How much does a cup of coffee cost when I

by Pam
(Hudson, NY)

Coffee brewed at home costs as little at 27 cents a cup.

Coffee brewed at home costs as little at 27 cents a cup.


Like many families, we are trying to cut our costs a little. We enjoy our gourmet coffee, but want to know whether we are paying too much and, if we are, how we can cut back a little.



Pam, hi

That’s a great question, especially given today’s economic climate. You’re definitely not alone in examining your household budget, particularly when it comes to non-essential items. (Although in my case, I might classify coffee as being essential!)

First off, there is no doubt that coffee prices have been going up over the last couple of years. The roasters are paying more for green beans, and then passing those costs down the line. So we all end up paying more for our coffee.

OK, now let’s figure out how much each cup of coffee actually costs.

I did a little sleuthing and looked up today’s prices across a few different coffees.

Here is my list (Prices are per pound, for ground coffee):

Starbucks Caffe Verona – $12.95

Peet’s French Roast – $14.50

Green Mountain Coffee Vermont Country Blend (24 K-Cups) – $14.99

Maxwell House Original Roast – $7.98 (Walmart price)for 30.6 ounces (About 2 pounds.)

So, if you are truly desperate, you can buy Maxwell House coffee from Walmart. But if you love good coffee, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Let’s look at the gourmet coffees and, between Starbucks and Peet’s, split the difference and say that a pound of ground coffee costs $13.

Now, according to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, one pound of coffee is enough to make 48 6-ounce cups of coffee.

That comes to about 27 cents a cup.

Compare that to what you pay at a coffee shop, and you can see that one of the biggest savings you can make is to brew your coffee at home. If you want some coffee for your drive to work, put it in an insulated travel mug.

Now let’s look at the K-Cups. The prices differ from coffee to coffee, but $14.99 is a pretty average price. You get 24 K-Cups for that price, which means 24 cups of coffee.

Do the math and you’ll see that means you are paying about 67 cents a cup.

If you want to save money, I would skip the fancy one-cup coffee makers and go back to using a drip brewer or percolator. Then buy some decent coffee and pay just 27 cents a cup, which isn’t so bad.

And you can reduce that price further by looking for deals, clipping coupons or buying in bulk.

As a desperate measure you can buy Maxwell House and pay only about 8 cents per cup.

I hope this helps a little.


Other pages on the site you might find interesting:

How to save on the price of K-cup Coffee.

Which is the best inexpensive coffee?

Cheaper coffee – how to enjoy gourmet specialty coffee at reasonable prices.

If the coffee you once loved is no longer hitting the spot, try one of our Coffee Detective gourmet coffees.

Yes, we have our own coffees!

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You can find our complete collection of coffees at the Coffee Detective Gourmet Coffee Store.

But feel free to start here, with a choice from a few of our favorite coffees – whole bean or ground.

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