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You might be wondering if you can save some money by grinding your own coffee beans? Is that true and how much can you save? Here’s what you want to know.
Grinding your own coffee beans is not cheaper than buying pre-ground coffee beans since they usually sell for the same price. However, grinding your own beans can improve your coffee to a coffeeshop level quality. Making coffee at home is much cheaper than buying in a coffeeshop.
Let’s get into why you should consider grinding your own beans and how much you can save.
Is Grinding Your Own Beans Cheaper?
Whole beans are generally not cheaper than pre-ground beans. And since you would have to buy a coffee grinder to grind whole beans before you can use them, it’s actually more expensive.
You would think that buying whole beans and grinding them yourself would be a bit cheaper since there is less work that has to be done. However, in general shops will sell whole beans for the same price as ground beans provided they’re the same type and quality.
In the supermarket there is generally no price difference and in specialty shops they usually grind the beans for free to order.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t good reasons to grind your own beans though.
Grinding your own beans;
- Makes tastier coffee: More on that below.
- Allows you to use different brew methods: Different brew methods require different grind sizes. A pre-ground bag of coffee is only one size so is only right for one type of brewing. If you like to brew different types of coffee, having a bag of whole beans and grinding to the right size is much easier and more efficient.
Does Grinding Increase Coffee Quality?
So while it’s not cheaper to grind your own beans, you do get another benefit. The taste of the coffee you get from grinding fresh will be a massive upgrade over pre-ground coffee. You’ll notice a much more fragrant cup of coffee with a deeper taste after switching.
Whole beans stay fresh longer than pre-ground coffee. After roasting volatile compounds are created in the beans that then slowly leak out. Once a good part of the smell and taste has evaporated, the beans are stale.
When you grind the beans, there is suddenly a lot more surface area through which the taste and smells can evaporate and so it goes stale faster.
That means that pre-ground coffee is nowhere near as fragrant as it could be. Even if it’s only ground two days ago. So since whole beans generally cost the same as pre-ground beans, you do get a big taste upgrade. You only need to pay for a coffee grinder.
A decent hand grinder like the TimeMore C2/C3 Is less than a $100 (Amazon) and will last many years. Spending a few cents a day for better tasting and smelling coffee every day is a good deal.
Alternatively, go to a local coffeeshop that sells beans and ask them to grind it for you. This way it’ll be fresher than in the supermarket. Usually they’ll do this for free if you buy the beans from them.
Is Grinding Beans Cheaper Than Going To a Coffeeshop?
Where you get a much bigger saving is if you replace going to a coffeeshop with making coffee at home. The problem is that most people prefer coffeeshops because they are convenient and make better tasting coffee.
With grinding your own coffee, you can likely get close to coffeeshop quality coffee but for a lot less money.
A Grande Americano from Starbucks is about $3.50 without any extras. $3.50 a day is about $1277 over a year.
If you were to make a similar drink at home your could do make a 16 oz. Pour over. Here’s what you need:
- 26.6 grams of coffee a day/9.8 kilo a year.: This is 19.2 18oz. bags of Starbucks coffee beans (Amazon) which we’ll round up to 20 bags. If you buy single bags, they go for about $14 a piece which means $280 a year for just the beans.
- Pour over cone: A plastic Hario V60 costs about $10 and works very well, you can find it here on Amazon
- Paper filters: Filters for a V60 cost about 6 cents a piece if you buy in bulk (Amazon link). This is $21.90 a year.
- Coffee grinder: A good hand grinder like the TimeMore C2 (Amazon) costs about $65.
$280+$10+$21.90+$65= $367.90 for a whole year of coffee. That’s $909 less than going to Starbucks. In other words, making coffee at home costs just over a dollar a day. It’s actually less than a dollar a day since the grinder and cone will easily last five years. If you take that into account, homemade freshly ground coffee costs about $0.87 per 16 oz serving.
That’s obviously a massive saving and even if you would buy premium coffee beans that cost double of what Starbucks’ cost, it still saves you enough money to buy a pretty fancy coffee maker at the end of the year. Buying an automatic espresso machine would also give you the convenience of a coffee shop since you only have to push the button.