Friday, June 5, 2009

Frugal Fridays

I used to buy my coffee beans at Starbucks. I loved the thought that for a pound, I also got a free drip. Then a more enlightened relative introduced me to Trader Joe's Pajaro coffee (fair trade, organic, no pygmies slaughtered for these beans) at half the price, and I was a convert. Then another relative introduced me to this nifty espresso maker. Now, you can find espresso makers for a little under $2000. I think they grind the beans, brew the coffee, and change the baby. We found the model pictured above at a garage sale for $1. Now I use half the amount of coffee. The very same blood relative introduced me to the handy dandy frother, available on ebay or Ikea for pennies. (500 pennies or so). You heat your milk, switch the frother on, and bing, instant foam.

Yesterday, pinched for time, I had to stop into Starbucks for a cappucino. I sipped, and shook my head. It didn't taste quite like it should.


  1. Hey, I saw in my Wired magazine that the $5 Ikea frother worked even better than some really expensive one.

  2. Okay, first off, Starbucks is over-roasted. As in burnt. That's why it doesn't taste like it should.

    Point two - I'm still trying to figure out the point of a frother. You're just putting air in milk and I'd rather have the milk in my coffee. Unless there's something I'm missing (which would not be the first time).

    I love the steaming wand on my husband's espresso machine (which he got for under $100, including shipping, on ebay). I put the sugar in my milk and steam the two together, which really integrates the sugar into the milk beautifully, meaning it doesn't land in the bottom of my cup.

    Of course, I am hopelessly spoiled. My husband is a coffee geek who roasts his own beans and I get amazing coffee every morning.

    Anne Louise Bannon

  3. Now who can this family member be? Maga

  4. I can only explain patrons going to Starbigbucks bcuz it's a big name, or they've become addicts similar to smokers.

  5. Oh, now I feel like I'm really missing out on something. I want a frother. Ikea, here I come.

  6. I love caffeine, but if I can have it tasty then of course that's my preference. Starbucks would be my second-to-last choice. Last choice would be, you know, that stuff that sits in the pot on the burner all morning.

    Some people (usually younger than me) have come up on Starbucks and are addicted to the taste. I think they're missing out. But it's like vegemite. It's what you're used to. Too bad for them.

  7. M: I love independent corroboration
    ALB: I am deeply jealous that you're spoiled. I have tried coffee boot camp for my husband, to no avail. The frother is in place of a steaming wand--all the foam and warm milk you want--
    CO and Petrea: I'm with ya!
    S: You can find em on ebay, often with free shipping. I always get two, and end up giving one away. Wait a sec, I think I have an extra--