Coffee; it’s that beautiful brown liquid that fuels so many of us. I know I can’t function without my morning brew, and I’ve spent way too much money getting my caffeine fix from coffee shops all around town. At the end of 2018, I was gifted a beautiful coffee maker from Hamilton Beach, and that gift put me on a mission to cut take out coffee out of my life in 2019. It’s now almost May, and it’s working!
There were a few reasons why it was important for me to cut myself off from takeout coffee. Saving money for myself was a big one; you can spend anywhere between $2-7 on a takeout caffeinated beverage. If you’re like me, who enjoys her extra espresso shots and milk alternatives, it’s usually closer to the high end of that range. Multiplied over multiple purchases a week and that adds up. Being more aware of my own health and diet was another big factor; making my coffee at home gives me more control over what milk I can use, what sweeteners and the type of coffee I purchase. And finally, it’s just another little thing I can do in the battle against climate change. Purchasing take out coffee multiple times a week means that many more paper cups, plastic lids and other waste elements going to landfill, especially since I can’t seem to figure out if coffee cups are recyclable or not.
Here’s how I managed to go 4 months without buying takeout coffee, and how you can too.
Invest in a home coffee machine that works for you
Depending on your budget, available kitchen space and taste in coffee, chances are there is a machine out there to suit your needs. Being an espresso gal myself, I was on the hunt for an espresso machine that was easy to use, made good coffee and would help me kick my coffee buying habit. Being an awesome bestie, Mark Munroe hooked me up with this badboy from Hamilton Beach for Christmas.
This espresso maker is modern looking and small enough to easily tuck away in even a smaller kitchen, but stylish enough to leave out on your counter. It’s made to use the original Nespresso pods, which can be found online or of course at Nespresso locations. But since I’m trying to reduce waste, I decided to go a step further.
Invest in reusable filters and/or pods for your machine
I was thrilled to get my new machine for the holiday season, but since I’m trying to reduce waste, I needed a solution that would give me great coffee at home but help me avoid buying coffee pods all the time. Turns out, there are a variety of reusable and refillable pods out there that can fit most pod using machines, whether you’re using Keurig or Nespresso style pods. I found some great stainless steel pods online that you can refill with whatever ground coffee you like.
There are plastic ones out there as well if that’s your preference. I picked these pods because of their great reviews, and because the only waste you create is the small foil sticker lid, which is made of aluminum. I’m still on the hunt for a fully reusable pod that makes great tasting espresso to get as close to zero waste as possible.
Experiment with different types of coffee
When you make your own coffee at home, you can switch up your coffee whenever you like, support fair trade coffee with every purchase and experiment with flavor, style and more! You can be hardcore and buy whole beans and grind them at home for the freshest tasting coffee or espresso out there, or buy pre-ground coffee to quickly and easily make your java. Support your local roasters and buy their wares, or local growers if you live somewhere warm where coffee is grown. And you can invest in higher quality, gourmet coffee for less money than you’ll spend buying your daily caffeine fix.
Get yourself a milk frother, trust me
If you’re like me and love a good latte, then a milk frother will be your best friend. You can buy a full-service espresso maker that comes with a built-in frothing wand, or a standalone frother that will make a dynamic duo with your pod espresso machine. Either way, the combination will help you create all sorts of caffeinated concoctions in your home that will rival the tastiest drink you’ve bought outside. Frothers come in cute handheld versions that will whip up a froth in cold or warm milk, or you can buy a frother that will warm the milk as it froths. Experiment with different fat levels in your milk and/or different milk alternatives as they will all produce different levels of foam. I personally love Oat milk; it foams beautifully and tastes great with espresso.
Got your own home coffee making tips? Share them with us on social today!