To brew our morning tea or coffee, we use our Le Creuset ceramic French press. We just toss in the loose leaf herbal tea blend of chamomile, peppermint, lavender, and some raspberry leaf, or our favorite coffee from the local coffee roaster, Evans Brothers’ Timber blend. Add boiling hot water, let steep for 4 minutes and serve.
Making coffee like this actually saves electricity because we use the wood cook stove in the winter. During the summer months we use our Krups drip coffee maker with an insulated kraft.
The one thing we look for in appliances is the lack of digital displays or microcomputers. Appliances with these features use electricity when they are not being used. During a low sun production day, this could lead to having to use a generator more often than necessary to feed these digital displays. In the off grid world, these digital displays are called “phantom” loads and use electricity 24/7. In any home, you want to eliminate your phantom loads to save money. I wonder, what is America’s obsession with digital clock displays. The coffee maker, toaster oven, the stove, the mixer, seriously how many clocks does a kitchen need?
We found that buying certain “dumb” appliances we are eliminating “smart” phantom loads that are dumb and not so smart. Confusing, I know. We have a wind up clock on our bookshelf that lasts 8 days. We use a cell phone, on airplane mode, for my wife’s alarm clock and my alarm clock is a battery short wave radio with an alarm clock feature. The AA batteries lasted me over a year and a half, and the shortwave is good for major storm updates. Our washing machine is older, so no computer there, just knobs. We use a 6 strip to cut the phantom loads from our DVD and TV. We have eliminated every phantom load in the house. We even power off the invertor at night, which also has a phantom load. During the spring and summer months, we have so much extra electricity, we don’t pay attention to conserving power as much. However, it’s all about energy conservation during the shortest days of the year.