I’m addicted to coffee, and my French press is my enabler.
When I wake up in the morning, it’s one of the first things that I think about. If I miss my morning cup, I have an awful headache by mid-day. I function much better after my morning brew than I do before it.
It doesn’t have to be fancy. I drink my coffee black, without sugar because I like the taste of it. I can’t stomach instant, but I don’t see the need for shiny, expensive equipment to produce a quality morning beverage.
The French Press
That’s where the French press comes in. It is a concept that is remarkably simple, yet, it produces as good a long black coffee as any other method. According to coffeemakerpicks.com:
Coffee purists praise the virtues of a French press, claiming that it produces the finest coffee flavour. A French press captures more of the coffee bean’s flavour and essential oils…
The French press fits my guidelines for inclusion in This Compact Family Life perfectly. It is small, cheap to purchase, economical to run and maintain, and produces a good quality coffee. It is the epitome of value.
The French press takes up no bench space. It is small enough to easily tuck away in a cupboard when not in use. In a townhouse or other compact kitchen, where bench space is at a premium, that is a big plus. While an imposingly large, chrome espresso machine may look spectacular, it is just not an essential enough piece of equipment to justify the permanent allocation of countertop space.
At my favourite local café, a long black costs $4. On average, I drink about 2 cups of coffee each day. That’s $2920 in a calendar year. By contrast, a 200g bag of good quality coffee from the supermarket costs $8 (up to 30% less when on special). Assuming approximately 4g makes one cup, then that’s 16 cents worth of coffee per cup.
Add on the cost of heating the water, the cost of washing the cup and the cost of buying the French press, and you’re still well in front. I would estimate a total of no more than 25 cents per cup. Twice per day, that’s $182.50 per year. I you are like me, every dollar saved counts. $2737.50 per year is no small amount.
A Home espresso machine would certainly go a long way to saving some cash, but it’s still a larger outlay than a French press and it requires more than double the amount of coffee to be used per cup.
I recommend using a good quality pre-ground coffee. The purists amongst you will have just spit your morning espresso all over your screen in disgust at that statement, but the rest of you, stay with me.
I don’t deny that coffee tastes better from a freshly ground bean, or that the local café makes a better brew than I do. But the reality of my daily life is that I don’t have time to freshly grind my beans each morning and, as I get up well before anyone else in the house, the sound of an automatic grinder would surely be enough to wake everyone and spoil my ‘me’ time.
The quality pre-ground stuff is good enough for me to enjoy on a daily basis, without feeling like I’m missing out on some great coffee experience. And on top of that, on the occasions when I do order a coffee at my favourite café, or after dinner at a nice restaurant, I really enjoy it – it’s something special, something different to my every day.
As for my every day coffee – It tastes good. I enjoy it. End of story.