English Muffin Bread

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english muffin bread
My Favorite Bread Recipe. Perfect for paninis and toast
Ultimate Costco Meal Plan English Muffin Bread
Cuisine Bread
Prep Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 3 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Cuisine Bread
Prep Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 3 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Ultimate Costco Meal Plan English Muffin Bread
Instructions
  1. Place all of the ingredients into the bucket of your bread machine.
  2. Use the smaller amount of water in the summer, or during humid conditions; use the larger amount of water in winter, or if you're in a dry climate.
  3. Program your machine for basic white bread, light crust. Midway through the second kneading cycle, check the dough; it should be soft, smooth and slightly sticky.
  4. Adjust the dough's consistency with additional flour or water, if necessary.
  5. For a true English muffin effect, remove the dough after either the final kneading or before the final rise and roll it in cornmeal.
  6. Place the dough back in the machine to rise and bake.
  7. Remove the finished bread from the machine, and cool it on a rack.
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016R | Friends of the Library

016R _ Friends of the Library

Do you utilize the most powerful source of free knowledge and entertainment in your community? We Do!!


In Today’s Podcast we cover:

  • Friday Roundup #5
  • Recap of house hacking episode with Chad Carson from CoachCarson.com
  • Real estate investing is one of the pillars of Financial Independence
  • ‘Keep it super simple and try to do the fundamentals well’ quote by Chad
  • Chad put in the extra effort to walk neighborhoods on Saturday mornings to learn about real estate
  • House hacking is essential knowledge for someone getting started with FI
  • The main levers to pull to get on the path to financial independence
  • Housing is the biggest line item in most budgets and this can be a game changer
  • House hacking for ‘2nd generation FIRE’
  • Brad lived at home after college graduation and saved many thousands of dollars instead of renting an apartment
  • If you have a solid income and you aren’t saving money then you aren’t a “success”
  • Moving forward ChooseFI will bring in other real estate mentors to help educate all of us
  • Itunes reviews
  • Feedback from Libertarian Investments about our appearance on Radical Personal Finance on earning more than $100,000 income and how it makes paying down debt much easier
  • Can you earn $100,000 a year without going to college? That wasn’t what we were arguing on Radical Personal Finance
  • Unconventional choices: Brad and his wife Laura decided to pick up their entire lives and move 400 miles south to Richmond, VA. This was a long-term play to afford the FI lifestyle on one income.
  • Message from Ken on the benefits of libraries and the assortment of ways you can get value out of your local library. He also thought the 10 year timeline to reach FI was unrealistic
  • We agreed and thought 10-15 years is much more realistic. And even if people take 20-25 years it is still a huge win over where they would have been otherwise
  • Debt-free isn’t the goal – it is financial independence
  • Comment from Tallis on how the podcast has been “life changing” for them. They already put a plan on paper for early retirement!
  • Feedback from Isaac that the Roth IRA is the “worst” investment vehicle and we’re going to unpack this in the future
  • Jonah said dollar cost averaging provides far below average market return. While we agree mathematically, it is still difficult psychologically for people to dump a bunch of money into the market at one time
  • Travel rewards question from Ben on the timing of the Southwest Companion Pass
  • Travel rewards question about hotel rewards and how to maximize Hyatt and Starwood
  • Episode 17 coming up: Behind the scenes look at the Mad Fientist

Links from the show:

How my son saved 2 years and $18,258 in college tuition

College Hacking Dual Enrollment

One of the most difficult things that will slow down your path to FIRE is debt.

And one of the most common sources of debt is the student loan.

It sets your financial independence timeline back by years, and even worse, you gotta pay it off using post-tax dollars.

Smarter people than me have figured out ways to optimize for financial aid and scholarships.

Those tips are awesome, and we'll get to those in future posts.

But what my son and I did was a lot more predictable and available, and helped us slash his college tuition by more than $18,000. We also halved the time he’ll need to get a degree.

How? Two words.

Dual Enrollment.

What is dual enrollment?

Dual enrollment is the practice of allowing high school students (typically in their junior and senior years) to also be signed up for college level classes. By doing this they earn credit for both the GED and the college degree.

