Ever since our discussion a few weeks ago about what exactly frugality is, the idea has been rattling around in my head. Then, a good friend of mine posted this on his Facebook fan page:
“Keep in mind that saving money isn’t just about putting it away and not spending it, it’s also about spending it wisely on things you need that are well priced and of a quality that will last. Just buying cheap junk to save money costs a whole lot more in the long run.”
This thought really hit home for me. See, I’m a minimalist, and firmly believe the quote that says you should never have anything in your house that you don’t believe to be useful or beautiful (Stanley excluded, I assume). But I also like nice things. I love having fun kitchen toys (as long as they’re not uni-gadgets!) and sleeping on a wonderful bed. I’m also obviously frugal. But since we agreed that frugality isn’t just buying the cheapest thing all the time, I thought it would be great to do a series about conscious spending on high quality products. Some are expensive, sure, but not all of them are.
Since it’s first thing Monday morning, let’s start with coffee.
Our Morning Ritual
Every morning, we wake up and make a pot of coffee. Sometimes it’s after a run, sometimes it’s before a coffee walk with Stanley, but unless we’re out of beans (which makes us both have exaggerated frowns), we start with coffee.
We are spoiled with coffee in this town. Some of the very best coffee on the planet is roasted here. Sure, we pay $12 a pound (or more if I’m not paying attention) but it’s all amazing. I’m partial to the coffee from Central America and Mexico, where it tastes like chocolate.
We grind the beans with the Encore Grinder pictured here. It has a setting for everything. While the beans are grinding, we boil the water on the stove. We use a teapot that I’m surprised ever made it out of the factory, since it leaks when you pour it, but we registered for an outstanding amazing tea kettle with a long spout that will mean that our future coffee mornings are not sprinkled with getting boiling water on our hands.
The fancy tea kettle is called the “Hario V60 Buono Coffee Drip Kettle” which sounds like it should be said with your little pinky up in the air. Look at it! Any kitchen I live in will look a little more alien and awesome with it in there. I wonder if it’ll whistle?
Anyway, getting the water boiling is key, because my favorite coffee pot on the planet requires no electricity to operate. Yet, it’s not a French press. In fact, it’s Swedish, not French, and it makes the best, silkiest cup of coffee I’ve ever had.
It’s called a Sowden Soft brew, and it’s outstanding. It’s like a French press, in that it has a little basket you put your ground beans into, and you pour boiling water over the top (or, I suppose, water that was once boiling, I think it’s impossible to actually pour boiling water, but I digress) and give it a stir. After four minutes, you can pour yourself a cup of delicious coffee. But it gets better. You can take the little metal basket out of the pot, and even if the coffee gets too cold, you can reheat it without ending up with coffee that is so strong it takes the enamel off your teeth. Pictured here is the 4-cup model, but we got the 8-cup model, because a) we like our coffee and b) turns out, caffeine really is addictive.
Plus, we need the bigger pot, because my future mother-in-law bought me the most amazing coffee mugs for Christmas (after I ogled hers at Thanksgiving nonstop, trying to use a different one each time). They’re handmade pottery mugs, and I think they have something like a 20 ounce capacity.
They are SO cool, too. The company is called Mara Stoneware, and I think it’s from Mexico, but they have images of the Southwest. My favorite is the roadrunner, though, because until I visited Arizona, I really thought the roadrunner was… well, fictional. Not actually a thing. But I was wrong. They’re birds. That run really fast. In the gravel. It’s so strange! Anyway, this guy has a funny look on his face. He’s like a dodo/roadrunner combo. It’s fun to have these mugs, too, because I feel like we start our day with a little Arizona, no matter how much it’s raining outside. Plus it’s SUCH a nice reminder of Brent’s side of the family, and I always think of his mom when we have coffee.
One thing I love about our morning ritual is sharing some quiet time together before the day starts.
Another thing I love is how little counter space this all takes up. The coffee pot goes into the dishwasher (at least once a week, anyway, the rest of the time, a good rinse is fine), the mugs are displayed as artwork on the kitchen island, and the grinder is small, so the “valuable counter real estate” footprint is small.
It’s really lovely to have a nice cup of coffee first thing in the morning. It keeps me out of coffee shops during the day.
What’s your morning ritual?