When I poured myself a cup of coffee this morning, I hadn’t realized how much time, energy and money my husband and I invested in what we had to do in order to get that fresh cup of brew. The first thing we did was start at the beginning of the process which is ‘water‘. A good cup of coffee starts with the water, as it makes up 98% of the hot beverage.

Being that our home uses well water, we started at the home entry source. We had our water tested and it was loaded with minerals, sulfur and contaminants. In other words, we needed a whole house filtration system. We contacted Culligan (the leader in water filtrations, click here) and got a price quote of $6200 to put in a whole house water filtration system such as this:

DH found a company in Canada that would sell us the same parts and hubby put in the system himself (doing all the plumbing, electrical and piping) for a cost of $2300.

To complete the water purification process, hubby installed an under-the-counter reverse osmosis system at our kitchen sink for $116. These installations produce one of the cleanest, safest, tastiest drinking water and over the 21 years these systems have been in place, we must have saved thousands and thousands in dollars because there was never a need for us to buy bottled water.

You may think your Purex counter water pitcher filter gives good water, but nothing compares to the real thing: a reverse osmosis system fitted right under your kitchen sink.

Next comes the coffee bean. We only use 100% Columbian beans, which we can always find on sale, so we stock up. Also, since we’re a bit older, we found as we age we’ve become caffeine sensitive. So, we also mix up our own half-caff and combine equal parts of decaffeinated coffee beans with our 100% Columbian beans. The cheapest and most tasty decaf coffee we can find is Aldi’s decaffeinated coffee (already ground). At only $2.75 for an 11 oz can, we mix up equal parts for a delicious home brew.

The final part of this equation is the actual coffee pot. We have found that Cuisinart coffee makers prepare the easiest, most basic brew. This is a personal choice. Do your own research. Our Cuisinart coffee maker also comes with an additional carbon filter cartridge, which we change every month. I shopped online and found this basic, re-furbished Cuisinart coffee maker for only $45. Original price was $80. We bought it online five years ago and it’s still going strong. PS: I only use white appliances in my kitchen which limits choice.

I like my coffee with a real creme Hazelnut flavoring. I use equal parts of the original creamer and 2% milk, thus cutting the cost of the creamer by 50%. Tastes just the same. You would never know the creme had been diluted.

Lastly, comes the actual coffee cup. Everyone has a favorite cup that they like to use. They swear their morning brew tastes best in their own special cup. I do have a personal coffee cup that a friend of mine gave me many, many years ago as a personal remembrance of our friendship. It’s a hand-made coffee cup from the national chain restaurant ‘Broken Egg Cafe‘ that she swiped so long ago when we were still young and foolish. It reminds me of the many good times she and I shared together while growing up.

This is my favorite coffee cup. A good friend gave it to me many, many years ago. I still have and use it!

I hadn’t realized how much time and money DH and I invested in our first morning cup of coffee. It puts Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts to shame. Over the years it has probably saved us thousands and thousands of dollars, too immense to total up. We never leave home without a self-filled water bottle. We never leave any given morning without a thermos filled with our home-brewed coffee. Over the years, our filtered water has been the basis for excellent soups, teas, pasta, rice and whatever else needs to be prepared in water. Oh, and it makes the softest, cleanest water for our showers and especially my weekly spa bath!

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