Coffee, America’s past time. You know when you’re sitting in a Starbucks and you happen to grab that ever elusive window seat? You sit down and look out the window waiting for the wrong name to be called for the coffee you just ordered. Your eyes pan the view, gazing past the 20-car line for the drive-thru. Looking out a little further they happen upon the other 20-car line; for the Starbucks drive-thru across the block.
Yeah…we Americans love our coffee.
Well I’m here today to show you another way. Best of all? We get to buy stuff, with intention.
What we currently do, but not for long!
HerFI and I enjoy the simple things in life. We can drink drip coffee, but our taste buds truly get delighted by drinking our cappuccino’s and lattes. This means we need a way of making espresso.
Our current method for making such delights is through our Nespresso.
Great little machine, makes a tasty enough espresso for how simple it is to use. The downside? The pods cost at minimum $0.70 each. But wait, didn’t I just mention Starbucks? That 70 cents from our Nespresso is still leaps and bounds cheaper than a $4 buck cup of joe at Starbucks.
Well let’s see..3 cups a day between HerFi and HisFI, multiply 3 cups by $0.70 equals $2.10 a day for two people. Hey! Still cheaper than Starbucks. Stay with me now, that $2.10 is then multiplied by 365 days in a year (pulls out calculator) WOAH, we’re spending at least $766.50 on Nespresso Capsules alone, per year. Add in a couple more cents for half and half or creamer and it doesn’t get much prettier.
How to cut the coffee costs?
Hmm, so what are the alternatives?
- Stop drinking coffee? Hell no!
- Get a Keurig? Aren’t they supposed to be cool? Oh, I’m sorry, I thought we were talking about REAL coffee. Another hell no!
- Buy re-usable pods? This had me intrigued until I found out how much they charge for a freaking sticker to seal the pod. I will NOT pay 10 cents for a sticker to make a single cup of coffee, thank you very much. What about knock-off capsules? See my Keurig comment above.
- Guess that leaves option number 4. Buy an espresso machine that uses coffee beans instead of capsules.
The problem with option 4? These machines are expensive. I wanted something of decent quality, with good reviews, and kind of an all-in-one type deal. After all, we are spoiled to the ease of use from our Nespresso. The cheapest option available? Well my research kept pointing me to the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine.
How much does this cost? *GULP* $540 bucks!
Honestly, I was lost here for a bit. An internal battle between being frugal or minimalist clashed on. I knew I wanted something of quality and that made a great tasting espresso, guess that crosses out frugal. It does help the minimalist in me since it’s a one in all espresso machine, no separate gizmos or gadgets required. I still had hesitation, but I pulled in another contender to the ring, is it something I value? To get a great espresso every morning, which we both value, while still keeping true to our goal of becoming more minimalist.
I wanted to see the numbers. Would we actually save money with this machine or is Nespresso still the cheapest option for our needs?
Well lucky for us both, I decided to make a calculator to tell me exactly that.
Crunching the numbers
Using the calculator below as reference, let’s start in order from top to bottom.
I used $0.70 per cup of coffee as that is the cheapest price per Nespresso capsule. (It can be up to $2.00 a capsule)
HisFi and HerFI drink on average 3 cups of coffee per day between the two of us.
Now for the future costs, I looked on amazon for espresso beans and just picked the best seller; Lavazza Super Crema Espresso Beans which landed at $12.69 per pound. This is on the higher end for amazon and about average for locally roasted beans. I looked on Costco as well and you could buy espresso beans in bulk which equates to $7.50 a pound.
I found out that 1 shot of espresso from the Breville is comparable to 2 shots from the Nespresso (sneaky little Nespresso). A double shot of Nespresso is about 40ml, while a single shot on espresso machines is about 30ml. So following the guideline, I chose 8 grams of beans per cup of coffee.
Finally, I put in the cost of the espresso machine at $540. (If the machine you are comparing needs a grinder or any other accessories, just add up the total and put it in this field).
Look at the savings!
I have to say I was surprised by the results. By buying the $540 Breville, we would save $521.95 PER YEAR. This is without sacrificing anything, in fact, this would make EVEN BETTER espresso than we were used to. That’s crazy talk! It would pay for itself in a year and then we we have that extra $521.95 savings each year for I don’t know…retirement?
Let me remind you this was a worst case scenario in that, I chose a premium espresso machine which would still allow us our convenience in the morning. Plus I added the more expensive espresso beans relative to other ones. Choosing a more budget friendly coffee bean or a cheaper espresso machine just keeps on increasing that yearly savings number.
We ended up going with the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine and let me tell you, this has taken our espresso love to a whole other level. I do have to give mad props to the barista’s out there, as making your own espresso does have a learning curve. We are finally getting the hang of it and let me tell you, Nespresso doesn’t hold a candle to this thing.
Now that you’ve followed my journey to cheaper coffee, without the sacrifice. I challenge you to enter your own numbers into the calculator below. Look for something that suits your needs and see if it can save you some extra money. Leave a comment with your potential savings! You may be surprised by how much you could save, I know I was.
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