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How to Brew Coffee on a Student’s Budget

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French press coffee

By Samuel Sprague

State and Local Public Policy Major, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Coffee is a staple in the diet of many students, but balancing convenience and long-term savings is very important. Explore the French press, stovetop moka pot and standard drip machine as budget-friendly ways to get your dose of camelback sunrise without making the trip to GCBC.

Drinking Coffee Safely

The average 8 oz cup of standard-drip coffee contains 95 milligrams of coffee, the average 1-oz shot of espresso contains an average of 64 milligrams and the average French press cup of coffee has an average of 110 milligrams per cup.

For most adults, it is safe to drink up to 400 milligrams of caffeine, which can be very easy to exceed (especially when brewing with a large pot). To make the most of a cup of coffee, it is important to maintain a good sleep schedule and to limit coffee to when cortisol levels are low (between 9 am and 11:30 am or between 1 pm and 5 pm).

French Press ($8-100)

Most students would never set aside the money for a $100 coffee machine when they could buy a cup a day for several months, but most will be surprised to find that even the cheap end has the convenience of brewing a fresh cup of coffee in about four minutes. Simply pour some grounds into the pot, pour boiling water over them, mix and push the plunger down after brewing to your preferred strength and push the plunger down after brewing.

Moka Pot ($20-60)

In general, the Italian Moka pot is a luxury for the upperclassmen living in on-campus apartments and commuters since it requires a gas stove. The Moka pot takes about five minutes to brew a fresh cup through a process known as percolation. Cold water is poured into a compartment at the bottom, where the water will steam and be forced upward through a basket of coffee grounds and funnel through the top and into the coffee pot. This is about as close as anyone can get to homemade espresso (without buying a genuine espresso machine), stronger and richer than most other brewing methods.

Standard Drip Coffee Machine ($15-60)

For the convenience and variety of the standard drip machine, this is the most popular method for making coffee. With k-cup machines, simply pop the machine in, close the lid and wait. For traditional machines, pour some grounds into a filter, lay the filter into the machine and wait. This method of brewing is not known for its quality, but cream and sugar always make the most of any cup.

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About Samuel Sprague
State and Local Public Policy, Copywriter for GCU Blogs

Samuel Sprague is a Junior at Grand Canyon University studying State and Local Public Policy with a minor in Philosophy. He hopes to further his education with a Master’s in Public Administration and pursue a career in municipal government and deepen his passion for writing.

Read more about Samuel.