Why I changed my coffee habit

Starting in July, I made a radical change to my coffee habit.  A month of vacation had given my husband and I a LOT of chances to drink bad hotel coffee, over priced coffee drinks, and a few really spectacular cups of handcrafted heaven-in-a-cup.

I was looking forward to getting home and curling up in my favorite chair with my coffee every morning.  I’d expected to return to my time-tested routine.

Stumble downstairs, grope for the power button on the Keurig, count the seconds until it’s ready to go, and then inhale the fumes until I can actually DRINK the coffee.

Except…

We were out of k-cups.

(Yes, I can hear the audible intake of breath. Coffee shortage is a huge crisis in my life too!)

why i changed my coffee habit

I trudged out to the car and grabbed the kitchen bag from the pile of still packed stuff in the car.  I drug it inside and rooted through until I found the bag of loose coffee grounds we’d traveled with.  I had every intention of using it in one of those “pack your own k cup” things that I keep stashed in the back of the cabinet.

Except…

The French Press thing was right in front of the k cup thingys.  As I went to move it, my husband walked by.

Oooh.  French Press. Good idea.

He grabbed it out of my hands and began to make coffee WITHOUT a Keurig.  I found myself standing between my husband and the Keurig, just in case she saw what we were doing and got jealous.

Within minutes, the deed was done. I was inhaling coffee fumes. I was happy.

i changed my coffee habit

Same song, second verse…

We were tired. We had a second cup before we started facing the rather daunting task of unpacking the car from a month-long road trip.  It felt like making two cups of coffee with a French Press took slightly less time than making two separate cups with the Keurig.

Score one point for speed.

There was something enjoyable about pouring coffee from a single pot while my husband and I chatted about the day. It felt more connected than when we each made our own coffee.

Score one point for love.

When I rinsed the press out in the sink, I scooped the coffee grounds up and tossed them on the garden.  It was a far cry from the twinge of guilt I feel each time I toss a used k-cup in the trash.  (You knew I felt that twinge, right? I at least OWN the make-your-own-kcup thing, even if I don’t use it.)

Score one point for gardens and all things green.

Three points is nice, but it’s not enough to make me change the week day habit of stagger, wait, drink.  It was point number four that got to me.

The real reason I changed my coffee habit.

I’m cheap.

There. I said it.

Around the same time, I read something on Pinterest about a price per kcup analysis between major brands.  I’d never thought about the price per cup. I always just bought it by the box and was happy to pay less than $10 for a box… of 12.

That’s 83 cents per cup of coffee I drink.

On average, we went through 15 kcups a week ($12.45).  Over the course of a year, that works out to almost $650 in coffee.

I stood in the coffee aisle staring at the boxes of kcups.   My favorite brand wasn’t on sale. It was going to cost $13 to buy a box that wouldn’t last the week.

Then I looked at the bags of coffee.  For $5 I could get a bag of coffee that lasted over a week while we were on vacation.  I wasn’t sure how much longer, I just knew that $5 would get me at least a week’s worth of coffee.

Saving more than 50% sounded good. It was even my preferred brand.

I actually bought both.  I bought the box and the bag.  I reasoned that even if I could use the bagged stuff a few times a week, it would help with the $650 coffee bill. But I wanted the convenience of the kcup when I *needed* it.  Like say, a Monday morning.

Then I timed things.

Filling up an electric kettle does not take any longer than filling the water holder on the Keurig.

The electric kettle actually heats water FASTER than my Keurig.

The time I spend waiting for the coffee to brew (about two minutes, if I’m patient) gives me just the right amount of time to get a coffee mug and splash a bit of milk in the bottom of it AND rinse out the iced tea pitcher and prep it for the day’s fresh batch of tea. Just about the time I pour the hot water over the tea bag, my coffee is ready to press.

The French Press is great at making just the right amount of coffee for me.

Huh.

Using the press starts the day with a glow.

I sit down with my coffee knowing that I’ve already accomplished three things for the day.

  1. I saved money.
  2. I made tea.
  3. I made the world a little greener.

Not a bad list of accomplishments before the sun comes up.

Six weeks into my new coffee habit, the math definitely makes me happy.

One 12 ounce bag has about 60 tablespoons of coffee. That’s 30 cups of coffee – enough to last us two weeks.  Even at $7 a bag (today’s Amazon price), that works out to $3.50 a week or $182 a year.

(In comparison, today’s Amazon subscribe and save price for the same brand of k-cups is $23.34 for 36 or 65cents each. That works out to $507 a year.)

$182 < $507

$3.50 < $10 (or more)

$0.23 < $0.65

(This would be about the time to confess my dependance on Chic-Fil-A iced tea.  Driving through several times a week just for iced tea really adds up.  Having iced-tea made at home really helps me stay away from drive-thru drink stands of all descriptions. I’m probably saving another $10 a week just by having a pitcher of tea in my refrigerator.  Eek!)

My favorite coffee?

(clicking on this will use my affiliate info and take you to Amazon)

Curious about a French Press?

(another Amazon link)


Other benefits of a French Press?  It makes cold brew coffee. It’s great for loose-leaf tea. It helps in creating an herb infused brine to go in your turkey injector without actually plugging up the injector. It’s exactly what you need to make coffee without electricity.

 

We traveled with this one. Very useful if you are coffee dependent.

(yet another Amazon link)

 

 

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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Comments

  1. I used to buy K-cups too, but they really are expensive compared to regular ground coffee from the grocery store. My new favorite is Eight O’Clock Coffee, especially their hazelnut flavor.

    -Jack

  2. My husband has always absolutely refused to get a Keurig machine. He always says he wants to make more than one cup of coffee at a time (he also happens to hate flavored coffee). I must say our coffee maker does keep an entire pot ready and waiting for quite a while. We mostly drink plain old Folgers around here but we both also like the Seattle’s Best coffee as well.

    • I think the Keurig absolutely makes sense for people who make and drink one cup in the morning (and then maybe a second cup mid afternoon). But making back-to-back cups in the Keurig… not a good call.

      If I didn’t own so many k-cups, I’d give our machine away at this point. :)

  3. Makes sense to me. Of course, I don’t drink coffee. I just got in the habit of having coffee on hand to offer to guests. Bought my first coffee pot last year. Some of my family was SO happy!!!

  4. Hi Susan, These days I try to avoid coffee as much as i can.. It really effects on health..

  5. I totally agree with you on this, a french press is way more cheap and more convenient than a k-cup machine. It also maks coffee just as good as k-cups. Another positive point using a french press, is that if you throw the soaked coffee grains in your sink, it is good for your pipes. At least this is what I've been told by a plumber!

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