Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Exactly How Much Money We Saved By Roasting Our Own Coffee Beans

Our coffee roaster.  Love it, love it, love it.
Foodgoat has been roasting his own coffee beans for over a year now, and filling the house with the lovely smell of freshly roasted coffee has become a weekly ritual.  The coffee tastes delicious and  the types of beans and roasts we can try increased tremendously.   Plus, I have a much finer appreciation for the subtleties of coffee flavors and nuances.  We have a big basket filled with beans ready to be roasted, so we never run out of coffee.  It sets off the smoke detector every single time he roasts, but it's well worth it, both in taste and in price.

Recently though, I calculated just how much money we saved by roasting our own coffee.  Here's the breakdown.

How much we paid roasting our own beans:
How much we would have paid if we used Starbuck's bestselling bag of whole roasted beans, French roast (which, by the way, I cannot believe is the most popular roast, because it is AWFUL):
  • Cost of coffee per year, 45 lbs of coffee beans in one year, for two people = $540
  • Cost of coffee per pound = $12
  • Cost of coffee per day= $1.48
  • Cost of coffee, per person, per day = $0.74
  • Cost of brewed coffee, per ounce = $0.03 
How much we would have paid if we used those terribly wasteful, mediocre-tasting single-serve K-cup things:
  • Cost of K-Cup box from Amazon (50 servings, each makes 8 oz) = $29.99
  • Cost of one K-cup, each makes a puny 8 oz = $0.60
  • Cost of brewed coffee, per ounce = $0.07 
  • Cost of coffee, per person (assuming 2 K-Cups for one person) per day = $1.20
  • Cost of coffee per year, for two people = $876
How much we would have paid if we bought coffee at a coffee shop every single day:
  • Cost of one 20 ounce (Venti size) brewed coffee = $2.00
  • Cost of brewed coffee, per ounce = $0.10
  • Cost of two people buying one coffee each per day = $4.00
  • Cost of coffee per year for two people = $1,460.00
And just for the heck of it, how much we would have paid if we bought a fancy espresso drink (San Francisco price) at Starbucks every single day:
  • Cost of one 16 oz latte = $3.55 
  • Cost of brewed coffee, per ounce = $0.22
  • Cost of two people buying one coffee each per day = $7.10
  • Cost of coffee per year for two people = $2,591.50

So, to recap:

Cost of coffee for our household over one year:
  • (Lattes) From Starbucks: $2,591.50
  • From coffee shop: $1,460.00
  • Using a single-cup brewing machine: $876
  • Using bagged whole roasted coffee beans: $540
  • Roasting our own beans: $293
By roasting our own coffee instead of buying regular brewed coffee at the coffee shop, we save $1,167 over a year.  Over $1,000!  If we bought lattes, it's over $2,000!! 

Okay, we never in our lives actually bought coffee from a coffee shop every single day.  Does anyone actually do that? 

But by roasting our own instead of buying already roasted beans we still save $247 a year - over $20 a month. 

Of course a roaster does cost money initially, but a dedicated machine costs about $150, still less than what you would spend buying roasted beans in a year, and will last a few years.   And of course, there are even cheaper, DIY ways to go about roasting

And maybe you want to support your local coffee shop and coffee roaster, and enjoy the relaxing coffee shop atmosphere.  Nothing wrong with that!

But roasting your own coffee beans at home will save you money, and potentially a lot of it.

Because with all that cash Foodgoat has saved by roasting coffee, he has ... well, I'm not sure what he's done with it.  I think he's bought more beer.

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Best Use of Leftover Fish ...

... is fish tacos. 

You can't even see the fish in this photo, but it's there, and believe me, it's good.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Finding an Asian Market in Cleveland

For many years, I have suffered from not having an adequate Asian market nearby.  There's one close to downtown, but that seems like a long drive, and it's a drive that requires me to drive by work, which I don't care to do unless I'm actually going to work.  There used to a Korean shop down the street, which had the basics but selection was limited.  And no one else ever seemed to shop there, so the owners would follow me around whenever I shopped, to see if I needed to help, which was nice but also a tiny bit creepy.  Then they stopped carrying banana sauce and I had even less reason for going there. 

