Ahead of tonight's Australian Federal 2020 Budget, we're taking a deep dive into the financial side of your daily coffee, and exploring why making your coffee at home sometimes (or always!) can have a positive impact on your hip pocket.
No, we're not here to lecture you about why your $4 coffee will stop you from ever owning a house or make you feel bad about a small purchase that brings you joy... Instead, we want you to understand how much getting that caffeine hit can vary in price, and why investing in quality home coffee gear can have a long term financial benefit.
Let's break it down into some of the different types of coffee you can have, and take a look at how much each one usually costs:
1) Cafe ($3.50 - $5 per coffee)
The most social and (arguably) convenient way to have your coffee. Going to a cafe has many benefits including having your coffee prepared by a professional barista who should know what they're doing, building a friendship with your local cafe staff and having an enjoyable and vibrant space to enjoy your morning coffee. If you're visiting a cafe with your friends or work colleagues, the ritual of getting a coffee can help form a deeper and more personal relationship. It's one of the biggest things we miss about not being able to physically go to work anymore whilst Victoria is in lockdown.
The two biggest downsides are having to physically travel to a cafe and the (relatively) more expensive getting a coffee from a cafe is than if you were to make it at home. Some of the lucky ones amongst us might live walking distance to a good (or few) cafes, which makes this less of an issue. If, however, you live in a more suburban or regional area, finding and getting to a cafe can be a bit of a hassle. The other downside is cost, with most basic coffees in Melbourne costing around $4, and the price only increasing if you choose alternative milk or extra shots of espresso.
2) Nespresso or similar pods ($0.75 - $1 per coffee)
Nespresso machines and competitor products have been very popular in households due to having a low initial cost (some as low as $99) and small kitchen appliance footprint (and perhaps having George Clooney as their brand ambassador). This is arguably where the benefits end though, with Nespresso pods having a significantly high financial cost at around 75 cents per coffee. In addition to the financial cost, Nespresso pods inherently bring with them a lot of wastage, are made of plastic and aluminum and it's estimated that up to 71 percent of pods find their way into landfill. Whilst re-usable pods are available and generic brands can bring down the cost, we personally aren't huge fans of this option for your coffee fix.
3) Cafetera or French Press ($0.15 - $0.30 per coffee)
A cheap and cheerful household favourite. We're huge fans of both of these options, they both have pros and cons but only use about 5 grams of ground coffee per serve and have 0 waste. French Press (or cafetiere) coffee comes out more like a long black, and requires a kettle to boil the water for use. A Cafetera (or moka pot) uses a stovetop, and produces more "espresso" like coffee. We've taken an in-depth look at both of these options, take a look at the below links:
Overall, whilst these mightn't be as tasty as a cafe coffee, they certainly beat instant and are a great option for your at home coffee.
4) Home Espresso Machine ($0.15 - $0.30 per coffee)
Coming in at the same price range as option 3, where the home espresso machine delivers is the taste - which in many cases is comparable to what you'd get in a cafe. The key disadvantage is the upfront cost, with models ranging from $89 (Kogan, no inbuilt grinder), all the way up to $7000 for a La Marzocco Linea Mini (our #goals). Whilst these are extremes, and in general cases somewhere between $500 and $1000 will more than suffice for home purposes (our personal favourite being the Breville Barista Pro), we realise this can still be quite a sizeable initial investment.
Once you've purchased a coffee machine though, you're saving around $4 per coffee - an easy $1200 per year if you're a daily coffee drinker.
With the likely continuation of working from home and social distancing likely to be part of the short term future, we think purchasing one of these machines is definitely worth consideration. An added bonus is learning a new skill - extracting the perfect espresso, steaming your milk just right and maybe even learning some latte art down the track!
We'd also like to explain that making coffee at home doesn't mean the relationship you have with your cafe has to end! Many cafes will provide the beans they have for sale to use at home, and can even grind them into the right size to be used in a Cafetera or French Press.
We hope that gives you some insight into the costs of your daily coffee, if you have any questions or would like to know more please feel free to reach out to us!