People bitch and moan about the price of a cup of coffee at places like Dunkin Dounts. What does it cost to make a cup a home?

I buy a pound bag of Original blend coffee beans from Dunkin Donuts. Cost: $8.99.  Assume $10.00 inclusive of all sales taxes and transportation costs, but not the opportunity cost of the time spent traveling to buy it and return home.

I currently estimate (pending the end of the current bag of coffee beans that I am using) that I use about half an ounce of beans for each 7 oz. cup of coffee that I make. That’s 32 cups of coffee cost of the coffee per cup? $10.00/32 = $ 0.3125.

Coffee filters from Jewel Foods – their “Everyday Essential” brand – 200 4-cup filters for say $2.00, or $0.01 per filter.

I use distilled water from Walmart, $0.88/gallon, assume $1.00 including sales tax and other costs. 1 gallon = 128 ounces. I use a full 8 oz. cup of water, so I get 16 cups of coffee out of a gallon of distilled water. Cost of distilled water per cup:  $1.00/18 = $ 0.0625.

I don’t use sugar in my coffee. I do use about 1 tablespoon of Walmart Great Value heavy whipping cream. 1 pint = about $2.50, assume 10% in sales taxes, etc., cost per pint is $2.75.  A pint has 32 tablespoons (or 96 teaspoons, FYI, thank you, Google!).  So, cost of heavy whipping cream per cup = $ 2.75/32 = $ 0.08594.

I grind up the beans in a Mr. Coffee coffee bean grinder. Cost = $20.00, from Target. It should last at least 1 year, during which I’ll have made about 2,000 cups of coffee (6 cups a day, AT LEAST, times 365 days = 2,190 cups, round it to 2,000.  Allocated fixed cost of coffee bean grinder to each cup of coffee = $ $0.01.

Same calculation for the Mr. Coffee coffeemaker, purchased at Walmart. Depreciation Cost of use of the machine per cup: $0.01.

A while back I bought 4 Victor brand 1950’s-restaurant style porcelain coffee mugs, that the Victor Insulator Co. no longer makes. $40 for each mug, $10/mug, expected to last a lifetime.  Cost per use:  $0.01.

Cost of household electricity to make a cup of coffee, regardless of kitchen light that might be needed:  Assume $0.05 per cup.

Total cost of a cup of coffee made at home:

Ground beans        $ 0.3125

Distilled water       $ 0.06125

Heavy whipping cream  $ 0.08594

Coffee filter = $ 0.01

Depreciation of grinder            $ 0.01

Depreciation of coffee drip machine      $ 0.01

Depreciation of Victor 1950’s-restaurant style porcelain mug   $ 0.01

Electricity          $      0.05

Total cost to make a cup of coffee     $ 0.53959 == $ 0.54/cup of coffee made at home.

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About johnvkaravitis

Senior Financial Analyst: Energy, Insurance, IT consulting, Pharmaceuticals, Publishing, Real Estate
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