Then someone mentioned to Foodgoat that there was an Asian grocery store in North Randall - the CAM Asia Supermarket

Walking inside was like being in California.  A real, true Asian grocery store with shelves and aisles of the food of my ancestral region of the world.  There was even one whole aisle with just Filipino food.  So, so happy!

So even though I now know I can run up there any old time I want to pick up shrimp chips and patis, every time I go there I want to stock up on everything we might possibly want, as if the store might disappear tomorrow.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Alchemy Hour is Indeed Bewitching

The new Great Lakes Alchemy Hour Double IPA is not only the beer of choice here lately, it may be one of the best beers Foodgoat has had.  And though I, unlike Foodgoat, don't often cotton to the big, bitter, hoppiness of the IPA style, Alchemy Hour is so smooth and so nicely balanced that even I really like it.  Oh, it's still heavy of the hoppy, but they seem to have captured it in just the right way. 

Foodgoat is buying this by the case, though at 9.4% ABV, we've learned you might want to enjoy this beer pacefully, which is not a real word but could be if you say it with all the authority conferred by English lit undergrad degree. 

Next year, though, we'll have to look for it under a different name.  Will it be another surfing phrase, since they were inspired by the (I have to believe the few) Cleveland surfers who brave the lake in near-freezing temperatures?   The only phrase that comes to mind is "Straight Up Crazy" but somehow I don't think that is exactly the sentiment they are trying to express here. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Have I Mentioned That There Are Whovians Here?

Four of them, to be exact.

Some of us prefer the 11th Doctor.

Some of us miss the 10th Doctor.  Really, really miss him.  (Happy birthday David Tennant!)

Some of us miss the 10th Doctor and Donna Noble.

Some of us wants to know if River Song is coming back.  Or don't want to know.  Don't tell us.

But all of us want to know what's up with the spunky new companion.  Is she going to be a Kenny, getting herself killed all the time then coming back in another place and time?  We don't know! 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

This Is How I Roll

Such a lazy post title, I know. What, you expect me to come up with both content and a photo and a snappy title on the same day?  Jeez. 

There are very few things that I have made repeatedly.  As in, more than once.  That is because most things that I cook don't turn out that well the first time.  So I assume the recipe is a bad one.  It's only recently starting to dawn on me that maybe the more one makes a dish, the better one gets at making it and the better that dish turns out.  Craaazy, right?  I'm still processing it.

But I have made these dinner rolls several times, because they came out perfectly the first time, and I haven't had a bad batch since, which must mean that they are very forgiving.  They're just dinner rolls; nothing fancy, no bacon or sparkling sugar or truffles, but they're soft and and just a little buttery and good. The recipe is from King Arthur Flour

  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons potato flour
  • 3 tablespoons dry milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons soft butter
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk

Combine all of the dough ingredients in a bread machine set on the dough cycle to make a soft, smooth dough.  Allow the dough to rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until it's about doubled in bulk.
Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface.  Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces. Round each piece into a smooth ball.

Lightly grease two round cake pans. Space 8 buns in each pan. Cover the pans, and allow the buns to rise till they're crowded against one another and quite puffy, about 60 to 90 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Uncover the buns, and bake them for 22 to 24 minutes, until they're golden brown on top and the edges of the center bun spring back lightly when you touch it.  Remove the buns from the oven, and brush with melted butter. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

You Can Never Go Wrong With Bacon and Avocado

I haven't posted in ages, mostly because Google apparently doesn't like me and have made their products annoyingly hard for me to access, and then because I stopped liking Google, since they then killed Reader, the one Google product that was working just fine.

But I had the share this photo, because doesn't it look yummy?  I mean, really, really yummy?

The photo was taken months ago, but delicious food, featuring a variety of fats, is always relevant.  Fresh avocado. Bacon.  Fried bread crumbs.  There are even chips on the side. 

It looks like the perfect lunch.