It is also called concurrent enrollment, and the way it is rolled out varies from state to state.

In some states, students go to community colleges and state universities for college-level classes that earn them credit for their GED and at the tertiary institution they attend.

In others, students take college-level classes at their high school, taught by educators who are certified as required by the state.

One of the key benefits of dual enrollment is the potential to give high school students a head start in college. This might save them up to 1-2 years at the college level.

That is in itself a sweet deal.

But even sweeter is how much money dual enrollment can save you if you are planning to put your kids through college.

How much you can save depends on:

  • whether your state has a dual enrollment policy in the first place.
  • and if so, how many credits it will pay for each student per quarter.
  • Whether you are able to take advantage of arbitrage opportunities in tuition fees.

 

Our Case Study: Washington State’s Running Start Program

When my son was in high school several years ago, it became clear to us that he was headed for a stint as a soldier.

Knowing that his years in uniform was going to put him behind his schoolmates, I looked into ways to help him catch up.

Well, my research opened up the path for him to shave 2 years off college and saved us more than $18,000 in tuition fees.

When he was done with his military service, he was able to slide right into his Junior year at the University of Washington.

Ok, he took a year in-between the army and college to launch his Amazon FBA business, did well, THEN slid right into his Junior year.

The math:

Here’s how the math worked for us:

In 2016, the cost for 180 credits over a four-year program at the University of Washington was $36,516.

This is tuition only, and excludes all other fees and costs associated with pursuing a degree.

What we will end up paying in total when he graduates next year: around $18,258, spread out over 6 quarters.

Financial aid and scholarships will bring that number even further down, but I’ll exclude that at this time to keep things simple.

Washington State’s dual enrollment program is called Running Start, and allows for 11th and 12th grade students to take prescribed courses at community and technical colleges in the state.

As of 2016, Running Start paid for up to 15 credit hours per quarter, per student. There were some expectations that had to be met, such as a 2.0 GPA (yes, it's a very low bar), and courses that had high school equivalency towards a GED.

In our case, those 15 credits were worth $1,283.85 at the community college my son went to, per quarter, or about $7,700 for 90 credits over six quarters.

That’s a nice chuck of change, courtesy of the Washington State legislature!

But wait, there’s more!

If you picked the courses carefully, you could line up a solid curriculum that would count towards an associate degree, which could then be transferred, credit for credit, at the University of Washington.

Research and consultations were essential to successful credit transfers and building a foundation of prerequisite 100 and 200 courses that would be accepted at the University of Washington.

Some courses weren’t actually part of the GED core requirements, but we were able to get them paid for as electives.

Other courses were so desirable that we paid for them out-of-pocket because they were needed for his associate degree and would transfer as an equivalent pre-requisite.

Thanks to the concept of tuition arbitrage, we were able to more than double the value of the $7,700 the state paid for Running Start.

Assuming 20 credits per quarter, here’s what the tuition arbitrage looked like for my son:

  • A credit cost $81.07 at his community college.
  • A similar course would cost $184.45 per credit at UW.
  • The tuition arbitrage was $103.38 per credit, IF those credits were transferable.

It was like getting a great discount on tuition, again PROVIDED the credits from the community college could be transferred.

This meant that if my son could load up on one extra course a quarter (worth 5 credits), we could save $103.38 x 5 = $516.90 a quarter, or $3,101.40 over 6 quarters.

Yes, we had to pay 100% of the 16th-20th credit hours (since the 1st 15 credits were paid for by the state), but a savings of $516.90 or 56% was an excellent deal!

By the time my son shipped out to boot camp, we had check all the boxes he needed to graduate from high school with a GED AND an Associate Degree in Integrated Studies.

We also found an unexpected bonus – since he was transferring with an Associate Degree into UW, he didn’t have to take the SAT. That was neat.

YMMV

Your Miles May Vary

In the travel rewards game, there is an apt expression that we borrow from the automobile industry: Your Miles May Vary.

This is especially true when it comes to dual enrollment and tuition arbitrage.

Related: Applying to Colleges? Why You Should Consider Small Private Schools

Every state has different policies and funding thresholds, and the local situation may vary between school districts in the same state.

