Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Espresso Machines
Homemade Lattes vs. Cafe Lattes ~~ Which cost more?
Support Coffee Kids
Coffee Kids is a non profit charity working with farming communities around the world. Donate today!
www.coffeekids.org
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Homemade Lattes...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 1 of 2 last page next page
Author Messages
shadowsnuzzy
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 70
Location: Pleasanton
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 8:38pm
Subject: Homemade Lattes vs. Cafe Lattes ~~ Which cost more?
 

I've owned a Rancilio Silvia for over 1 year now, and recently got a timer so the machine is hot and ready when I come home from school. The Rancilio Silvia produces the best espresso when it has been heated for at least 1 hour. My timer keeps the Silvia on for a 3 hour window everyday. I've calculated the cost per latte. My logic for this problem is presented below.

Coffee:
Freshly Roasted Coffee shipped from Seattle: $17/12 oz
          12 oz = 340 grams
Coffee per latte: 20 grams (Including 1-2 grams waste)
          1 Bag of coffee produces 17 lattes
Total Cost of a latte derived from coffee: $1

Milk:
Average cost of a gallon of milk: $3.50
          1 Gallon = 16 Cups (8 fl oz per cup)
Total Cost of a latte derived from milk: $0.218

Electricity:
Rancilio Silvia electricity usage: 1,100 Watts/hour (1.1 KWH)
          Electricity cost: $0.333 KWH
Total Cost of a latte derived from electricity: $1

Espresso Machine & Grinder:
Rancilio Silvia and Rocky combo: ~$1,000
          Cost of machines spread out over 10 years (365 days a year) assuming 1 latte per day: $0.274
Total Cost of a latte derived from machines: $0.274

TOTAL Cost of producing 1 latte at home: $2.492

Now, I assumed the machine would be on 3 hours a day because I need a 3 hour window to allow for flexibility in my schedule. This assumption drives up the cost of each latte however I am not factoring in maintenance, cleaning products, accessories (tamper, cups, ect), water usage, ect.

In conclusion, the total cost of a homemade latte is ~$2.50. The average price of an 8-12oz "small" latte is ~$3.00-3.50. Furthermore, it takes me around 20 mins to make a latte from scratch including cleanup.

This raises the question I sought to answer: Is it worth spending the time, capital, labor, and kitchen space to save approximately 50 cents a day? Does owning an espresso machine really save that much money? Thoughts?
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Alfonso
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Mar 2005
Posts: 175
Location: Philippines
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Cremina '67, Unic Diva Pro,...
Grinder: Mazzer SJ, Rancilio Rocky,...
Vac Pot: Hario Technica , AeroPress
Drip: Melitta Clarity, Bodum...
Roaster: OvenToaster Drumroaster,...
Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 8:58pm
Subject: Re: Homemade Lattes vs. Cafe Lattes ~~ Which cost more?
 

Hello shadowsnuzzy,

First of all,  I think very few of us here are actually in this to save money. Its all about quality coffee.
Saving money sometimes is just another rationalization / excuse for our Hobby :)

But Anyway,  One thing I noticed was that you are over estimating the electricity cost.  Your Sylvia is rated at 1100 watts, but it cycles on and off.
When on standby for 3 hours,  my guess is that the heater is on probably less than 20% of the time.  So your electricity cost is probably closer to 20c than $1.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
shadowsnuzzy
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 70
Location: Pleasanton
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 9:03pm
Subject: Re: Homemade Lattes vs. Cafe Lattes ~~ Which cost more?
 

You know I thought about that but when I looked up the specs for the Silvia I figured they took that into consideration. Do you know if this is confirmed anywhere? if so that would reduce my estimated price by about 70-80 cents!

And I do realize espresso making is a hobby and is incredibly interesting/fun. Like you said, this is just the rational aspect :)
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 658
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 9:03pm
Subject: Re: Homemade Lattes vs. Cafe Lattes ~~ Which cost more?
 

No latte from a cafe has ever measured up to even the halfassed ones I produce when I put the time into it. Also, no cafe accommodates me in my bathrobe when I'm half asleep.

A few notes about your figures:

-Good mother of mercy, $17/12oz is more expensive than even some of the boutique stuff I've found locally. I guess this is counting the shipping?

-Has PG&E really jacked up prices to 33 cents per kWH since I moved from the Bay??

I think, in the end, it's not about saving money. It usually starts out that way. There's a few threads a week from people who are like "Hey, I love my Starbucks but I'd really like to save some money." But in the end, the process of doing it becomes a hobby in itself. Espresso is the perfect (or worst) hobby for the obsessive control freak who loves to tinker. It's also a social lubricant in itself and is absolutely terrific for entertaining. I've had guests tell me they don't care for coffee come back to my house craving another latte. It's not because I'm particularly good at this (I still don't have one of those gleaming steel cubes yet), but because cafe coffee--especially Starbucks--is so mediocre and most Americans are used to drinking probably the worst coffee in the world. This isn't snobbery, it's a shocking fact I didn't realize until I got into this. I thought I HATED coffee until I got into this.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
shadowsnuzzy
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 70
Location: Pleasanton
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 9:14pm
Subject: Re: Homemade Lattes vs. Cafe Lattes ~~ Which cost more?
 

