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  • do we save money having home machines?

    I was curious if I having a home machine means I blew $1600 on coffee gear, or if it actually saves me money long term. And after getting a plunger and learning how to use it, I never buy coffee now.

    Lets see.

    Depending where you live you can get a decent large for 2.5 (Guilias cnr of Abercrombie and Meagher in Sydney, its actually pretty OK), 3, 3.5 or 4 (Tobys) dollars. I will discount Tobys since they are really expensive.

    If you are not a weekend coffee drinker and have 2 large a day, 5 days a week:
    $25 - $35 per week on coffee.

    250 grams of beans costs $8 (Di Bartoli - sweet maria is still my favourite espresso blend), $11.50 (Tobys - good for a few of the less common beans). For my dosage, I would get at least 14 double shots assuming minimal wastage. So $5.70 - $8.20 for beans per week.

    So well save between $16.80 - $29.30 a week.

    Ive spent about $1600 in coffee gear so far.

    So worst case senario: 95 weeks (1.8 years) before the machine to pays for itself. And how many places have $2.50 large coffees anymore? (Yay Guilias! the food is pretty good too!)
    Best case: 54 weeks.

    So about a year and a half on average. For a 2 large coffees a day (but not on weekends) drinker.

    Ive had my machine about a year now. And I drink maybe 3 cups a day. Sometimes more. I have never bought more than 3 cups a day. An even then there is at least one small coffee. But I have still bought coffee from where ever over the year and sometimes I have several decafs at home to practise my free pouring. So I am probably behind. But overall, Im doing pretty well. After 2 years, itll be sweet.

    Things to consider:
    - does having a machine at home increase the number of coffees you drink? (Yes)
    - does it make sense to say that drinking more coffee means you save more if the machine is the cause of your problem? (If you drink good coffee, you will at any rate, eventually come out ahead.)
    - is this just an attempt to justify my expense? (I was a former archery gear junkie)

  • #2
    Re: do we save money having home machines?

    Interesting isnt it?

    I have literally spent thousands of dollars on coffee gear this year, and even though I have built up a small (45kg) stockpile of beans, I seem to never be able to get enough. The whole pursuit of making a fine coffee seems to become an obsession, effecting each of us differently. And the cost of making a coffee at home is certainly cheaper over the long term.

    We always have a better coffee at home than when were out, unless we go somewhere really special. I think thats the real pleasure (apart from having something shiny on the bench) - creating a variety of espresso, presenting a milk-based coffee with fantastic artwork (Im still working on that) and as many folk here say, enjoying whats in the cup.

    I dont think you can put a price on that!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: do we save money having home machines?

      Other things that must be considered,
      the convienience of having one at home,
      you can make your partner coffee,
      your friends can be made coffee and you look like a legend,
      you make the coffee how YOU want it,
      you have total control over taste,
      it makes you do weird things, like me this morning on my day off I was up at 530, turned on the azkoyen thought what am I going to do for 30-40 as Im only running her on 5amps, went for a WALK!
      since Ive gotten serious again I exercise more, drink more plain water and have great coffee, have one very happy partner(she gets her lattes again) and happy bro in law, he gets his espresso after his delivering milk all night right about the time Abbeys ready to serve.
      For me, I drin k way too much coffee, at work costs me 10-15 bucks a day easily, since making my own again, not that much.
      Saving ? who knows..
      Satisifaction Yes!!

      As mastercard ads say

      Kilo of beans $10
      Grinder $380
      Azkoyen Bravo 2 grp commercial $850
      Bits to fix it $40
      4 complete days of restoration
      Making friends green with machine envy and
      Ability to now make great coffee anytime I want PRICELESS!!

      Have a great day
      Sullos

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: do we save money having home machines?

        Got to factor in the cost of milk (and maybe sugar) and water and electricity too if you want a proper comparison.

        Probably the cost of dish washing if youre being anal...

        But as said, the visceral experience of making your own cuppa is priceless.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: do we save money having home machines?

          Recurve Boy

          If, like most of us, you have a Coffee Machine at home because you enjoy making (and drinking) great coffee..... and it gives you satisfaction/enjoyment....... the cost is immaterial.

          We are not running a Business where profit is a consideration, and therefore cost is important - it is a hobby or pleasure pursuit - and like any such activity the personal benefits outweigh the cost.....

          If you were to try to cost justify pleasure pursuits you would end up having a very boring (and inexpensive) life.... The only travel you would do is to and from work..... the rest is a waste of money (certainly no holidays.... especially no overseas trips)..... you wouldnt need a car as you could use public transport.... or even better buy a house next to work..... and walk to the shops...

          Just like archery, fishing, owning a sports car, travel, pay TV etc.... you dont need them - they cost money and all you get out of the expense is pleasure.....

          Just like making coffee...... so dont try to cost justify the expense (unless you are Scrooge...... and even he saw the light in the end!!)

          ;D ;D

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: do we save money having home machines?

            I did indeed forget about milk!

            Originally posted by JavaB link=1187820182/0#4 date=1187822953
            Recurve Boy

            If, like most of us, you have a Coffee Machine at home because you enjoy making (and drinking) great coffee..... and it gives you satisfaction/enjoyment....... the cost is immaterial.

            We are not running a Business where profit is a consideration, and therefore cost is important - it is a hobby or pleasure pursuit - and like any such activity the personal benefits outweigh the cost.....
            Im trained as an engineer. I optimise where possible. :P

            Also, I think about these things for fun. :P And hobby or not, why not make things cheaper? Lower cost of entry == more people getting into it == better coffee for the rest of us!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: do we save money having home machines?

              Recurve Boy

              You could set up a home roaster with a popper or corretto/heatgun for virtually nothing.

