If you're like most Canadians, chances are you had some coffee today – maybe you're even drinking a cup right now.
But do you know how much your coffee fix costs you every day?
Especially if you like stopping by your closest Timmies (or the more expensive alternative, Starbucks) for your morning brew...
Though admittedly a bit more work, making your coffee at home can not only get you better tasting coffee, but it can also save you big money.
And no, I'm not talking about shoving a kcup in your Keurig...I mean genuine, brewed coffee made from your favourite beans and brewed to perfection (whatever perfection is for you).
So let's look at:
- buying at coffee shops vs. brewing at home,
- a cost analysis of all your coffee options,
- an easy-to-use widget to help you calculate your own cost-per-cup, and
- a guide to home-brewed coffee.
Coffee shops vs making at home
Though cafés provide a great atmosphere for catching up with some friends, frequent trips can really start to cost you after a while.
Not only financially, factoring in the cost for transportation and profit-driven prices, but the environment pays a price too...
On top of your extra gas emissions, especially if you're a frequent rush-hour-drive-thru attender, we know big companies aren't always the most eco-friendly.
Some are definitely better than others, but the amount of waste produced by daily coffee consumption can be greatly decreased if we primarily used our reusable mugs...And that's not something the companies can easily change.
There’s a wide selection of organic, fair trade, and eco-friendly options available for home brewing – that are also very tasty.
Check out Laughing Whale Coffee Roasters, for example. They're a Nova Scotia-based coffee company who are all about reducing their carbon footprint with some innovative solutions.
And what about the time cost? If the only time you can take a trip to the coffee shop is at a busy hour, you'll be spending a lot of time in line. Brewing a coffee at home can cut this time down.
Not to mention you don't have to leave the comfort of your home to get a fresh cup of coffee, no matter what time of day it is.
Cost analysis of your coffee options
But let's talk money.
How much are your coffee choices costing you per cup?
Using the top 3 products on Amazon.ca, here are the averages for each method:
|Method||Average price per cup (14oz)|
|Buying from a coffee shop||$1.87|
Note: Whole bean ounce weight was calculated assuming a 1.5g/oz ratio. Instant coffee weight assumed 2tsp per cup.
Buying from McDonald's, Starbucks, Tim Hortons, or Second Cup
|Coffee place||Price||Size (oz)||Cost per oz||Cost per cup (14oz)|
|Tim Hortons (large)||$1.99||14||$0.14||$1.99|
|Second Cup (medium)||$2.45||16||$0.15||$2.14|
It's no real surprise that buying your coffee at one of these places is the most expensive way to get your fix.
Though they have loyalty programs, the price to pay for any real return can be quite steep.
|Product||Price||Size (g)||# of cups||Cost per cup (14oz)|
|Nescafe Gold Espresso||$6.56||100||12||$0.55|
|Nescafe Taster's Choice Classic||$11.94||250||30||$0.40|
It may be cheap...but let's be honest, is it real coffee?
|Product||Price||Number of pods||Cost per pod|
|Keurig All-Time Favorite Coffees||$19.99||30||$0.67|
|Donut Shop Coffee Favorites||$23.99||40||$0.60|
|Crazy Cups Coffee Variety Sampler||$30.12||40||$0.75|
Though K-Cup pods are among the easiest at-home methods, the quality is among the worst.
The price is better than buying at coffee shops, but still not the lowest you can get – not to mention the serious environmental impacts of using single-use plastic cups.
|Product||Price||Size (g)||Size (oz)||Cost per oz||Cost per cup (14oz)|
|Kicking Horse Dark Roast||$11.48||295||197||$0.06||$0.82|
|Van Houtte Belgian Chocolate Light Roast||$7.99||340||227||$0.04||$0.49|
|McCafe Premium Roast||$17.97||950||633||$0.03||$0.40|
Pre-ground is more convenient than whole bean, since you don't have to grind the beans yourself.
The taste does suffer a bit compared to whole bean coffee, but it stills falls strongly in the middle of the taste spectrum.
|Product||Price||Size (g)||Size (oz)||Cost per oz||Cost per cup (14oz)|
|Kicking Horse Dark Roast||$15.49||381||254||$0.06||$0.85|
|Bean Head #1 Canadian Organic||$13.49||399||266||$0.05||$0.71|
|Lavazza Espresso Rossa||$16.47||1000||667||$0.02||$0.35|
My preferred method, coffee beans give the purest and best (in my opinion) coffee taste.
A downside is that whole beans require a bit of extra equipment to really be convenient, most notably a coffee bean grinder.
But trust me when I say the taste is worth it.
Cost of coffee per cup
Interested in the cost per cup for your favourite coffee beans?
Simply enter the price and the weight (in grams) in the following widget, and it'll let you know how much each cup costs you (assuming a 1.5g/oz ratio).
Cost Per Cup: 0
Guide for the best home-brewed coffee
If you want to make the switch to home-brewed coffee, the first thing you need to know is where to start.
French press coffee is considered one of the best methods of making coffee. Here's how you can get started.
All about coffee beans
Becoming a respected coffee connoisseur is all about familiarizing yourself with coffee beans.
Types of coffee beans
Coffee beans come in a variety of types, usually indicated by the region they were grown in, some of the most popular being Colombia, Kona, Kenya, and Ethiopia.
These regional types usually fall into 2 categories: Robusta or Arabica.
Essentially, Arabica is a low-yield bean – which means it needs more love and care to be harvested. It's generally considered to taste better because of it's lower caffeine and higher sugar concentration. These things naturally make Arabica beans more expensive than it's Robusta countertype.
Do coffee beans expire? What's the best way to store coffee beans?
Coffee beans expire in the sense that they can lose most of their flavour. Air is the biggest cause of this, so it's best to find an air-tight container to help keep your beans fresh.
Generally speaking, the closer to the roast date you can get, the better your coffee will taste.
French press guide
Though it needs a bit more equipment compared to other methods, french press coffee is considered one of the best ways to brew your coffee.
It's best made with whole beans since you have control over the grind size – it needs a coarser grind than the pre-ground coffee you buy for drip and pour-over methods.
What you need to make french press coffee
The first thing you need to do is get the proper equipment. Here are a couple examples of some good options.
Nothing fancy needed here, just something that will let you easily heat up water to the proper temperature. You could go super basic with the AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Electric Kettle for $27.94, for example.
A good option for the french press is the Bodum Brazil 8-Cup Coffee Press for $27.00. It's cost effective and well reviewed, letting you brew your coffee in 4 minutes.
A grinder may not be needed if you buy whole beans from a place that can grind them for you. Keep in mind you need a coarse grind for best results.
There are two types of grinders out there – blade and burr. I recommend a burr grinder for the french press method since it’s more consistent and less likely to produce fine particles of coffee that could eventually make their way into your cup.
A good option is the Cuisinart Supreme Automatic Burr Mill for $61.99, but if you don't mind hand-grinding and want to save a few extra bucks, the Midas Portable Grinder will work for you at less than half the price.
What about you?
What are your coffee drinking habits? Do you know how much it's costing you on average?
Let us know in the comments below!