In Portland we have a magical wonderland called the "bargain basement" at Next Adventure. It is a whole treasure trove of used outdoor adventure goods. Your city has them too. Need new snowboard boots for the season? How about dropping $40 on a pair of last year's rentals? Did you blow out your MTB shoes? There's a pair of Five Ten Kestrel shoes (barely used) for $55. Need base layers for winter riding? Covered. Goggles? Yep. Mountaineering boots? Plenty.
Every few weeks I love to head over and simply peruse to see what pops up. You just never know what new treasures await you in the bargain basement.
This past visit was a eureka moment that left me beaming with pride as I walked out the door with an extra skip in my step. I actually felt like I stole something and at any moment a store employee would burst out the doors to chase me down the sidewalk and tackle me to wrest this treasure from my hand. Now what is this "treasure" that I speak of? Pft, a $5 moka pot of course. It was the envy of all of the employees working the cash register that rainy afternoon.
I was doing my own perusing, hoping to find some Five Ten Kestrel shoes that weren't sized for a sasquatch or a 4'5" man. After my fruitless search I headed over to an odds-and-ends table with a mismatch of cooking utensils, goggles, and other trinkets. It was there I spotted a very smudged moka pot. It was sitting there orphaned without a price tag. When I asked the distracted employee how much it was ... he paused, looked at the ceiling, and announced "five bucks" and slapped a $5 price tag on it. Done. It was mine. I cradled it under my arm like a running back with a football getting ready to take on on a would-be tackler. I was even ready to use a stiff arm if needed.
Now, did I need a moka pot? Of course not. I already had one. And this one wasn't even a Bialetti but one from Ikea (a 6-cupper mind you). It didn't matter because to me I felt like I had stumbled across Blackbeard's hidden treasure. So I smuggled the moka pot upstairs away from grasping hands to the light of day and the cash register. Even the store employee at the register let out a long whistle and a "dang ..." Five dollars later I skipped down the sidewalk whistling (or so it seemed). After I got home I was even more surprised that my smudged moka pot cleaned up well ... it looked brand new and unused.
So there you have it. The moral of the story? Bargain basements are rad? Yes, but there's more. The point? Coffee is fun ... and it doesn't have to cost you much. There are a lot of fun, simple, and inexpensive ways to make coffee at home our outside. Keep your eyes open.
Words by Sean Benesh, Loam Coffee Founder and Brand Manager