Login   |   Register

Bring the Coffee House Home

By Molly Martin

Just think: two dollars a day, at least five days a week, fifty-two weeks a year—you’re spending $520 a year at your local coffee shop, and that’s if you’re only drinking one cup per day! Not even Pierre de Fermat could reconcile those numbers, and you don’t have to either. Just ditch the paper cup and save some green by taking the coffeehouse home.

1) Buy a coffeemaker, but don’t waste money on the expensive versions. All a good coffeemaker needs is a removable filter catch, and maybe a “pause and pour” option (hey, sometimes you need coffee now). If you’re lazy, invest in a Keurig or Tassimo machine with individualized serving capsules (though bare in mind that these will add up).

2) Spend the extra money on quality coffee, because you can’t have a home coffeehouse with average joe. Many fair trade coffees are expertly roasted and provide fair wages (perhaps you inferred that from their name) for coffee farmers. And you’ll still be saving more money than if you bought it by the cup.

3) Experiment with your own coffee drinks. Sure, you may not have a milk steamer or espresso machine, but who cares?

  • Caramel latte- Try strong coffee, warm milk, and caramel sauce.
  • Mocha- Same deal, just add chocolate syrup (or, dare I say, melted chocolate?) instead of caramel sauce.
  • Frozen coffee- Blend some ice, coffee, milk, and a teaspoon of powdered vanilla coffee creamer.
  • Iced coffee- Pour this morning’s extra coffee in a pitcher and chill in the fridge for a few hours. To get a bit fancier, try cold-brewed iced coffee (and read the slightly self-congratulatory NYT article on the subject if you’re bored).

Be creative and try some of the flavored coffees, teas, and syrups at your local grocery store. Put a little cinnamon or cocoa in an extra saltshaker or shake up a fresh can of whipped cream—you won’t even miss that expensive paper cup.

4) To attain a true coffeehouse taste, you’ll also need some creative baked goods. Try combining flavors: Raspberry muffins from the bakery with your own chocolate ganache (melt together some heavy cream and semi-sweet chocolate). Or make oatmeal cookies with vanilla glaze and toasted coconut. If you’re looking for healthier, try some homemade granola mixed with dried fruits and some dark chocolate.

5) If it’s the “atmosphere” that you miss more than the coffee, go all out: grab some books, make a Sufjan Stevens-heavy playlist, and invite over your most bohemian friends. Most importantly, just relax—it’s your coffeehouse (or apartment) after all!

©2010 Gradspot LLC