Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Necessity really IS the Mother of Invention: how our budget helped me find a new way to brew coffee

I am so excited for February first. More excited than any Ohioan ever should be for February to come. But you have to understand: January is a very long month, and we abide by the Dave Ramsey Envelope System so our budget recycles at the beginning of each month. For the last week we've been scraping the bottom of those envelopes with nothing but white staring back at us. But today, yes today, there will be green! Don't get me wrong, I love the system. It gives me peace of mind and is helping us toward financial goals, but sometimes when the days are dwindling down and I've made pasta for dinner three days straight I get impatient. And this month we had a coffee crisis: We ran out of beans with three whole days left in the month!
I shiver at the thought of three cold mornings with no warm coffee. But then, eureka. I found a bag of coffee a friend had given us a couple months back. The only problem? It was fine ground. The only sort of coffee maker we have in our home is a french press, which requires coarse ground beans to work. And then I remembered a gift my sister Lindsey had given Sean for Christmas. It was a single cup ceramic coffee dripper. Let me tell you, it made a pretty fine cup of coffee. I had never used one myself but had seen them used when we visited the Blue Bottle Coffee Co. in Brooklyn. In fact, these things are becoming pretty popular in more specialty coffee shops. It still uses the drip coffee method, only you heat the water yourself and pour it directly over the grounds and into the cup so there are no nasty heating mechanisms to scorch it. Blue bottle actually has a great tutorial for it on their site.
Blue Bottle in Brooklyn. Photo by Will Steacy for
So thanks, Linds, for saving me from many a cold, coffee-less morning. I'm sure we'll continue to use our beloved french press for sharing coffee, but the dripper is a nice little addition to the family, especially when you're craving that mid-day cup but don't want to brew a whole pot. It's simple, easy-to-use, and makes a tasty cup of joe. -hil
p.s.- Be sure to tune in tomorrow morning for a very special preview of the Etsy shop! See you then!