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S2 Episode 8: The AeroPress

S2 Episode 8 Cover Art

Alan Adler founded his company, Aerobie, around his flying disc by the same name. He essentially perfected the Frisbee, then went on to sell 1.4 million of them in just two years. Not only that, Alan’s flying disc broke the Guinness World Record for the world’s farthest throw.  Alan has three parts to him: he’s an inventor, an entrepreneur, and most importantly for us, a coffee fanatic.

While he started with flying discs, Alan went on to invent something completely different. His invention took the coffee community by storm, and is now the basis for international coffee competitions. Not only that, it’s a staple in third wave coffee shops and cafes around the world. It’s simple, inexpensive, and a little alien looking. It’s unlike anything the coffee community had seen before, or has seen since. It’s called the AeroPress.

Check out AeroPress recipes that have won the World AeroPress Championship here. You can check out the Boise Coffee recipe here.

The Coffee Guy

Continue reading S2 Episode 8: The AeroPress

Starbucks isn’t the devil. But it is a giant waste of money.

If you quit Starbucks for a year, you’ll have enough savings to buy an iPad. Let’s do some simple math.

As I’ve talked to people about my upcoming book, the line I often start with is “did you know you can actually save money by drinking better coffee?” If this doesn’t catch their attention, my next line always does. “All you have to do is stop drinking Starbucks or K-Cups, and start brewing your own.” Insulting popular brands is a sure-fire way to turn heads, at least from their devout.

Starbucks Sucks Van

But it’s true, and the math behind it isn’t hard at all. In this post I want to focus in on Starbucks coffee. Keep in mind that this same thought process applies to all chain coffee places (I’m looking at you Dunkin Donuts, with your $1.50 small brewed coffee). The price isn’t the issue here, the value is. If you want cheap bad coffee, look no further than your coffee aisle at the supermarket; I’m sure Folgers or Maxwell House will gladly take your money. If you want expensive bad coffee, chain coffee will run your wallet dry. Here’s what I mean.

First, we’ll assume that you drink 5 cups of coffee per week (you’ll need sleep at some point). Given that there are about 52 weeks in a year, that means you’ll consume about 260 cups of coffee per year. At Starbucks, a brewed coffee is about $2, depending on size. Remember, this isn’t one of the fru-fru fancy drinks – it’s just your run-of-the-mill black brewed coffee. At this price point, you’ll be spending $520 per year on coffee.

Now let’s look at specialty coffee. We’ll start with a 12oz bag of coffee for $14 (this and this are two good examples). A 12oz bag of coffee converts to about 340 grams. Using an AeroPress brewer, you’ll need about 15 grams of coffee per cup, depending on brew method, which translates to about 22 cups per bag of coffee. If we take the 260 cups per year that we used earlier and divide it by 22 cups per bag, it comes out to 12, 12oz bags of specialty coffee per year. At $14 per bag, this means you’ll spend $168 per year on some of the best coffee money can buy.

savings quoteWithout considering any other factors, that’s a savings of $352 per year. If you need to purchase an AeroPressdecent grinder, and hot water heater, ($26, $25.43, $14.73 respectively), you’ll still save $285.84 that year. Did you know that an iPad mini costs $299? Quit Starbucks, and you’ll be able to buy an iPad with the money you saved. Or go have a shopping spree at your local Dollar Store. Whatever you want.

But what about all those Starbucks gift cards you have laying around from Christmas or your birthday? Turns out, Tonx will let you exchange them for credit towards buying beans. Now you truly have no excuse.

My upcoming book, The Beginner’s Guide to Excellent Coffee, is all about this kind of thinking. How can you save money by drinking better coffee? Turns out, it’s not as hard as a lot of people think. Please sign up for my email list below, and I’ll send you deals, news about my book, and interesting tid-bits about coffee about once a week. Also, please share my book’s landing page with your friends on Facebook or Twitter. Thanks!


P.S. Here’s my AeroPress brew method if you’re just getting started.

BoiseCoffee’s Aeropress Brew Method

My friend Drew over at a table in the corner of the cafe recently did a great post on “Recipes and Methods from Aeropress Experts.” He writes,

Here’s a brief collection of various methods and techniques that I’ve pulled together… This is a very unique collection of former Aeropress champions, championship hopefuls, and everyday Aeropress users that you won’t find anywhere else!

Check out his full post here. There are a total of 10 great methods, one of which, I am proud to say, is mine. I decided it would be fun to put a little video together showing me perform my brewing method. So, here it is!

The Coffee Guy

Here’s the step by step:

*16-18 grams of ground coffee
*Ground slightly courser than you would for espresso
*Heat water to 200 degrees F
*Preheat cup with hot water
*Fill Aeropress halfway, give it a stir
*Fill Aeropress to the top. Stir for 10-15 seconds
*Wet the filter inside the Aeropress’ cap with hot water
*Screw top onto Aeropress
*Let brew for 1-2 minutes depending on preference
*Flip Aeropress, press