Cappuccino at Home: Options and Prices Explained

Cappuccino at Home: Options and Prices Explained

Picture this: it’s a cold, rainy weekend morning. You go about your morning routine, get some lunch on-the-go and decide that today is going to be a “lazy day at home”. The rain is unrelenting, and you decide to curl up in bed with a good book and something warm and comforting. Did you choose a cup of tea? A coffee? Or would a cappuccino seal the deal? If you chose cappuccino (I know you did, stay calm) then this article was written for you. We discuss all your cappuccino options for home, their cost and features 🙂


Cappuccino Costs: Calculation Methods

In order to compare apples with apples, we’re going to work off this structure.
We will assume a household of 3 people drink two cups of coffee per day, 7 days a week.
So 6 cups total per day, multiplied by 30 days means 180 cups per month – rounded off to 200 for ease of calculations. This is what we will be basing all our cost calculations for in this overview.


Cappuccino at Home: Option 1 – Instant Cappuccino Sachets

Giving credit where credit is due – this is probably the most user-friendly way to make a cappuccino at home. You pour out a sachet, add boiling water (milk and sugar are optional and to taste) and voilà! Cappuccino in your face. Now, leading brands charge about R 50.00 for a box of 10 sachets. So, a family (based on above calculations) of 3 will pay a jaw-dropping R 1 000.00 per month on Cappuccino alone! Remember that this doesn’t include added sugar or fresh milk. The coffee used in most instant cappuccino sachets is NOT premium quality coffee – at best it is freeze-dried instant coffee. Something to bear in mind if your priorities lie in the quality of your coffee.


Cappuccino at Home: Option 2 – Capsule Coffee Machine with Milk Pods or Fresh Milk

Some of the newer capsule coffee machines have found a nifty way to allow users to make cappuccino’s in this very basic machine. By first “brewing” a milk capsule, then adding a capsule of their choice (Espresso or Lungo to make a cappuccino) – you can produce a relatively good cappuccino. Why do I say relatively good? Well, you’re firstly not using fresh milk – which drastically changes the taste of your cuppa. But that being said and put aside, let’s discuss price. Using a well known and slightly cheaper brand as our benchmark, we’ll work off a price of R 90.00 for 16 capsules (yes, this varies greatly from machine to machine, but for ease of comparison we’ve decided to stick with just one.) This works out to R 1 125.00 per month. On coffee. JUST your coffee capsules – WITHOUT the milk capsule. Considering each cappuccino will take one milk capsule, you can double your expected price and thus look at a monthly cost of about R 2 250.00 for a household of 3 coffee drinkers to have two cups per day. If you prefer using fresh milk, your costs will likely increase noticeably. See, you have to consider your milk storage and milk frothing options carefully. A basic frothing wand available at most retailers will cost around R 100.00 (not a big cost, but a cost nevertheless). Commercial strength and automatic milk frothers can set you back anywhere from R 1000.00 to R 2 500.00 – for only the equipment. Add into that the daily fresh milk needed (we’ll use R 20.00 per litre, cup size at 200ml) – your fresh milk needed to compliment your cappuccino will add about an extra R 800.00. So in total, you’d be looking at paying R 2 250.00 for capsule-only cappuccino’s (milk and coffee capsules); this EXCLUDES your machine purchase and any repairs it might have to undergo down the line; for fresh milk you could pay up to R 2 000.00 for milk and capsules alone. You will still have to fork out about R 2 000.00 for your capsule machine purchase and running repairs; if you buy a milk frother separately it could set you back up to R 2 500.00. It’s quite easy to have costs spiral out of control for what is, essentially, easy-to-use powdered milk and ground coffee – cleverly combined.



Cappuccino at Home: Option 3 – Buying a Fancy Cappuccino Lungo Each Morning

Okay, I will admit I feel a tinge of jealousy when I see people casually strolling around sipping the cool-looking cup that your garage (or coffee store) cappuccino comes in. I’m jealous about how cool they look, not so much about the coffee. Yes, the coffee is surely great, but at what cost?

In short – you could look at paying anything from R 30.00 – R 50.00 for a medium / large cappuccino – depending on where you buy from. Now; this is likely going to be for just one of the three coffee drinkers in the house. Bearing that in mind – one coffee drinker can pay up to R 1 500.00 per month for ONE cappuccino per day. To compare apples with apples again, let’s multiply R 1 500.00 by three- to get in line with the “three cups per person” calculation. This comes up to R 4 500.00. For one person. And close on R 15 000.00 for a three-person family. You go think about that for a minute. (if we do calculate at the lower price of R 30.00 per cup the monthly cost could be, at it’s lowest, R 8 100.00…)



Cappuccino at Home: Option 4 – Espresso / Bean-to-Cup Automatic Coffee Machine

There are many things that go with an automatic bean-to-cup machine to comprise it’s entire cost. Coffee beans (around R 180.00 for 1kg – yields about 10 cups), fresh milk, milk storage (straight from the carton will be cheapest but looks terrible, or all the way through to R 3000.00 for an independent cooling unit). Now, if work out the cost for this coffee – coffee ALONE, people – you can expect to pay R 3 600.00 on your beans, alone (for 3 coffee drinkers to have 3 cups each per day). Add in your milk (based on the same pricing calculation for fresh milk in option 2 above) – add on another R 8 00.00 per month. Now, how much will an automatic bean-to-cup machine cost? At the absolute very least, you can expect to pay upward of R 10 000.00 to buy a decent quality home-use coffee machine. This excludes and repairs or extras.



Cappuccino at Home: Option 5 – Renting a Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine

Product-subsidised rental is a wonderful thing. Renting a coffee machine (as opposed to buying it) – in most cases – is the better option (this is a very broad statement, dear readers, some instances may mean outright purchase is cheaper; we are trying to compare apples with apples again here). You can rent a home-usage bean-to-cup coffee machine for around R 500.00 per month, then you’ll need to add in your consumables as calculated above. Yes, the coffee beans and fresh milk are ultimately going to be a bit costly in this case. However, on a product-subsidised rental, you can get an all inclusive package – which has 1kg of coffee beans thrown in to your rental price – for around R 600.00 per month. If we go back to our calculation scenario, you could yield 100 cups for 1kg of coffee. Add on R 260.00 for an extra 1kg, your monthly cost is now down to R 860.00 per month! This rental includes your machine, free repairs or exchanges, enough coffee beans for a whole month and the satisfaction of having café quality cappuccino’s in your home, at the touch of one button. The ONLY cost to add is your fresh milk; to put this into perspective, with the cost above or R 860.00, adding a milk cost of R 800.00 means that for LESS than the price of a Capsule Machine, LESS than a daily store-bought cappuccino, and only R 600.00 MORE than lower-quality, powdered-milk instant cappuccino sachets.


Disclaimer: We have used approximate prices and while we have taken every effort to reflect up-to-date, factually accurate pricing, external factors must be considered in this price comparison. Contact the supplier directly for pricing. Prices may exclude VAT.


I’m going to walk away slowly and let this all sink in…


What is YOUR cost saving trick on cappuccino’s?