Home espresso: equipment price vs cost of coffee

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
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#1: Post by Moka 1 Cup »

Thinking out loud...

I the past twelve months we have purchased $940 in roasted coffee beans for home consumption. The set up we are currently using at home, for espresso, based on current prices, is about $2600 for grinder and espresso machine. If I add a 10% -15% for yearly maintenance that would make $2800-$3000 which is about three time what I spend in coffee every year. Of course that has to be spread over a period of n-years.
Not sure where I want to go with this, but let's say that instead I want to make a budget for new equipment. Would it make sense to consider how much $-coffee I am going to run though the new set up in a reasonable period of time, maybe 7-8 years? Like saying, all other factors considered: "it's OK to spend in equipment the same amount of money I spend in coffee every year". In my case that would give me a budget for the equipment of about $4700-$6400, after maintenance.
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#2: Post by CamBam_HB »

I don't think the amount of coffee really matters unless you are doing an abnormal value of shots per day (i.e. 15+ shots per day, roughly 1 340g of coffee beans per day). This would affect your maintenance schedule and potentially wear & tear on your equipment.

Presuming normal home usage (10 shots or less), your costs for your equipment will likely be the same.


#3: Post by espressoren »

Hard to say. This isn't what I do but the way it could be thought about is in terms of cost per drink. Your $940/yr in beans sounds like maybe you go through a 12oz bag a week.

A bag this size makes about 16 20g shots for me, and generally costs $15-18. So let's say you pay $1 per drink just in beans, and we will make it an easy 940 drinks per year.

How much do you want to pay per drink all-in? If you're cool just breaking even with a $5 cafe drink then maybe you have $4/drink to spend on equipment, maintenance, and milk if you use it. Or maybe you want to feel like you're saving money compared to buying from a cafe, and set a $2 or $3 limit.

So let's say you're doing that 940 drinks per year. If you amortize the equipment over five years and want to stay at $2 per drink total then $1 per drink for equipment/maintenance is $4700 over five years. you could of course double or even triple that budget and still be very reasonable compared to cafe prices for a drink.

Then again, if I'm way off in terms of how many drinks you are getting for that $940 in beans then it can throw these numbers off, but it is only intended as an example.

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#4: Post by JB90068 »

When I looked at my ROI for my setup it took me three and half years to break even. This is for $10k + in equipment and doesn't include gas for my car to go to and from my home to a local cafe. The only time I'll drink an espresso at a cafe is when I'm trying out a new roaster or roast. There is also the pleasure I get from the process of making an espresso or cappuccino, enjoying it while looking at the view from my living room or deck that can't be quantified. Right now it's 17F, the car is covered in snow, wind is gusting to 20 mph and I've just enjoyed my first cappuccino of the morning warmly sitting at my dining room table looking out at a frozen winter wonderland. I would say my ROI is well worth it.
Old baristas never die. They just become over extracted.

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#5: Post by baldheadracing »

JB90068 wrote:... Right now it's 17F, the car is covered in snow, wind is gusting to 20 mph and I've just enjoyed my first cappuccino of the morning warmly sitting at my dining room table looking out at a frozen winter wonderland. I would say my ROI is well worth it.
Right now I have to go out and shovel that white sh*t. Just had a triple ristretto to get me going.

I will never have a positive coffee-related $ ROI, nor do I want to :P.

ETA: ... unless I started a coffee-related business instead of the hobby (hobbies?) that coffee is now.
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#6: Post by realdoctor »

Discussion of this question has cropped up on and off since the old deja alt.coffee group that was the precursor of H-B in the last millennium. In reality, most people posting here can beat the quality of the overwhelming majority of cafes with a setup that costs less than $3000 new or around $1500-2000 with some used equipment. Someone who is skilled with a Pavoni lever can probably knock almost $1000 off those figures.

Barista skills are the big investment, and that's the one thing everyone here takes pleasure in developing. The utility gained from pulling a good cup makes that investment a pleasure. For the rest, there's Mastercard.


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#7: Post by ira »

If you just want espresso, most people here can probably beat most shops with a Lido for $199 and a Flair Classic for $165 + something to heat water in, kettle preferred, but likely a small pot will do in a pinch. Probably less expensive grinders out there, but I know that one will work and last pretty much forever. Use that combo for a year making 2 shots a day and you'll have saved enough to move to easier to use equipment.


#8: Post by espressoren replying to ira »

I kind of got the feeling that the question is the opposite - how much can they get away with spending on equipment and reasonably justify it :-)

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#9: Post by ira »

I A lot, I use $10,000 worth of equipment to brew coffee every morning. Is it 9,800 better than the Clever and the Stagg it replaced? Would it be better than what I might have gotten with a V60 if I'd had the patience? I don't know the answer to the second question, but I consider the investment worth it for the quality of coffee I currently drink. The major equipment consists of a Decent, Monolith Flat and an Ikawa Pro 100. I expected to be drinking espresso drinks when I purchased the Decent, but it's so good and so consistent at pour over I now mostly drink that.

I guess the answer is once it get's past appliance to hobby, all that matters is your willingness to open your wallet. Had I room for a Kee's machine I'd likely have picked up one of the one group levers you could get for a while or a Speedster.

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#10: Post by Marcelnl »

I did some math years ago, comparing to nespresso cups as I realized we were burning through over a hundred euro's in coffee each month. The result made me buy a Faemina and used super Jolly, and off into the rabbit hole I went.

Since then coffee became a 'hobby' and cost since that status change are not very important anymore, I'm pretty sure that my setup outperforms most coffee shops in a circle of let's say 100km around me...
A reasonable espresso...takes me at least a 50km drive, a ristretto ...find me a place where I do not need to explain what it is first...so roasting my own and using a machine that'll easily last another 80 or so years makes me think that the cost of the software is the only thing to consider...

I hardly ever buy greens more expensive than 15euro/kilo, buy roasted beans and you're looking at 25-30 euro per kilo easily... sure the roaster cost almost 2K, so what...the final outcome makes me smile 6-7 times a day when I pull shots...priceless :lol:
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