A Guide to Buying Coffee on a Budget

June 28, 2015

The Reality of Cheap Coffee

a guide to buying coffee on a budgetThe global economic recession has caused job loss, cash flow restrictions, and much more as you have probably heard ad nauseum on MSNBC and various news counterparts. For many, even those with jobs, spending $5 daily on a performance enhancing liquid to get you through your day is becoming less and less appealing. On a conservative estimate, buying Starbucks coffee for every work day can cost at least $1300. Of course, we can all use an extra $1000 in our bank accounts, but going cold turkey on coffee is not the answer, especially not when the caffeine goblin inside of you is screaming for satisfaction, and your boss becomes appalled at your ridiculously lackluster performance. Making coffee at home is an option but Folgers in my cup does not always taste like my favorite Starbucks drink. So what is the answer? While buying an expensive European cappuccino machine may solve your problems, there are more cost effective and feasible answers. (Bunn CDBCF15 – Fresh Coffee For Restaurant Owners).

1. Run to the Golden Arches – Contrary to popular and hipster beliefs, McDonald’s coffee is surprisingly delicious. While many turn their nose up and sneer at the thought of going to a low class establishment like McDonald’s for their coffee, you can be less ignorant and less prejudiced to be a part of something great. While it is fact that McDonald’s coffee is cheaper than Burger King’s, Dunkin Donuts, and Starbuck’s, it is also fact that McDonald’s coffee taste better than most of those stores previously mentioned. Many consumer tastes test like this one from consumer report concur. Another cost plus is that McDonald’s have senior discounts on coffee for the older gentlemen and ladies. Very rarely can the cheapest thing be the best, this is one of those few instances. For the hot summer days, McDonald’s new flavored iced coffees are a fantastic and cheaper alternative to Starbuck’s Frappuccinos. My favorite is the Hazelnut flavor. Throw the snob out the window and quit striving to be “hip” and grab yourself a delicious cup of joe for $1.35

2. Support local businesses – If you do not have time or the resources to make your own coffee at home, the only other wise and reasonable alternative to McDonald’s are the local shops that are hiding in your city. Local coffee joints are great places to grab a cup of coffee on the go or sit and relax. The ambiance is definitely an improvement over the chain stores, and the coffee can be extremely delicious. A good local shop should provide you with excellent coffee for only $0.50 – $1.50. Wonder why the people from “Friend’s” always hang out at the coffee shop on that show? Because these shops are truly great places to wind down after a busy day and to spend chatting with your buddies. I cannot tell you where exactly the best coffee shop in your town will be but a good place to start searching is City Search website, as that is where I found my favorite shop. Supporting local businesses will help stimulate the economy too, so do your part!

3. Grind your own beans – Tips 3-8 are written to help you improve your own homemade coffee, the cheapest coffee of all. If you want decent homemade coffee, the first step is to throw away your can of grounded powder and buy some fresh coffee beans. Ground coffee get stale really fast and can taste bitter. Sure, you will have to grind your own powder whenever you want coffee, but it only takes about 10 seconds. Grinding your own coffee is cheaper and more delicious, so if you are a true coffee drinker, the only reason not to do it is extreme laziness. Your own coffee bean grinder can cost from $25 to $100, but there is no reason to spend more than $40 on a good one. Some good ones include: the Delonghi, Krups, and Braun.

4. Choosing your coffee beans – Try to obtain your coffee beans from good coffee shop for the best taste. However, buying coffee from the supermarket will do. Try not to buy coffee from the display plastic towers and go for the coffee in the vacuum sealed bags. For one thing, you do not know how long the beans have been in the plastic tower, and secondly beans in the towers can be damaged. When buying vacuumed sealed bags, check the roasted date or freshness date to ensure you’re not getting anything too old. In terms of roast style and flavors, that’s just to your personal taste or whatever is cheapest for you. Either way no matter what you choose, having your own coffee beans is infinitely cheaper than going out for Starbucks.

5. Choosing your coffee maker – There really is no wrong answer here. However, it is best to choose a coffee maker with an auto-brew timer. That way you can grind your beans the night before and have coffee fresh and brewing when you wake up. An auto-brewing coffee maker is the perfect device to make you use your coffee beans and help you avoid costly coffee shops especially if you are on the go!

6. Storing your coffee beans – Remember to store your beans in an airtight container in a cool place or your cheap beans will really taste cheap! It is also important to remember to use your supply of beans in one week, if you have more than a week’s supply store the excess in the freezer.

7. Master Mixer – The above tips are just for your regular everyday “Joe 6-pack” coffees. Now if you want some specialty coffees or special mixes and blends but do not want to spend the money to obtain those, there are various helpful recipes online that can help you create your own perfect mix. Here’s an example of a website with various recipes to help you recreate the exotic flavors that you crave.

