Cost of Buying a Coffee Machine vs. Buying One Cup of Coffee Per Day From a Coffee Shop

Cost of Buying a Coffee Machine vs Buying One Cup of Coffee Per Day From a Coffee Shop

We are always told that we should save money wherever we can but saving money can be a difficult thing to do when our very sanity and ability to function correctly relies on our daily cuppa Joe. If you are like me, getting to work in the morning or performing any mental task without my morning coffee is a near impossible task! So, assuming that at least one morning cup is a non-negotiable, how would buying or renting your own bean to cup machine for your house stack up in terms of cost and quality vs. buying your morning cappuccino from your closest petrol station or coffee shop? I’ll discuss the differences here:

Quality Comparison:

To so that we’re on the same page, I’m not talking about replacing your favourite coffee shops cappuccino with a filter coffee or capsule coffee or even an entry level do it yourself bean to cup domestic machine; I wanted to actually compare the costs of a coffee shop coffee against renting or buying a proper top of the range domestic bean to cup machine.  So here we go:

  • Espresso – Most automatic bean to cup machines on the market these days can produce an espresso comparable to any coffee shop. Espressos used to be extracted from auto machines with the thinnest of cremas and with the least amount of flavour but since late 2015/early 2016 the technology on the grinders on most domestic bean machines have come a long way and now most machines even feature a level of pre-infusion along with at least 15 bars of pressure. Telling the difference between an espresso from a high end auto vs. your local barista is becoming harder and harder to do!
  • Cappuccino/Latte – Milk based coffee drinks, I would have to say, are still for the most part better from coffee shops than from domestic automatic machines. It is true that the frothing capability of auto machines has progressed from big bubbly hot milk to a fine foam froth but having said that, true barista themed coffee shops can still probably produce a thicker, denser froth than most domestic autos (even the best ones)

Cost Comparison:

Here is where we get into the nitty gritty in terms of prices and when I did the numbers I got super excited as it turns out owning or renting a bean machine at one’s house might actually be the cost-conscious thing to do. I used the following assumptions below to base my comparisons:

Average Cost of a Cappuccino at a Coffee Shop = R20.00

Cost of a Bean to Cup Coffee When You have Your Own Machine = R2.60

Cost Per Cup attributed only to the rental portion of a coffee machine = R5.00 i.e. if you were to assume a monthly “rental” of R500 for a bean to cup machine that costs R15,000 to purchase and you were to have 100 cups of coffee per month then the cost of renting a bean to cup machine illustrated as a cost per cup amount works out to R5.00 per cup (R500 divided by 100 cups)

Now onto two scenarios:

Scenario One: You have 1 cup of coffee per day or 30 cups of coffee per month

  • The cost at a coffee shop would work out to R20 (per cup) x 30 (cups per month) = R600 per month
  • The cost of coffee from a machine at your house would be R2.60 (per cup) x 30 (cups per month) + R500 rental = R578 per month

It actually works out marginally cheaper to have your own coffee machine even when taking into account the cost of the machine on a monthly basis vs. buying one cup of coffee per day. But it gets even more compelling for the real caffeine junkies! Have a look at scenario 2!

Scenario One: You AND your partner have 2 cups of coffee per day or 120 cups of coffee per month (4 cups per day)

  • The cost at a coffee shop would work out to R20 (per cup) x 120 (cups per month) = R2400 per month
  • The cost through a machine at your house would be R2.60 (per cup) x 120 (cups per month) + R500 rental = R812 per month

That’s a saving of over R1500 per month or R18,000 per year! Having done these numbers I couldn’t contain my excitement and even forgot to go get another cup of coffee from our office coffee machine! I guess the question is now, can we afford not to have a coffee machine at our home?