Mar

28

 Before work I drink two double espressos. I wouldn't have the courage to leave the house otherwise and go to work. I just rely on jitters to move me uncontrollably and eventually I bounce out the door. An espresso around my house/work costs approximately $3.00. That's $6.00 a day. I drink these on weekends as well, so, that would be around $42 a week and there are two of us in the house. $84 a week. We go through around $10 beans per week. We also need to factor in cleaner for the machine, but I bought industrial bulk cleaner for $20…it'll last a year or two even with weekly double cleans. We also give others a coffee when they come around. I'll ignore that, however.

I bought the coffee machine for around $800 on special and it makes a very tasty cup. We've had it since late 2007. So, we've been drinking $4,368 per year for four years, so $17,472 for the life of the machine. Only $2,080 for the beans over four years. All up, I think we're ahead. There are power costs and so on, but, they're minor. We've probably saved, conservatively, around $13,000 in the last four years.

Here is a good article reviewing the best home coffee machines.

Jeff Watson writes:

I drink a lot of Cuban Coffee, which is espresso, and is very sweet. My pot cost $12 at Target and I've had mine for at least 15 years.

I buy Cafe Pilon which is priced at 4 bricks for $22 and that's a 2 month supply, figuring 4 cups a day.

It takes less than 5 minutes to knock out the coffee.

Dylan Distasio writes: 

My company recently eliminated the free Green Mountain brewed coffee as part of a bean counter initiative and switched over to Flavia packets which is a very poor substitute. I have been going downstairs to buy a large cup of coffee a day for $2.67 but am looking for a cheaper alternative.

I am about to order one of these aeropresses based on the reviews I've read of the device and the coffee it makes. It is essentially a gentle one cup espresso maker which can then be turned in a cup of Americano if desired simply by adding additional hot water.

Update:

 So I got my Aeropress and wanted to report back my coffee findings to the group. I am a huge fan of this device and believes it consistently brews a delicious cup of coffee quickly and easily. The only downside I see is that it can only brew one cup at a time. For me, this is a non-issue though since I am using it at work and not for a group. Even if I used it at home (I am considering getting a 2nd one for that purpose), my wife does not drink coffee. I have a Keurig I had bought for convenience at home in case I wanted a quick cup of joe on the weekends. There is no comparison between the two not surprisingly; the Aeropress blows the Keurig with its k-cups out of the water.

Just a little additional background on my coffee habits…I drink my coffee black with a few exceptions…I generally don't like SBUX brew. I am with the folks who call them Charbucks. I prefer McDonald's or Dunkin Donuts coffee, but will drink the SBUX Blonde or an Americano (espresso plus hot water) there under duress. I am not a coffee snob (at least not yet) so you will not be hearing me talk about brewing beans picked out of civet droppings or $1000 burr grinders.

I picked up a bag of whole bean Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee from Costco for my first brews with the Aeropress. I am using a burr grinder versus a bladed one but it is a relatively inexpensive Mr Coffee one I bought years ago when I was experimenting with a Braun Espresso maker. I am grinding relatively fine somewhere between espresso and french press.

Once the coffee is ground, it is a very quick, simple process to brew a tremendous cup of coffee. The Aeropress comes with a measuring scoop which I use to scoop around 2 - 3 scoopfuls into the device after placing a fresh filter disc at the bottom. I then pour relatively hot water obtained from the dreaded Flavia machine onto the grounds and stir with an included stirrer for approximately 30 seconds (they recommend 10 seconds). I then insert the plunger piece into the waiting grounds and with some elbow grease slowly press the coffee down through the filter leaving the grounds behind. After that, I add additional hot water to my coffee mug to craft an Americano. I have tasted it undiluted and it is also delicious. I'm not really sure it would replace an expensive espresso machine since it is not applying the same pressure, but for me, it is a nice cup of what the Aeropress folks call espresso.