8. The magic of IPOH – If you are on a budget, in a hurry, and way to lazy to prepare your own coffee. The last resort would be instant IPOH white coffee. If you have never heard of IPOH white coffee before, read about it here. My personal favorite instant IPOH coffee comes in a small packet and is of the 3-in-1 variety. This means that sugar and milk has already been added. The taste is good enough and it satisfies the random cravings. You can find a large bag of 20+ packets at many Asian grocery stores for about $5. Experiment to see which brand you prefer the most. Cheap, quick, and hits the spot, the magic of IPOH!

Hopefully this short guide have given you hope in this time of economic failure. Take heart, you can have good coffee and be poor at the same time, it just takes some personal effort but it can be done!! Until next time, drink well and prosper!

July 15, 2014

Cuisinart Kettle

cuisinart kettle

cuisinart kettle

Cuisinart Kettle is an attractive brushed stainless-steel electric kettle boils up to 1-3/4 quarts of water for tea, coffee, or instant oatmeal and soups. The 1,500-watt power base heats water quickly and, for safety, automatically shuts off when it reaches a boil.

The cordless kettle conveniently lifts off the base to travel to the breakfast table, desk, or wherever tea is being served and has a cool bottom so it can rest on any surface. Unlike many other electric kettles, the heating element on this one is concealed within the jug.

This design prevents calcium build-up, which can alter the flavor of hot water. The kettle also has a button that opens the lid with a single touch for easy refilling and an easy-to-read water level indicator. Other perks on this jug include a large, stay-cool handle and a wide lip for pouring. Cuisinart covers this cordless electric jug kettle under a 3-year warranty.

Choosing Espresso Machine

February 15, 2014

Choosing Espresso Machine

How to tell which espresso machines are the best

You need to know what features are most important on a machine when you want to look for which espresso machines are the best. There are a lot of espresso machines out there, with many manufacturers producing multiple makes and models. Fancy coffee houses go by their wealth of knowledge and by what their friends in the business say to uncover which espresso machines are the best. Even they, though, need some help when knew makes and models come on the market. So what’s a consumer supposed to do then? Read on further in this article, that’s what.

One feature to look for to let you know which espresso machines are the best is a built-in grinder. These machines tend to have a special grind dial, too, to help you control what kind of grind you produce. If you don’t have a built-in grinder, then you need to calibrate your separate bean grinder machine to match your new espresso machines. Many of these grinder machines come already set to a certain grind, such as for a moka pot or drip brewing, which may be too coarse side. It may take several tries, and several shots of espresso for your guinea pig, before you get a grind that’s perfect for your machine. The experts suggest this to be about two ounces of espresso from a double basket in about 27 seconds.

Still, if you’re a little wary of doing this grind test, keep in mind that good machines should be able to tolerate different thickness grinds. That way, you can tell which espresso machines are the best because they won’t get stuffed or jammed by grinds that are a little too fine or too coarse. The finest machines have a check valve that gives the machines a higher tolerance to plow through grinds that require more pressure, such as finer grinds. The espresso that you produce may not taste as good in these situations. Scientific studies show that there is an ideal pressure for extraction. Higher pressures at best do not make for good flavor, but at worst that can result in bitter espresso.

Another thing that can tip you off to which espresso machines are the best is how loud the machine is. Top-notch brands should be relatively quiet. The best make espresso at the decibels of a whisper or, in other words, not that many. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to carry out a normal conversation while your machine brews a shot. That way, you can tell all your friends how great your machine is before they taste it for themselves.

Braun 4 cup Espresso Carafes

February 15, 2014

Braun 4 cup Espresso Carafes

Braun 4 cup espresso carafes pour one mean cup of java. Experts rave about all of the added perks that the Braun 4 cup espresso carafes have compared to your standard coffee pot drip and espresso machines. Most of these compliments talk about coffee that blows their mind, or how they closed their eyes and could imagine themselves on a gondola in Venice. That’s coming from experts. Imagine what the espresso from the Braun carafe will do to your friends. outdoor espresso maker

First off, the Braun 4 cup espresso carafes get your espresso to the perfect temperature. Believe it or not, but most coffee makers, even espresso makers, fail to get the proper water and coffee temperature. This leaves your coffee lifeless, since proper liquid temperatures are essential for the optimal extraction of coffee bean oils. Expert tests on these Brauns, though, show that they get liquid temperatures more than 10 degree Fahrenheit higher than other machines. For those curious about exactly what level of heat we’re talking, the carafes should have upwards of 200 degrees by the end of brewing. Other lesser machines keep the temperatures down around 180 to 185 degrees.  gourmet coffee gift basket

The Braun 4 cup espresso carafes also do an excellent job of making sure all of your grounds get used up. You want to make sure your machine has a proper dispersion pattern in your filter basket with its steam output. That way, as much as possible will be “spent grounds,” or used up coffee. The Braun didn’t leave too many spent grounds, according to experts, though it did leave some. This, however, is no reason to pass up on this mean coffee machine.

Possibly the finest feature of the machine is its high-quality stainless steel carafe. Many Braun 4 cup espresso carafes come with a “brew-through” design. This means that you don’t need to place a lid on it after brewing, or clamp down a lid for that matter. Even after letting it sit around for a couple of hours, the carafe still should retain a lot of those high temperatures we talked about earlier. As for cleaning, the stainless steel should not be much more of a bother compared with glass pots.