You can see what your school district and state’s stances are on dual enrollment by checking with this national organization.

Is this a good fit for 2nd generation FIRE?

While we appreciated the advantages that our state’s dual enrollment program gave us, there were a few things that we had to consider before signing up:

  • Back when he was 17, we had to make sure our son had the maturity and discipline to handle a tertiary education experience.
  • We knew that not all credits earned might be accepted for transfers by every university, especially private universities and out-of-state institutions. So we had to make some guesses as to which university he would go to.
  • A lot planning, consultations, and research was needed to make sure the ducks were lined up in a row. Thankfully, research and spreadsheets are right up my alley.

One of the unintended consequences of maximizing the benefits of dual enrollment was that we ended up having too much money in my son’s Vanguard 529 Target Date fund.

Since the funds can be transferred to our younger kids, or even used by my wife and I, that’s not a bad problem to have!

 

016 | House Hacking With Coach Carson

House Hacking with Coach Carson

Have you heard of House Hacking? Break the game with this powerful lever


In Today’s Podcast we cover:

  • Real estate investing and house hacking with Chad “Coach” Carson.
  • On the path to financial independence, how much of your own budget is going towards housing?
  • After Chad graduated college at Clemson, he got started with real estate investing in his college town.
  • How financial independence and real estate investing have allowed Chad to move his family to Ecuador for about 1.5 years.
  • When they moved to Ecuador they sold most of their possessions and rented out their house for 2 years.
  • When Chad graduated college he kept his expenses extremely low and actually moved into his business partner’s spare bedroom to help save money.
  • This led to his concept of “house hacking” as a way to keep housing expenses down to nearly zero
  • House hacking: buy a multi-family rental unit and live in one unit while you rent out the rest and have them essentially pay for your house payment entirely
  • Easy to become rich saving the money you’d otherwise be paying for your house and car payments
  • Keep it simple and pay attention to the fundamentals with your financial life
  • How do you get started with real estate? Where do you find a multi-family unit to buy?
  • What to look for: neighborhoods with charm, safe, public transportation nearby
  • Avoid cookie-cutter neighborhoods on the outskirts of town with new construction
  • Chad recommends hiring a real estate agent at the beginning. Have them run searches based on your desired neighborhoods and automatically send you new listings.
  • It is essential to walk the neighborhoods and talk to people to gather intel. Tip: walk with your kids to seem less intimidating and go on a Saturday morning when they are out
  • It’s important to think differently and take that extra step to find great deals. Have to reach out to people and get outside your comfort zone
  • Real estate: The numbers crunching has to come into play at some point. Put together a profile of what makes a good deal upfront
  • Follow the ‘1% rule’: You are looking for the monthly rent to be 1% of the purchase price ($1,000 per month rent = $100,000 house price)
  • Chad was able to pull his equity out and invest in another deal
  • Small investors need to avoid 5 or more unit complex in order to get the most favorable owner-occupied financing
  • Once you have an owner-occupied financing, you can move out and keep the favorable financing rates and rent all the units
  • How to get started finding financing if you have no money saved and no contacts?
  • Options: FHA 203k Loan in order to remodel and do a house hack or Fannie Mae Remodeling loan
  • Building relationships with local real estate investors and private lenders
  • Real estate debt snowball to fully own these properties as a path to wealth and financial independence
  • Chad’s personal strategy: 15% of his assets are currently in index funds with a goal of up to 33% and the vast majority of the rest is in real estate, cash and financing/note investing
  • Chad and his business partner have approximately 90 rental units currently
  • Chad is not interested in growing as large as possible – he wants to find a balance in life and keep it as simple as possible to meet his financial independence goal
  • Hot Seat Questions
  • Favorite life hack: Planning and actually writing it out. Weekly, monthly, yearly
  • Biggest mistake: buying into other people’s goals and getting sloppy with purchasing a lot of properties at the height of the 2007 bubble

Links from the show:

Books Mentioned in the Show:

015R | The ‘Joneses’ Are Bankrupt

015R _ The Jones are Bankrupt (1)

Why are you spending so much effort keeping up with the Jone's? They Are Bankrupt!!

