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Sourcing coffee for way less than a buck a pound: my one weird trick!  RSS feed

 
gardener
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Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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For reasons I’ll explain in another thread, I am supremely not fussy about my coffee. If it’s caffeinated, it’s fine.

I am also a garage sale hound. And I have noticed that, at least in these parts, “gift” packages of flavored coffees (packaged to look fancy, though the coffee is usually mystery crap) often appear for sale. Frequently in entire sets. Often vacuum sealed. But — the catches — never are these packages freshness dated, and usually they are flavored to hide poor original bean quality.

Upside: you can often get these packages and boxed sets of packages for $.25, $.50, or $1.00, especially if you innocently ask how old the coffee is and they don’t know.  I paid fifty cents for the pound seen below. THEY suggested the price while I hemmed and hawed.

It always brews up OK. I flavor it my way (usually with chocolate almond milk) and it’s fine. Not great, but better than carafe coffee at the convenience store... “Damned near free coffee” covers a multitude of minor imperfections in my frugality book!

(The lesson here generalizes. Some of the best deals at garage sales are expensive unwanted consumables that nobody looks at because they are hounding after expensive tools and antiques and collectibles while I load up on: partial bags of garden soil and amendments, fifty cent cans of spray paint, shop fluids, lubricants, and cleansers; assortments of brand new nails and screws at pennies on the dollar versus new price, dollar or quarter partial rolls of bailing or electrical wire, flagging, tape, weatherstripping...)
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Cheap flavored garage sale coffee
 
pollinator
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Location: Otway, Ohio, USA
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I'm actually twitching. I have had a lot of bad coffee, mostly in hospitals. I drank it because it was hot and caffinated and they wouldn't let me have my french press. I am comitted to staying healthy specifically because I never want to be without good coffee again.
 
Dan Boone
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Sorry to make you twitch, Ryan!  I saw your post about roasting your own green coffee beans and I know I'll never recruit serious aficionados like you to my crap-coffee frugalities, but there actually is a method to my madness; specifically, a whole coffee process I use that makes the terrible considerably more tolerable.  And a somewhat circumstances-specific reason for it, too.  I've got a thread to start about that, when I find the time.
 
pollinator
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Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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Dan, I'm with you. I'm not fussy about coffee, though I do indeed enjoy a cup of the good stuff. In fact, the only coffee I had trouble swallowing was in the UK.....Kenco. But if I had been able to add chocolate French vanilla creamer, I think I could have drank that stuff too. I'm always willing to be frugal.
 
Ryan Hobbs
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It is really no big. But my whole reason for being a permie is to eat good food and drink good drinks without breaking the piggy bank. My method for coffee is cheaper than the grocery store but still more expensive than $0.50 per lb. If I could grow the coffee myself, I would. But even in a heated greenhouse, the cost would far outweigh the benefit. Still, I am considering growing one coffee tree in a greenhouse just to make wine out of the fruit. They are edible, but nobody bothers eating them that I am aware of. Civets eat them as part of the process for making Kopiluwak (second most expensive coffee after Geisha). It is probably because the fruits are hard that people don't.
 
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