How much does a cup of coffee cost when I brew it at home?

by Pam
(Hudson, NY)

Coffee brewed at home costs as little at 27 cents a cup.

Coffee brewed at home costs as little at 27 cents a cup.


Like many families, we are trying to cut our costs a little. We enjoy our gourmet coffee, but want to know whether we are paying too much and, if we are, how we can cut back a little.



Pam, hi

That’s a great question, especially given today’s economic climate. You’re definitely not alone in examining your household budget, particularly when it comes to non-essential items. (Although in my case, I might classify coffee as being essential!)

First off, there is no doubt that coffee prices have been going up over the last couple of years. The roasters are paying more for green beans, and then passing those costs down the line. So we all end up paying more for our coffee.

OK, now let’s figure out how much each cup of coffee actually costs.

I did a little sleuthing and looked up today’s prices across a few different coffees.

Here is my list (Prices are per pound, for ground coffee):

Starbucks Caffe Verona - $12.95

Peet's French Roast - $14.50

Green Mountain Coffee Vermont Country Blend (24 K-Cups) - $14.99

Maxwell House Original Roast - $7.98 (Walmart price)for 30.6 ounces (About 2 pounds.)

So, if you are truly desperate, you can buy Maxwell House coffee from Walmart. But if you love good coffee, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Let’s look at the gourmet coffees and, between Starbucks and Peet’s, split the difference and say that a pound of ground coffee costs $13.

Now, according to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, one pound of coffee is enough to make 48 6-ounce cups of coffee.

That comes to about 27 cents a cup.

Compare that to what you pay at a coffee shop, and you can see that one of the biggest savings you can make is to brew your coffee at home. If you want some coffee for your drive to work, put it in an insulated travel mug.

Now let’s look at the K-Cups. The prices differ from coffee to coffee, but $14.99 is a pretty average price. You get 24 K-Cups for that price, which means 24 cups of coffee.

Do the math and you’ll see that means you are paying about 67 cents a cup.

If you want to save money, I would skip the fancy one-cup coffee makers and go back to using a drip brewer or percolator. Then buy some decent coffee and pay just 27 cents a cup, which isn’t so bad.

And you can reduce that price further by looking for deals, clipping coupons or buying in bulk.

As a desperate measure you can buy Maxwell House and pay only about 8 cents per cup.

I hope this helps a little.


Other pages on the site you might find interesting:

How to save on the price of K-cup Coffee.

Which is the best inexpensive coffee?

Cheaper coffee – how to enjoy gourmet specialty coffee at reasonable prices.

Comments for How much does a cup of coffee cost when I brew it at home?

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Update on reusable K-cup.
by: Bob

Regarding the use of reusable k-cups, I just rechecked the weight of the coffee in my reusable k-cup(0.025 lbs). This works out to 40 cups per pound. So it is closer to $0.22/cup, or $0.17/cup with the recent sale on 3 lbs for $20.

Reusable K Cups
by: Bob

I always use a reusable k-cup. I get around 64 good sized cups of coffee out of a pound with my reusable k-cup. I don't pay $14/lb for coffee, nor do I pay $4/lb. I am usually at around $9/lb. A cup of black coffee costs me $0.14 per cup. ($0.10/cup now due to a sale on the coffee I buy).

K-cups are quite expensive and not worth it to me. Reusable is the way to go for me. However, I can see why many like the convenience of just popping a normal k-cup in.

French Press and Craft Coffee
by: Anonymous

I freshly grind coffee using burr grinder. Craft Coffee which is the least expensive high quality coffee company. Boil water and French press. Pennies a day.

K-cup Reusable Containers for Ground Coffee
by: Karl Wegner

I know it may be cheaper but more time consuming for those that like the economics of less waste with the K cups but they do have the reusable K-cups in which you can put ground coffee in. Thus you pay for gourmet ground coffee with no waste by using the K cup containers. Has anyone used the reusable K cups and are they worth it?

by: Anonymous

If you like good coffee, please, please, please do not use a percolator. They burn the coffee while they brew! They lead to terrible coffee!

Keurig per cup
by: JJChgo

Your cost for both are a little high.
My Keurig that I buy in bulk cost 27.6 cents per cup.

by: Anonymous

Thanks for the informative posting. a couple things I'd like to mention:
-last time I checked $14.99 divided by 24 is 62 cents not 67.
- the actually cost per cup for a typical household is quite a bit higher for regular coffee brewers due to the amount of coffee that is wasted plus the expense of extra clean-up

Best savings
by: Eema

We brew two twelve cup pots of Maxwell and let it cool in a separate pan. We then pour the cooled coffee into recycled 64 oz juice containers and keep them in fridge. We heat a cup or 2 as desired daily in microwave. The secret to great taste is a pinch of cinnamon per pot. We rinse out containers and reuse for next batch. Coffee lasts about a week at 2 cups a day with none wasted a.d tastes great! 2 pounds of Maxwell lasts about 4 or more months at little less than $2 a month. I know of no one who saves more money on coffee than we do. I call it "recession coffee" and we love it and cost averages 3 cents a cup. Love eema

Lower cost good tasting product
by: MJ

Just bought through amazon San Francisco Bay Coffee OneCup for Keurig K-Cup Brewers, Breakfast Blend, 80-Count at .34 cents per cup.

self brew in a Keurig.
by: Anonymous

I buy gourmet coffee for about 10 bucks a bag, and get about 48 cups of coffee out of it in my keurig brewer, thats about 21 cents a cup and yes it does taste good if you fill the keurig reusable container and use a empty Keurig cup instead of their basket. Only make a 6 oz cup of coffee. PS I reuse a keurig cup to brew. just cut the lid off with a razor knife and use the cup in the self brewing container instead of the little basket they give you, coffee is a bit stronger this way.

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