Review of Keurig B70 Platinum Single Cup Home Brewing System

November 29, 2013

Review of Keurig B70 Platinum Single Cup Home Brewing System

Keurig B70 Platinum Single Cup Home Brewing System

Hello everybody, my name is Alex and I have been invited to do a review of the Keurig B70 Platinum coffee maker. So I thought the best way to do this is to share my story. I wanted to buy a single cup brewer for our home, but there were so many models out there I really didn’t know what to choose.

Review of Keurig B70 Platinum Single Cup Home Brewing System

Review of Keurig B70 Platinum Single Cup Home Brewing System

So I decided to do a little research first. After about a week of asking around and looking all over the internet, I narrowed my search to three models: the Keurig MINI Plus Brewing System, Keurig B70 and Tassimo. I then went to the store to take a closer look at all of them. I think I was there for an hour asking all kinds of questions, the clerk had so much patience with me…thank you again 🙂 ..and in the end I came out with the Keurig B70. At the moment it seemed like the perfect brewer for me. Six months later I couldn’t be happier with my choice.

Let’s Take A Closer Look
Features: 5 brew sizes (3.25 oz NEW iced drinks; 5.25 oz more intense cup; 7.25 oz regular cup; 9.25 oz mug; 11.25 oz travel mug) NEW Quiet Brew Technology Adjustable brew temperature Digital clock, Programmable on/off timer Blue backlit LCD display and water reservoir Chrome handle and faceplate Removable stainless steel drip tray Removable 60 oz water reservoir Energy Saving Mode – Auto On/Off Descale indicator for long life Ready to brew 3 minutes after turned on UL/c-UL Approved, Warranted for household use
Dimensions, Technical Specifications: 10″ wide, 13.25″ deep, 13″ tall Approx 15.5″ tall when opened Weight: 12 lbs when empty Power: 1500 watts 120VAC/60HZ UL approved for Household use only

More info about :
Keurig B145
b31 mini plus brewer 12 cup

What Is So Particular About This Model?

Keurig B70 Platinum Single Cup Home Brewing SystemThe main things that differentiate the Keurig B70 from previous models are a better design, a smaller footprint, a larger reservoir and the reduction of noise while brewing. Another thing is the introduction of 5 programmable cup sizes (from 3.25 oz to a whopping 11.25 oz, perfect for filling out a travel mug), where the Keurig B60 had just 3 cup sizes. The larger reservoir is also a big plus, so you won’t feel like you need to refill the brewer all the time.

How Is The Coffee?

Keurig B70 Platinum Single Cup Home Brewing SystemThe coffee is great, although that was also true with earlier models. Comparing against the B40 and B60 that my friends have, we ran a test simultaneously using Tully’s French Roast coffee at the 7.25 oz setting. The B70 was a little bit faster and the coffee that resulted was pretty much the same for all three and it tasted great. So I have no doubt that you’ll enjoy your favorite blend, brewed by a Keurig B70.

I also found that brewing the coffee at different temperatures doesn’t make a difference at all, except that I like my coffee really hot at 192 F instead of the lower 187 F setting. But Isn’t There Anything Bad About This Model?

The one thing I didn’t like and maybe won’t bother you, but for me was annoying, was the placement of the power button at the back. The other models have them on the front and are easy to get to, but if you have the B70 against the wall on your counter, it’s a bit of a hassle to turn it on, unless you pre-programmed it to switch on in the morning automatically or at whatever time you usually need it.

Another thing that keeps it from being a perfect coffee machine is that you can’t brew espresso, cappuccino or latte with a Keurig. For me it’s not a big deal because I only drink coffee or tea, maybe a cup of hot chocolate from time to time, but if you would like to have that possibility then you should try the Tassimo T65 instead.

See It In Action

Conclusion

I recommend buying the Keurig B70 if you want a top of the line Keurig coffee maker, with plenty of features. Improving on the previous versions, the B70 comes with a sleeker design, a larger reservoir and more cup sizes. Having over 150 K-Cup varieties to choose from, with more coming every year, the Keurig B70 is a great choice for everyone looking to buy a full-featured single serve coffee maker and also able to satisfy any expectations a serious coffee drinker might have.
Pros Larger water reservoir – less refilling needed Larger display with easier to program interface Sleek new design A bit quieter than the older models Better closing mechanism for inserting K-Cups 5 cup sizes, from 3.25 oz to 11.25 oz
Cons Power button in the back, hard to reach 11.25 oz brew size is only good for use with extra bold K-Cups

Where Can I Buy The Keurig B70?

I recommend buying the Keurig B70 at Amazon – Keurig B70 Platinum Single Cup Brewer, because they usually have the best price for coffee products + you get FREE shipping and a very good customer service and return policy. It is also the best place to find opinions from people who actually bought and use these products, unlike other websites on the internet.

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