I’ve started to save a lot of money by making coffee at home and never realized the huge range of price in homemade coffee. From $18 per pound for fair trade coffee beans from Ethiopia to $2.50 per pound for generic label coffee from the grocery store. How much you spend – or save – on coffee says a lot about you.
How much do you spend on coffee beans?
I already calculated that making coffee at home from beans that cost $15 per pound costs about $.28 per cup. SOOOOOO much cheaper than buying a $2 cup at Starbucks! Many of you echoed my findings, but did you realize that even $.28 per cup of coffee is relatively expensive compared to the low-end brands out there?
How little can a homemade cup of coffee cost?
(pp= per pound)
$18 pp – Peet’s Coffee Fair Trade Organic Ethiopia Sidamo
$16 pp – Medium roast at my local independent coffee shop
$14 pp – Starbucks Pike Place Roast, the beans they use for the barista-made cups of coffee in store
$11 pp – Stop & Shop grind-it-yourself beans (11+ varieties, you chose the grind and quantity)
$5.42 pp Folgers Classic Roast Medium Coffee (Ground)
$5.22 Maxwell House Original Medium Roast Coffee (Ground)
$4.65 pp Stop & Shop Breakfast Blend Coffee Light Roast (Ground)
$4.24 pp Chock Full O’Nuts Original Medium Roast Coffee (Ground)
$2.55 pp Guaranteed Value Coffee Medium Roast (Ground)
If you make coffee at home with the cheapest brand available, in this case Stop & Shop’s Guaranteed Value brand (I think of it as a low-end generic brand as Stop & Shop also has an eponymous generic label that is quite good) that cup of coffee would cost you $.05 per cup ($2.55 / 50 cups of coffee).
Yes, folks. That’s a nickel per cup of coffee.
A little background on how I calculate the cost of making coffee at home:
1 pound of coffee beans = 100 tablespoons of ground coffee
I use two tablespoons for each large cup of coffee. So that $2.55 pound bag of coffee beans makes me 50 CUPS OF COFFEE at a cost of $.05 per cup ($2.55 / 50 cups = $.05 cents).
A $.05 cup of coffee is 1/40th the cost of buying a cup at Starbucks. Another way to look at it: You can make 40 cups of coffee at home or buy one cup at Starbucks. Of course, Starbucks coffee tastes a lot…different than the Guaranteed Value beans.
To be fair, making a cup of coffee at home with Starbucks beans costs $.28 per cup ($14 pp / 50 cups = $.28 per cup), compared to $2 in the shop. So the homemade coffee with Starbucks beans costs 1/7th what it does if you pay a barista to brew it. Another way to look at it: You can make seven cups of coffee at home or buy one cup at Starbucks.
Is this comparison valid?
After comparing prices per pound, I realized that there are other ways of comparing the cost of homemade coffee. For instance, you might compare cost per cup, because you may use more of one brand of coffee than another brand. Or you could compare how many cups of coffee the package says you will be able to make. On the Maxwell House and Folger’s brand of coffee, about 33 ounces of coffee would make more than 200 cups of coffee, according to the package. That’s less than two ounces of coffee per cup! Eghads! I can’t image how watery that coffee must taste.