Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Exactly How Much Money We Saved By Roasting Our Own Coffee Beans

Our coffee roaster.  Love it, love it, love it.
Foodgoat has been roasting his own coffee beans for over a year now, and filling the house with the lovely smell of freshly roasted coffee has become a weekly ritual.  The coffee tastes delicious and  the types of beans and roasts we can try increased tremendously.   Plus, I have a much finer appreciation for the subtleties of coffee flavors and nuances.  We have a big basket filled with beans ready to be roasted, so we never run out of coffee.  It sets off the smoke detector every single time he roasts, but it's well worth it, both in taste and in price.

Recently though, I calculated just how much money we saved by roasting our own coffee.  Here's the breakdown.

How much we paid roasting our own beans:
How much we would have paid if we used Starbuck's bestselling bag of whole roasted beans, French roast (which, by the way, I cannot believe is the most popular roast, because it is AWFUL):
  • Cost of coffee per year, 45 lbs of coffee beans in one year, for two people = $540
  • Cost of coffee per pound = $12
  • Cost of coffee per day= $1.48
  • Cost of coffee, per person, per day = $0.74
  • Cost of brewed coffee, per ounce = $0.03 
How much we would have paid if we used those terribly wasteful, mediocre-tasting single-serve K-cup things:
  • Cost of K-Cup box from Amazon (50 servings, each makes 8 oz) = $29.99
  • Cost of one K-cup, each makes a puny 8 oz = $0.60
  • Cost of brewed coffee, per ounce = $0.07 
  • Cost of coffee, per person (assuming 2 K-Cups for one person) per day = $1.20
  • Cost of coffee per year, for two people = $876
How much we would have paid if we bought coffee at a coffee shop every single day:
  • Cost of one 20 ounce (Venti size) brewed coffee = $2.00
  • Cost of brewed coffee, per ounce = $0.10
  • Cost of two people buying one coffee each per day = $4.00
  • Cost of coffee per year for two people = $1,460.00
And just for the heck of it, how much we would have paid if we bought a fancy espresso drink (San Francisco price) at Starbucks every single day:
  • Cost of one 16 oz latte = $3.55 
  • Cost of brewed coffee, per ounce = $0.22
  • Cost of two people buying one coffee each per day = $7.10
  • Cost of coffee per year for two people = $2,591.50

So, to recap:

Cost of coffee for our household over one year:
  • (Lattes) From Starbucks: $2,591.50
  • From coffee shop: $1,460.00
  • Using a single-cup brewing machine: $876
  • Using bagged whole roasted coffee beans: $540
  • Roasting our own beans: $293
By roasting our own coffee instead of buying regular brewed coffee at the coffee shop, we save $1,167 over a year.  Over $1,000!  If we bought lattes, it's over $2,000!! 

Okay, we never in our lives actually bought coffee from a coffee shop every single day.  Does anyone actually do that? 

But by roasting our own instead of buying already roasted beans we still save $247 a year - over $20 a month. 

Of course a roaster does cost money initially, but a dedicated machine costs about $150, still less than what you would spend buying roasted beans in a year, and will last a few years.   And of course, there are even cheaper, DIY ways to go about roasting

And maybe you want to support your local coffee shop and coffee roaster, and enjoy the relaxing coffee shop atmosphere.  Nothing wrong with that!

But roasting your own coffee beans at home will save you money, and potentially a lot of it.

Because with all that cash Foodgoat has saved by roasting coffee, he has ... well, I'm not sure what he's done with it.  I think he's bought more beer.


  1. Yes. I have indeed brought more beer.

    I am sure my brother the penny-counter would point out that our cost estimates do not include the price of roasting and brewing. But that is boring thinking for bean counters.

    Oh, I drink far more than one cup of coffee a day. So in theory our coffee shop bill would be much higher.

  2. So if we each bought the more realistic two coffees every day, for a year ... that's $2,920. What is that, like 3.5 motorcycles?

  3. The taste of your cup of coffee depends on the quality of coffee beans you have chosen, so you must be careful while buying the beans, and avoid relying on the powered coffee available in the market, if you want to have the real taste.

  4. One must buy coffee beans carefully, to get that magnificent taste of a hot cup of coffee in a chilled weather. I believe, you will certainly not like to miss to get that refreshing feel every morning.

  5. I read this article. I think You put a lot of effort to create this article. I appreciate your work.

  6. Great article. I think we payed $8 for a pound of beans, but I may need to shop a little.

  7. Awesome idea. Roasting is the most important part to make coffee.Roast Coffee