This $20 Coffee Maker Has Saved Me Hundreds of Dollars
To say I love coffee is an understatement. I drink the stuff all day long — yes, sometimes to the detriment of my water consumption — and if I had it my way, I’d drink iced coffee over hot every time. (As it turns out, you spend more energy and therefore generate more warmth digesting iced coffee once it enters your system than you do digesting hot coffee — to that end, it’s never too cold for iced coffee.) But even my beloved bottle of iced coffee concentrate from Trader Joe’s can add up — and lugging those bottles from the store to my apartment gets heavy, quickly.
In search of a better and more cost-efficient way, I spent a not-insignificant amount of time last year trying to find the ideal iced coffee system for me. While my friends at Kitchn rave about making cold brew with a Japanese-style pour-over brewer, I was specifically in the market for the kind of contraption that would allow me to put in the least amount of effort in the morning. That’s when I stumbled across the kind of cold-brew pitchers that steep your beans in water overnight, and it was love at first sip.
One of the most popular versions of this pitcher is the Takeya cold brew coffee maker, which boasts plenty of rave reviews. I wound up buying a similar version made from glass and stainless steel by the company Brew to a Tea — the pitcher works for both cold brew coffee and iced tea, and at $19.99, it’s about five dollars cheaper than the plastic Takeya version.
It’s straightforward enough to use: Fill the pitcher with water as far up as its top line, fill the mesh filter with the coffee of your choice, and submerge the filter into the water. I’ve found it’s helpful to fill the water about 3/4 of the way, insert the filter and the coffee, and then top the pitcher off with more water so that the coffee grounds are fully saturated in water. Then, leave the pitcher in your fridge overnight or up to 24 hours, remove the filter, and boom! Cold brew coffee, ready to dilute to whatever strength you need.
Sure, it takes some foresight to prepare, and if you run out without brewing more, you might need to reach for the hot coffee as a backup. To that end, I’ve taken to storing my brewed cold brew in glass milk bottles once it’s done brewing, to free up my pitcher for a regular rotation.
Even so, the best benefit is the amount of money I’ve saved. Because I was curious, I did the math:
- A bottle of Trader Joe’s cold brew coffee concentrate lasts me about a week (OK, sometimes it’s less than that), and costs $7.99.
- A bag of Trader Joe’s French roast ground coffee costs $4.99.
- If I use one cup of coffee grounds each time I brew a pitcher of cold brew, that means my coffee bag will last me for about five to six pitchers.
- A comparable amount of cold brew concentrate would cost me anywhere from $39.95 to $47.94.
- To that end, the iced coffee pitcher saves me, on average, $35 to $42, for each bag of coffee I use, if I were to buy the same amount of coffee concentrate bottles.
And that’s math that even the savviest financial expert would love.
This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: This Under-$20 Coffee Maker from Amazon Has Saved Me Hundreds of Dollars on Fancy Iced Coffee