Coffee Maker That Will Save Thousands

Your New Coffee Maker Will Save You Tens of Thousands of Dollars

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Today’s post is all about our favorite morning ritual: Coffee. I’m personally not sure how anyone can function without the stuff. Which is odd, considering how I got by fine without it growing up. I reckon something happens to you around college or soon after that compels you to consume the magic brew. All I can say is I sure as heck wouldn’t be up at 5AM writing as Cubert without my cup within reach.

Your personal coffee is one of those things you don’t mess with.

Rarely do we wake up and ponder what kind of coffee we’re going to have this morning. Nope. It’s programmed in. And if anyone or anything comes between us and the coffee maker, a fight may just break out. “What!?! ALL the mugs are dirty in the dishwasher??” Grumble…

With that in mind, and with an early retirement mind-set, we have to weigh trade-offs and opportunity costs when it comes to our coffee habit. Yes, it would be lovely to retire in your forties (or sooner), but if you’ve got a habit of stopping at a Starbucks every morning before work, you’re clearly pissing away tens of thousands of dollars you could instead be using to bridge the gap from early retirement (your forties) to 401K collection time (59.5.)

Here’s a little analysis with the numbers, in case you think I’m making this shit up:

As you can see, a couple of the more common options used in our U.S. households can drain some serious coin from our treasure chest. But wait, there is one option that doesn’t seem quite so bad. AeroPress? What the heck is that?

I had no idea what this thing was until I came across an article comparing coffee makers for people whom are extremely snobby with their coffee tastes. The coffee makers used in the test ranged from super duper espresso makers that run up to $10,000… all the way down to the mighty AeroPress, at a mere $30. I thought, “How is that possible? You have to have a nice machine to make a decent cup of coffee!” At least, that’s what product marketing folks want you to believe.

Making a cup of the good stuff with this little collection of plastic and rubber is quite easy.

In fact, I timed it to take about the same time as making a cup of Keurig, roughly three minutes.

1.) The first thing to do is measure 10 ounces of cold water, straight from the tap. We found out that Minneapolis municipal water makes for better coffee than the filtered stuff. Must be the minerals.

2.) Get your press ready. I opt not to stir with the stir paddle that comes with the AeroPress. After a few years of experimenting, we’ve found that the water being poured-in does enough to agitate the grounds.

3.) While your water is being nuked in the microwave, pour in two heaps of finely ground coffee. I highly recommend keeping fresh grounded coffee on hand, or grinding right before you make a cup.

4.) We have a small microwave, so two minutes is needed to heat up the 10 ounces of water. Using a handy meat thermometer, check to make sure the water is somewhere between 175F and 190F. I had to wait about 30 seconds to get this reading. I think my calibrated nuking time was off? That or the tap water comes out warmer in July. That stands to reason, right? Just know that this step is required only the first few times – after calibration, you’ll know exactly how long to microwave the water for.

5.) Wet the grounds. This is called the “blooming” process. Let the grounds settle for about 30 seconds.

6.) After the 30 seconds or so, I pour in all but a quarter cup of the water. I’ll turn the AeroPress around while adding the water to agitate the grounds a bit more.

7.) Start a pressin’! After wetting the gasket of the plunger, give your shoulders a little workout and gently press down for about 30 seconds, until you hit the number “1” on the press (next step.)

8.) Almost there – you can smell it! Just make sure you stop right around “1”. If you press all the way through, you could get a slightly bitter cup.

9.) Top off the mug with the quarter cup of water you’d set aside earlier. Voila! You’ve got Joe.

10.) Clean-up is simple. Just plunge the grounds and paper filter into your organics waste bin or (Gasp!) trash can.

So there you have it. Some of the finest tasting coffee to be had, and all you have to do is plunk down $30 for the “machine” and maybe $18 at Costco for a two or three pound bag of coffee beans every once in a while.

Confessions:

1.) We’ve used a Keurig in the past and for a while found it to be very convenient. We later came across articles about how hard they are to keep clean and how terrible the K-cups are for the environment. Finally, the coffee itself just didn’t taste that great anymore, especially after we tried our first cups of the AeroPress.

2.) We still indulge in the occasional Starbucks or Caribou coffee. With our weekly dining-out allowance, sometimes you just gotta see what the Jones’s are up to down at the corner coffee shop. Feel free to berate me in the comments below.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

If you checked out the music video in my recent post, How to Make Money Renting Your Home for Film Productions, you’ll notice the old Formica counter tops. We’re much happier with the new counter tops featured in the step-by-step above. Just don’t ask how many glasses and plates have met their untimely demise as a consequence of going fancy. Formica – good for something!

