March 6, 2011

Little things - coffee

A few months ago, David Makar made the mistake of venturing into my avalanche-prone office. Out of the many things available to complain about, he noticed my growing pile of unrecyclable coffee cups.

I've been visting the XtraMart on the 13/366 overlap most mornings for the past year or so, getting coffee. It's been a 1.6 mile round trip, usually through dense morning commuter traffic. I've been able to confirm that yes, most of those vehicles have only one person in them while waiting to turn left (occasionally as long as seven minutes - I started timing it after a while) into the gas station.

The employees there are great, and the food and coffee selection good for a gas station. (I usually buy gas at the Valero that's closer to me, but didn't like their coffee much.) When Konrad or Sungiva comes with me - not often, as I usually go before they wake up - everyone's happy to see them. I like visiting there.

I decided last week, though, to start making my own coffee again. Why?

  • $1.83 for 20 ounces of coffee isn't terribly expensive, but it adds up.

  • About half the time I was buying candy or similar things as well, and I don't really need to be eating it.

  • It's $.25 to $.50 in gas per trip as well, depending on which vehicle I take, the price of gas, and the outside temperature.

  • I could have replaced the stack of coffee cups with a reusable travel mug, and I may do that eventually. Brewing at home, though, means I just have my regular mugs and the dishwasher.

  • I've pondered making the trip on my bicycle, but cupholders on a bike are strange, and I avoid riding on 13 whenever possible. 366 isn't great, but 13 is even less fun. And winter...

  • I won't have cups, but the grounds make good compost.

I wound up getting a french press - a 4-cup one to limit my dosage. There are no filters, pumps, heating elements, or electronics to mess with. Carafes break and I may someday have to buy a replacement filter mesh, but I'll have earned back the cost of the thing plus the coffee I bought for it in less than a month. After that, I should be saving around $50 a month. (Imagine if I'd been buying cigarettes... wow.)

I'll still go to XtraMart sometimes, I'm sure - just not every morning.

Posted by simon at March 6, 2011 12:03 PM in , , ,
Note on photos