Updated on 11.03.11

Saving Pennies or Dollars? Making Your Own Coffee

Trent Hamm

saving pennies or dollarsSaving Pennies or Dollars is a new semi-regular series on The Simple Dollar, inspired by a great discussion on The Simple Dollar’s Facebook page concerning frugal tactics that might not really save that much money. I’m going to take some of the scenarios described by the readers there and try to break down the numbers to see if the savings is really worth the time invested.

Jeff writes in: How much money do you ACTUALLY save in time and money by making your own coffee at home? I would appreciate the assumption that the user is using non-generic, non-Folgers or Maxwell House coffee.

For some standardized data on this, I visited the website of the SCAA – the Specialty Coffee Association of America. In one of their protocol documents, I found this information, which I’ll use to analyze how a great cup of coffee is constructed at home:

The optimum ratio is 8.25 grams of coffee per 150 ml of water, as this conforms to the mid-point of the optimum balance recipes for the Golden Cup.

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.

What about the time? I’m not a coffee drinker, but Sarah usually sets up the coffee pot the night before. It takes her about a minute. When she gets up, she flips a switch, and then she drinks a cup a little while later, then fills her to-go cup on her way out the door, taking her maybe another minute or two. She usually cleans the pot up when she gets home from work, taking another couple of minutes.

The time invested is perhaps five minutes total per day, and she’s probably saving $2.50 or so per day, making for a pretty good hourly rate. Plus, she believes the coffee made at home tastes better.

If you drink coffee more than a time or two a week, you’re going to save money making it at home, and it’s probably going to be well worth the small amount of time invested, too.

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  1. Katie says:

    Hmm, I’m not convinced. If you’re talking about fancy mocha drinks, sure. But then you’re comparing apples to oranges. Plain black coffee is often pretty cheap out, in the $1.25-$1.50 range, in my experience, and then milk and sugar are free. So you’re still saving money by brewing it at home (especially if you drink multiple cups or have multiple coffee drinkers), but not as much and I could legitimately see convenience outweighing.

  2. Vicky says:

    I admit I just drink some generic stuff – Folgers, or whatever was on sale.

    It’s maybe $6 for a BIG tub of it. I add a little creamer, so my creamer is usually on sale for about $2.50.

    That coffee lasts me … a long time. Yeah I know people are always saying it’s ‘bad’ and keeping it around that long makes it taste ‘stale’, (and they, I keep it in the freezer even!) but you know… I really prefer it. It smells good, takes only a moment to make, and I can have it whenever I want for a couple of cents a cup.

    The few times I’ve say, run to Starbucks – I’ve shelled out $5 for a drink that usually isn’t that good, or is so full of sugar (I don’t go enough to know how to really customize, I just get it as it is on the menu) and I’m never as happy. I’m also not happy with any place like Dunkin Donuts, 7-11, or any other various gas station. In ever instance, I’m paying way more for the cup – even if it’s only $1, I’m still paying more than I would at home, and then I’m stuck with the stupid throw-away cup.

    No, give me my ‘bad’ cheap coffee and washable tumbler any day. It tastes great to me, and it barely costs me anything for 6 months to a year of coffee.

  3. Diane says:

    It’s way cheaper. Even if you say coffee is only $1.25/cup, that’s $8.75/week on coffee. I can buy a pound of coffee for that at TJs and it lasts me several weeks.

    Plus I like the ritual of grinding the beans and putting my little stovetop espresso pot on the burner and waiting until I hear the “sneeze” sound that means it’s done. It’s a comforting thing. And the coffee is great!

  4. min hus says:

    I say it’s cheaper and more convenient to brew at home. I buy Eight O’Clock Italian roast for less than $6/bag and prefer it to pricier brands (I’ve tried them all). I can set up my coffeemaker at night and put it on a timer, but even if I wait until morning it takes about a minute to get it ready. That’s way less time than waiting in a drive through. I drink a cup while I’m getting ready, pour a fresh cup before leaving and take a thermos full to work. Yes, I’m an addict. My less than $6 coffee lasts 3-4 weeks and I brew a pot every single day.

  5. Becca says:

    It’s interesting how we tend to figure the time to prepare coffee (and food) at home, but don’t figure the time it takes to buy the same items at a restaurant. It absolutely takes more time to buy prepared coffee than to make it yourself. In a recent case, I was drowsy on a long drive so went into a Tim Horton’s to use a restroom and buy coffee. I literally stood first in line and waited for more than ten minutes, watching the clerk tend window customers instead of me. I just walked out and bought coffee elsewhere.