  • How much we appreciate our listeners and the feedback and comments we’re receiving
  • Recap of guest appearance of Justin from Root of Good
  • Justin is living a relaxing and chill life set for himself in early retirement. This is what FIRE is all about!
  • It was only a 10 year journey for him to make this happen. No matter when you are starting, you can make this happen and become financially independent in 10-15 years.
  • The Jones’ went into foreclosure!
  • Something we plan to discuss in-depth in the future: Hacking college and finding a way to do it more cost effectively. Edmund Tee and Seonwoo Lee are producing content to show how to hack college and save tens of thousands of dollars.
  • The FIRE community learns the rules and help maximize and we see this with college, taxes, health care, etc.
  • True wealth is not about income, it is about net worth. You must save money!
  • The only thing your children care about is you spending time with them.
  • Try to create some separation from your phone and computer and set boundaries where you shut them off at a certain time. Creates a much happier life.
  • Comments from the audience: Kyith had a comment about allocation as you approach true FIRE and moving all money to Vanguard and just blindly investing in the market.
  • Brad thinks taking action is the most important thing. Inertia is so powerful that you need to just take that first step.
  • Question from Paul: Where to put your savings? Online bank like Capital One 360. Vanguard investments like a low-cost ETF and take advantage of dollar-cost averaging
  • Jonathan would max out his Roth-IRA as a savings vehicle since you can withdraw your contributions tax and penalty-free at any time
  • Brad’s win of the week: Took some money from large cash position and invested in VTSAX
  • If you had a paid-for home, would you go out and borrow money at 3 percent to invest? Brad’s struggle with paying down his mortgage and would he do this investment strategy with a paid-for house.
  • Itunes reviews of the week
  • Matt’s comment about effective altruism
  • Cohousing community in Georgia that members of the FIRE community are investigating creating
  • How powerful it would be to live in a FI community instead of ‘keeping up with the Jonses’
  • Travel Rewards questions: Does Southwest accept transfers from Chase Ultimate Rewards and have them count towards the points needed for the Companion Pass?
  • Ruth’s question: If I don’t plan on traveling much in the next 3 years should I focus on the Companion Pass sooner than that?

Links from the show:

015 | Root of Good | 2nd Generation FIRE and College

2nd Generation FIRE

Let's talk about 2nd Generation FI. What changes when you are raising kids after hitting FI yourself or on the path to FI? How do we do college smartly?


In Today’s Podcast we cover:

  • Our guest: Justin from Root of Good
  • Justin had access to 401k and the 457 retirement plans
  • 457 plan is an extremely valuable took for early retirement as there is no 10% early withdrawal penalty
  • Justin’s early retirement journey: Retirement at 33
  • Saved over 60% of his income to help retire early
  • Justin has a wife and 3 kids and was still able to retire early
  • What does a day in the life look like for Justin and the Root of Good family?
  • “Optimal spouse selection” is important on the path to early retirement. You both need to align and be compatible with the savings mindset
  • Being early retired gives you the flexibility to spend your time as you choose and live like a billionaire from a prior era
  • Justin followed the Early Retirement Forums to model the behavior as he was learning about the path to financial independence
  • Does it really cost $300,000 to raise a child?
  • They spend $29,000 to $34,000 per year including luxurious vacations
  • Quote of the day: “If you want to be average, it’s going to cost 300 grand”
  • How they save money on cruises for the family: Go in the off season, look for deals online and book through a shopping portal like Ebates, don’t book excursions through the cruise line
  • How does early retirement impact your children?
  • Great lesson to teach your kids: I worked really hard for 10 years, saved money, and now can enjoy life for the next 50
  • For people who save money, it isn’t a stressor, it’s a tool to live a better life
  • You have so much extra time to spend with your children when you are early retired
  • Significant tax savings from having children
  • 2nd Generation FIRE: How to pass this concept on to our children and to teach them to get started even before we did
  • Planning for children’s college while early retired
  • How to get college credit while still in high school (AP classes, classes from local university, etc.)
  • Once you get to college, how do you pay for it?
  • How to hack the FAFSA: they don’t look at retirement savings or home equity for calculation
  • Don’t pay sticker price for college! Financial aid and scholarships are plentiful
  • Some elite schools offer full scholarships to “lower income” people of which early retirees may qualify
  • Will college still be relevant in 10 years and how will you pay for it?
  • The Hot Seat Questions
  • Justin’s favorite blog: Millennial Revolution
  • How Brad uses ToDoIst to put everything in his life on autopilot

