November 5, 2011
CHOCK FULL O NUTS FROM BJ'S, BLACK:Saving Pennies or Dollars? Making Your Own Coffee ( Trent, 11/04/11, Simple Dollar)
Let's say we're looking at a 16 ounce cup of coffee - what you might fill a to-go cup with from a coffee shop, for example. A 16 ounce cup of coffee is approximately 473 mL, which, using the ratio above, would require 26 grams of coffee to make it yourself. An ounce is 28.3 grams, just for measurement's sake.
So, how much does "good" coffee cost? I asked my wife to select what she considered to be a very good coffee for the price and she chose Eight O'Clock Coffee's original ground, which can be obtained at a rate of $0.39 per ounce.
Simply put, you'd need about $0.38 of decent ground coffee to make a good 16 ounce cup of coffee at home. There's also the negligible cost of water and electricity (say, one cent per cup), plus the ongoing cost of filters (say, two cents per cup), plus the cost of the cup (say, one cent per drink prorated out over time), plus the startup cost of purchasing an inexpensive pot to brew the coffee with (say, another two cents per cup, prorated out over time). That's a cost of about $0.44 for a 16 ounce standard coffee.
Now, if you add cream or other ingredients to that, you're increasing the cost, but not significantly. For example, International Delight French Vanilla liquid creamer costs $0.08 per cup. Other options might ding you as much as a quarter per cup for flavoring, which is still leaving you below $0.70 per cup.
Depending on what exactly you order at your typical coffee chain, a 16 ounce coffee will set you back somewhere between $2 and $5. The variation here is pretty impressive, but even if you're comparing the low end of a purchased coffee with the high end of a homemade cup, you're still talking about a savings of a dollar per 16 ounce cup. It's quite likely you're saving even more than that.
As the Other Brother explained it to me once, "Starbucks isn't in the coffee business, they're in the milk business."
Posted by Orrin Judd at November 5, 2011 9:01 AM