When we think about coffee, rarely is the first question a financial one. When you’re running to work, you’re not thinking about how much your pick-me-up is going to cost or how much extra those flavor shots and drizzles are. And let’s not forget about wait times. Coffee is a lot like gasoline—no matter where we get it or how much the price varies, we need it and will gladly pay.
Idling in the drive-thru or pensively waiting for your name to be called from the counter, we aren’t thinking about the money. We’re just zeroed in on that lavender latte with almond milk (oh, wow, that would hit the spot right now). But there’s more to your daily coffee than a milk swan or heart.
Let’s bring a little math into the mix to really drive this home.
Let’s say that a medium (16 oz.) hot coffee without any add-ins from a coffee chain is $3, rounded up for simplicity’s sake. Let’s also say that you work a Monday through Friday schedule, and purchase a coffee every morning, including holidays. That equals out to about $780 by the end of the year just on coffee alone.
Seldom do people just get a medium black coffee every work day for a whole year, though. People like to switch it up every now and again—iced coffee, cappuccinos, extras, nitro cold brew, lattes, flat whites, flavor shots you’ve never heard of—all of which translate simply to more money.
"That equals out to about $780 by the end of the year just on coffee alone."
While that number is an accurate representation of the effect coffee has on your wallet, it does not take into consideration the environmental cost. Polyethylene, a non-recyclable plastic coating, lines the insides of paper coffee cups. A few cups in the trash might not sound terrible when we’re talking about just one person, but an estimated 500 billion paper coffee cups hit landfills worldwide each year.
The most sound solution to this is also the simplest. Brew your coffee at home. You can recreate the feel of a hip café by putting on an acoustic indie coffeehouse playlist, brewing your coffee into a cool mug, and leaving a fiver on your kitchen counter. “Keep the change,” you’ll say, forgetting for one second that all that money is yours. If you feel so inclined, give your coffeeshop a name and only serve in mugs that have Garfield eating lasagna on them. If you could rate your own home coffee setup on Google, the affordability alone would net you five stars and a shining review.
Brewing coffee at home is both your best financial and environmental option. Sure, there may not be a bunch of people posted up at very small tables working on their very thin laptops, but the trade off is well worth it. More money in your pocket and more confidence in your decision.
If you purchase a 12 oz. bag of Fresh Roasted Coffee for $12, you can expect to brew about 32 12 oz. cups. That’s 32 saved trips to wait in line (Fresh Roasted Coffee arrives at peak freshness to your doorstep), 32 cups completely in your control, and 32 small victories. If you’re serious about coffee, the best way to do it is yourself.
Maybe you have an extra cup one day or skip a day. 32 cups will last you about one month. If you purchase one bag a month at $12, you’re sitting at around $144 for the year. That’s over $600 in coffee savings, and you can have coffee on the weekends!
Now, I’ll level with you. There are a few things coffee shops have that the typical household may not: equipment. With that $600 left over, you could invest in your own home coffee brewing set up.
Let’s look at your options, but we’ll go as minimal as possible while still getting you the most bang for your buck. In addition to coffee, we also sell everything you need to make a great-tasting cup!
Burr grinders are preferable to blade grinders because they grind consistently and don’t generate too much heat that can affect the flavor of your coffee. You might be saying, “hey, I can just take my coffee to the grocery store and grind it.” While this is definitely an option, owning your own grinder will ensure you know exactly how clean it is and what was ground last. Grocery store grinders are like mystery boxes.
French presses are great because all you truly need is coarse-ground coffee. Everything else is included in the French press, even the filter, which is fully removable and washable. Another distinct upside to the French press is it delivers aromatic, flavorful coffee every time because of the simple extraction process. And the drip kettle because, well, you need boiling water to make coffee magic happen. That’s a tip no barista will tell you.
Once you’ve got your year of coffee (we’d suggest buying month to month to maintain optimal freshness) and your equipment, you still have about $350 left. And if you take care of your equipment, it will last you far longer than a drive-thru cup will. And it’s better for the environment. That’s something we can all enjoy.