31 October 2007

Coffee issues

I didn't really drink coffee before I started my doctoral program. I mean, I used to drink it once in awhile, and so splurging on mochas and lattes was no big deal. Now, I drink coffee almost everyday though and I keep trying to figure out how to save money.

During the week, I mostly get free coffee in the office. And I've also developed a taste for Americanos and brewed coffee so I don't mind paying for a cup or two every now and then.

I also bought a coffee maker last year though. My current problem is that we don't make coffee fast enough. The grounds always lose their taste when I'm not even halfway through the bag. I Googled and tried different ways of storing--in the freezer, in the fridge, at room temperature, in an air-tight container... it's not working. I guess I don't brew coffee often enough to keep my own grounds. Even on the weekends, most of the time we are restless and looking for an excuse to go out to the coffee shop so it's sort of rare that we actually use the machine. Still, I like the idea of making my own to save money!

So, what should I do--give up on making my own coffee or invest in a bean grinder, buy whole beans, and grind my own? Does anyone do this? Will it do the trick? Or is it actually a better financial decision for me to pay others to make my coffee? Do you think Ryan could make a formula for me to figure this out?



At 12:38 PM , Blogger Julie said...

Yeah, I think you should invest in a bean grinder. They don't cost very much and then you don't have to worry about your grounds losing their flavor before you use them. Kawika and I go though a pitcher of iced coffee a day, so we just get the pre-ground kind. We're addicts, huh? :)

At 10:14 AM , Blogger Nathan said...

Get a grinder that has a built-in timer (course, fine, espresso settings). It's one of the best investments I've ever made. Don't underestimate the time saved by being able to turn on the grinder and walk way to do other things.

An air-tight container is also key to keeping coffee fresh, but since you're still not finishing it fast enough, maybe you could buy desicant (oxygen absorber) packets and throw those in.

Another option is cold brewing a big batch of coffee concentrate and keeping it in the fridge. Makes excellent iced coffee! Just google "cold brew coffee".

Heh, as you can tell, I love coffee.... mmmmm.

At 4:29 PM , Blogger Robyn said...

thanks! i'm planning to buy a grinder any day now. will probably start off with a cheap one and see if it is "good enough" for me.

and if it *still* doesn't work, i'll try that desicant idea.

cold brewing would be awesome--if i lived somewhere warmer. :(

At 6:27 PM , Blogger kristen said...

hey! did you buy one? i have one. and i have to admit i don't have your problem of beans going tasteless. also, i have a feeling i make coffee more often than you do... like everyday. i have to cause the coffee at work tastes like bad hot water. also, the quality of the bean might be important, what kind do you get?

At 3:50 PM , Blogger archi.monkey said...

hrm. i missed this post! i could work out a spreadsheet for you! haha. naw, really it comes down to your lifestyle. grinding your own beans would definitely help. and if you guys are too lazy to make it or just need the excuse to go out, the coffee shops will always be there when you need them. but since it's been a while since you posted this... did you give in and buy a grinder already?

At 4:17 PM , Blogger Nathan said...

I'm going to order one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Hamilton-Beach-80374-Deluxe-Grinder/dp/B000A1FFOK/ref=pd_bbs_9?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1198203251&sr=8-9

It's the newer version of the one I currently use, or I should say used. I dropped it the other day. Right now I'm relying on an old Krups grinder that makes a heck of a mess every time I make coffee. Very poor design.

I can't believe no one else makes an automatic grinder in this price range...


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