How Much For a Cup of Coffee?

I’ve been a home roaster for 10 years, maybe more, ever since my friend Jen Kennedy sent me some delicious coffee beans. I asked about their origen, and she told me that some students at the University roasted them. I phoned one, and he told me that home roasting was easy. A quick google search later and I was browsing Turns out – it IS pretty easy!

I purchased a Whirley Pop popcorn popper, some green beans and a thermometer, and I was roasting minutes later. The technique isn’t that hard, but immensley variable:

  1. Heat up the Whirley Pop (I like about 425-450 degrees
  2. Add in about 8oz. green beans
  3. Whirl for 7-10 minutes (I like a Full City roast, and roast into the second pop)
  4. 4ool, grind, brew, repeat!

The other day, I started to wonder if my efforts these past years are a money saver or not, so I did a quick calculation:

  • 1 pound of green beans (six dollars) yields about 21 cups of coffee (I enjoy strong coffee)
  • Filters are about eight cents each
  • Shipping is just about five cents a cup.

Labor. Well. This isn’t’ exactly rocket science. But even at 25 bucks an hour (I don’t roast the whole pound at a time – who needs stale coffee?), my time still costs just thirty cents a cup.

All told? The freshest coffee in Seattle for just 71 cents a cup! Whoo hoo! And if I decide that my labor is only worth ten bucks an hour – I’m getting my coffee for fifty three cents a cup!

For grins, I thought I’d see what roasted coffee costs:

  • Kenya beans from Starbucks look to be about 20 dollars a pound, or 95 cents per cup
  • Pete’s sells a Kenya for 14.95 –which gets you a cup for about 71 cents
  • Tully’s cheats a bit –they sell by the ounce –so their coffee is a bit cheaper than Pete’s (tastes that way to me, too) but gets you a cup for 57 cents.

All told – I’ll stick with the home roasting: Better quality, fresh, and fun!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s