Consumer Reports: Make your own coffee and save money

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Shirleen Allicot reports on how you can save serious cash with a quality coffee maker

Paying $3 for a cup of coffee several times a day can blow a college student's budget pretty quickly. Over two semesters, that type of java habit will run you about $1,260, and that's without any espresso drinks, which cost even more.

You don't need to be an econ major to see that it's smarter to invest in a coffee maker. Consumer Reports' latest ratings on coffeemakers and coffee beans can help.

A single-serve pod maker keeps it simple and easy, and Consumer Reports recommends a Delonghi for $130.

"Pods are really convenient, but the the flavor doesn't compare to other coffee makers," Consumer Reports home editor Paul Hope said. "Plus they get expensive, and they're less environmentally friendly."

A drip coffee maker can keep costs down. The Hamilton Beach Coffeemaker is a Consumer Reports Best Buy for just $25.

Got a budding barista? A $100 iCoffee is an electric version of a French press, and it's very easy to use and clean.

If you've got a coffee connoisseur on your hands, the Chemex pour-over brewer is an option. Its filters are made of heavy paper designed to regulate water flow and keep coffee grounds and
other undesirable flavors out.

"Our expert coffee tasters gave coffee brewed in the Chemex high marks for complexity, acidity and overall quality," Hope said.

Consumer Reports also tested Ethiopian coffee beans. For pod machines, Green Mountain's Organic Ethiopian Coffee earned high scores. For drip and other coffeemaker machines, Trader Joe's Organic Fair Trade Ethiopian coffee is a best buy.

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