    Similarly, when you buy food at a restaurant there is some waiting time, and very often this is more time than it would take you to prepare the same food for yourself at home. Agreed, this depends on what you buy. It is quicker to prepare extra portions of an evening meal so you have leftovers to take to work, then to leave work to buy a lunch.

    Coffee tends to be one of those weird food groups that the more of a type you drink the more acclimated to get to it. “Eight O”clock” coffee tastes different to me, so I don’t like it. My husband just buys me what is the cheapest, so I often switch brands. The first pots I think “Bleah” but by the time I finish the can I am used to it, and it tasted to me the way coffee ought to taste. This has been true for all but a couple no-name brands I never got used to. I mixed that stuff in other coffee a little at a time until I used it up. I keep a small quantity of “good” coffee in the freezer for company.

  6. valleycat1 says:

    Even if you buy a pound of Starbucks coffee ($12.00), that’s only $0.75 for the coffee per cup for black coffee. [Personally, I think Starbucks coffee is awful, but comparing oranges to oranges since that’s what most people buy – I don’t even know what they charge for a cup of coffee.] Of course, a lot of people don’t brew just one cup & often dump a partial pot late rin the day, so the actual cost per cup will be somewhat more due to the waste.

    I consider all the other factors ‘sunk costs’, as I’m going to have all the supplies anyway & be drinking something every morning.

  7. Mary says:

    I actually prefer home-brewed coffee over any other coffee shop. I’m a picky person, and I like having the right amount of Splenda (if I use real sugar I get massive heartburn) and creamer in my coffee. And it’s something I’ve gotten used to while making breakfast in the morning before work. One of my favorite pasttimes is either sitting at the computer programming or surfing while sipping a cup of coffee. If I’m on the road I usually stop at Kwik Trip for coffee, as it is the closest thing to home-brewed coffee for me.

  8. Suzanne says:

    I think it’s worth it to brew your own at home. I brew two days’ worth and stick my to go cup in the fridge, heating it up in the morning. If I stopped at my local convenience store, I’d spend $1.33 for the same thing, but in a worse-case scenario it involves waiting for a parking spot, weaving your way through all the other frankensteins trying to get their caffeine, standing in line to pay for it, then battling out of the parking lot. They brew a much better cup of coffee than I do, so sometimes it’s worth it, but not for that kind of stress every morning.

  9. Jamie says:

    I used to manage a coffee shop. Let me tell you, we financially brutalized our customers with the cost of a cup of coffee– and we were selling it for only $2 per 20 oz, and 1:25 for a 10 oz.

    Although good coffee shops will grind your coffee made to order, places like Starbucks have their espresso (and probably their coffee beans) pre-ground, which means it’s already stale when you get it. Starbucks customers are usually regulars though, so they are used to the taste. That’s part of the reason people who are used to drinking coffee at home thinks that coffee shop coffee doesn’t taste as good.

    Also, if you have a stove-top percolator like Diane (#3) or a french press, you can use very cheap coffee beans and still have an incredible cup of coffee.

  10. Brandi says:

    I currently work at Starbucks (aside: we grind our beans within minuets of using them – company standard) and I am amazed (but grateful since it does fund my life and health insurance) at the amount of money people are willing to spend on coffee daily.

    I think it is absolutely worth it to buy beans and brew at home, not only does it taste better in my opinion (even when it is the exact same beans) in cuts out an unpredictable amount of time.

    The time it takes to prepare coffee at home will be about the same every day. The time it takes to come into a store will vary depending on a myriad of circumstances that you have little to no control over. That uncertainty alone is enough to convince me that brewing at home before work is the least stressful way to start a morning.

    But if you don’t agree, I don’t mind because I feed my daughter with your preference.

  11. Katie says:

    Personally, I am unpicky and drink whatever coffee is available free (to me) at my office, so I don’t really have a horse in this race. But I do sympathize with people who like to buy their coffee out and call it convenient. It may be quicker/more predictable at home, but personally, I like having a cup of coffee at my desk and am uninterested in having it first thing in the morning. And if you take public transportation to the office, it can be quite difficult to pack it yourself. (I know some people do bring portable coffee brewers to work, which seems like a good solution too. But it does require that your office have certain facilities and storage.)