Links from the show:

15-2nd Generation FIRE

014R | Introducing Frugal Win Of The Week (FWOTW)

Let's celebrate the Odometer with 100,000 miles

In Today’s Podcast we cover:

  • Highlights from the guest episode with Carl from 1500 Days
  • Could you reach financial independence with a 10 to 15 year timeline?
  • Jonathan’s timeline is much shorter than 10 to 15 years
  • The mechanics of FI are easy, but we discussed the larger questions in this podcast about happiness and what life is all about
  • It isn’t about money, it’s about life
  • When you have time, you can explore all these new passions and fill it with the right things in life
  • When you are pursuing FI and you have money in common, you have so many other things in common
  • People are talking about making real-life FI communities of like-minded folks and see the power of community
  • He had an epiphany: You don’t have to work until you’re 62 to retire. You really can life a different way and make it happen.  But we need to present this info to as many people as possible
  • Brad posting 100,000 mile odometer. Per Jonathan, it represents a life choice that enables us to get to FI faster
  • Rampant materialism of the neighborhood that Carl and Mindy moved into and moved out of only weeks later
  • Friday’s podcast will be a crowdsourced roundup of the FI community
  • Corrections from prior show: 457 plans: are not protected from creditors in bankruptcy and there are 457 for hospitals and charities. You also need a “separation of service” in order to pull the money out.
  • Corrections: Roth IRA contributions can be pulled out penalty and tax free at any point (do not need to wait 5 years)
  • Success story from Jason: Have really taken a lot of the things they’ve learned from ChooseFI and started to implement. Opened 2 Chase Sapphire Preferred cards, is already tax planning for 2017, and wants to move his money to Vanguard.
  • Timing the market and avoiding a “bubble” when investing. Take your brain out of investing decisions as much as possible.
  • Itunes review from Australia!
  • Question about net worth: Why do some bloggers exclude liabilities from net worth? How do we track net worth? You must include your liabilities in a net worth calculation
  • We plan to share our income reports from Choose FI to help people follow along with how we’re building our website
  • Travel Rewards question: What are your favorite Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners and how do you transfer the points? Our favorites are: Southwest, United, Hyatt and British Airways
  • Ask the audience: Please send us your favorite personal finance articles from the past year
  • Frugal wins of the week: Jonathan and his wife are preparing for their first yard sale. Brad made his last preschool payment for his youngest daughter
  • We need your feedback! And a big thanks to Isaac for continually sending in helpful information

Links from the show:

 

014 | The Phases of FI with 1500 days

1500 Days

The Phases of FI with 1500 days (Mr 1500)

  • Our Guest: Carl from 1500 Days
  • The Phases of Financial Independence
  • Close-knit community at Fincon and FI generally, Its amazing how much you have in common with somebody when you share a philosophy about money
  • What is your philosophy about money? It isn’t about money – it’s a tool to a better life
  • The goal of his site 1500 Days to freedom
  • Their real estate investing experience
  • Buying a McMansion and selling it within 2 weeks
  • How one bad day at work led him to MMM and the concept of early retirement
  • The importance of health
  • Surrounding yourself with the best possible people
  • Live in a place that has outdoor pursuits, the best possible library and a strong community
  • Raise your children to be good, hardworking people and raise your knowledge every day
  • Explore the world and give back by volunteering
  • Time is the most essential resource, and it's slipping away from you unless you plan for it
  • Develop passions to design the life you want to live with the time available. Without passions, FI would be a prison
  • The Four Phases of FI
  • Financial independence doesn’t mean not earning money. It means following your passions
  • Hot Seat Questions

Links from the show:

Books Mentioned in the Show:

Coffee 101 | An Introduction to Perfection

coffee

 

I Get Ridiculously Excited About Coffee.

I have been this excited about coffee for probably the last two years and it has been consistently one of my favorite topics of small talk that’s non-finance related.

