Coffee, the real breakfast of champions, is the elixir of life. This little witches brew of energy, alertness, and fat burning caffeine is powering the world in more ways than one. Right after oil, It’s the second most valuable commodity exported by developing countries. 64% of Americans drink coffee, and the average coffee drinker is consuming 3.5 cups of coffee a day. These are rookie numbers in the coffee biz. America ranks a pitiful 25th in consumption per person worldwide. But, what we are interested in today, is DIY coffee.
79% of people who drank coffee in the last day brewed it at home. DIY home brewed coffee is much cheaper, and we think better than the coffee shop alternatives. There are over a dozen ways to make coffee, and an insane amount of ways that you can complicate it further. However, today we are focusing on our favorite economical, easy, fun, and environmentally conscious ways to make a ballin’ cup of Joe.
- Keurig Coffee
- Drip Coffee
- French Press Coffee
- Greek Coffee
First up, we have the most convenient way to DIY coffee at home. Literally pop a pod in, and you’ll have ready to drink coffee in less than a minute. On the other hand, it’s personally our least favorite way to make it. Keurig machines are big, bulky, expensive, and not sexy at all. Imagine for me if you will, that you’re a single person on a European vacation. In an incredible location of history, love, and romance, an unbelievably attractive Italian invites you over, and after a night of heated passion, you are awoken by the gurgling, hissing, and spewing of a Keurig. You are snapped back to reality by the epitome of disappointment. Like I said, not sexy at all.
Also, the whole process from start to finish is expensive. A cheap Keurig is around $70, while most models are $100+. The pods are also expensive, and they genuinely suck. A pod costs 25-50¢ and contains approximately 7-10g of coffee. Which is the perfect amount for a Chihuahua, or other small animal, but just enough to piss a human off. A solid cup of coffee contains between 15-20g of coffee. Going back to that 3.5 cups per day for the average drinker, you’re looking at $0.75-1.50 per day, or ~$275-550 a year, just on the k-cups on top of the $70 for the coffee maker. With less coffee per pod, you might be drinking even more than that. Also, to continue the rant, the cups are very inefficient and incredibly wasteful. A single serving, single use, piece of plastic that’s not recyclable is downright ridiculous in this day and age.
‘So James, why even include this coffee making option?’
Well, I’m glad you asked. With a reusable k-cup, you can eliminate some of the big drawbacks. The wastefulness is eliminated, you can put enough grounds in your cup to make the cup of coffee worth your while, and importantly, you get to cut the costs of the disposable cups way down. But, at the end of the day, that bulky, noisy, eyesore will still be on your counter.
Financial Breakdown: With reusable K-Cups $122 | with disposable K-Cups $345-650 the first year.
Drip coffee is probably the most popular form of making coffee. Quick and cheaper for multiple cups than a Keurig, although there is some clean-up involved. However, cleaning the pot and dumping the grounds out takes minimal amounts of time. We have a small Mr. Coffee 5 cup drip coffee maker, and this bad boy comes with a reusable filter.
Top tip: they changed the capacity from 5 cups to 4 cups, but they didn’t alter the maker or pot at all, so fill the pot to the brim and make 5 cups instead of 4. Best of all, we got it for free from one of Emily’s co-workers. However, even if you’re not as lucky as we are and have to buy it yourself, it’s still only $25. Nearly 1/3 the price of the cheapest Keurig, and with the reusable filter, the only ongoing cost is the coffee grounds themselves.
Our drip coffee maker probably gets the most use out of all of our coffee making methods. It’s a great compromise on cheap, easy, quick, and good tasting coffee. We get to control the ratio of water to grounds, which makes for a much better cup of coffee that’ll pack a punch if we need it to. However, like the Keurig, it’s not very aesthetically pleasing. Luckily, with the tiny size of the
5 4 cup drip coffee maker, we can easily pop it into the cabinet and keep our counters clear of any clutter.
Financial Breakdown: $70 the first year.
French Press Coffee
The French press is a favorite DIY coffee maker of many flannel wearing, IPA drinking, granola eating millennials. And rightfully so. It’s incredibly simple, unbelievably easy, and it makes a hell of a cup of coffee. It’s also infinitely customizable because you have control over pretty much every step of the process. You get to choose the amount of grounds, the temperature of the water, and the amount of time you let the coffee steep.
French press take longer than a Keurig or a drip coffee maker and take a little more effort to clean, but damn it, sacrifices have to be made for the greater good. A French press is a utilitarian, no nonsense, method of brewing a cup of coffee. But, it’s much sexier than a k-cup gurgling and spitting, or a drip coffee maker dribbling and splashing. The simplicity also means that they can be purchased for a very reasonable price. This cheap one from Bodum comes highly recommended. It’s not a fancy double walled, chrome, steam-punk inspired design. But it is a cheap way to dip your toe into the world of French press, and DIY coffee. It’s also the cheapest option on this list, beating out the next option by $1 over the course of the year
Financial Breakdown: $61 the first year.
‘Cypriot coffee, Greek coffee, Turkish coffee. It’s all the same shit.’
Greek coffee is my favorite way to make coffee. I think it’s not only the best tasting coffee of the bunch, but it’s also the most fun way to DIY brewing coffee. Greek coffee is a little obscure which just adds to the appeal. Alternatively, it’s the most time consuming method on this list. It is very easy clean-up though. It also happens to be very cheap. Once you buy the briki (also known as ibrik or cezve), which is the pot that you brew the coffee in, there’s no costs other than the coffee grounds.
Speaking of grounds, for Greek coffee, you want the grounds super fine. You can buy powder grounds, or grind them yourself. Essentially, it’s the same thing as cowboy coffee. You add water with the grounds to the pot, bring the water/coffee mixture to a boil by putting it directly on a heating source (fire or stove eye) without letting it boil over, pour the brew into a cup, let the grounds settle to the bottom, and then sip on the coffee without drinking the grounds. This is why you want the grounds super fine, so they easily settle to the bottom. The ‘pot’ is also specifically shaped to catch some of the grounds without getting them in the cup, but also with a large bottom to soak up the heat.
Strong coffee, fun to make, easy to clean, and cheap to drink. Other than the time constraint, this DIY method of brewing coffee checks all the boxes, which is why it’s our favorite way to make coffee.
Financial Breakdown: $62 the first year.
With most millennials spending more money in coffee shops than they’re putting away for retirement, we feel that making coffee at home is a quick and easy way to put a few extra hundred or thousand in your pocket. Or more specifically, your 401k or IRA. It can be quick, easy, cheap, sexy, and even fun to make your coffee at home. Not to mention the fact that it likely tastes much better than the cheap swill they serve down at the ‘bucks…you know, the shit that they have to drown in milk and sugar to make it palatable. As an added bonus, all of our suggestions here are waste free other than the coffee grounds themselves, which can be composted. Give DIY coffee at home a try. You’ll save time, money, frustration, and you can learn some pretty cool ways to make coffee.