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How to Enjoy Coffee Without Breaking the Bank

How to Enjoy Coffee Without Breaking the Bank

Is this your usual morning ritual?

You stroll into your favorite cafe, greeted by the familiar hum of espresso machines and the rich aroma of freshly brewed coffee. You exchange smiles with the barista, order your usual, and settle in with your laptop ready to start the day. 

It's perfect, except for the price tag. 

Your daily coffee house ritual can average $6 each day compared to less than $1 per cup for a homebrew. This kind of savings really adds up and shows just how wallet-friendly brewing your own coffee can be.

With café coffee more than five times the price of making it yourself, you’ll want to take a look at these easy ways to enjoy your favorite coffee without breaking the bank.

1. Invest in a Home Coffee Station

While you could save a little money at the cafe by ordering plain black coffee in the smallest size, a better way to save is to learn to brew your favorite drinks at home. When you invest in quality coffee equipment you’ll have the freedom to make your favorite drinks and won’t even miss your barista.

To get started, you’ll want these essentials:

  • Coffee Maker: At a minimum, you’ll need a home-brew coffee maker. Choose a simple drip coffee maker, pour-over, Aeropress, French press or espresso machine based on the type of coffee you enjoy most.
  • Coffee Grinder: The grinder is perhaps the most crucial piece of equipment. Freshly ground coffee is superior in flavor, and burr grinders are preferred over blade grinders as they allow for consistent grind sizes which means you need a smaller amount of coffee for the best flavor.
  • Kettle: A gooseneck kettle is crucial for pour-over coffee enthusiasts because the design gives precise control over the water flow. This precision pours evenly saturates the coffee ground and helps avoid bitterness or weak flavor.
  • Scale: A digital scale to measure coffee grounds accurately ensures a perfect coffee-to-water ratio. This is crucial for consistent flavor and strength in each brew, helping you replicate the same quality cup each time without guesswork. It doesn’t need to be an expensive one.
  • Filtered Water Pitcher: Using filtered water can improve the taste of your coffee, as it removes impurities and chlorine from tap water. Clean water not only enhances the flavor profile of the coffee but also prevents scale buildup in your coffee maker, extending the life of your equipment.
  • Milk Frother: For those who enjoy lattes or cappuccinos, a milk frother will create the rich foam and creamy texture you expect to find at high-end coffee shops.

You’ll find a wide range of prices for each appliance (coffee makers can range from $10 to several thousand dollars) so just choose what fits within your budget. You can always upgrade later once you master your craft.

Coffee dripping from coffee machine

2. For Cafe-Level Taste, Select High-Quality Coffee Beans

Selecting high-quality coffee beans is crucial for anyone looking to enhance their coffee experience at home. Coffee beans vary widely in flavor, aroma, and body depending on their origin, variety, and processing method. 

Bag of coffee beans spilling onto a red wooden spoon

Look for specialty, organic, and sustainable coffee to find higher quality beans with the best flavor. These growing methods avoid harmful pesticides and chemical fertilizers that can degrade the soil quality and impact the coffee's flavor profile. Buying coffee beans during their peak season also ensures you’re getting fresher and higher quality beans which can make a better-tasting cup of coffee. To ensure the best quality, buy your coffee beans from local roasters for freshly roasted options or trusted online retailers that provide detailed information about the coffee's origin, growing methods, and roast date.

To find the perfect bean for you, check out our ultimate guide to the world’s most popular coffee types.

 

3. Steam and Froth Your Own Milk

While drinking your coffee black is a way to keep coffee costs down, investing in a high-quality milk frother will help give you that luxurious, café-style experience without the hefty price tag. A coffee shop order of a single latte can cost upwards of $4 or $5. For a budget-friendly alternative, start by gently steaming your milk on the stovetop and frothing it in a French press or by shaking it in a sealed glass jar to get that creamy cafe texture. 

 

4. Buy Coffee in Bulk and Use Subscriptions

If you want premium coffee without the premium price tag, buying in bulk (such as a 5lb bag) and subscribing to coffee delivery services directly from the roaster can make a big difference. 

Coffee beans in bulk shopping bins with silver scoops

Typically, the larger the quantity of coffee you purchase, the lower the cost per unit. If you drink coffee regularly this can lead to significant savings and helps make sure you always have your favorite brew on hand. The key to buying in bulk is to store coffee properly to maintain its freshness. Keep grounds or beans in airtight containers in a cool, dark place. For even longer storage, divide your purchase into smaller portions and freeze them, taking out only what you need for a week or two at a time.

