Thursday, April 16, 2009

Coffee economy

I just figured out something surprising: if you make it at home, the price of a latte is about 65% of the price of a cup of brewed coffee. Until I measured, I didn't realize how much less coffee you use to make espresso. And you don't need to keep half-and-half on hand, like you do with coffee. I figure a latte at home costs close to 45 cents: 25 cents for the milk, 15 cents for the coffee, and a nickel for the sugar. Brewed coffee costs close to 45 cents just for the coffee alone, plus another 20 cents for half-and-half and a nickel for sugar. I was doing math to see how much money we'd save by going back to regular coffee, and I'm pleasantly surprised to find we've got financial incentive to stick with our traditional morning latte. Of course, this doesn't factor in that an espresso machine costs a lot more than a coffee pot. But we already own it; I'm just looking at daily expense here.

Of the funny, Laura and I have a running joke about my equivalent Starbucks experience. We rarely skip the morning latte; it's conservative to assume I make 600 lattes a year, and we've been doing this for six years. A busy barista makes at most 100 a day (plus, of course, a pile of mochas and iced coffees and every other random half-skim half-caf no-whip caramel macchiato a customer asks for). This means I've got over a month of Starbucks-equivalent latte experience!

And I make a killer mocha, too....

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