About the figures, I found that good quality coffee isn't accesible anywhere near my city, so yes, the $17 includes the almost unbearable shipping cost of $4-6
Also, PG&E has that tiered system, my house always breaches the third tier which cost 33 cents kWH, and since an espresso macine is considered an extra and luxury appliance, I used the third tier to calculate it's cost.

However I completely agree with your point. I started this hobby to save money because I used to stop by Starbucks everyday after school for a mocha and it was expensive. I've gradually tapered off of the chocolate and have learned to appreciate a good latte. And I've had many guest love these lattes, I guess your point about the standard of coffee in this country has something to do with it :p
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Intrepid510
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Dec 2010
Posts: 355
Location: California
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:03pm
Subject: Re: Homemade Lattes vs. Cafe Lattes ~~ Which cost more?
 

A trip to the San Ramon Whole Foods should provide you with the coffee you need without having to worry about shipping or to Pacific roasters in Walnut Creek.

As far as the original question, you are not comparing apples to apples. The coffee that you are making at home is by far better than what you bought at Starbucks so much so that you do not even use mocha syrup. If you are going to compare something more in line with Starbucks you should probably be using the 5 dollar a pound coffee from Costco, which will allow you to save another 75 cents or so.

 
Less water, more grounds.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 662
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:07pm
Subject: Re: Homemade Lattes vs. Cafe Lattes ~~ Which cost more?
 

Going through the drive through at Tim Hortons or Starbucks to get my morning coffee has always been too time consuming, too aggravating (People freak out if you order a toasted bagel with your coffee at Timmies, because it takes too long.) and the coffee isn't all that great anyway.  

Then, I bought a K-Cup machine because I just wanted my coffee fast. Wake up, spend 2 minutes making coffee, drink it, then go to work.

The problem with K-Cups I found is that the coffee just didn't have enough flavor for me. (In the morning, my taste buds are nearly dead) So, I tried dark roasts, bold cups.. they were OK, but the coffee just wasn't strong enough. So I tried flavoured coffees.. Ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh. I find the smell of flavored coffees brewing to be downright repulsive.

So, I took the leap and got myself a Silvia. I got up 20 minutes early and spent 10 minutes going through the routine.. The reward was far more worth it than anything I could get from a coffee shop. I can drink shots completely straight in the morning, but prefer to have them with a little bit of sugar.

Now, I've made the leap to a much more expensive machine... my daily routine has been cut in half because I don't have to wait on the machine. It's just as much reward, but with far less "Cost" in terms of time. Now, in terms of money.. holy crud... Lets just say I've spent more than I probably should have!!!

I kind of think where this hobby pays for itself is when you bang off multiple drinks for multiple people or have a few drinks for yourself throughout the day. Suddenly, a $3 espresso ends up only costing $0.50.. A decent latte here costs about $5, so I see even more savings than what you have.

I will admit that coffee certainly is a good conversation starter and having a nice shiny machine on the counter certainly does make people do a second glance, especially when they kind of wonder how it works and how good you can make a coffee.

Its just a shame that my own wife hates drinking coffee..

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
back to top
 View Profile Contact via ICQ Contact via MSN Messenger Link to this post
shadowsnuzzy
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 70
Location: Pleasanton
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:09pm
Subject: Re: Homemade Lattes vs. Cafe Lattes ~~ Which cost more?
 

Thank you for your reply. Regarding the coffee at whole foods, do they sell fresh coffee with roast dates? I've become obsessive about this after researching more about my Silvia.

Also, I was comparing this to an upper end local cafe. There are some pretty good cafes around, and while their shots are not as good as mine, they are certainly miles ahead of chains like starbucks and are more consistent than my home shots.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,892
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600+, CO/UFO combo
Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:34pm
Subject: Re: Homemade Lattes vs. Cafe Lattes ~~ Which cost more?
 

Assuming you're in California?
Redbird espresso can be delivered for about $50 for 5#'s, including delivery, about 50% less than  you're paying.

Also, remember the transportation costs you are saving, not to mention gratuities.

As all have, it's not about the money, it's about consistency, and convenience.
AND the joy of accomplishment.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
shadowsnuzzy
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 70
Location: Pleasanton
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:40pm
Subject: Re: Homemade Lattes vs. Cafe Lattes ~~ Which cost more?
 

How do you store that much coffee? It takes me 3 weeks to go through 12oz, I freeze the beans in 60 gram segments or 3 lattes. Not only do I not have enough room for 5bls, but there is probably some negative implications with freezing coffee for that long right?
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
showing page 1 of 2 last page next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Homemade Lattes...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Great Espresso at Home
Curated selection of the best machines from La Spaziale, Izzo, Quick Mill, La Marzocco & more.
www.clivecoffee.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.394796848297)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+