  12. TLS says:

    #2 Vicky – I love your comment.

    My husband is a coffee snob and insists on fancy coffee. I can get a 3 pound bag (whole beans) of a kind he likes at Costco for under $20. That’s what we drink at home, and it’s good. And it’s far cheaper than comparable beans in the grocery store.

    I usually only drink coffee at home. If I buy a cup of drip coffee from Starbucks, I have to get them to dilute it with hot water. It’s too strong for me otherwise.

  13. Steven says:

    One of my friends did a cost analysis of the usual large drip coffee she used to get daily back in uni (and I mean daily by 7 days a week) at Starbucks. With the amount of coffee used to brew it, she could buy $25-30/lb coffee and still save money I think.

    She mail ordered custom blended, organic coffee over the internet where each bag of coffee beans were roasted individually.

  14. PawPrint says:

    I shop at a grocery store that offers free coffee (a flavored, a decaf and a regular roast) to shoppers between 9 and noon, although it’s usually gone by 11:00 am. It’s actually pretty good coffee, and you can’t beat the price. When I’m not getting free coffee, I buy whole beans at Costco and then grind them daily.

    I do get coffee drinks at a couple of different coffee shops around town, but my favorite issues $1 off coupon and gives a double punch (9 punches=free coffee drink) each Monday. Sadly, Starbucks is my least favorite place, although I like their employee policies. I grew up in Seattle and used to get beans from the first store. As I recall, they just sold coffee beans and weren’t a coffee house, but that was a long time ago so I could be wrong.

  15. Steven says:

    @#5: Becca


    Trent NEVER considers the time it takes to drive, order, wait, etc. when calculating the cost of “store-bought” products…and he also ignores the time of shopping for the products to make homemade items. Seems like he picks and chooses what time measurements are important enough to factor in.

    Personally, I don’t think time should be included at all for regular household tasks, such as preparing a meal, unless you ALSO include the time it takes to dine out, etc, etc, etc.

  16. Adam P says:

    Living alone, I’d not brew a whole pot of coffee, as I would only drink 1 cup (maybe 2?)…I guess I could lower all the amounts and make less but not sure if the set up would work.

    Those single cup brew machines Keurig/Tassimo what have you are actually pretty expensive per serving, and comparable to the coffee at my donut place.

    However—work provides free coffee and fixings and it’s Starbucks so…this is moot for me!

  17. Darla says:

    As with everything, it is a matter of personal preference. I preset my maker to brew 15 minutes before I get out of bed so the aroma is in the air and helps me get moving.

  18. Diane says:

    #16: Get a small French Press, moka pot, filter drip cone or aeropress. There are plenty of ways of making coffee that don’t make a whole pot. I make one – and exactly one – cup each AM.

  19. Larabara says:

    Back when I lived alone, I would brew a pot at a time, drink a cup or two, then let the coffee cool. I’d put the whole pot (drip maker carafe) in the fridge, and then microwave a cup or two every day until the coffee was gone.

    I tried leaving the coffee out for several days, but it got stale. By putting it in the fridge, I could sweeten the entire pot of coffee, and then not even bother with sweetening a cup at a time.

    It not only saved money, but time and the cleaning of several stirring spoons a week.

  20. asithi says:

    My husband and I buy Peets coffee for our French press at home. And occasionally we would put in an order online for Kona coffee. We even have the syrups to make the seasonal coffee drinks they sell at the coffee shop.

    So our cost per cup and the amount of labor involved are a little higher than Trent’s. However, it is part of our morning weekend routine while we make breakfast. It is still much quicker to make coffee at home than to get dress and drive to the coffee shop. On the weekdays, we make do with instant coffee or tea.

    Though I still drink Starbucks coffee when we are up and about in the mornings, I started drinking their regular coffee because it is too expensive to drink their espresso drinks. A tall coffee for $1.50 with milk taste almost the same as a tall latte for $4. When I first started drinking Starbucks, I remember paying less than $3 for a grande.

  21. Wes says:

    Trent has written on making coffee at home before, but the twist here is that the coffee can’t be super cheap. But the requirement that the coffee is of mid-shelf quality adds a subjective variable into the cost-benefit analysis. It’s an interesting exercise, but I think once you add quality into the mix, it becomes harder to say which choice is best based on per-unit cost.

