Buckley Senior Member Joined: 25 Jan 2011 Posts: 413 Location: Baltimore, USA Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Londinium I, Olympia Maxima,... Grinder: Compak K-10 WBC, Gaggia MDF Drip: Hario V60 Roaster: Nondescript popper
Posted Sun May 19, 2013, 4:15am Subject: Re: What's the cheapest way to get a great cup of coffee?
A lot of nice, sincere replies. Lesliepbg (OP), are you still with us?
Regarding cloth 'coffee sock', these are still everywhere in Asia. I picked up two when I was in Bangkok. It is very likely that you will be able to find them in an Asian market ("Oriental Grocery Store") that caters to Thai or Vietnamese customers.
NetP, how do you keep the fines from clinging to the larger particles while you are screening them?
RandomTask Senior Member Joined: 30 Jan 2013 Posts: 62 Location: Saskatchewan, Canada Expertise: I love coffee
Grinder: Barratza Encore Drip: Behmor Brazen Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed May 22, 2013, 9:10am Subject: Re: What's the cheapest way to get a great cup of coffee?
As many have stated cheap is entirely subjective.
If you are referring to initial cost of a brewing device, a Pourover is probably your best bet. I've seen plastic ones for less than $10 and you can get an electric kettle for about the same. It's not ideal, and you'll need some practice to get the technique down but once you do, you can definately get a good cup of coffe for less than $20. Ideally for a pourover, if you can get a ceramic cone and a gooseneck kettle, that would take it up a notch as well as the price ($40-50 for a gooseneck kettle, 20-30 for a ceramic pourover).
Good grinders are all over the place for cost. Electrics are usually $100+ (I currently have a Baratza Encore, it's good for my purposes, resonably consistent with about a gram lost in the grinder) and hand grinders are ~$40 though I'm not very familiar with them.
If you're looking at automatic drip, there are very few that brew a "proper" cup of coffee. All of them are $100+. (I curently have a Behmor Brazen and I have caused coffee envy with every coffee drinker in my family)
For the coffee itself, it all depends on how much you pay per pound, how strong you like it and what you consider "good/great" coffee. If you get into roasting your own coffee, I personally pay ~$7/lb for the current Guatamala Antigua I have been roasting (~$8.20/lbs roasted) and I tend to brew it at a 18:1 ratio for myself (around $0.30 for an 8 oz cup)
I guess to answer your question, an aeropress is a "inexpensive" and good way to brew coffee, but your final costs will vary. It's all about how deep down the rabbit hole you intend to go.
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