cup. One of the first things in the trash was coffee in the ziplock. Cafe con leche worth the wait. On the other hand the cup is going with me on my second Camino.

20190124_160027.jpg
 
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I brought a ziplock with instant coffee and a microwave safe cup. One of the first things in the trash was coffee in the ziplock. Cafe con leche worth the wait. On the other hand the cup is going with me on my second Camino.
Yes, cups like that are quite handy on the Camino. I've even used them for drinking water at fountains. I don't drink out of my water bottles and just use the cup which is clipped to the outside of my pack. The cup is about 250-300 ml so drinking two full cups at the fountain is about the equivalent of my 500 ml water bottle.The bottles stay filled and I drink them if I need them.
My other go to item is a plastic spork. Have used them for everything and have even cut chorizo with the serrated part.
 
Thank you Trecile - I am sad to see Daybreak instant coffee is no longer available online. ... I emailed the company to ask what happened and if/where it is available.
Update: This is no longer being produced, sadly. From Ferris Coffee:

"Unfortunately, the daybreak coffee has been discontinued. The supplier that helped us produce the instant coffee went out of business in 2020.
🙁
I'm unsure if we'll have another instant coffee offering again, but if we do, we'll definitely keep your email on file keep you updated with any news!"
 
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I'm another of those early walkers and I'm beyond a coffee lover... I'm a coffee NEEDER. One of the first things I bought in preparation for my Camino was a small esbit stove and metal cup. I've found an instant coffee here in Australia that is tolerable... it has a chocolate flavor that leaves a nice taste in my mouth. Now, I just have to make sure I can get something similar in Spain.
With the little stove.... which I've tested here at home and works fine, if I want to leave really early and there are others in the albergue, I can take it outside and heat the water without making noise in the kitchen.

Coffee.jpg
 
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Anacin and Excedrin Migraine contain caffeine if you need it right when you wake up. -- I'd just hold off till you reach a cafe.
 
Terrific idea- I do have some of those- do you think I might find hot water?
I’ve done this...usually find a microwave in Albergues. I like the Starbucks Via best of all the instant options. It at least gets me to the first real cafe, as I’m not legal in public without caffeine.
 
I have thought I might have to let go of this habit - just scared of caffeine withdrawal headaches :)
As others have already said, you'll generally be able to find coffee early. But if you worry about an occasional unavailability, there are several alternatives. Some you'd have to buy the day before, but some are amenable to putting in your mochila long before, or even before leaving home.
If you choose the pills, note that No-Doz is not the only source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/best-caffeine-pills#how-we-chose
lists five, and there are others.
 
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A kettle - either one that you put on a stove or an electric kettle.
My Dutch friends (fluent in English) called it a "boiler." But "electric kettle" is common in USA. I've heard others but they don't come to mind at the moment.
 
Oh! you mean a kettle? Cultural differences. Electric kettles are normal in most places....but maybe not in USA?? I live in New Zealand. Happy travels and I totally understand the need to find coffee...but real coffee ☕😁
They're not as wide used in USA but they are not hard to find. Models intended for water, but also plug-in percolators. Neither would I recommend to take up space in your mochila!
 
I’m starting the CF in SJPP in a few weeks for the first time and generally like and plan to walk early in the morning e.g 530-6. I also can’t imagine walking for long without having had a coffee. Is coffee generally available at most hotels, pensions, albergues that early?
I know this feeling so this time i will leave my sleeping bag and take this :
 
The feeling of coming across a vending machine with dreadful, dreadful coffee was one of euphoria for me! Lol
 
My Dutch friends (fluent in English) called it a "boiler." But "electric kettle" is common in USA. I've heard others but they don't come to mind at the moment.
Hope this helps; definition from Wikipedia :

A coffee percolator is a type of pot used for the brewing of coffee by continually cycling the boiling or nearly boiling brew through the grounds using gravity until the required strength is reached.
1680369251976.png
https://en.m.wikipedia.org › wiki

Coffee percolator - Wikipedia

 
How to avoid failure "be prepared"
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I’m starting the CF in SJPP in a few weeks for the first time and generally like and plan to walk early in the morning e.g 530-6. I also can’t imagine walking for long without having had a coffee. Is coffee generally available at most hotels, pensions, albergues that early?
There's a Starbucks in SJPDP and one next to the McDonald's in Orrison.
 
I'm another of those early walkers and I'm beyond a coffee lover... I'm a coffee NEEDER. One of the first things I bought in preparation for my Camino was a small esbit stove and metal cup. I've found an instant coffee here in Australia that is tolerable... it has a chocolate flavor that leaves a nice taste in my mouth. Now, I just have to make sure I can get something similar in Spain.
With the little stove.... which I've tested here at home and works fine, if I want to leave really early and there are others in the albergue, I can take it outside and heat the water without making noise in the kitchen.

View attachment 143865
Were you able to fly with the fuel? I’ve never really understood what I believe to be the prohibition - if there’s a fire in the hold sufficient to light a packet of esbit fuel I’m fairly sure the pilots’ got more to think about than your coffee-making equipment ..
 
Were you able to fly with the fuel? I’ve never really understood what I believe to be the prohibition - if there’s a fire in the hold sufficient to light a packet of esbit fuel I’m fairly sure the pilots’ got more to think about than your coffee-making equipment ..
The fuel is a definite NO No, on the flight. But, from what I've been able to discover, the fuel blocks are readily availible in Spain. At most, I only imagine needing no more than a dozen times making coffee this way. It's only for mornings I'm in an albergue with others and to get me to the REAL stuff!
 
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Hope this helps; definition from Wikipedia :

A coffee percolator is a type of pot used for the brewing of coffee by continually cycling the boiling or nearly boiling brew through the grounds using gravity until the required strength is reached.
View attachment 144020
https://en.m.wikipedia.org › wiki

Coffee percolator - Wikipedia

We do have those in USA. They can be either electric or stove-top. But a boiler/electric kettle is different. It is meant for heating water and has no place to put coffee grounds. In Villamayor de Monjardín we also had a milk heater. It was basically just an electric kettle re-labeled. But it was opaque instead of glass (otherwise it would have looked unpleasant between cleanings).
 
The feeling of coming across a vending machine with dreadful, dreadful coffee was one of euphoria for me! Lol
Coffee from a vending machine in USA is almost always TERRIBLE. But in Villamayor de Monjardín, the store had a vending machine that made cafe con leche that was as good as anywhere else. €1 And the next button ws labeled "leche con café" but I think it was the same labeled that way for a joke.
 
I’m starting the CF in SJPP in a few weeks for the first time and generally like and plan to walk early in the morning e.g 530-6. I also can’t imagine walking for long without having had a coffee. Is coffee generally available at most hotels, pensions, albergues that early?
Never far away from coffee stops onCF.its a very well serviced Camino no problems.
 
Camino Way markers in Bronze
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk. Discount is taken at check out, only by using this link.
Unless an albergue serves light breakfast with coffee, I start late. In the Camino del Norte and the Primitivo, I get used to see cafeterias opening between 8:00 to 8:30 AM. Besides, going out late gives you more room space repacking your bag readying for the journey since the albergue is empty. In a cafeteria, I usually order pan de napolitana, fresh orange juice and mas gran cafe espresso. They don't serve free water unless you asked. By the time I start, I have enough energy to cover 20 kilometers to noon.

Mas gran cafe espresso was an experiment in language. I asked espresso and they gave me a small cup. I asked gran cafe and they gave me a regular cup. I asked mas gran cafe and they gave me a big cup which is what I really need.
 
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Official Camino Passport (Credential) | 2023 Camino Guides
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