    For example, not only do I brew my coffee at home, but I also roast it. The cost savings for the coffee itself isn’t that great (green coffee beans go for about $5-7 a lb.) and there’s a considerable time element involved (about 12 minuets roasting time plus prep/cleanup/cooling the beans ends up being about 30 minuets of work just for the unground/unbrewed coffee, and I would do this about twice a week for a consistent supply of home-roast). Then, of course, if I’m going to go through the trouble to have ultra-fresh coffee (coffee begins to loose quality about 3 days after roasting; you will never get coffee this fresh at a store), it wouldn’t make sense to brew with anything besides a french press to ensure the best cup. That ends up adding several minuets of brewing and cleaning to each cup.

    Clearly, I’m pretty far into the realm of diminishig returns. But that’s not what I’m thinking when I take that first sip of a cup that is unquestionably better than anything I could have gotten at a coffee shop or made at home from pre-roasted beans.

    The point is the greater emphasis you put on quality, the less useful a cost-benefit analysis becomes. And making something at home is not necessarily cheaper than buying it someplace else.

  22. AnnJo says:

    Unless you’re NEVER going to brew coffee at home or drink out of a cup, or are extremely clumsy such that you have a tendency to break anything you touch, I’m not sure that amortizing the cost of your coffee maker or cup makes sense for this type of analysis.

    Most people already have those things and whatever they paid for them is a sunk cost; they don’t save money by not using them. If they don’t have them (or break them), they can easily obtain them for free or very inexpensively (Freecycle, Goodwill, friends/family hend-me-downs, garage sales).

    On-going costs such as filters can be eliminated by using old-fashioned percolators (which actually make a great cup of coffee if you use them right)or French presses (my personal favorite although I DO seem to break the glass beakers every few years – next time I’m switching to plastic).

    The cost of the coffee itself, for home brewing, is probably offset by the cost of the extra gas used to wait in line at a drive-thru or stop at a coffee shop on your way to work, before you even get to the cost of the store-bought cup of coffee. Keep in mind that a minute of idle time burns as much gas as a half-minute of driving time.

    Speaking of which, that would be a good topic for a Saving Pennies or Dollars post – idling while waiting in line at the gas pump, coffee shop or other drive-thru versus turning off and restarting your engine.

  23. Courtney20 says:

    Even better way to save on coffee – drink it free at the office four days a week.

  24. Julia says:

    #11 Katie & #23 Courney20:

    I’m with you. It’s nice not being picky. 5 days a week I get free coffee & drink it at my desk. I can usually get my coffee and get back to my desk before my computer finishes booting up making it far more convenient than other option. The coffee is not great, but at my office they also buy flavored non-dairy creamers so that helps.

    But on weekends, I love making my own coffee. I buy a huge bag at Costco and grind the beans fresh before I use them. It’s my favorite weekend luxury.

  25. Julia says:

    #21 Wes,

    I don’t know if you’re saving anything, but you’re obviously getting more quality than you will at a coffee shop.

    I used to work in an office that was just a short walk to a coffee shop that I loved. The prices were similar to Starbucks, but the coffee was far superior. The owners and employees were fun to talk to, and they put those cute little shapes in the foam. But I never went there in the morning. I went in the afternoon when I was having rough day and needed a break. I paid extra for a very relaxing and refreshing experience and a good cup of coffee. That was definitely worth it, but not every day.

  26. jim says:

    Side topic :

    #22 AnnJo mentioend :”idling while waiting in line at the gas pump, coffee shop or other drive-thru versus turning off and restarting your engine.”

    I figured once that it costs around 2 cents in gasoline per minute to idle a V6 car engine. That was based off a test by the Society of Mechanical Engineers who found that a V6 car ate about 0.5 gallons in 90 minutes. Depending on how efficient your car is and how much gas costs at the time it may vary from 1-4 cents.

    Some hybrid cars its free. They can turn themselves off automatically when idling.

    I had also found an article from Edmunds who’d figured that for idling longer than 1 minute it makes sense to turn off the engine. But that page seems to be gone now.

  27. mary m says:

    I love coffee but it has to be good. I find 100% of any type of bean as opposed to a blend just tastes better. Costco’s house brand is the first bargain priced brand that tastes good to me. At $15 for 3lbs ground, I’m saving $21/month vs my preferred grocery store brand. And 700 filters there are less than $3 as well.

