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How much do you spend on coffees each week? And do you have any tips for being frugal yet still fully indulging in coffees? No *way* is this Norwegian-blooded northerner going to restrain myself from my coffees, so here’s how I’ve learned to indulge fully yet frugally.

Made in Italy

gefüllt mit bestem Kaffee

Fast fertig

There’s the espresso! Now for the milk, frothed, not steamed:

Making Yogurt - 108/365

et voila. The elixir of life:

Pumpkin Spice Latte

PS: If you want to take espresso to the next level, have a chat with Scordo.

About the Author


Imagine if Canadians were known for being all over their money. Engaged. Proactive. Getting out of debt. Savvy. Saving. Generous. Nancy wants to help. Nancy started her own journey with money over 15 years ago, and formed her company “Your Money by Design” in 2004 to help others along the same path. It’s not the usual financial advising/investment stuff. It’s about taking control of day-to-day finances –managing monthly cashflow effectively, spending appropriately, getting out of debt, saving. If you're ready to take control over your finances, pop by her business site, YourMoneybyDesign.com

8 Comments

  1. brad

    I used to use a camping-style espresso maker and a regular hand whisk (you rub it between your hands really quickly) to make foamy milk. I know coffee snobs sneer at all stovetop espresso makers but it’s really not bad, by my standards at least!

    Nowadays we just use French press and I weaned myself off milk altogether last year. I bought a 450-gram bag of free-trade organic locally roasted coffee yesterday for $12, which should last the two of us about 10 days; that works out to 60 cents per person per day (we each drink two cups of French press in the morning). I use a hand grinder to grind the beans, so the only other cost is the electricity to heat the water.

    [Reply]

    nancyzimmerman Reply:

    Brad, coffee snobs sneer at stovetop espresso makers? I didn’t know that! And I’d have to sneer back, in that case. I’m awestruck (again) that you used a hand whisk and now a hand grinder. That’s seriously off the grid!

    [Reply]

    Jan 14, 2011
  2. Warren

    Scordo knows his stuff. I prefer either espresso or coffee made either with a French press or a Chemex. The key is fresh beans – three to ten days post roast – ground seconds before contact with water just off a boil. A decent burr grinder makes a huge difference.

    A couple of years ago, I spend about $150 on my office set-up. A burr grinder and Chemex pot. It was quickly paid off as I stopped by the $2 coffee at the local stand and the coffee I’m getting is much tastier.

    [Reply]

    nancyzimmerman Reply:

    @Warren I think it’s time for me to put a burr grinder on my “save up for” list. Any ballpark figures I should expect to spend? (I don’t want to completely undo the good I’ve done to date by using the frugal tools in this post!)

    [Reply]

    Jan 14, 2011
  3. Warren

    Not as much as you might think. This model has served me well for three years and is still going strong. http://www.espressotec.com/store/pc/Baratza-Maestro-Espresso-Grinder-88p354.htm

    [Reply]

    Jan 15, 2011
  4. brad

    Regarding burr grinders, I remember a debate about this on some online forum a year or two ago, and somebody trotted out a pretty convincing study demonstrating that there is in fact no detectable difference in flavour between coffee made with a burr grinder and coffee made with a standard chopper-style grinder. The argument is generally that choppers heat up the beans and expose less surface area of the chopped beans to water; the study measured the temperature of the beans and found that their temperature during and immediately after grinding was no different from that of beans in a burr grinder. They did a blind taste test among experienced coffee tasters and nobody could tell the difference. My hand-grinder is a burr grinder but I still have a chopper and I’ve tested it myself; couldn’t detect a difference either but I was using French roast, which tends to overpower the flavour of the beans anyway.

    [Reply]

    Jan 16, 2011
  5. brad

    Following up on my comment above — I found the debate/discussion I was referring to, and based on that it sounds like a burr grinder is important mainly for espressso (which is what you’re making); it doesn’t seem to make a difference for French press (which is what I use). I guess the quality of the grind has a bigger role to play in the production of a good cup of espresso, although I’m not convinced that it would make a difference for stovetop makers, especially if you’re making a latte and not drinking espresso straight up. I used a chopper for my stovetop espresso maker for years and it tasted fine to me, but I’m no conoisseur.

    [Reply]

    nancyzimmerman Reply:

    Truth be told brad, much as I love my coffees, I’m no conoisseur either. I think I’ll hold off on the burr grinder for now. I thought they were maybe in the $40-$50 range but they’re over $100.

    [Reply]

    Jan 16, 2011

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