Coffee got me through pharmacy school, I didn't like it but I drank lots of it. I needed the caffeine and coffee is cheap,  and available. Frankly, I was drinking total garbage and covering it up with ridiculous amounts of flavored creamer and sugar. I thought that this was just what you did. But somewhere along the way, I decided that I was going to start drinking coffee black. When you commit to drinking coffee black you begin to truly understand how disgusting bad black coffee can be. I thought it might be an acquired taste, so I gave it a month, just drinking it black. I would try to choke it down and although I did it, it never got easier.

I knew there was something more.

But I knew there had to be more to the story. There's an entire subculture dedicated to good coffee. There are competitions for Baristas, for best coffee of the year and there's a new coffee shop popping up on every corner, so I started to do what I do with every other aspect of my life.

researching coffee

 I researched it. And this Post is dedicated to my conclusions.

Coffee can be amazing black.  But, it's a science, it's cooking, it requires precision, it's an art and now for me, it's one of my favorite hobbies.

There are several factors that determine how good your coffee is going to be:

1.Whole Beans vs Pre-Ground Bean

The whole bean carries all the flavor, in the form of oils, which give off that amazing aroma. These flavor oils are what make coffee shops smell so inviting. After the bean has been ground the natural oils evaporate quickly.

Buy your beans whole, never ground!

grind your coffee at home

2. Grind your beans yourself at the point of brewing.

Grind the beans right before you use them. So if you purchase whole beans, don’t get them ground at the store. Grind the beans at home, right before you use them, to maximize flavor in each cup.

3. I recommend this burr grinder.Capresso Burr Grinder

There are 2 types of grinders: a blade grinder/spice grinder and a burr grinder.  Think of a blade grinder like a mini blender. It has a blade that rotates at the bottom that chops the beans up into particles. The problem with this type of grinder is that inevitably some of the bean gets overground and some are barely touched. This presents a problem, because the smaller the particle, the greater the surface area. The inconsistency will lead to over extraction on some beans and under extraction on others, leading to lots of variability in the quality of your coffee.

Think of a burr grinder like an automated pepper mill. These burrs run in opposite directions and ensure that you get a consistent flavor from cup to cup. They sell hand powered and electric. I have both, but I highly recommend the electric burr grinder. You will use this every day and I prefer to get my workouts in the gym.

Capresso 560.01 Infinity Conical Burr, Black Price: $76.00 Capresso 560.01 Infinity Conical Burr, Black Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

4.The next tip is the ratio. I recommend this Hario scale.Hario Coffee Drip Scale/Timer

This requires an electronic scale with a tare feature that is sensitive enough to measure small increments of grams and will stay on for 4 to 6 minutes. This is why I love this Hario scale. I have had 2 other electronic scales which were both disappointing and would cut off as I was in the middle of my experiment.

I use a ratio of [1:15] up to [1:20]. Let me explain why. Typically for a single cup of coffee, you want 15-20 milliliters of water for each gram of coffee used. So if you are making a single cup and using 20g of beans, then you might try a ratio of [1:15] and use 300ml of water. 

As you increase the number of cups that you are brewing at once, you may lean toward the higher end of the spectrum. So If I am brewing 2 or 3 cups I will use a [1:20] ratio to compensate for the longer brew time. So for 45g of coffee, I would use 900 ml of water. But I always stay inside that 15-20 ratio and then adjust for the next cup based on whether my last cup was too strong or weak. That brings us to our next key tip, extraction time

Hario V60 Drip Scale and Timer Price: $37.87 Hario V60 Drip Scale and Timer Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

 

5. Extraction time. I recommend the ChemexChemex 6-Cup Classic Series Glass Coffee Maker

Ideally, you can brew your cup within 3 to 4 minutes. A longer brew time can lead to over extraction and a more bitter cup of coffee. Sometimes, if you are making more than 1 cup, this is unavoidable and is fine, but in a perfect world you will have brewed your cup in under 4 minutes.

