How Much Does Coffee Cost When I Make it at Home?

Coffee, it’s the reason mornings are good and that any work gets done. I will happily fork over $15 and a tip every day to my local coffee shop to stay primed and productive and have done so for years until I started brewing fantastic coffee at home.

It didn’t break the bank either. Come to find out, a cup of generic, budget coffee grounds can cost as little as $0.08 a cup (source). Factoring the cost of a filter, water, and even electricity, a 16 oz cup of coffee can still be had for 11 cents a pop! Compared to the coffee shops $2 a cup, that is some serious savings.

How much does a cup of coffee cost when I make it at home?

Price Breakdown of How Much a Cup of Coffee Costs When I Make it at Home.

The actual cost of your home-brewed cup of coffee can depend on a lot of factors. But by far, the most significant expense is going to be coffee beans. Suppose you just get the basics to brew coffee at home. In that case, the beans will account for 75% of the total monetary investment in home coffee brewing (source).

Basic, or common brewing equipment, like an auto-drip maker and filters, are relatively budget-friendly. You could get everything you need to start brewing coffee at home, including beans for under $100. It’s also worth noting that adding milk or sugar will drive the cost up too, but only marginally. Even adding creamer only drives the price up about $0.10 a cup (source).

Of course, all of your brewing essentials can vary depending on where you live and some other factors. At $0.11 a cup, including creamer, brewing coffee at home is not an expensive practice. It’s the lack of convenience compared to a coffee shop that turns most people off to the idea. Not to mention that the quality of the coffee tends to diminish when people start brewing at home. 

How Much Does a Cup of Premium Coffee Cost When I Make it at Home?

Many people try brewing coffee at home and wind up back at the coffee shop because often the coffee the average person brews at home isn’t that good. And what can you expect? You bought a coffee maker, some grounds, and followed the directions on the package. Part of what you’re paying for at a coffee shop is the premium for high-quality machines, expertise, and top of the line coffee beans.

So, how do you learn how to make a premium cup of coffee at home? There is a bit of a learning curve at first, but it’ll come naturally once you start to see how your brewing affects your final product. Of course, the catch here is higher costs and a much higher initial investment than brewing generic coffee.

Even with a cheap coffee maker and filters, just the cost of premium coffee grounds will up the price from $0.11 a cup to $0.60 a cup (source). This brewing method is by far the most accessible and convenient method of making premium coffee at home. But if you truly want to elevate your premium coffee at home for cheap, the best route to go is to get a french press.

How Much Does a French Press Cost When I Make it at Home?

When it comes to homemaking coffee, the best tradeoff between savings and taste is to use a french press. Using this method, the only things required to make cafe style coffee at home are great beans, a hand coffee grinder, and a french press. Many guides recommend measuring your coffee with a measuring spoon. Still, these tend to be inconsistent, so I always recommend a digital scale.

Not including the cost of coffee, you can get a decent french press setup for $55 (source). They don’t require filter changes but do need to be cleaned more often, so there is a tradeoff that way.

Once you take your coffee brewing this far, things like the bean to water ratio and grind size start to become significant. 

Is French Press brewing not your thing? There are plenty of unique brewing methods that are relatively affordable if you view them as worthy investments. It comes down to how you want your coffee to taste and how much work you want to put into your morning cup.

How much more elaborate your premium coffee can get is really up to the brewer at this point. Going beyond here infringes on not saving that much money by brewing at home and just developing a delicious hobby. Which, to be fair, is not that bad of a hobby to have.

Supporting Your Local Coffee Shop While Still Making Coffee at Home

I have to admit that going to the coffee shop has benefits outside of getting a cup of joe. For instance, I like the baristas at my go-to coffee shop. When it’s not busy, we’ll talk about projects I’m working on or how college is going for them. And that’s irreplaceable, I still want to support my coffee shop any way I can, but I don’t want to pay their premium. So I source my beans from them when I can.

This way, I get all the benefits of stopping by my favorite coffee shop without paying the price premium. It’s one of the few instances where you’re able to have your cake (coffee) and eat it too. It also frees me to get coffee wherever I’d like, not just where it’s convenient. Now, I can get coffee when it’s on sale or spot a blend that I might like.

Final Thoughts

If you’re considering saving some money by brewing coffee at home, there’s bound to be a method out there that works for you. This article only scratches the surface when it comes to brewing methods and information. 

If you find that budget coffee and a cheap coffee maker do the trick for you, great. But if you want to brew amazing, cafe-style coffee, a little more research and experimentation may be required.

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