29 November 2015

I Love Coffee

My favourite beverage - freshly brewed coffee
Everyone knows I love my coffee. I'm a coffee snob and proud of it. I see absolutely no point in suffering a disgusting brew just to save a few cents, I'd much rather ditch something else so I can afford good coffee.

And that is what I do.

I've always had a coffee machine of some kind.

When we were first married we inherited Mum's old Sunbeam coffee percolator. It was great, it's in the laundry cupboard and I still use it occasionally.

We were given a plunger for a wedding present (I'm still using it) and that made beautiful coffee for one or two quickly.

Over the years I've collected stove top percolators from op shops in different sizes. I've even bought one that we keep in the camping box so we can freshly brewed coffee while we're away (thanks Nino for that great idea!).

We were given a benchtop expresso machine with a milk frother. It made great coffee but it was a pain to clean, I didn't use it all that often.

And then a few years ago Mum gave me an Aldi Expressi machine and a couple of packets of pods for Christmas. I was torn, really torn. I loved the coffee it made, but I was a little concerned about the cost (duh! it's about 37c a cup! and the impact of all those empty pods in landfill).

The coffee won. It makes great coffee, quickly and easily and cheaply - it's still about 37c a pod and then the 3/4 cup of milk costs approximately 18 cents so a cup of coffee ends up costing 55 cents (beat that *insert your favourite coffee stop chain*).

I still worry about the impact of the pods, but I do my best to lessen it. I save the pods and empty the coffee grounds out of them once a week or so. The grounds then go into the compost or the worm farm or the bokashi bucket or are dried to use in pin cushions (they keep the pins and needles nice and sharp). The empty pods have a little tiny hole in the base so you need to think about how you're going to use it but they can be used for so many things:

1. tiny seed starters - no need to block the hole for this one

2. in the bath or sand pit - they're a good size for little fingers to handle

3. in doll houses - they make great doll sized buckets, vases, upside down they can be tables or stools, glued to the ceiling they can be light fittings - use your imagination

4. they can be used to make a Christmas wreath - see this video below. It uses regular sized plastic cups but anything you can make with regular sized cup you can make in miniature with empty coffee pods (maybe a miniature wreath for that doll house front door).

You can imagine my joy when I learned that Aldi were going to release a new, even stronger, flavour in the already extensive range (I like the decaf pods too - No. 7 but still a lovely flavour). I was just jumping and bouncing all over the place (that could be the caffeine, I like to think it was excitement) waiting to try it. Did I mention I like a really strong coffee?

Well it's here and I've just tried my new favourite brew. It's everything I could want in a coffee:
  • flavourful 
  • aromatic
  • quick - 90 seconds and I'm enjoying my coffee
  • cheap - 57 cents a cup
  • convenient - made in my kitchen at home, easy clean up too.
It's Aldi's new Expressi Calabrese 13, the strongest brew in the range.

Oh my giddy aunt but it is good. Wayne caught me standing at the Expressi machine breathing in deeply as it brewed this morning. The aroma is enough to give you a caffeine buzz I'm sure. And the flavour - it's the best tasting coffee I've had in a long, long time. And I drink a lot of coffee.

Some of my coffee pod stockpile - where can I stash a few boxes of Calabrese pods?
One thing I'm wrestling with though. In light of our budget changes and living off our stockpile for the next 14 months, I have a cupboard full of Abruzzo pods, but now I want Calabrese. Maybe I can ask for some for Christmas?

Some of the coffee pod stockpile - I'm looking for somewhere to stash a few boxes of Calabrese pods
They're $5.99 a packet of 16 (and have been this price since the Expressi pods were released I think - I don't have my price book handy but if not they haven't gone up in a long, long time - well done Aldi) so I'll whisper in Santa's ear later on and let him know there will be room in my Christmas stocking for some Calabrese coffee pods.

Seriously, if you love a good coffee, you'll love the convenience and the price of making your coffee at home. If you usually buy a coffee on the way to work or while you are shopping or after you drop the kids at school or after gym or whenever, get a good travel mug (we have lovely bamboo travel cups I picked up from House for around $6 each a couple of years ago - they are biodegradable if we ever decide to toss them) and start brewing your coffee at home, if for no other reason than the money you won't be spending on coffee that you will have for something else.

Wow, that was a long and convoluted sentence but you know what I'm saying.

