Friday, October 14, 2011

Take out Coffee vs. Brew at Home

Thanks so much for joining us for another weekly edition of Coffee Chronicles - where we Thank Coffee it's Friday every week here for your enjoyment.  Pull up a chair, grab a cuppa joe and stay awhile!

There were so many awesome questions from our Giveaway last week that proved you just can't tell when we will decide to give something away.  (If you haven't entered, there is still time - GO NOW - it ends the 21st.)  It was hard to choose which question should go first so we picked out of a hat and came up with this one that comes to us from April:

Question? Do you prefer coffee out or what you make at home more?

Dear April:

The best way to answer this question is with the REAL question here:

What is your coffee budget?

You don't have one? Seriously?
Ok, I get it. Coffee's not a "need"...

That's crap! Coffee is a need! A requirement. A gosh darn necessity.
And you don't think so, why are you here besides the fact that the JavaJoeMamas are so freaking AWESOME. Boom.

So. A budget. Maybe it's 10$ a month. Maybe it's 10$ a week but you need to create one. Not only will it answer this question better for you individually, it'll keep you in check to not overspend.

Average lb of coffee to brew at home: 10$ to 15$. And this doesn't include sales or specials. By the way, ground coffee you buy in a bag loses it's flavor slowly once it's ground. So that DD you got on sale at Target for $5.99, it's really a days worth of joe. And if it's flavored, that's what you paid for. Stale coffee covered in flavor. Not worth it.

Listen, the fresher the cup the better. G.A.Y.G. (Grind As You Go) should be tattooed somewhere on your body...or taped to the fridge. Buy whole bean. Invest in a decent grinder (AND keep it clean! Oils ruin a grinder!!) and brew fresh daily. A grind the night before is "ok" but even the Bux standard is to brew every 8 min before noon. Every. 8. Minutes. The fresher the better.

So your budget to brew at home maybe 15$ a week. That includes coffee, sugar, creamer or anything else you add. You need to factor in your average. An open bag of coffee whole bean lasts a week. Don't chill it or freeze it!! No no no!! Keep it in the bag in a non clear container; safe from moisture, light and air.

Now going to a shop is expensive. Even for a cup of regular brew. Expensive for your wallet, your watch and your waistline. But if it's your fix, do it smart.
Buy a gift card. Only use THAT card. Put a fixed amount on it a week and don't go over.

Starbucks has a Rewards program that allows you to register the card and earn free drinks. In addition, your syrups are free, soy is free and refills of brewed, iced coffee and/or brewed, iced teas are free. Plus you get postcards for free drinks every 15 transactions for ANY drink you want.

Other coffee shops have promotions like this too. Ask the barista for info and you could see the amount you spend out is comparable to the amount you spend at home.

The thing is if you love coffee, home or from a shop, you'll spend the $$ to get it the way you like. But don't compromise. Taste your drink before you leave to make sure you like it. You just paid 2.15 to 5.55 for your coffee, make sure you love it. And grocery store coffee? Never pre-ground. Ever. It's a waste of money and you won't be happy. I certainly won't be happy. And you might find me knocking on your door ready to smack you with a Torani bottle.

Just remember your budget and it'll all make sense.

Respect the cup.



Have a coffee question you need answered?  No question is too typical or sarcastic for us to answer!

You can ask your questions in the comments below or by emailing one of us at:



Don't forget to tune in next week where we may talk about punishing husbands for lack of beans - you won't want to miss the snark that is bound to ensue.  Thanks for joining us!

Java Joe Mamas


Christopher said...

Another way to budget for take out. If you take online surveys or shop with a rewards shopping site, you can cash in your points for starbucks cards. As to G.A.Y.G. What do you recommend as a good grinder?

Kim said...

I realize this won't be popular, but I love tea. I love a cup of tea at home first thing in the morning.

BUT I do really enjoy a fancy cup of coffee out. It's the best.

Kathyradigan said...

My husband and I are hard core coffee drinkers! We are grind as go people and since he works in downtown NYC he hits a coffee wholesaler about once a month when they have their sales. I go for coffee with friends, but that is more social that actually for my coffee fix! What a fun feature, I love coffee Fridays!! So glad I was on Chrome today, it's the only way I get your blog!! Take care!

Therobotmommy said...

So glad you visited. Sounds like you and the hub have a coffee plan which is great! If you love this coffee when you make it at home, you know your budget and are pretty much following through. Great job!!

Therobotmommy said...

Here at CC, we are not "hating on the tea". I adore English tea and drink it in the late afternoon or evening on cold rainy nights. I would hope you'd have a few tea drinkers stopping by. Glad you commented!! Thank you so much!

Therobotmommy said...

Great tip, Christopher. I know quite a few people who do surveys for points toward cards. It's definitely another way to save some $$$

As for a grinder, if you are a one type of brewer ( i.e Mr. Coffee, Cuisinart) then a general grinder will work. If you are a multiple type of brew person, ( i.e. French press, stovetop, espresso, perk) invest in a burr grinder with adjustable grinding features. It'll make for a more accurate grind and better tasting coffee. I like Bunn's version but they are pricey. Krupa makes a good one and it's long lasting. Keep it super clean by wiping down the oil out of the machine. Please this also keeps the taste from transferring to your next cup. Here's a site with some great grinders.

April (@april_momof3) said...

Yay! I was first. :)

Great answers. I treat myself once a week @ the Bus b/c I dearly love it. I'm afraid you need to smack me w/the torani bottle as far as my at home coffee consumption goes. I drink every day but do not own a grinder. I prefer the taste of espresso but usually buy the already ground dark roast to brew at home.

ValerieHamer said...

I am truly blessed to have access to $1 fresh ground bean coffee. Really! (On campus at my uni in Korea.)

Coffeelovinmom said...

I'm sorry about the IE problem Kathy - I gave up on that browser awhile never loads things right on my laptop. Thanks for visiting, your husband could probably answer a few questions himself!

Coffeelovinmom said...

Totally have tea in the cupboard too!

Coffeelovinmom said...

man you could have saved that for next friday - maybe we can do a recommendation week...I usually use my magic bullet so I wouldn't be a great judge..

Coffeelovinmom said...

Thanks April - great question! She might be showing up at my door too..hubs likes the grocery kind, un-foo foo and plain...

Coffeelovinmom said...

That sounds like heaven!

ValerieHamer said...

It certainly is. They also do a nice cappucino for $1.50. It is exactly right, unlike the horrid latte type things some people pass off on you.