 Coffee subscription services have become increasingly popular because they’re convenient and offer cost savings through discounts on regular deliveries and reduced or free shipping. Subscription services often send coffee shortly after roasting which guarantees the freshest beans. This is a significant advantage over purchasing from a store, where beans might sit on shelves for weeks at a time.

5. Find the Best Local Brew

Chalkboard sign that reads thank you for shopping local

If you have various coffee and roasting options near you, shop locally for the best brew. Shopping locally for coffee saves money by reducing or eliminating shipping costs, as beans don't have to travel as far. Local roasters often offer the option to buy beans in bulk at lower prices and ensure you're getting a fresher product, which means better taste and less waste. Supporting local coffee businesses boosts the local economy, potentially leading to more competitive pricing and community reinvestment.

Think beyond your grocery store shelves when looking for fresh coffee beans. Try farmer's markets and CSAs to find the most locally available options. 

Find your favorite Peak State Brews with our retail locator.

 

6. Master Home Brewing Techniques

Understanding various coffee brewing techniques is essential to making great coffee at home. Each method can affect the taste and quality of your coffee so it’s important to understand the most popular methods. 

Water being poured into a pour over coffee maker

 

  • French Press: This method allows for full immersion brewing, which results in a rich and robust flavor. The technique involves steeping coarse-ground beans in hot water for several minutes before pressing down the filter to separate the grounds from the liquid.
  • Pour-Over: Known for its precise flavor extraction, pour-over requires a steady hand to pour hot water over coffee grounds in a filter. The water drains through the coffee, picking up its flavors and aromas.
  • Espresso: This method uses high pressure to force hot water through the finely ground coffee, producing a concentrated and flavorful shot of coffee. Mastering espresso is key for creating a variety of coffeehouse-style drinks at home.
  • Cold Brew: For a smoother, less acidic option, try making cold brew by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for 12-24 hours, which is ideal for iced coffee drinks. Or, for traditional iced coffee, brew the coffee stronger than usual and then quickly cool it by pouring it over ice.

Once you master basic brewing methods, experiment with coffee-to-water ratios to find your preferred strength and flavor. 

 

7. Reduce Waste and Reuse Coffee Grounds

Measuring spoon scooping coffee grounds from a ceramic container

Committing to sustainable coffee habits benefits the environment and helps save money by reducing the need for disposable products.

Start by minimizing your waste.

  • Brew only what you drink to avoid wasting coffee and water.  If you make too much, put it in the fridge or freeze it into cubes for a future iced coffee or smoothie.
  • Invest in a reusable filter that can be used multiple times and eliminate the need to buy disposable paper filters.
  • Use a reusable mug or a thermos instead of single-use paper or plastic cups to reduce waste and keep your coffee warmer for longer.
  • Choose reusable or biodegradable straws like stainless steel, glass, and bamboo straws that can be used indefinitely or composted instead of sitting in a landfill.

 Coffee grounds can also be reused in several ways and save you from buying other products for your home. Try using your grounds as:

  • Garden fertilizers to improve soil composition and attract worms, which are beneficial for plant growth.
  • Homemade body scrubs by mixing coffee grounds with coconut oil or honey to remove dead skin cells and improve circulation.
  • Natural deodorizers for your refrigerator, closet, or car by placing dried coffee grounds in a breathable fabric bag to naturally absorb odors.
  • Scouring agents to clean hard-to-remove dirt from pots, pans, and surfaces. Just mix them with a little dish soap for an effective cleaning paste.

 8. Change Your Work Environment

Person working at a laptop surrounded by plants and a cup of coffee

In the age of remote work, cafe visits can easily become a costly habit. With the rise of remote work and flexible schedules, as many as 25% of people choose a coffee shop as their home office. But each time they set up their laptop they’re also easily spending over $5 on a cup of coffee. If you’re one to work from a cafe multiple times a week, that habit can add up fast.

Instead of heading to the cafe, grab your travel mug and set up your workstation at the library or local university. They have everything you need for a quiet day of productivity and you won’t have to buy a beverage while you’re there. 


Elevate Your Mornings With Customized Home Brews

While it's true that brewing your coffee at home can save you hundreds of dollars each year, the true joy of becoming your own barista stretches beyond the cost savings. It offers you the opportunity to master various brewing techniques and develop your own unique coffee rituals. 

Imagine spending a peaceful morning in your backyard, or immersing yourself in a book without the clamor of a busy cafe. Instead of standing in line and emptying your wallet for overpriced cafe lattes, consider Inviting a friend to share a home-brewed coffee at the local dog park or along your favorite hiking trail. You may find your money is better spent making new and lasting memories.

 

Person pouring a cup of coffee from a thermos while standing in a field

Ready to start saving some money by brewing at home? Make a delicious home brew with one of our functional coffee blends.

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