Better Coffee at Home

You’re trying to save money by avoiding coffee shops, but you miss the delicious caffeinated treasures they provided? Fear not! We can make better coffee at home and save you money!

First of all, good for you for trying to save money! It can be a challenge, but you can totally do it. You will be so proud of yourself!

Ok, now onto the coffee stuff. You’re trying to save money, so it’s possible your bought the cheapest coffee available. If it tastes ok, then good job! If it tastes terrible, that might be causing some discontent. There are several different ways to make your addiction cheaper:
1) Buy some really good coffee and some cheaper coffee, then blend the two together.
2) When buying coffee grounds at the grocery store, buy a small amount of the cheapest coffee. If you don’t like it, next time spend slightly more, until you hopefully find a brand you enjoy. Even buying Dunkin brand coffee at the grocery store is cheaper than buying a pre-made coffee at Dunkin Donuts. You don’t have to take the absolute cheapest option in every scenario, if it’s making saving too painful. The goal is to stop wasting money on silly things, not become a martyr.
3) You can reuse coffee grounds, but I would only do this if you’re drinking a few pots a day. Throw in a small scoop of fresh grounds on top, then add more water.
4) Train yourself to like cheap coffee – I did this from the very start. My friends and I used to hang out at IHOP and Denny’s and just endlessly drink their coffee, full of cream and sugar.
5) Speaking of cream and sugar, you can cover up the flavor of not-great coffee using some add-ins:

There are lots of possible add-ins to make cheap coffee more palatable, or actually coffee in general. Black coffee is abhorrent to me. I always have to add at least milk to it. For some flavor variety, you can add cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, chicory, or vanilla extract to the basket with the coffee grounds. You can add a bag of Chai tea to the carafe for that Chai latte flavor. Once it’s in the mug you can add chocolate milk, vanilla milk, cocoa powder, honey, or whipped cream to make it special and different. (Just don’t go overboard on the sugar). You can also google even more ideas. Some people suggest adding cayenne, which sounds nuts to me, but apparently some people like it. I guess it would wake you up in the morning. “The best part of waking up is A FIERY CUP OF PAIN”.

You can also mimic some of the fancy recipes direct from the coffee shops. Search for “homemade pumpkin latte“, or whatever specialty drink you’re craving. Get creative, make up your own and have fun in your kitchen. Here’s a recipe I came up with to mimic the mocha lattes I used to love:

1 cup coffee, 1 jar nutella, 2 cups pure lard, 1 cup heavy cream, 1 tablespoon chocolate, I’m kidding please don’t make this, I don’t want to be responsible for giving you diabetes

Keep in mind the roast you’re using makes a huge difference. I personally enjoy a really light roast, because it tends to be less bitter. Here are a couple additional tips I heard on NPR the other day:

1) Use cold water to brew your coffee (like from the tap, not refrigerated)
2) Let the water run for a few seconds before filling the pot
3) Never use distilled or softened water

All of these money saving tips are going to become more important. Drought and disease are reducing coffee production, so prices will be increasing in the future. Using these tips, we can all get our daily dose of caffeine without having to sell our first born child.


June 10, 2014. Tags: , , , , , . Thriftiness is Cool.

One Comment

  1. lefty replied:

    Well, I kind of like adding chocolate and then ice cream instead of heavy cream (leave out the lard – it’s fattening). Or you could forget about the coffee. That leaves more room for the ice cream and chocolate!

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