  28. moom says:

    Here in Aus you pretty much can only get espresso machine made coffee commercially at least in cities. It’s about $3.50 a cup. Most of the coffee I drink at home and work I make using a “plunger” properly known as a French Press. I do buy coffee as a treat once or twice a week. If made well it really is good stuff not at all comparable to the coffee I make myself. You’ll notice this more if you drink coffeee without sugar like me.

  29. MP3 says:

    Well, I grind my coffee beans – so there’s the cost of the grinder – and I have a burr grinder that’s a little expensive. I use good quality beans – but I get them at Costco so I save some money there. And I don’t brew in a drip coffee maker. I brew on the stove with an old pyrex coffee maker and it makes the best coffee ever. So I don’t know if I save anything, but I know my coffee is better than anything I can buy in a coffee shop or restaurant!

  30. mamafitz says:

    #22 AnnJo: you can get a french press that is all metal and insulated. I don’t drink coffee (the stuff smells heavenly and tastes hellish), but I make it every day for my husband to take to work. After breaking 2 or 3 glass presses, I bought the metal insulated one. No more breaking glass presses!

  31. AnnJo says:

    #30, Thanks, mamafitz, i’ll look for it next time I break the beaker. Insulation would be a bonus, too.

  32. deRuiter says:

    “International Delight French Vanilla liquid creamer…” Suggest anyone who uses “non dairy creamer” read the label. Seems like you’re ingesting a lot of vegetable oil and chemicals. Perhaps real milk or real cream would be healthier?

  33. littlepitcher says:

    Costs of going to the store?? Don’t you all ever purchase groceries?
    I’ m currently drinking Godiva coffee beans purchased for $3/12 oz at the high school band boosters sale. I like 8 O’Clock , Millstone, or Folgers, and get them on BOGO sales or with coupons. Occasionally, I’ll order from Barnies as a splurge. I get envious when reading antique cookbook instructions on purchasing, blending, and roasting your own coffee, and would love to purchase beans in bulk. Low-fat vanilla soymilk works just fine for me. Starbucks? That stuff tastes like ground dumpster cardboard smells.

  34. Meredith says:

    Perhaps a bit of an explanation about coffee would be in order on a site like this… please take it as meant to be helpful.

    – If you’re used to a certain type of coffee, you may think that another type tastes “bad” even it’s better quality. In Canada, people drink a lot of the Tim Hortons chain of coffee, which is a bit bitter and over-roasted, but consistent from store to store. Many take a ‘double-double’. Comparatively, Starbucks does make a better-quality coffee; but people are used to bitter and over-roasted coffee with two sugars and two creams in it. This goes two ways – if you’re used to something, do you want to bother making “better” coffee if you won’t like it? Maybe not. But if you as a consumer want a good-quality product, don’t complain it tastes “bad” when your palate just isn’t used to it.

    – If you add a ton of milk and/or sugar and/or cream to your coffee, you don’t have to be as picky about the quality. Things like reheating coffee you might not notice. But the less you take in your coffee, the more you want to care about quality. Purists may not add anything. I tend to just add cream, so I notice if the acidity is off more than those who add a lot of sugar. But if I took it black, I’d have to be more picky.

    – The best coffee is usually blends, not single-origin, because almost all coffee isn’t perfectly balanced for flavour unless it’s blended. If you can get your hands on a La Minita or REAL Jamaica blue mountain, single-origin is good; but otherwise it’s not usually worth it. Save your money and get a quality blend.

    – Though this is fairly standard knowledge by now, always buy arabica, and be aware if you buy decaf that it should be arabica too. Robusta beans have more caffeine, so they’re often used to make decaf because more caffeine can be extracted and sold from them – which is why “decaf” is often so terrible!

    – Darker roasts taste stronger but have LESS caffeine because the longer they’re roasted, the more caffeine is destroyed.

    – Coffee should not be stored in the freezer. It goes stale faster because of the added humidity, the constant air motion around the bag and the temperature changes; and it easily picks up flavours from food around it. Even if you’re saving it for company keep it in the cupboard. If you won’t drink coffee often, store your own beans and grind them fresh – but if that’s not something you’re too into, don’t worry about it. Just store ground coffee in the cupboard in an opaque container.

    – Don’t ever buy coffee from the clear bins in the store – the light and exposure to air will make the coffee go stale fast.

