Is my home espresso worth the investment?

Picture this: it's early morning, and the world is still wrapped in a cozy blanket of silence. The only thing I crave at this moment is a steaming cup of espresso – rich, aromatic, and invigorating. But there's a catch. Like many coffee lovers, I've often found myself torn between that deep desire for a daily dose of caffeinated bliss and the relentless drain on my wallet. So, I decided it was time to embark on a journey to see if I could recreate that café-quality espresso right at home and, more importantly, whether it would be a sound financial decision in the long run. That was me, 5 years ago.

We've all been there – standing in line at the local café, the comforting hum of the espresso machine in the background, and the anticipation of that perfect shot. But as I handed over 2.50€ for a single espresso, I couldn't help but do some quick mental math. Multiply that by my daily ritual, and I realized that my caffeine indulgence was becoming a costly habit.

Enter the espresso machine – that shiny, gleaming appliance that promised to bring the café experience right into my kitchen. The one I had my eye on, the ECM Classika PID, came with an original price tag of 1,300€. It might sound like a hefty investment, but stay with me here. I was able get the machine together with a coffee grinder for 1,300€ on Ebay so the machine itself maybe cost me one grand.

For each shot of espresso I brewed at home for the last years, I calculated the cost to be approximately 5.29€ cents for electricity:

  1. The cost of one kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity is 31.42€ cents.
  2. My coffee machine consumes 0.11365 kWh to brew a perfect espresso.
    • It takes 74.12 watt-hours (Wh) to heat up the coffee machine and an additional 3.53 Wh to brew the espresso and fill my cup.

Cost per Espresso = (Energy to Brew + Energy to Heat Up) × Cost of 1 kWh

Cost per Espresso = (0.11365 kWh + 0.07412 kWh) × 0,3142€

Cost per Espresso ≈ 0,0529€

That’s good, I guess... right? I don’t know honestly. Well, determine to make this venture a success, I regularly purchase 500 grams of the finest espresso beans from my cherished local café for 14€. That may sound like a lot, but each espresso doppio I brew only requires about 14 grams of beans. So, I did the math and soon realized that I had enough beans to whip up approximately 36 espressos – quite the coffee stash for my daily fix! Hence, there is another formula coming into play:

Cost of Espresso Beans per Espresso = Cost of 500g Beans / Number of Espressos per 500g

Cost of Espresso Beans per Espresso = 14€ / 36 Espressos

Cost of Espresso Beans per Espresso ≈ 0.39€

Now, let's update the calculation of the total cost per espresso, factoring in the cost of electricity, coffee beans:

Total Cost per Espresso = (Cost of Electricity + Cost of Espresso Beans)

Total Cost per Espresso = (0.0529€ + 0.39€os)

Total Cost per Espresso = 0.4429€ per Espresso

So, with the updated cost of espresso beans, each espresso brewed at home now costs approximately 0.4429€.

This new calculation takes into account the cost of both electricity and the espresso beans, making it a more comprehensive estimate of the price for one espresso.

Now, let's talk numbers. I make 2 espressos a day at home, which should translate into some notable savings, right? Well, not quite from the beginning... We forgot one small side factor in our calculations, namely the coffee machine itself. Hence, we have to take the original price into account as well.

So, let's revisit that 2.50€ café price and do some more math.

Savings per Espresso = Cost of Cafe Espresso - Cost of Self-made Espresso

Savings per Espresso = 2.50€ - 0.4426€

Savings per Espresso = 2.0574€

Now, to determine how many espressos you need to brew to recoup the cost of the machine, divide the cost of the machine by your savings per espresso:

Espressos to Recoup Investment = Cost of Espresso Machine / Savings per Espresso

Espressos to Recoup Investment = 1,300€ / 2.0574€ per espresso

Espressos to Recoup Investment ≈ 631.62

So, you would need to brew approximately 632 espressos at home to recoup the cost of your espresso machine, assuming you continue to save 2.0574€ per espresso compared to buying from a cafe.

Here's where perspective comes into play. While my espresso machine may not be a magic money-saving device, it offers something invaluable – an investment in my daily routine and my personal satisfaction. It's the convenience of crafting a perfect cuppa in my pajamas, no matter the weather outside. It's the joy of experimenting with different beans and the pride of perfecting the brew. It's my own little morning ritual that sets the tone for the day.

So, is my home espresso worth the investment? Absolutely! But it's not about the immediate financial returns; it's about the long-term journey filled with flavorful dividends. It's about realizing that sometimes, the real value lies beyond the price tag. Cheers to café-quality espresso at home, however I choose to savor it!

espresso machine