Wednesday, 13 July 2011


I love coffee. I am not going to lie. I REALLY love coffee. Not that I am a coffee snob, I will drink anything from greasy spoon tar to fine espresso....not so much into the Kopi Luwak though.....

But really, there is nothing like a good cuppa joe to get you going in the morning, speaking for myself of course! A good cup of coffee should taste like toasted butter with a hint of bitterness. Some would even go so far to say that a cup of coffee should be experienced, but perhaps those people have slightly more time to ponder these things than I.

I know, I know....there are all sorts of studies that will astound you about the negative effects of caffeine or that tea has more antioxidants blah blah blah blah blah......and yes, at times I have in fact said to myself, "self, what do you think about giving up coffee?" to which I would then reply, "are you talking to yourself again, self? Perhaps it is time for another cup." And really, with seven kids, I think that I am allowed to enjoy a cup or two of a nice fine brew, and I don't mean the lager kind. I don't do decaf.

The thing is, I make most of our coffee at home. We have everything from a french press coffee maker, to a 32 cup percolator that we bring out for parties. We also have three different stovetop espresso makers! (a three cup, a four cup and a six cup) Sometimes I even grind my own beans, but grinding beans at 6:30 in the morning tends to wake the baby....who only got back to sleep at 4...which is pretty counter productive, so usually I just use the pre-ground stuff.

A simple Google search will give you all sorts of instructions as to how to brew the perfect is how I like to brew it in our french press:

Boil water in kettle
Wait 55 seconds after boiling (the National Coffee Association of USA, recommends an optimal brewing temperature of 195-205 F)
Pour over coffee grounds
Let brew for about 4-5 minutes

While the coffee is brewing I like to ponder the bigger questions of the universe like, "I wonder what's going to get flushed down the toilet today" or, how long has that piece of spaghetti been stuck to the ceiling...and who was it that threw it there in the first place?"

By the time I get said piece of pasta off the ceiling my coffee is usually ready to press and prepare. Fixing coffee is a very touchy subject for many one time I must confess that I had rather strong opinions about such things....but these days I am just grateful if I don't need to reheat it in the microwave before I take my first sip.

The thing is, I know that there are a lot of other people who enjoy a good cup of coffee but would rather go out and buy it instead of making it themselves, but have you ever thought about what a cup a day can do?

Here is the math:

Depending on where you live, a medium double double at the local Timmy's runs for about $1.50

(for those of you reading this outside of Canada, Tim Horton's (Timmy's for short) is the name of our local, national coffee chain...and a double cream, double sugar is affectionately known as a "double double"....for those of you ex pats....mmmmm Maple!)

Anyway, two cups of coffee, which most would agree is not an unreasonable daily quota, then equals $3.00.

Multiply that by five (assuming that you don't buy it on the weekend) and that comes to a total of $15 a week.

$15 x 52 weeks = $780 a year on coffee! That is like a months rent for some university students.....who probably still go out for their daily double tall cappuccino extra dry....which by the way costs about three times as much as a double double.

Now to be clear, I am NOT AGAINST buying coffee at the local coffee shop. In fact, I have been known to indulge in the occasional grande mocha frappuccino. But just to throw in a bit of perspective, in the developing world, two and a half weeks worth of coffee shop coffee is enough to purchase 5 fruit trees. Six and a half weeks of double doubles provides access to clean water for a whole family, 8 months will furnish entire classrooms and a year and two months of daily double doubles will build a family a home! (By the way if you are wondering how I figured this out, I didn't. The folks at World Vision did....check out their "gifts that matter" section)

For a TPSI family with seven kids...a year's worth of double doubles pays for a year's worth of dance classes, swimming lessons, piano lessons...not to mention a whole lot of broccoli.


Next weeks post will be late. I'll tell you why later.


  1. Hi Geoffrey

    I love that first cup of the day - zero guilt and I brew my own as I am the only person in the family who drinks it. Buying a Timmie's is a rare treat. Never got into Starbuck's though. Done any reflexology lately?

  2. Yes.. I too am a fan of the brown stuff... I'll take it black, with milk..(no sugar though).. I'll take thick, cheap and instant - or posh.. Another money saver if you're out of the house is to take a small thermos with you - make a pot in the morning.. drink your cup(s) and put the rest in a thermos for the rest of the day :-) - but sometimes you just gotta buy that double macchiato