how i'll send my kids to college...

Over the past year, I have been experimenting with coffees, coffee makers, and coffee economicscoffeenomics. Why? Because I love coffee---the taste, the aromas, and the morning ritual that makes it such a universal tonic. In this blog post I want to shatter every claim that I’ve made before and teach you how to make the best coffee from home, for the least amount of money. But first, a review.

If you’ll recall in my coffee-maker-shoot-out, the Keurig single-cup brewing system was pitted against the Mr. Coffee auto-drip brewer. Our goal was to determine the most convenient single-cup brewing system, which we did indeed find to be the Keurig machine (for a full review click here). But suppose that our goal was frugality, not convenience. What is the cheapest way to brew, while still making great coffee? A French Press.

A French Press is simple. It's cheap to buy. And since it's not automatic, you're in full control of every step of the brewing process---which in my opinion yields the best cup of coffee i've ever tasted. How impressive are the results? Consider this:

Based on 5 cups of coffee per week, 260 annual servings (which may be less or more than your typical consumption).

     Keurig System ($120) + [ K-Cup Coffee ($0.50 per cup) x 260 ( servings) ] = $250 ($130 after Year 1)
     Mr. Coffee Brewer ($25) + { [ Filters ($0.20) + Coffee ($0.25) ] x 260 (servings) } = $145 ($125 after Year 1)

     French Press ($10) + [Coffee $0.10 x 260 servings ] = $36 ($26 after year 1)

Clearly you can save at least $100 per year by switching to a manual coffee-making process. Why is coffee so much more expensive for drip-brew than FP? I have found that a drip-brew process takes roughly twice the coffee grounds per brewing cycle, even if you only want 1 cup. 

Is FP Coffee worth the hassle? I hardly think it's a hassle, think of it as hand-crafting the best cup of coffee. FP coffee is richer, thicker, and more satisfying than any other cup of coffe you've had. So how does one press like the French, observe: 

Step 1: 2 tbs (approx 1/4 cup) coffee grounds* for 12oz of water
Step 2: Heat 12 oz water to 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit

Step 3: Add water to coffee grounds (stir gently while adding water). Let sit for 3 mins
Step 4: At 3 mins, stir gently. Wait 1 more minute

Step 5: Place lid on tightly, slowly press the plunger all the way down. Plunging should take 15-30 seconds.
Step 6: Serve and enjoy.

*I use any premium medium-roast, ground for a drip-brew system. But you can manipulate the strength of your coffee by increasing or decreasing the size of the grind...


Sam Ronicker said...

You know how much coffee I drink per week? 0, so I save LOTS of money per year!

will haas said...

that's a shame...coffee has alot of flavor and health benefits that you're missing...

Branton Hoblit said...

You should check out the pour-over method. My favorite by far because it allows for more flavor and aroma extraction from the beans and the taste is "top-shelf." I pour myself a cup every morning.

will haas said...

A good friend of mine is trying to get me to switch to a Chemex system, i'm not ready yet.

I did purchase an Aeropress for work. Love it.