If you’re interested, check out this article on the cost of K-Cups. I used some of the figures for the cost analysis.

Coffee

Comments 19

  1. YES YES YES YES. When I read the title I was like, “Oh man, this poor soul must not know about Aeropresses and drinks from a Mr. Coffee Machine.” BUT YOU GOT ME lol. We’ve had an Aeropress for five years and it hands-down makes the best non-espresso coffee at home. I do have an espresso maker, but that’s like a different category of coffee altogether (although I highly recommend getting one). We don’t crave the fancy high-end coffees at hipster cafes because we can make something better in an Aeropress.

  2. I’ve used French press and pour over for my entire coffee drinking lifetime (5 years), but I only just heard about Aeropress a couple of weeks ago. I wasn’t really that impressed by the quality, at least not enough for me to think that it is better than my current techniques. (It may have been due to the preferred strength of the person making it. I like it stronger than he made it.) Do you have any thoughts on how Aeropress compares to French press or pour over?

    Otherwise, I’m totally with you on making your own coffee, and specifically using a manual technique. The machines are taking over, and we need to do everything we can to fight back!

    1. You know, I haven’t tried pour over but I want to. We do have a French press we use on weekends when there’s more time to set it up and grind all the coffee for me and Mrs. Cubert to enjoy a double. I’d say the French press makes a better regular cup of coffee but aero press is a close competitor and more convenient too.
      And yes, blast the machines! Except the microwave which I need to hear the water

  3. I got into making my own coffee more a while back when my brother got into roasting his own beans. He buys his own green coffee in bulk, and then uses a heavy duty roaster that he bought to roast the beans for himself, and for family and friends. He ended up turning it into a side business (thepeoplesroast.com), although I think it only mainly pays for his own coffee habit and fun coffee toys.

    My favorite way to enjoy a cup of joe is to grind up some of my brother’s whole bean coffee just before I brew it (it does taste different when you get freshly roasted coffee!), then use either an Aeropress like you, French Press or just a simple pour over. Nothing quite like the smell of a fresh cup of coffee!

      1. I tend to like a stronger cup of coffee, but my brother always recommends going with a lighter to medium roast as he says more of the coffees oils/flavors/taste come out in one of those roasts, as opposed to a darker roast. So when buying his coffee I usually go with a medium roast.

  4. I just wrote a post about why I now have converted to buying coffee out! I’m actually not opposed to making coffee at home (I did basic pour over for years), I’ve heard tons of great things about the aeropress!

    Now that I’m ramping up my productivity, I go to work at a coffee shop in the mornings and on the weekends because my apartment is tiny and always a mess. I generally just drink free work coffee if I’m really seeking out a good dose of caffeine 😛

    1. Hi Jing! Thanks for stopping by. I’ll definitely check out your post. Always helpful to understand another viewpoint. I’m with you on the work coffee – it is terrible, but a serviceable source of caffeine. ????

  5. Good call, I’m a bit of a recovering Starbucks junkie myself but I try to use my French press now instead. Recently got into the cold-brew game, which is saving me even more since in the summer months a cold-brew iced coffee costs like $4!

  6. Thanks for sharing your Aero Press experience. I never like the K-cup coffee. I found it to lack taste and quite expensive for what you get. I’m simple. We have a stove top moka pot for our “espresso” fix and a regular French press for our regular coffee. Both can be bought for under $30, depending on size, make great coffee, simple to clean and had no waste except for the coffee grounds which every coffee maker on Earth has. Bottom line, the $s saved brewing your own coffee at home can really add up to a lot over the long haul. Like you, I also indulge every now and then in “outside” coffee. As long as the expense stays in check you’re good.

  7. I didn’t know that Keurigs are 4x more expensive than Aeropress. My coworkers have a ritual twice a day making their own aeropressed coffee when they can have as many Keurigs as they want in the office for free. In that sense, opportunity cost is actually greater with Aeropress.

  8. Your pictures kind of remind me of when they scientifically made coffee on Breaking Bad. We use a Keurig. Sacrificing some taste for a little convenience I suppose. When that thing bites the dust, I may go a different route. Love coffee, it’s good for you. I think.

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