Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Another Great Frugal Experiment

A few nights ago I was remarking to DH that I was losing a desire to have my morning coffee. I don't drink coffee for the caffeine, since I have zero response to caffeine. I do drink it for the taste - I love coffee. For the last six months or so I had been buying the really cheap stuff in the big cans since it's about 40% cheaper than the "good stuff." But I just didn't enjoy it at all anymore.

Well, one thing led to another, and in a few minutes we were online ordering a home coffee bean roaster! DH figured that in 6 months it will have paid for itself, because green coffee beans cost about, well, 60% less than their roasted counterparts. So, not only would our coffee be BETTER than the best store coffee, but it would also be CHEAPER than the worst store coffee.

We ordered from a store in Eugene, OR that sells green beans and this lovely little machine that you see on the left. It roasts enough at once to make 14–16 cups of coffee.

The $97 price tag included 1 pound each of 5 different kinds of coffee beans. We made our first batch tonight, and decided to err on the side of light roasting so we could slowly approach just the right roast. Well, it was a bit light tonight, but the taste was smooooooooth. I was so happy. None of those harsher overtones at all. It was so velvetly delicious. We did a 6-minute roast, and next time will try a 7- or 8-minute roast. You can go up to 9 minutes, I think.

I am always so tickled when I discover a new way of doing something that not only tastes or works so much better, but is also so much less expensive! My next frugal food experiment is to order a sampler packet of variously flavored textured vegetable protein from here. That is, as soon as I can determine what agency has certified the products as kosher... Haven't heard back from an e-mail. The cost would only be $0.45/pound - cheaper than the beans I buy! It can be used to stretch meat or replace it. Fun stuff...

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