While instant coffee is the easiest and cheapest way to make a cup of coffee, there are alternatives methods to make a good cup of coffee at home or in the office. The common alternative are capsule based coffee makers, drip coffee, the french press and filtered coffee aka the sock as it’s sometimes referred to in parts of Asia.
Capsule based coffee makers
This is the instant version of the espresso machine. They cost a fraction of a real espresso machine, but a basic Nespresso Espresso Maker still requires an initial investment of about $120 (or up to 600 servings of instant coffee) and if you want your coffee with milk, a fancier model can cost $300 or more. But that’s not all, it’s the ongoing cost per cup that quickly adds up – easily $0.50 to $1.30 per capsule. Based on my consumption that would cost $50 to $200 a month. So this option produces italian style espresso but with pretty hefty costs. This model is similar to the Amazon Kindle sales model which sells the initial product for a low price in order to gain an eBook customer which will provide a long term, recurring income stream.
Plungers (aka The French Press)
The french press or coffee / tea plunger is a pretty simple device and works great for loose tea leaves or floral teas as well. It is pretty convenient and looks great when used to serve guests. This is a pretty convenient option and looks cool.
At home, I have both a french press and metal drip filter (for cat poop coffee – you read that right! I’ll go into that in a separate post!)
I enjoy the occasional drip coffees when staying in some hotels which are equipped with drip machines but would I use one at home? Drip coffees are light and delicate but come with some hassle. Buying one did cross my mind several years ago but the thought of having to regularly clean it put that idea to permanently rest in peace. Drip coffees are light and delicate but come with some hassle.
Filtered Coffee or Coffee Bags
There are two ways to make filtered coffee. The traditional and arduous method is to buy coffee filter paper and use it with ground coffee. The supermarket across the street from my apartment has a coffee bean grinder so I did try this hoping that the fancier Illy beans freshly grounded would be worth the extra tender loving care. End result? I gave up after a couple of weeks as he filters would regularly tear, spilling the ground coffee into the cup and ruining it! And I was not using cheap filters either, it was some Italian brand. Maybe I should get a permanent steel mesh filter instead…
The second and easier way is to buy coffee bags and simply dunk them in hot water. These are packaged just like tea bags and used in the same way. But since the ground coffee is not processed like instant coffee it tastes more like a traditional cup of coffee which some prefer. Also since these are as easy as instant to make, I think it deserves it’s own post. I have tried Folgers Coffee Singles and it is a pretty light and pleasant cup of coffee. Maxwell House Coffee Singles is also highly rated. I might actually try these out.
Back to Instant Coffee
So there you have it. I am back to using humble instant coffee for my daily fixes. But feel free to try out the alternatives. You might enjoy them!