The Gourmet Coffee Lover’s Guide to the Recession By: R.L. Fielding
In tough economic times it becomes important to cut corners and save every penny possible. Treats like a daily stop at the neighborhood café are among the first expenses to land on the chopping block. Yet if you switch to making gourmet coffee for yourself at home, you can enjoy your daily treat and still save money.
The biggest drawback most people imagine when switching to home-brewed coffee is a loss of convenience. Having to set up and clean a coffee pot can be a hassle that only adds stress to an already hectic daily routine. But it doesn’t have to be that way! With today’s most modern coffee makers (a Keurig coffee maker, for instance, can brew a single cup of coffee at a time with virtually no set up or clean up), and a few other ideas to help you save money on coffee, you can cheaply and easily keep or add gourmet coffee as part of your daily routine.
Find a coffee maker that works for you
With the wide variety of coffee makers available in today’s marketplace from traditional 12-cup drip coffee makers to single cup brewing machines, there really is something available for everyone. Is time an issue? Single-cup coffee makers, which use individually packaged coffee pods, can brew a cup of coffee in less than a minute. Many drip coffee makers now include clocks that will start the brewing process while you are still snoring through your last few minutes of sleep.
While you can peruse weekly store circulars and visit stores to find the machine that is right for you, many prefer the convenience of shopping online. In addition to being able to compare the various features of each machine side-by-side, you can also read reviews from other customers, and search around for the best price. Concerned about paying extra shipping charges? Many sites offer free shipping or special discounts for loyal shoppers.
Keep your coffee fresh so you waste less
While purchasing a coffee maker that uses individual pods to brew single servings is a great way to get the freshest gourmet coffee at home, there are other alternatives that can help you keep your coffee tasting great, right down to the last bean. Contrary to what you may have heard, storing your coffee in the refrigerator or freezer does not help keep your coffee fresher over time. The refrigerator can expose your coffee to excess moisture and the freezer will only make your coffee very, very cold. The best solution is to store your ground coffee or coffee beans in a container that keeps as much air and light out as possible.
Invest in Accessories
Another idea that will help keep your coffee fresh is to invest in a bean grinder. If you grind just the beans you need each day, you will be able to keep the coffee fresher than you would if you purchased pre-ground coffee. Again, air exposure is a critical factor. The less your coffee is exposed to air, the longer it will remain fresh.
Before you start brewing, there are two things to consider that will keep you from wasting extra coffee. First, estimate how much you and your family will actually be able to drink. Brew only what you will drink in one sitting. Once the coffee has finished brewing, pour everyone a cup and immediately transfer the remaining coffee from the pot to an insulated carafe. The carafe will keep the coffee hot and fresh over the next several hours. Sometimes, when you leave the brewed coffee in the pot for an extended period of time, the coffee can acquire a burnt” taste that will make drinking it less enjoyable. You can also side-step this issue entirely by brewing single servings using a one-cup coffee maker.
Keep an eye out for sales and specials on your favorite coffee
To save money on coffee beans and coffee pods, keep an eye out for sales. Not only will local retailers occasionally offer special savings, you can watch for sales at online coffee vendors as well. These sites may offer special promotions on specific types of coffee, or all-out sales at certain times of the year such as Christmas. Sign up for e-mail updates from your favorite online retailers to be sure that you’re among the first to hear about the latest discounts on your favorite gourmet brands.
No time to brew at home? Downsize!
You might not always have time to brew fresh coffee at home, but that does not mean you have to forego coffee altogether. To save money during the recession and beyond, consider ordering your coffee in a smaller cup. Over time, you will be able to save a significant amount of money by downsizing from a large to a medium coffee or from a medium to a small coffee.
You should also consider investigating alternative coffee shops. While you may have fallen into the routine of visiting a particular café, others in your area may offer great tasting coffee at a lower price point. Some shops may offer special discounts to frequent coffee drinkers. You can also try switching to an every-other-day routine. By brewing coffee at home or drinking free coffee at your office every other day of the week, you will ultimately save money.
As you can see, enjoying gourmet coffee has the potential to be both convenient and cost-effective in addition to being delicious. By making some sensible changes to your gourmet coffee routine, you can easily save money without having to sacrifice your daily coffee fix.
About R.L. Fielding:
R.L. Fielding has been a freelance writer for 10 years, offering her expertise and skills to a variety of major organizations in the education, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, financial services, and manufacturing industries.
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About the Author:
CoffeeCow.com goes to great lengths to provide the highest quality products, the fastest service, and the deepest discount prices you will find on Keurig K-Cups, coffee pods, and a wide selection of related coffee supplies for your home or office. Visit www.coffeecow.com for more information.