Chemex Classic Series, Pour-over Glass Coffeemaker, 8-Cup - Exclusive Packaging Price: $36.39 Chemex Classic Series, Pour-over Glass Coffeemaker, 8-Cup - Exclusive Packaging Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

6. Temperature. I recommend this Bonavita KettleBonavita Electric Kettle

Coffee has a specific temperature which allows it to offer its best flavor. It is generally agreed that the ideal temperature is just off the boil and if you have an electric kettle which allows you to measure it, then set it for 195 F (91 C) to 205 F (96 C)

 

 

7. Quality of water (confessions of a reluctant frugalist)

I keep reading that quality of water is critical, but this is where I have to make a confession. To this point, I have refused to spend extra money on quality bottle water for my coffee. I use tap water. Purists will get angry with me but I have to be honest with you.

Consistency

The Key is Consistency

We want a perfect cup every time and to get a consistent cup of genuinely good coffee you have to control the variables.

We need a method that will allow us to control:

  • The grind ( timing and particle size)
  • The temperature of water
  • The brew time
  • The ratio

We want maximum, consistent flavor, every time, from cup to cup.

This is the part of the story where I tell you that you need to throw out or donate your Coffee-Mate. Unfortunately, as you have figured out or been thinking, you really can't track all of those variables when you have a Coffee-Mate or any comparable drip pot coffee maker. And if you could track those variables on your Coffee-Mate, you would find out that it's not even close to the criteria that I just gave you. The Coffee-Mate and most drip coffee pots really can't provide you the precision that you need in order to produce a consistently high-quality amazing cup of coffee.

  • It doesn't maintain the water temperature
  • It doesn’t meet the brew time criteria
  • And it the hot plate burns your coffee after it's been brewed producing that burnt, charcoal, diesel fuel taste when you don’t load it down with cream and sugar

And that brings us to my favorite coffee brewing technique the pour over method. The bad news is your current set-up won't work. The good news is I have a solution and it's not that difficult.

The Pour Over Method

my coffee command center
This picture contains everything I use in my coffee command center

 

Recommended Equipment

So here's my recommended equipment. Buy it for yourself or get it for your spouse as a gift this Christmas or for their birthday.

  1. Chemex Pour Over Carafe
  2. Burr Grinder
  3. Gooseneck Electric Kettle
  4. Hario scale -Get this one specifically. I've tried it with other electronic scales and you want something more precise that will stay on as you add water slowly – this is the one you want.

I spend a bunch of time reviewing different items before I make a purchase and definitely before I make a recommendation. This is the exact setup that I would recommend for anybody that's interested in good coffee.

You won't regret it!

In the near future, I plan on creating a video tutorial to show you how I use all these together, but in the meantime here's the picture.

my coffee command center

If you're coming to this article because you read my Skinny Waist Fat Wallet Podcast which was Episode 10 or because you read The Ultimate Costco meal plan Part 1 and Part 2, you will know that I'm a huge fan of drinking black coffee as a short-term appetite suppressant and as an energy booster. So I realize that what I am suggesting to you is an investment, but I'm not telling you to go out and buy protein shakes and creatine and fat burners and all this other crap. So hopefully it evens out.

Focus on the basics; good food, good exercise, and good coffee. If you already like coffee, maybe it's time to upgrade and hopefully, this article showed you how. If you're going to base your morning around one specific drink or beverage why not make it taste good!

Was this helpful? Do you have any additional Coffee Hacks you want to share? Leave your feedback below.

013R | Control Your Tax Rate | Keep the Money on Your Side of the Ledger

 

Let's discuss a practical example of how to control your tax rate

  • Highlights from the Millionaire Educator Episode
  • The benefits for teachers and public employees: 403(b) and 457
  • How the Millionaire Educator controlled his tax liability down to almost $0
  • The benefits of keeping your expenses below $30,000 per year
  • Jonathan “crushing” his tax bill in 2017
  • Bryan’s question about the “Separation of Service” clause and moving to Vanguard
  • Vanguard vs. Schwab vs. Fidelity: Does Schwab have the lowest fees?
  • How to get approved for a credit card with no credit history?
  • Case Study from Tyler: International Teaching
  • Itunes Reviews
  • Frugal Wins of the Week
  • New Apps Brad Found: Robinhood and Loyal3
  • What’s to come with ChooseFI podcasts

Links from the show: