Saturday, March 14, 2009

For The Love of Lattes...

I love a good latte!

Unfortunately, my pocket book does not.

Now listen, I don't like talking about the economy. I think there are enough people talking about it for all of us. And I really don't like it when the content of all that talking is just *doom and gloom*!

But I will gladly listen when someone wants to share a way to combat the personal effects of the economy with simple, efficient ways to keep doing the things you love, for less!

So, here is mine...

About 7 years ago my dad bought me my own little home espresso machine.
Here it is:

Cute, right?
It's small and fits perfectly in a corner on the kitchen counter. We've gone through phases of using it a lot, to putting it away and actually forgetting that we even have it.

About a month ago we were looking at how much money was going towards Starbucks runs. I'll admit...I'm a Starbucks addict. There's just something about walking into a Starbucks that soothes the soul, you know? It's comforting. It's habitual. It's.....really expensive. Ughh.

It was time for a change, and I remembered our trusty little espresso maker! But where was it? It had moved into 4 different houses with us. We hadn't seen it in quite a while, but I was sure I hadn't gotten rid of it. I found it buried in the very back of one of our cupboards.


We had espresso beans in the freezer that went straight into the coffee grinder...


I still had my frothing pitcher and thermometer...


I didn't have any fancy Starbucks syrups, but I did have our regular coffee creamer on hand. It's flavored, so I figured it would work just fine!
At least, it was worth a try!

In a house of five, we always have milk on hand...

...and mugs...

Check! Check! And check!

I poured the water into the reservoir on top, sealed it with the lid, turned the dial to "steam" and watched the milk froth...

My trusty thermometer still had the mark on it from years ago - I like my temp at 160 degrees!

After I was done steaming, I turned the dial to "brew"...

...and a few moments later I poured the shots in the mugs, added the steamed milk, a topping of foam and...

...perfect lattes for my husband and I!

Starbucks has got nothing on me!

This little machine is so simple to use. The whole process takes about 7-10 minutes, but that is no longer than it would take to stand in line waiting to place your order or waiting in the drive through line to pay for your drink!

I saw my espresso machine at our local Fred Meyer (think, one-stop-shopping) and it was only $40! Think about how fast the machine will pay for itself!

You can find details for the machine here.

I have seen all of the super-fancy-espresso machines that people are putting into their gourmet, mega-kitchens and I would love to try a latte from one of those machines. I am sure they are fantastic!
But if you're working on a budget and trying to cut spending, I think this is a great way to do it! The machine is inexpensive, you can get a pound of coffee for $6-$7 on sale, and a gallon of milk cost no more than one venti latte from Starbucks. Totally affordable, in my opinion!

We're happy!

And so is our pocket book!


Frugal Jen said...

Wow, you took some amazing pictures of your homemade Lattes! They look way better than Starbucks!

Mrs B said...

Really good post Karla! I like the way you have taken photos to demonstrate each step. We also make our coffee at home and rarely buy one when we go out. As for Starbucks...I think I bought a coffee once from there and was like dishwater, served in a plastic cup. I much rather my home made one!
Mrs B


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Maya@Completely-Coastal said...

Oh what a tease. That foam looks so perfect. I love a good latte, but have no espresso machine...

Elizabeth (blue clear sky) said...

I will definitely be on the lookout for one of those machines. Love the photos and thanks for sharing.