Coffee prices, all about what your cup costs you

You know that a coffee at a bistro is around €2, when it’s not more expensive because you’re on the terrace, in Paris or in a tourist eatery. Let’s say €2 a cup all the same. It’s still infinitely cheaper than domestic coffee, whatever form it takes, we agree.

But by the way, how much does a cup of coffee really cost? Is the Nespresso or Nespresso capsule really that advantageous? Is coffee beans so economical, when you have to buy a fairly expensive machine?

To help you see more clearly, we tell you everything about the price of your cup of coffee.

The price of a cup of coffee, but which coffee?

It is complicated to talk about the price of coffee because it is almost impossible to define a coffee. Reading this article, you drink a coffee from the automatic machine in your break room at work while I drink a ground coffee with my Krups.

And then, because I’m always an impatient guy, the next one will be a Nespresso compatible capsule. And, before, when I made filter coffee, I used so much ground that I took out something as strong as a ristretto, but by the litre.

All this to say that we all drink different coffees and that talking to you about the price of coffee comes down to taking a few shortcuts all the same. This is why I explain my biases and methodology after the price table.

Price statement for a cup of coffee

type of coffee

Price per kg

Price per cup

Price per day

Price per month

Price per year

100% Arabica beans

€15/kg

0.10 €/cup

0.40 €

12 €

144 €

Organic Arabica beans

€17/kg

0.12 €/cup

0.48 €

14.4 €

173 €

Beans, specialty coffee

€30/kg

0.20 €/cup

0.80 €

24 €

288 €

Ground coffee

€13/kg

0.125 €/cup

0.50 €

15 €

180 €

Nespresso

70 €/kg

0.42 €/capsule

1.68 €

50 €

600 €

Vertuo

€124/kg

0.75 €/capsule

3 €

90 €

1080 €

Nespresso compatible, online sale lot

€38/kg

0.23 €/capsule

0.92 €

27 €

324 €

Nespresso GMS compatible

€60/kg

0.31 €/capsule

1.24 €

37 €

444 €

Senseo

€15/kg

0.10 €/capsule

0.40 €

12 €

144 €

Dolce Gusto

€35/kg

0.25 €/capsule

€1

30 €

360 €

Tassimo

€45/kg

0.28 €/capsule

1.12 €

33 €

396 €

Methodology notes:

  • I considered 4 coffees per day, 30 days in the month, and 12 months in the year, hence the results rounded to the nearest euro.
  • For the price per kg of the pods, I considered 6g of coffee per pod
  • For the coffee beans, I based myself on the standard of 7g per cup, or 143 cups per kilo.
  • A cup of filter coffee is 12.5 g of grind on average
  • For coffee beans, I have a base price in the supermarket for brands like L’Or, the same for compatible capsules. There are disparities from one distributor to another, and from one brand to another, but minimal
  • The capsules compatible in batches are L’Or purchased by 100 via Amazon subscription
  • If I do not detail the sale price in supermarkets and online (for example for Dolce Gusto type capsules), it is because the difference is not relevant
  • I deliberately omitted the 1st price coffees, for quality reasons, and to differentiate the different supermarkets, the prices being very close to each other.
An investment in a bean machine is much more profitable than in a capsule machine

Notes on the price of coffee

Nespresso, no surprise on the price of your cup

Unsurprisingly, coffee from Nespresso is the most expensive on the market, and this difference is further accentuated with Vertuo capsules, which do not yet have copies on the market. With a capsule at around 40 cents each, we are on a product well above the average, and a cup much more expensive than the other methods.

Nespresso assumes this prize by working on the quality of its products and by marketing communication based around luxury and exclusivity. So it’s no secret that the Nespresso is expensive.

About the price of coffee beans

Coffee purists swear by coffee beans. And for once, the board’s response is heartbreaking. Indeed, I made the choice to take a branded coffee to have the price per kilo. But it remains industrial coffee (L’Or).

If it’s not bad, you don’t necessarily buy a machine with a grinder to put supermarket beans in, but more local or specialty coffee.

So I added a line with specialty coffee beans. I started with an average of €30 per kilo, but that’s a fairly arbitrary price.

Coffee beans remain the most profitable option if you want both quality and a reasonable investment. But the real question is whether it is profitable to switch from coffee pods, let’s admit Nespresso compatible, to switch to coffee beans with a new machine.

Take the example of the Delonghi Magnifica, ideal as an introduction to the world of grain. It is easily found at 300 €, which is also a minimum price to enter the world of grinder espresso without having to regret it with a low-end machine.

The first year, the whole machine plus coffee beans therefore costs you €444 (€300 per machine + €144 of coffee beans) or as much as the consumption of capsules purchased in batches of 10 in supermarkets. If you buy them in bulk on Amazon, you have them for 324 €.

So, depending on how you buy your capsule coffee, you’ll only need 12-18 months to pay for your grinder espresso machine (in this example), and then see monthly savings in the order of almost €40.

There is therefore not much doubt to have on the interest of a grain machine compared to the capsule machine when we look under the prism of the price.

The Delonghi Magnifica is far from being the only machine on the market but the observation is always the same, the machine with grinder is much more profitable than the capsule machine.

If you buy a high-end machine, like a Jura, it will take you longer to get a return on your investment, but that’s the only variable, always considering coffee of similar quality. And a machine of this type is at least an investment for the next 10 years if you maintain it correctly.

The graph below shows you the curve of your expenditure on compatible capsules (purchase in supermarkets) compared with the purchase of a Delonghi Magnifica (300 €) and a Delonghi Dinamica (650 €) and a classic coffee bean .

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The price of coffee, the only argument of the choice?

Of course, it is natural to pay attention to the price of coffee, especially when you multiply your consumption by several daily cups and drink coffee every day.

Nevertheless, you should not look at the choice of your coffee from the sole angle of price because there are many situations that cannot be quantified objectively. For example, we start in the examples with figures above from a calculation carried out with two Delonghi machines.

But if you buy a Jura machine, a brand positioned at the top of the range where few models are below 1000 €, it is because you are looking for excellence in terms of the machine.

In this case, you will not use a large-scale coffee, as in the examples with figures, but rather specialty coffee, purchased from a roaster. It’s a quality you’ll come for before you go for a price.

Similarly, you can choose coffee pods. If Senseo type filter coffee is very affordable, we are far from espresso. But in the pods, there are quality products like L’Or, Illy or even productions from independent roasters like Terra Moka.

We then come to seek a certain quality, but we also buy the simplicity of use with the capsules, at the price of a higher unit price.

We cannot therefore reduce coffee to its simple price even if, from this unique point of view, coffee beans to be ground yourself (mill or grinder espresso machine) is the best answer.

FAQs

What is the cheapest cup of coffee?

The cup made with a grinder espresso and standard commercial coffee is the cheapest. It costs you about 10 cents. Coffee in flexible Senseo-type pods or filter coffee are also very affordable solutions.

What is the most expensive mug?

Coffee in Nespresso capsules, and more particularly the Vertuo range, is the most expensive range on the market with an average of 42 cents and 75 cents respectively per cup.

What is the average price of coffee beans?

In supermarkets, the price per kilo of coffee beans is €15. As soon as you choose a specialty coffee from more artisanal roasters, the prices vary enormously depending on the quality and can easily reach 50 €/kg.