A few coffee notes...
My husband and I love coffee. I make STRONG coffee. It's not thick like mud, but it's definitely strong. I do this because I like to put half and half and sugar in my coffee and I prefer for it not to taste watery. My husband and inlaws all like it this way (and they don't put any cream in it it) too.
Here's my ratio: 2/3 cup whole beans (before grinding) to 28 oz. water
It's funny to think back over our coffee journey. I've discovered that me, along with every other coffee lover I know, likes to have a consistent cup of coffee. This is a valuable thing.
There are some folks who say you must use a burr grinder--that it's the only way to go.
I'll respectfully disagree. A blade grinder costs only about $15 ($1 at a garage sale) and will last you longer than a burr grinder. When using a blade grinder, I hold down the button for a count of 15. (not 1 one thousandth--just one two three...)
Last week, my husband picked up a bag of casi cielo for me from Starbucks. Casi Cielo is one of Starbucks less bitter roasts and we have enjoyed it in the past. It usually sells for $14.95 a pound. I was curious to see how it compared to our regular coffee.
As I settled into my first cup, I discovered that it wasn't any better than our regular coffee! I was surprised, but not really. Starbucks overprices its goods and sells an experience/habit as much as it sells a product.
Our current coffee mix is a half caf mix from World Market. I like it. A lot. I mix the medium roast caf whole bean Tarrazu with the decaf dark roast Italian Blend. I use the coupons and then purchase it on Wednesdays (when you get double coffee credits) and usually end up paying a little over $6 per pound--which is the best price I've found over the years for half caf. I order it online and it gets shipped very quickly to my doorstep. I do pay for shipping, but I find that the coupons and coffee credits offset this. Make sure to sign up for their World Market Explorer program and input your number on each purchase to get credit for your coffee purchases.
Thinking back, we started out with coffee from Costco. Their house blend is roasted by Starbucks and some clubs carry a decaf version. I always mixed the decaf house coffee with a different medium roast from Costco. This worked out to be about $6.50 a pound, I think.
But, Costco is far, so I switched several years ago to BJ's because it was closer to us. Unfortunately, the discontinued their whole bean decaf coffee and again I had to go searching for a good whole bean decaf coffee. That was how I ended up at World Market. We don't have a World Market store near us (though I wish we did!) and I began to purchase the coffee online. We do have to buy 4 1/2 pounds at once, but I store it in a sealed tupperware bin and have yet to be disappointed in it. I make about 40-50 oz. of coffee in the morning each day to give you an idea of how fast we go through it.
One of my brother in laws asked me this weekend what I would buy if I had to go to the grocery store for cheap coffee. My answer was 8 o'clock Columbian whole bean. It's a solid, consistent bean. My husband likes it more than I do, though.