Oh, Stumptown, How I Love Thee (Or, The Virtues Of At-Home Coffee Brewin’)

My boyfriend and I busted into our Stumptown stash this morning. We bought a pound and a half of their “Hair Bender” last weekend in Portland and we’ve been eagerly waiting for our Peet’s beans to diminish so we could dive in.

Image: Stumptown, via Flickr

You know how when you’re in high school and you’ll drink whatever your friends give you? And after years of drinking Cuervo Tequila someone hands you a shot of Patron?

Maybe that’s a horrible analogy, but seriously, Stumptown is the SHIT. Yes, even loads better than my beloved Peet’s.

Everyone knows that making coffee at home saves money. Two years ago I was hitting Peet’s every morning and paying $4 for quadruple shot mochas. David and I were lucky enough to receive an amazing espresso machine as a housewarming gift. My aunt bought us an Expobar Office Control. At $1,200, we could have never, EVER purchased this machine ourselves. So we were obviously thrilled with the gift.

Image: Expobar Office Control, via Amazon

It’s paid for itself and then some. This machine is a workhorse. We use it every weekday and weekend morning. We can easily offer an espresso to a guest when he is falling asleep after dinner. It has a double boiler so you aren’t forced to wait around after brewing to steam milk.

Yes, we love it. Yes, we’re spoiled.

In no way am I suggesting anyone buy this machine (unless you can afford it, in which case, rock on). This is a budget blog, after all. However, I will suggest making coffee at home as an excellent way to save some dough. If you enjoy espresso and do not own a machine, I would recommend a stovetop percolator. Before receiving the espresso machine, I used one, and it was awesome. In fact, I still own it. I sometimes take it with me when I travel (yes, I like espresso THAT much). They range in price from $10 to $30, and will brew a single serving of espresso to 3-4.

Image: Amazon.com

If you are a brewed coffee drinker, I highly suggest purchasing a French Press. Personally, I enjoy the coffee that comes out of a FB more than a machine. But, if you want a brewer (and don’t already own one), hunt for a deal. Linens N’ Things is going out of business, check into deals there. Or, look on Overstock.com, Amazon or eBay. You can easily find a good machine under $50.

As for coffee, I’m not going to pretend that I enjoy Starbucks.  If you do, that’s great.  But I beg of you, just TRY something different.  In general, I suggest Lavazza, Peet’s or Illy  – in that order.  Hunt around your city and find the best local coffee roaster.  I live in Sacramento, and the best I’ve found are Naked Coffee and Temple.  If you are in San Francisco and have’t tried Blue Bottle Cafe, get your ass over there, NOW.

Images: Lavazza, Associated Content, Illy USA

If you are one of those people who loves hanging out at coffee shops, I totally understand.  But, if you are trying to save some dough, it’s a small sacrifice.  And, of course, there’s no reason you can’t go one day a week…..when you pick up your pound of beans!

Suggested Vendor: Whole Latte Love.  I purchased our machine through this website and have also purchased accessories and coffee beans.  Their customer service is excellent.  I spent a good 15 minutes on the phone with a representative discussing different machines.

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5 Responses to “Oh, Stumptown, How I Love Thee (Or, The Virtues Of At-Home Coffee Brewin’)”

  1. discontenteddaisy Says:

    Yay for home-brewed coffee! I am green with envy because of your machine. My roommate and I have a single-cup percolator, and the money it saves amazing. ($12 for a pound of sumatra lasts for about 10 days; instead of spending $1.75 plus $1 tip on a house-blend daily at the coffee shop up the street).

    Keep up the posts! I’ll see you on Jezebel!

  2. tart of darkness Says:

    Yay for no Starbucks. Their coffee is absolute crud. I’m going to get to taste Stumptown when I visit my daughter in Portland and I’m happy!

  3. Annie Says:

    I’ve started buying my espresso from Ikea. I was hesitant at first but my coffee budget was too high. The packages are about 1/2 lb for $3 and taste really fresh and delicious!

    I don’t have a fancy espresso maker but you can pry my mini Capresso from my cold dead hands.

    Good luck with your debt! Keep up with it, you can do it!

  4. Sukie Says:

    Hair Bender is the downright best. And I love hearing that people outside Portland know and love Stumptown as much as Portlanders do.

    If you add a bit of vanilla bean, or amaretto extract to the grounds in the coffee machine, you can make your coffee “fancy” without the price. (if you want to mimic Trader Joe’s Gingerbread coffee, add nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice – that’s the only difference between it and regular coffee)

    Or, you know, add Baileys and cover all addictions at once.

  5. Top Ten Kitchen Gadgets « Says:

    […] spoken of our espresso machine before, but it simply cannot be left out of a discussion of kitchen gadgets.  We use it at LEAST twice a […]

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