Coffee with Kady
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

So, true story: I have always found a way to make the cheapest coffee taste great.

My father began this family tradition long ago. His tip? Add a dash of salt on top of the coffee grounds (for filtered coffee). Amazingly this does help with the bitter aftertaste. Not great for those on sodium-reduced diets, though.

For years, I kept my secret under wraps. But one day, our cat Kady convinced me to share my coffee secrets with the world.

At first, I began to shoot video snippets at my local grocery store, but their security guy asked me what I was doing. So proudly I told him, "Oh, I'm writing an article about how to make cheap coffee taste great and I need some footage."

Oddly, he didn't look impressed. Instead he asked me, "Are you going to be showing products in our store with their prices?"

"Yeah," I continued, "I'm going to show people how they can make the cheap coffee taste like the overpriced stuff you're peddling over here."

Well, blah, blah, blah . . he quoted something about legalities and permission and pretty much told me I couldn't do it.

Crushed but not defeated, I found suitable photos to depict the first part of my article. (So THERE, tough-guy security guard for an unnamed grocery store).

Oh well, I got over it . . sorta. And so, here it goes.

Healthy groceries
Credit: on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

My Typical Broke Student Scenario

In college, I tried to eat healthy. So on the weekends, I'd get out my "to-do" list and stick to my meagre grocery budget. Yeah, I even clipped coupons.

Sure, I felt good about buying healthy produce until the dreaded moment when I realized I was down to my last $6 and was completely out of coffee.

OMG, Panic Sets In, You Run

And Produce Goes Flying Out of the Cart

Day 3/365 - Ride in the Shopping Cart.. (Explored)
Credit: Caden Crawford on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

And You Become a Different Person

Need coffee. Can't live without coffee. 

Because you know that broccoli isn't going to wake your sorry ass up in the morning.

Everything is Going Dark Now

But You Made It to the Coffee Aisle

Supermarket Aisle
Credit: Martin Howard on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Ever See Anyone Use These Machines?

Ask for Assistance? From who? No one's around

Organic or not
Credit: Charles Hutchins on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Rose's Foolproof Coffee

Makes: 24 oz | Prep: 5 mins | Total: 9 mins

Kady watching me drink coffeeCredit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reservedHere is how to make a 1 lb. bag of cheap whole coffee beans taste as good as those fancy-schmancy gourmet coffee beans that cost three times as much.


5 tbsp. of coarsely ground coffee beans
30 oz. (3-3/4 cups) boiling water
Optional: Unsweetened evaporated milk and/or sugar
Boil about 4 cups of water first and take it off the burner to cool a few degrees. Ground coffee will taste burnt if you use water at the boiling point (of 100 C or 212 F). It tastes better if the water is 96 C (205 F).[2]
Add coffee beans to grinder (fill chamber about 2/3 full for best results). Pulse for 3 seconds, stop, and pulse for 3 more seconds. Keeping the grinder on for more than a few seconds tends to heat up beans a bit and releases more of the acidic flavours, I find.
TIP: Store coarsely ground coffee in an airtight container in the fridge. I usually make enough for one week.
To your 34 oz. Bodum French Press, add 5 level tbsp. of ground coffee and pour 30 oz. (3-3/4 cups) of pre-boiled water over the coarse grinds. Note the water level so that you won't need to measure the next time (mine is just under the metal rim, as shown in photo).
My French Press Method with Cheap CoffeeCredit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reservedNEVER stir it (esp. cheap coffee).
Leave your French Press uncovered for a full four minutes. Set a timer if need be. 
At the four minute point, grab a large spoon and scoop out all of the coffee grounds floating on top.[1] Add the French Press lid and plunge the remaining grounds as usual. 
Note: It will plunge quicker and easier than if you usually leave all the grinds in the French Press beaker, so be careful not to push down too hard on the plunger or hot coffee might spurt out.
Pour into coffee cup(s), add unsweetened evaporated milk and/or sugar or enjoy it black. Makes two 12 oz. cups or three 8 oz. cups of coffee.

The Benefits of French Press Coffee

Environmentally-friendly: There's no electricity used to brew your coffee and no need for filters. You could bring your French Press camping and boil water over a campfire.

Inexpensive and long-lasting: French Presses range from around $10 - $50. With proper care, they last for decades. (I've had my Bodum French Press for over 20 years).

Better taste: Since the coffee isn't "cooked" on a warming plate or boiled via percolating, there's much less chance you'll have an overcooked, burnt, or bitter tasting brew. Plus I feel it's wise to avoid anything with plastic parts (like in some brands of coffee makers) whenever possible.

Bodum - the Gold Standard for over 70 years

In 1944, Peter Bodum started the company in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 1974, Bodum became known for its Bistro French Press coffee maker. Four years later, their home office was moved to Switzerland and the company expanded to produce a wide range of products ranging from coffee makers to kitchen tools.

Today, Bodum is led by the founder’s son, Jorgen Bodum. Their high quality kitchen products are sold in more than 55 countries.[3]

Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker

Bodum Chambord 8 cup French Press Coffee Maker, 34 oz., Chrome RoseWrites 2014-09-11 5.0 0 5

Bodum Chambord 8 cup French Press Coffee Maker, 34 oz., Chrome

Bodum Chambord 8 cup French Press Coffee Maker, 34 oz., Chrome
Amazon Price: $53.50 $39.95 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 29, 2014)
In 2004, the Bodum Chambord coffee press won the American Culinary Institute's award for Best French Press coffee maker. I love everything about my Bodum except for the lie that it makes "8 cups" - it doesn't. Coffee grounds mixed with water produces about 3 cups.