I remember when I first got into the habit of drinking coffee. It started out as an occasional drink, but then became a daily habit. I was getting a paycheck, and every now and then, I would treat myself to a nice cup of coffee. As time went on, my habit developed from occasional to daily. I was constantly buying coffee from one of the stores around me. One day, however, I started to question the habit. Why was I spending $4-$5 each day on coffee? Why was I spending $1.50 a day on coffee? Why was I spending $3 a week on coffee? (oops, I guess I can answer that last one).   By the time I had finished calculating all of the costs

In New York City, one cup of coffee costs 2 dollars, while it can be purchased for only 0.50 cents per ounce. Is this a good deal or bad deal? The answer depends on who you are, and what you are buying. For example, if you are an employee of a large coffee company, you are likely getting paid to drink their coffee, while you may be paying twice as much to drink the same coffee at home. If you are a family of four, and you purchase the same amount of coffee as a large corporation, you will end up paying 3 times as much for the same amount of coffee.

When it comes to handmade vs. shop-bought coffee, one of the most frequent pieces of advice you’ll hear is how much money you’ll save if you make coffee at home instead of purchasing a cup at a store.

Is it, however, really that simple? How about the flavor? What about the benefit of convenience?

The math on coffee is as follows.


I’m just as culpable as the rest of you.

On my way to work every morning, I use my Starbucks phone app to preorder my favorite coffee. A large extra-hot two-pump vanilla soy latte awakens the ninja in me, allowing me to karate-chop my job objectives.

Every day, it also costs $5.51.

It’s not outrageously priced for something I love – in fact, it’s part of The Money Ninja’s philosophy. To save money, you don’t have to nickle and dime your life’s pleasures.

The yearly cost of drinking a cup of Starbucks (or Dunkin’ Donuts, Tim Hortons, or Peet’s) every day, on the other hand, is nothing to sneeze at.

So, how about brewing your own coffee at home? Is it really worth it?

Before we get into it, let’s talk about the most common worry individuals have while making this choice.

Why is home-brewed coffee inferior than store-bought coffee?

Why doesn’t my home-brewed coffee taste as good?

The Machine is to blame.

No disrespect to Mr. Coffee, but a $20 coffee making machine can never compare to the equipment used by your neighborhood barista.

Those devices are expensive and must be serviced on a regular basis to provide the best flavor.

This isn’t to argue that money always equates to quality, but in this instance, the engineering and design justify it; your 8-cup machine lacks the technology of a professional brewer.

And what about espresso? Forget about it. You won’t have the same level of pressure or temperature control as a high-end machine.

The bottom line is to get a high-end computer. Although the initial expenses are greater, you will easily make up for them within the first year.


The Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine is what I’ve been using.

It’s the ideal balance of performance and affordability, in my opinion. It is more expensive than the typical espresso machine, although it is not as expensive as other high-end espresso machines.

Whole Beans vs. Ground Coffee

The most common choice is ground coffee.

Ground coffee is made from whole coffee beans that are ground and packaged in a facility before being sold on supermarket shelves.

While it’s easier to select ground coffee since it’s more convenient, you’re sacrificing freshness and quality in the process.

Whole beans, on the other hand, are sold whole and the customer is responsible for grinding the beans.

Whole beans are often ground only a few minutes before brewing, giving the coffee a more nuanced and fresh flavor than ground coffee.

Takeaway: For the greatest flavor, buy whole bean coffee and ground it just before you make coffee.


Peet’s Coffee, particularly their Major Dickason’s Blend, is one of my favorites.

It’s a dark mix that’s full-bodied, rich, and complex. It works well for both espresso and lattes, in my opinion.

Making coffee is a skill that can be learned.

I have another confession to make.

When I initially bought the coffee machine, I was terrible at drawing my own espresso shot for at least a week or two, and it wasn’t due to a lack of reading instructions as a beginner.

I couldn’t seem to grind the appropriate quantity of coffee or tamp the grinds to the right pressure.

Whatever you think of the barista’s skill, the individuals who work in coffee shops are trained professionals who prepare hundreds of coffee beverages every day.

On the first day, you can’t expect to be flawless.

There may be a learning curve, but once you get it down, oh man, does it taste amazing!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ff9dmeFL m4

The moral of the story is that practice makes perfect. It will take time to become proficient in it, just like any other talent.

On Coffee’s Math

Let’s do some ninja math and compare the price of store-bought coffee vs. handmade coffee now that that’s out of the way.

I’ll figure it out based on my own experience. Some readers may come up with figures that are close to mine, while others may come up with numbers that are somewhat different.

And that’s OK. The goal is to learn from others’ mistakes.

The math on coffee is as follows:

Coffee from the store


Starbucks’ large extra-hot two-pump vanilla soy latte is my go-to drink, as I said at the start of this article.

The price per cup is $5.51.

On average, I drink approximately a cup a day during the week and once on the weekend, for a total of 6 cups each week.

6 cups each week equals 312 cups in a year (6 cups x 52 weeks).

Drink Price Per Cup Per Year Cups Total Price
Starbucks’ Grande Extra-Hot Vanilla Soy Latte with 2 Pumps $5.51 312 $1,719.12

A year’s supply of Starbucks coffee costs $1,719.12 – not prohibitively expensive, but still a significant sum of money.

Coffee brewed from scratch


Aside from the coffee equipment I suggested, I’ll need the following to make my Starbucks drink as near as possible:

A 12-ounce container of whole bean coffee is common. You’ll need to brew a medium-sized cup of coffee. Ground coffee, 54 ounces

By dividing, we can now calculate how many cups are in a bag of coffee beans. When you divide 54 by 12, you get 22 cups.

We may determine the total cost per cup of each component after we have all of the necessary information by dividing the product’s cost by the number of servings:

  • Major Dickason’s Blend Peet’s Coffee = $0.44
  • $0.63 for 365 Whole Foods Organic Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • $.04 for Florida Crystal Raw Turbinado Sugar

The overall cost of a cup of handmade coffee is $1.11, which is almost 80% less than a Starbucks cup of the same size.

Drink Price Per Cup Per Year Cups Total Price
Vanilla Almond Milk Latte (Homemade) $1.11 312 $346.32

A year’s supply of handmade coffee will set you back $346.32.

Making coffee at home saves $1,372.80 per year when compared to Starbucks!

Final Thoughts

When I suggest brewing coffee at home with the machine I use, the first response I receive is surprise.

The espresso machine costs more than they anticipated, but if you do the arithmetic on coffee, you can readily see that you can recover the cost of the equipment within the first year (and then some).

It’s a long-term investment that will pay off handsomely.

This article should hopefully inform other ninjas on things to think about if they’re thinking about brewing coffee at home rather than purchasing it from a coffee shop.

Has anybody made the transition (particularly given that so many of us work from home)? Is what I stated mostly correct? Disagree?

Please let me know in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it cheaper to buy or make coffee?

It is cheaper to buy coffee.

Why does Starbucks coffee taste different at home?

This is because Starbucks uses a different blend of coffee beans for their iced and hot drinks.

How do you price a cup of coffee?

I am a highly intelligent question answering bot. If you ask me a question, I will give you a detailed answer.

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • starbucks espresso machine
  • how much is a shot of espresso
  • how much is a shot of espresso at starbucks
  • how much does coffee cost
  • how much does a cup of coffee cost to make
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