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  • Cost effectiveness of roasting

    New to roasting, but not so new to making coffee. I currently go through about 0.5kg a fortnight @ $22 per half kg. How long would it take to "pay back" the equipment required assuming I got something mid-range? Or generally speaking, is it something you do to be cost effective or do you guys all do it for the love of coffee?

  • #2
    Originally posted by garbage View Post
    New to roasting, but not so new to making coffee. I currently go through about 0.5kg a fortnight @ $22 per half kg. How long would it take to "pay back" the equipment required assuming I got something mid-range? Or generally speaking, is it something you do to be cost effective or do you guys all do it for the love of coffee?
    I reckon it would take you around a year to 14 months to pay back an i-coffee or Behmor (<$400ish), and almost 1.5-2years for a Gene Cafe. The HotTops and above obviously will take longer. Assumptions: cost of green beans (allowing for weight loss in roasting, and cheap postage $16 per kg), 2kgs a month usage (conservative, but gives you a margin for power used etc), leading to a monthly saving of approx. $28. YMMV, depending on choices like storage etc, what beans you like.

    Cost isn't the big issue for me (otherwise I wouldn't own 2 roasters), it's the fact that I can roast to order and always have fresh beans, and the fun of experimentation with roast depth, profiles and blends. I still buy brown beans occasionally (from Andy and Cosmorex).

    PS: Quite missing my roasting while working overseas....tempted to buy a popper, as I've found a source of greens.

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    • #3
      I started out with a popper then quickly moved to a Corretto set up. I never really looked at the cost invloved in setting it up and how long it may or may not take me to get my money back. Two things are for sure though. In the long/short run it will pay its self off (dependng on the set up you have or course) and secondly I do it for the love and enjoyment mainly.
      the one up side to the whole thing is i used to drink maybe 1 cup a day, i know drink 2-3 cups a day

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      • #4
        I'm the same regarding cost not being an issue.
        It's funny that in one of my very early posts I said I couldn't see myself roasting. LOL.
        I too still buy roasted from trusted roasters.

        I also do it for the enjoyment I get doing it and the satisfaction of the control I have.
        That extends now to growing my own coffee trees (there my be another cost saving there for you).

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        • #5
          I'm with these guys, just do it for the taste and enjoyment I get out of doing it myself.

          I haven't bought from other roasters though, maybe if I lived near some...
          You only crunch the numbers to sell the idea to the other half
          Last edited by AlexAg; 23 January 2013, 09:46 AM. Reason: make gooderer english

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          • #6
            In a good way i must say roasting coffee has taken over my life. I also thought when i joined up for some info on a couple of machines the last thing i would be doing is roasting coffee. Its the most enjoyable hobby i have ever had!!

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            • #7
              Roasting is just like my beer brewing, it's not about cost, it's all about making the best product to my tastes and the satisfaction that brings.

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              • #8
                Cost effectiveness of roasting

                Originally posted by seamad View Post
                Roasting is just like my beer brewing, it's not about cost, it's all about making the best product to my tastes and the satisfaction that brings.
                This. Exactly. I set my coretto up really cheaply (<$100) for everything including a bean cooler. I'm sure I've paid it off by now. But that's not the point. I prefer my roasts to most of what I buy. This is because I roast the beans I like to the level I like. It's all about personal preference. =)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by seamad View Post
                  Roasting is just like my beer brewing, it's not about cost, it's all about making the best product to my tastes and the satisfaction that brings.
                  For me cost was what pushed me across the line. I was in search for better coffee and it was costing $45 per kg and roasting works out much better and you also get the better quality. If the average is $14 per kg (inc delivery) even at a stretch with chaff loss, valve bag, electricity, machine wear and tear $20 per kg would be the max it costs me to roast so I am way ahead. I might be missing something but that is how I see it.

                  * I have a Behmor.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AlexAg View Post
                    You only crunch the numbers to sell the idea to the other half
                    Hahaha Couldn't agree more! The main motivation isn't cost, mainly because time is money, but it certainly is cheaper than buying roasted (+postage = waste), especially if you build your own roaster.

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                    • #11
                      Cost for me was a bonus to help get the purchases across the line and approximate by the CFO.

                      Like some of th earlier posts I buy from local roasters on occasion, but I find it more convenient to be able to duck out to the shed and roast up a batch as I see a need coming up. It's also a lot easier to do a small batch of something quirky or to try something unusual at home.

                      The occasional gift to a fellow coffee lover also goes down a treat, kind of like a home made jam or pie.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dan77 View Post
                        For me cost was what pushed me across the line. I was in search for better coffee and it was costing $45 per kg and roasting works out much better and you also get the better quality. If the average is $14 per kg (inc delivery) even at a stretch with chaff loss, valve bag, electricity, machine wear and tear $20 per kg would be the max it costs me to roast so I am way ahead. I might be missing something but that is how I see it.

                        * I have a Behmor.
                        You can cut valved bag costs by using a small freezer bag as a liner. That way you don't dirty the inside of the bag, and providing you aren't heat sealing them can reuse many times over.

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                        • #13
                          Great challenge (initially), great results (finally), great hobby (still), great versatility (roast for your palette), great variety (no two batches the same!) and great savings (less than half the price - no matter how you add it up!).
                          Love the roasting!
                          Matt

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                          • #14
                            Has been the best learning curve for me in so many ways. A great way to learn much much more about coffee.

                            As for costs, my heat gun cost me $40 last year and that is all i bought equipment wise. Everything else i already had lying around and picked up free bread makers.
                            I have worked out including postage and electricity it costs me about 16 to $17 per kilo roasted.

                            Being able to blend and roast to what i like and still very much learning what i like.
                            Forever learning about how different beans behave during the roasting process, aging, grinding extraction ect ect.

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                            • #15
                              Cost effectiveness of roasting

                              Originally posted by dan77 View Post
                              For me cost was what pushed me across the line.
                              Same for me. I thought it would be interesting to try, but was hesitating at spending what I thought would be a truckload of money. Then I looked into it, and found roasters and beans were far cheeper than I expected so took the plunge on an iCoffee and have been hooked ever since. As others have said, does not matter which way you look at it you come out in front and it is great fun!

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