    – Percolators are a terrible way to brew coffee because you heat the water to boiling and then repeatedly pour it over the grounds. The constant heat plus overextraction makes a bad cup of coffee no matter what. Use a drip machine and a filter or a French press with not-quite-boiling water if you want brewed coffee. Italian espresso (moka) or Turkish coffee (made in a “briki”/”ibrik”) are the only two types where boiling the water is part of the process.

    – It absolutely ruins your coffee to save and reheat it. Although I take a travel mug like everybody else, coffee is really best within the first few minutes you make it. But don’t destroy a good coffee by sticking it in the fridge and then reheating it; the acids will be really sour and it will taste stale. If you can’t tell, fine, but don’t get yourself used to it. (I have family that saves/reheats, and the difference between the fresh pot and the reheated is unimaginably huge). But again, if you take all sorts of stuff in your coffee, you may not notice. If you have an old-school coffee maker that keeps it on the burner,that time + heat + evaporation… is really a lot of factors for making it awful.

    I mean this to be helpful and constructive; and a bit of a primer on how it works.

  35. Golfing Girl says:

    Sorry if it’s already been said, but the homebrew is actually cheaper if you include the cost of gas and time to get to the coffee place. Any time spent washing the coffee maker would easily be spent waiting in line or in transit to the coffee shop.
    Of course, I save a lot more than Trent’s analysis because Folgers is just fine for me as well as store brand flavored creamer.

  36. Courtney20 says:

    deRuiter – I use International Delight Breve Creme, or Coffeemate Natural Bliss. Real milk, cream, sugar and flavorings, no weird oils or preservatives.

  37. Jennifer says:

    Ha! Coffee is what smokes were 20 years ago! Everyone has their own brand and rituals! This is a good conversation though, because as a society I think we waste as much of our pocket money on coffee as we used to on smoking. I know I am guilty of buying too much coffee out, it has become a habit. I will def think twice next time, if I am going to be home in half an hour, can I not wait and just brew at home?

  38. Donna says:

    I got no patience to wait in line with 10, 15 other people at the coffee shop. I make mine at home for pennies on the dollar.

  39. marie says:

    When it comes to coffee, I don’t have a fixed routine. I’m a student w/ a part time job, so my schedule is all over the place and so is my coffee consumption.

    At work I’ll either put a $1 in the K-Cup machine or drink some instant coffee I keep in my desk and pay $0.25 for the cream and sugar.

    I’ll make coffee at home using the coffee maker sometimes, always switching the type of coffee from high end beans to the already ground cheaper varieties. Or instant flavoured vanilla or hazelnut coffee (I’m sure some people hate that stuff, but its still pretty cheap and easy)!

    Maybe once or twice per week I’ll go out for a latte. If I’m going to buy my coffee out I’d rather spend the extra money and buy something I would make at home.

    I DO want to buy a small espresso maker that goes on the stove and a frother eventually!

  40. marie says:

    When I do splurge on coffee beans, I usually go 50-50 on Mocha Java and Columbian. I tried that at someone’s house and I thought it was a great blend.

  41. EngineerMom says:

    I would argue that the time factor of going to a coffee shop should figure IMMENSELY into this equation. Five minutes (tops) at home, while you can do other things like cook breakfast or help kids get ready vs. 10 minutes (minimum) to drive to a very close coffeshop, wait in a line at the drive-through or in the store, then drive back to your path to work or home.

    We live less than a mile from a coffee shop, and on a recent Friday morning when my husband had accidentally spilled his entire to-go mug all over the kitchen, we decided to make a “quick” run over to the coffee shop instead of brewing a second pot in our small coffee pot (we have two – one we use every morning to make enough for both of us, and a second small pot I use to make decaf or a cup at a time in the afternoon).

    Big mistake. It took over 10 minutes for us to drive over there, him to wait in line, and then to get back onto the path we take to get him to work (the coffee shop is slightly out of our way). We could have brewed that second pot at home in less than 5 minutes.

  42. Meredith says:

    Marie, if you ever get the chance to try “Moka Java” (with a K) give it a shot – it’s a great coffee. Mocha Java is a name many other coffees are sold under and they’re often quite good too.

    Columbian beans can be great or terrible depending on the source, but I’m glad you have a source that’s good.

  43. Kyle says:

    If you add cream and/or sugar to your coffee, then you are wasting money buying the expensive beans. If you like your coffee black with expensive beans, then OMG you have a strange pallet.

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