In my younger years, one of my favorite jobs was working in a coffee shop. I enjoyed listening to the whirl of the milk as it was being steamed, filling the case with fresh pastries, setting up the condiment table, and serving the customer their first cup of coffee in the morning. Well, except that time the lady told me she needed it to ‘be regular’, if you get my drift.
Then it was the type of customers that fascinated me. The artists, the business people, the students, the moms… I enjoyed the conversations that filled the place, the smell of fresh coffee that permeated the place, and the sounds of jazz, celtic, & contemporary music that accompanied the place. It wasn’t even my place, but I treated everday as such.
Where this all leading
Well, it is my view to think we pay for the experience that comes with a cup of coffee when we frequent Starbuck’s or Coffee Bean, Tea & Leaf. But you have to admit that the $5.00 experience, even shared three times a week, is a costly expenditure. For us Frugalites, saving money means cutting back or severing our relationship with this extra expenditures. Hopefully for the sake of putting that money towards paying off our debt or throwing it in the bank to increase our wealth.
Definition of a Frugalite: One who is frugal, yet fun. A person who wants to save as much of their hard earned cash as possible – but in creative ways. …
But just because you choose to break up the relationship between you and the coffee joint, doesn’t mean you need stop drinking excellent tasting coffee. The baristas don’t make coffee any differently then you do.
So, today we will be exploring how to brew a perfect cup of black Java, with a French Press coffee press, in the comfort of your own home for pennies on the dollar.
- Buy newly roasted, whole beans
The length of time coffee beans are roasted will affect the color and flavor of the brew. Popular blends of beans to buy:
American Roast (or regular roast) beans will result in a moderate brew-not too light or too heavy in flavor.
French Roast beans will produce a stronger coffee taste.
Viennese Roast (my favorite) is a blend of two-thirds regular-roast with one-third heavy-roasted beans.
Italian Roast is for espresso.
I hear Dunkin Donuts coffee beans ($8 bag) is a great coffee to find in your local grocery store.
- Use water that tastes good
The right coffee beans + great tasting water is what makes a killer combination of brewed coffee. Use your favorite filtered water. Pre-boil your water before grinding your coffee beans to insure water will be at the proper temperature when you are ready to use your french press coffee maker.
- Time to Grind
One of those little grinders will work just fine. No need to spend lots of money for a grinder!
Put the beans in the grinder and grind for 10 seconds to create a course grind. Grind only what you are going to use for the day.
- The French Press
Put 1 rounded tablespoon of coffee into your French Press coffee maker. Then, pour your hot water into the pot. Leave a minimum of 1 inch of space at the top. Stir the brew with a plastic spoon. Place the plunger unit on top of the pot. Do not press down. Let the coffee brew for 2-4 minutes, depending on your preference in taste. Hold the pot handle firmly with the spout turned away from you, then using just the weight of your hand, apply slight pressure on top of the knob to lower the plunger straight down into the pot. Lowering the plunger slowly with minimal pressure produces best results. Finally, pour your amazing cup of coffee into your mug.
Here is a great tutorial for using the french press coffee press.
- Wan’t to jazz it up?
Great additions: creamer, sugar, flavored syrups (like Taroni syrup – Yum!)
For iced coffee: make your brew stronger, because the ice cubes will dilute the coffee.
The great thing about using a French Press coffee maker is that it’s easy to clean, no filters to buy, takes up very little counter space and storage space.
And the money saved:
If you consider buying a black coffee at Starbuck’s, it will cost you $2.00 per cup x 3 times a day x 52 weeks = $312 a year
At home: french press & grinder ($30 for both) + 0.26 per cup of coffee* x 7 days a week x 52 weeks = $95 + $30 (one time cost) + you get to drink coffee every single day = $125
So enjoy that awesome coffee and amaze you friends with your new talent. Want to know what your coffee says about you? Check it out, here! Leave a comment and let me know type of coffee drink you like. It’s a fun read!
*The 0.26 per cup was figured by $8 bag of beans divided by 30 days in a month