Saturday, March 15, 2014

Daily Espresso: Some Math

Last weekend we had a large gathering of family in our home. Most of them are coffee lovers; or, more precisely, lovers of espresso-based drinks like those that Starbucks has made famous. As the proud owner of my own home espresso machine, I got to play barista several times over the weekend. Without exception, each person commented how much better they enjoyed my home crafted brew than the similar product they usually got at Starbucks. Maybe they were just being nice to me - being family and all. Maybe it was just because it was free.

But inevitably this led me to ask them how often they purchase coffee at their favorite coffee shop. You see,  I figured out a long time ago, if you really love the daily espresso habit, the only sane thing to do is to purchase your own machine, grinder, syrups, and coffee, and make them yourself. Let me explain.

If you spend approximately $6.00 a day at your local coffee shop, that quickly adds up to around $180 a month, or over $2100 per year. I don't know what your budget looks like, but at least in my household, that's a pretty significant chunk of change. And God forbid you've got two or three people in on the habit.

While I didn't do the math myself, once you own your own equipment, you could support that same daily espresso habit for under $500 a year, even if you purchase your beans and syrups straight from your local coffee shop (which is hugely expensive when cheaper alternatives exist). Already, you've cut the cost of your habit by 75%.

Now here's the part that most people don't believe. Take out that $500 you will spend either way out of the $2100 you're spending now. With the money that's left, you could purchase a nice home espresso machine and grinder, and still have money left over for all of the other assorted items that make home espresso machine ownership easier. In a year, you've broken-even on your purchase of a very nice home espresso machine. You could even be more budget conscience, and cut those costs in half, spending as little as $500 to get yourself started.

Let that sink in. Even if you're only spending $20 or more per week on espresso right now, for the same price you could purchase your own machine and make an equivalent drink every day for the exact same price. And after the first year, you're saving almost $10 a week.

So why don't people make the switch, and what do you need to know to be successful in brewing your own daily espresso? That will be my topic for next week. See you then!

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