To brew or not to brew, is that even a question?

It’s not about whether or not you will have that morning cup of joe, or six, it’s about where it’s going to happen. Will you drink up at home, make a cup to go, or do you stop by and visit your favorite barista on your way into work?

While there are benefits to both, check out these top five reasons why you will likely catch us brewing at home

1. Fresh Coffee Any Time You Want It

Let’s face it, with night shifts, work-at-home professionals, and telecommuters, we aren’t all enjoying our “morning” cup of coffee at the same time. And some of us just don’t want a single cup in the morning but prefer our brew late in the day. Don’t restrict yourself to quirky coffee shop hours. If you brew at home, you can have coffee ready any time of the day and you can use the auto setting to have it ready the second your feet hit the floor. When you brew at home, you have fresh coffee to drink when you want to.

2. Coffee: It’s a Costly Relationship

Coffee shops should really be referred to as very fancy, expensive, specialty drinks with complicated names establishments. The truth is, when you go to grab that quick, specialty drink, it’s likely to cost at least $5 and take a degree to figure out what you want. That’s $25 each work week and over $1,000 each year, plus the cost of that fancy education. I don’t know about you, but I will brew at home and spend the extra on some exotic island during my next vacation or on student loans. Daiquiris anyone?

Image of Coffee and Recipe

3. No Waste This Way

Going green is much more than installing energy-efficient light bulbs in your house. Skip the throwaway paper or, worse, foam cup at the coffee shop and serve up your fresh coffee in your favorite mug or travel thermos. Reduce waste further by using your leftover coffee grounds in compost for your vegetable garden. The high nitrogen content works wonders on tomato plants!

4. Pick Your Own Flavor

The flavorful options are endless when you brew at home. Serve your coffee piping hot and black, blend it with delicious syrups, serve it up over ice, or try new, unexplored possibilities. Since it’s fall, pumpkin and spice flavors are all the rage. Pair your flavored java with our quick vanilla scone recipe and let us know what you think.

5. Serve a Crowd

They say you should never drink alone and aside from the mornings when I’m the first one up, I try to live by this rule. I know the saying is referring to alcohol, but why not be social with a warm, comfy treat? Invite friends over for coffee and serve some delicious vanilla scones. It’s an inexpensive way to socialize with friends and way more relaxing than preparing a full meal for a crowd. If you’re into preparing a multi-course meal, don’t forget to serve coffee with dessert.

As promised, check out this recipe for vanilla scones with vanilla bean glaze compliments of the Food Network. It’s a quick and easy recipe but a good standby for entertaining or gobbling up by yourself.

Vanilla_Scones

Scone Ingredients

  • 2 whole vanilla beans
  • 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1 whole large egg

Scone Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Split the vanilla beans in half lengthwise and scrape out all the vanilla “caviar,” the tiny black beans inside. Stir the caviar into the cream. Set aside for 15 minutes.

Sift together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. Divide the cold butter into pats, then use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter into the flour. Keep going until the mixture resembles crumbs.

Mix the vanilla cream with the egg, then combine with the flour mixture. Stir gently with a fork just until it comes together.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and lightly press it together until it forms a rough rectangle. The mixture will be pretty crumbly. Use a rolling pin to roll into a rectangle about 12-by-7 inches and 1/2- to 3/4-inches thick. Use your hands to help with the forming if necessary.

Cut the rectangle into 12 rectangles. Next, cut each of those in half diagonally, to form two triangles. Transfer to a parchment or baking mat-lined cookie sheet and bake for 18 minutes.

Remove scones from the oven just before they start to turn golden. Allow to cool for 15 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Glaze Ingredients

  • 1 whole vanilla bean
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, plus more if needed
  • 5 cups powdered sugar, sifted, plus more if needed
  • 1 dash of salt

Glaze Directions

Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the caviar. Stir the caviar into the milk. Set aside for 15 minutes.

Mix the powdered sugar and salt with the vanilla milk, adding more powdered sugar or milk if necessary to get the right consistency. Stir or whisk until completely smooth.

One at a time, carefully dunk each cooled scone in the glaze, turning it over if necessary. Transfer to parchment paper or the cooling rack. Allow the glaze to set completely, about an hour. Scones will keep several days if glazed.

Chelsea B. Sanz
Chelsea B. Sanz

Chelsea Sanz has lived in East Tennessee since her family moved here from South Florida just before she started high school. While she initially begrudged her new home state, she eventually realized she had come to not only love it, but to “bleed orange” as University of Tennessee Volunteers fans here like to say. She and her boyfriend Hunter, a trail worker for Great Smoky Mountains National Park, enjoy exploring the nation’s most visited national park and coming up with their own farm-to-table recipes.

Connect with Chelsea B. Sanz on Google+