              Then, you will pay as little as $8 p/KG for your beans so youll have TWICE as much coffee making FUN at a QUARTER of the price!!

              By my maths, that reduces your best case scenario of 54 weeks, by a factor of eight, so it would then pay for itself in 6.75 weeks!

              Therefore, you could justify buying 7.7 new machines a year!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: do we save money having home machines?

                Originally posted by reubster link=1187820182/0#6 date=1187830502
                By my maths, that reduces your best case scenario of 54 weeks, by a factor of eight, so it would then pay for itself in 6.75 weeks!
                Thats some calculator!!

                Err... dont suppose I could borrow it? Would make that VBM/Mazzer combo Ive been eyeing off a whole lot easier to justify to my other half!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: do we save money having home machines?

                  I get out of bed more easily now that I can look forward to a really good coffee at home (and I love hand grinding coffee and the elegance of the Presso). That means I get to work earlier which has a dollar value.

                  The calculation for this is not so straightforward. I think I get up on average half an hour earlier than when all I had to look forward to was the 43 bean. BUT it takes about 10 minutes to prepare my latte creation so thats only a 20 minute gain. At about $45 dollars an hour that is a $15 dollar saving per day.

                  Alas the 15 bucks is blown very quickly with all the time I whitter away on this forum.

                  As already said, home roasting quite possibly saves costs. You may say it takes time to roast at home, true, but it also takes time to travel to speciality coffee shops (few and far between) for fresh, high quality beans every 2 weeks or so. BEAN BAY BROWN however is very good value I must say and buying beans from there and storing them carefully may save money.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: do we save money having home machines?

                    Beanhead makes a good point. As it is, there are places near by where I can get beans and I can get other things done when I get them. Also, Tobys is right near where I work.

                    Also, I like to bring my own lunch to work. There is a little bit of prep in the morning so getting up to switch on my machine is not so bad.

                    I will have to look into roasting!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: do we save money having home machines?

                      I think its a moot point whether or not you actually save money in the long term (although this is an important consideration) - Im just sick of drinking crap coffee from places that are not sufficiently passionate enough about what theyre doing to ensure a minimum level of quality control...

                      Of course, on the flip side, it makes getting a great coffee an even greater experience, and there are certainly some very fine establishments in Melbourne at least, who I take my hat off to!

                      Also, at home I usually have the time and luxury to make my coffee at my leisure, and I can often minimize the likelihood of disappointment by having control over the individual components that make up the end result.

                      I will quite often chuck out 2 or 3 shots in a row when Im dialing the grind in, which is a luxury which is seldom afforded in a busy establishment (which is not to say that it shouldnt be common practice!)

                      Im enjoying some home roast New Guinea AA at the moment which has exquisite aniseed / cheery fruit, and complex curry spice aromas, on a balanced sour / acidic palate, with a lingering aftertaste!

                      Cheers,

                      Pat

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: do we save money having home machines?

                        Originally posted by askthecoffeeguy link=1187820182/0#10 date=1187862580
                        I think its a moot point whether or not you actually save money in the long term (although this is an important consideration) - Im just sick of drinking crap coffee from places that are not sufficiently passionate enough about what theyre doing to ensure a minimum level of quality control...

                        Of course, on the flip side, it makes getting a great coffee an even greater experience, and there are certainly some very fine establishments in Melbourne at least, who I take my hat off to!

                        Also, at home I usually have the time and luxury to make my coffee at my leisure, and I can often minimize the likelihood of disappointment by having control over the individual components that make up the end result.

                        I will quite often chuck out 2 or 3 shots in a row when Im dialing the grind in, which is a luxury which is seldom afforded in a busy establishment (which is not to say that it shouldnt be common practice!)

                        Im enjoying some home roast New Guinea AA at the moment which has exquisite aniseed / cheery fruit, and complex curry spice aromas, on a balanced sour / acidic palate, with a lingering aftertaste!

                        Cheers,

                        Pat
                        Good for you Pat. Im enjoying coffee too. Mine tastes like coffee but I cant tell whether its cheery or not. ;D

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: do we save money having home machines?

                          Originally posted by askthecoffeeguy link=1187820182/0#10 date=1187862580
                          I will quite often chuck out 2 or 3 shots in a row when Im dialing the grind in, which is a luxury which is seldom afforded in a busy establishment (which is not to say that it shouldnt be common practice!)
                          Ive seen them do it at Campos, even when its busy.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: do we save money having home machines?

                            Originally posted by Dennis link=1187820182/0#11 date=1187864596
                            Originally posted by askthecoffeeguy link=1187820182/0#10 date=1187862580

                            Im enjoying some home roast New Guinea AA at the moment which has exquisite aniseed / cheery fruit, and complex curry spice aromas, on a balanced sour / acidic palate, with a lingering aftertaste!

                            Cheers,

                            Pat
                            Good for you Pat. Im enjoying coffee too. Mine tastes like coffee but I cant tell whether its cheery or not. ;D
                            Im not sure if the coffee is cheery, but I certainly am after Ive had one or two in the morning, and less so if I miss out on my daily dose!

                            Pat

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: do we save money having home machines?

                              You are right TG the good cafes do bin the shot if they are not up to scratch. I have seen them do it at Mecca when I ordered an espresso. Probably why us snobs keep going back to those places. Probably wouldnt be so pedantic with a milk drink.

                              It sure does make it dearer binning shots but who cares, who can put a price on the journey of perfection?

                              My opinion is that I will probably never save money making coffee at home, as I will probably never stop buying something else related to coffee. So as I bridge the gap between what I have spent and how much I save I generally find something else to buy so that gap blows out again. I have seen other peoples equipment lists growing around here so I know I am not the only one.

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