My morning cup of coffee costs 57 cents - the same size from my local coffee shop is $4.80! Straight away I haven't spent $4.23 out of my mad money! That's $4.23 I have to spend on something else I can enjoy (and over the year that's $1,543.95 I'm not spending on coffee! And on just one cup of really good coffee a day!)

On our current budget that's our living expenses for four months!

Brewing coffee at home with my Expressi machine and now my new favourite flavoured pods I can afford to be a coffee snob.

Are you a coffee snob?
Do you use pods or do you prefer another method of brewing your favourite beverage?
Do you have an Expressi machine? What's your favourite flavour?

FYI: I have no affiliation with Aldi at all, other than as a loyal and very happy customer and I have been since the Chirnside Park store opened here in Melbourne. 


  1. I just got a new Aldi coffee machine. One of the new styles. The old machine is going to our workshop and the boys will use it for not chocolate and coffee. Considering. I reuse, recycle and repair. This one little vice I think is ok. Well I tell myself that anyway lol

    1. What colour did you get Angela? I agree there are worse vices to have, although I'm not sure a love of good coffee is a vice :)

  2. My brother loves the Aldi coffee. He's very hard to buy for so he's getting a box of the pods as part of his birthday present each year. At $5.99 a box,it fits into everyone's present budget.

    1. Wendy if he likes strong coffee I can recommend the Calabrese :) I think it's a great gift idea, specially when it's teamed with some homemade biscuits.

  3. Hi Cath,

    I have inherited a pod machine also, but buying pods wasn't in my budget and I hated the single use idea of pods. So I empty the pods, refill with my own ground coffee beans and use again, that way I get the convenience of a quick, yummy coffee but don't have to pay the extra amount for it and also don't have to feel guilty about the environmental effect. I usually get multiple uses from each pod. I have a friend who gave me a lotof used pods, which I emptied out and used the grounds on the garden so now I have a stock of pods stored. Although I find I still mostly use my stove top coffee pot :) Amy.

    1. I still have some ground coffee - Wayne is trying to work out how to get enough power for the Expressi when we go camping, our inverter/2nd battery isn't quite strong enough - that I use when we go away.

      The pods are actually cheaper for me than the particular beans I like (I grind them fresh as I need them).When I can get them on a good sale they're about the same price as the pods.

      I've tried refilling them too - I wasn't happy with the final result and it's a messy process. Getting just the right amount of coffee in the pod so that it tamps down but still allows the water through can be tricky.

  4. As much as I would love one of these machines my conscience will not allow me to buy one. They are disastrous for the environment and, in my mind, nothing can justify their use. But each to his own.

  5. Hey Cath, just a quick thought - why don't you take the Abruzzo pods back to Aldi and swap them for Calabrese ones? I'm sure the staff there wouldn't mind as they are the same price and the packaging isn't damaged. This way you can get the coffee you want at no extra cost! I have returned items to various grocery stores without a reciept many times. Can't hurt to try! I am getting an Aldi coffee machine for Christmas and am so excited to start having great coffee at home and saving myself some serious dollars (coffee at my work is $3.50 a hit so an expensive habit I want to get rid of). Thank you for your wonderful site, I have only just found it and am working my way through reading all of your posts from 2007 to now (quite a lot of reading for me!). I am getting so many great ideas and becoming so inspired by your way of living. Now I just have to get my hubby on board! ;)

  6. Hi Cath, My son and daughter in law bought me one of these from Aldi a few years ago and i can tell you it gets used everyday, i love it and my favorites are the Milano and Renzo, i do like the de-cafe to. Its my end of meal coffee good every night and wouldnt be without it. I love nescafe to so thats my morning coffee lol. One of the best presents i've ever been given. xo

  7. hi Cath,we were fortunate to receive a new red Breville Nespresso machine from our daughter. Reading all the above comments makes me wonder if the aldi pods will fit our nespresso machine.? does anyone know? I have enjoyed your newsletter for many years now and have just registered for the premium membership.-thanks for the great work you do and the fantastic hints and money saving ideas.-sally Stephen ringwood december 27 2015.

    1. Sally Stephen, not all pods fit the different machines. You need to take a pod from your machine to someone who owns an Aldi one to check. My husband bought a huge stack of pods off the internet, oh so cheap, but they didn't fit our old machine or the Aldi one. Luckily a friend inherited one from her daughter and they fit that one, so she gladly received them along with the information on where to buy replacement pods and their 'name' so that she can top up as needed. Pat

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