Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tasty Coffee for Cheap

Growing up my parents had a coffee shop.  This has led me to have an over zealous love of the caffeinated substance.  While I don't love the taste of Starbucks it is right across from where I work, and it is really easy to run over there on a slow morning for a pick-me-up.  

One month, after looking it over I realized I spent close to $50 dollars on coffee!  Coffee I didn't even really like.  I realized this would be a perfect part of my life to change to living more simple.

1. Cut back on the amount of coffee used:

     There was no way I was going to give up my morning cup,  so I cut back on how much coffee I needed to brew my coffee. We looked into the keurig makers, but the cost of the individual cups really didn't make it worth our time. Plus the fact that most were pre-brewed cups of concentrated coffee weirded me out. We got a hamilton beach coffee maker, that allows me to make just a single cup of coffee at a time. Even just making one cup of coffee in out larger coffee brewer I would use twice the amount of coffee.  It also has an option for brewing large amounts for when we have company. 

2. Make it sweet:

If I still liked the taste of starbucks better then what I had at home I would be less likely to use what I have.  Thankfully I discovered how much I love flavoring my sugar with vanilla.

My super cute sugar bowl! 

4. Make it rich:

For cream I use... Cream.  Sometimes half and half, sometimes whipping cream.  Honestly all the additives in the different creamers scare me. I only use a dash so I really don't care about the calories.  

5. Make it good for the world:

Coffee is a very labor intensive crop, that is mostly grown in undeveloped countries.  The people who are harvesting this coffee for you are paid almost nothing or in some cases out right slaves.  They are working in horrible conditions.  Fair trade coffee is incredible important to me, while it is far from perfect it is a step in the right direction. 
Combating Slavery in coffee and chocolate Productions

Coffee can be incredible hard on the land it grown on.  Modern practices involve clear cutting a forest to plant the coffee.  The greater amount of sunlight, allows coffee to grow faster and produce more.  However it requires more water and pesticides to keep up.  Coffee that is shade grown, is grown along side trees.  Most organic coffee is grown this way, and (obviously) with out the use of pesticides or harsh fertilizers.
Why organic coffee?

I also compost my coffee grounds when I am done. Less waste for the environment  I have a reusable coffee filter so I don't even have to worry about the filter being wasted. 
The compost!!!

6. Make it good coffee:

Buy a coffee that tastes good to you.  That does mean investing some money, but trust me its worth it.

Coffee is affected by many different things.  The altitude it is grown at, the water.  Where it was grown, how it was grown.  What type of coffee.  How it was roasted.  There are a thousand different things that effect each cup of coffee you consume.  

Personally I love a medium roast, made from beans grown in central America.  Try coffee, try lots of coffee to find one that tastes great to you. 

So how does all this work save me money?

I drink one cup a day about 5 days a week, give or take.
There are approximately 52 weeks a year so that is about 260 cups a year. 

So if I calculate it out                                                                           per cup 
Vanilla:  $23.00    (enough for a year or more)                                      $0.088
Coffee: $10.00/pound enough for 2 months                                          $0.231
Sugar: negligible I buy it for so many other things                                   $0.00
Creamer: $3.50  enough for a month.                                                    $0.162

So all together I am paying $0.481.  That is less then 50 cents a cup. 

Now if I add in the coffee brewer.
Coffee brewer $90.00                                                                         $0.346

Even I were to buy a new coffee brewer ever year.  I still only am paying $0.826 a cup.    That is crazy!  When you think that an average cup of coffee is 3 dollars from Starbucks.   

To me living simple, means cutting out the middle man.  That doesn't always mean changing everything to move to the country and raise your own meat.  Sometimes it is as simple as brewing your own coffee.

Posted to
The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

1 comment:

  1. I had to quit drinking coffee :( But I rarely bought coffee out...way too much! Good for you for making your own!

    Thanks for sharing this on The HomeAcre Hop! See you Thursday on the next hop!