Clean up is simple. You just unlock the piece that holds the filter in place, and plunge the grounds into the trash. After that, it's a breeze to rinse off.

One of these would also be great for travel and camping/backpacking. It is pretty small and easy to carry.

In case you didn't notice, I am sold on the Aeropress. I'd highly recommend checking it out if it sounds like a good fit for your purposes. I'm looking forward to experimenting with the grind settings and some different coffee beans in it.

Just to continue this discussion, does anyone have any whole bean coffee recommendations to try?

For those of you interested in debating how many angels can dance on a java bean, check out coffeegeek.com also. The minutiae available for coffee lovers there may blow your mind.


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3 Comments so far

  1. Dick4aTick on March 28, 2013 2:49 pm

    Bean counter? Pun intended?

  2. tw on April 2, 2013 10:13 am

    There is a master roaster and blender here in Vancouver who just garnered a gold at a prestigious coffee competition in Italy. The only gold in North America as far as I am aware. I have tried many of his blends (up to 14 beans) and can attest that his blends are the most balanced and amazing taste wise I have had anywhere. No exception.

    www.milanocoffee.ca

    I know this guy personally (but have no financial or other connection to the firm) and would highly recommend visiting Milano if you are in the area. I believe you can order direct, but will need to e-mail to get pricing and shipping.

    It is not the “cheapest”, but compared to the very best single varietals, you get a richer, more balanced, more complex presentation at a fraction of the price. The best Jamaican Blue Mountain I have ever tried was incredible, but it paled in comparison to his la Futura espresso blend when tried back to back.

    …and if you want to know how good your coffee actually tastes, try it cold.

    For coffee drinking you may want to use a simple pour over for drip which provides as good a taste as a certain machine costing 10 grand, but is easier to travel with. You may also want to look into a company called handpresso that has a portable espresso maker. I have heard very good comments about this gadget but don’t have one myself.

    tw

  3. Curtis Stewart on April 3, 2013 12:33 am

    Having used the Aeropress for 6 years I agree this makes the best, fast cup of coffee. I have gotten rid of the paper filters and use the holed one you get for 10 bucks off ebay.
    I brew “Upside Down”. Regular grind Folgers works good in a pinch. You put in two scoops, put in enough water to wet the grounds, wait 30 seconds then add water to just below the top. Stir for 10-15 seconds. Put the filter and strainer on and let it set for 2 minutes minimum. Three minutes for a fuller taste. Take the filter and strainer off and break up the “crust”. Stir for 10 seconds or so. Put the filter and strainer back on and turn it to seal in the filter. Before you turn it over, push up on the plunger real slow until the foam comes up through the filter. The paper filters will filter the oil and goodies out the stainless steel filter does not. Push a little more then turn it over on your cup and make a slow push. About 25-30 seconds. Add the water for the Americano. Way different taste than the conventional regular Aeropress way. Really changes the taste.
    When grinding your own grind fairly coarse. I used to grind fine like a espresso, which for a conventional Aeropress way the fine is OK. But when you change to the “Upside Down” way to brew the coarser grind gives a really full taste. And go for a longer 3 minute seep time. Even the Pilon and Bustello have a different taste brewed upside down. The Pilon and Bustello have a much different taste and mouthfeel than when brewed following the conventional Aeropress directions. I have tried the Mokka pots and to me the Aeropress beats them hands down. While it is not espresso, who cares. It makes a really fine cup of coffee.
    Another favorite of mine is to add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to the coffee. Excellent Café Mexicano.
    One more drink. Assemble the filter and strainer. Put two tablespoons of brown sugar in the bottom. Add two scoops of coffee and pack it fairly tight. Heat the water to boiling and pour it in to about 1/2 inch below the top. DO NOT STIR. Put in the plunger and start the press. It will be hard for a little bit. As it becomes easier, let up off the press. You are looking at a 1 to a little over 1 minute press. Makes a excellent Café Cubano.
    Wonderful coffee gadget!

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