General Question

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Anyone familiar with the economics of a single serving coffee pot vs. a conventional one?

Asked by jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities (20019points) December 31st, 2009

I want to compare the price of coffee used in a Keurig single cup coffee maker to the price of coffee used in a conventional coffee pot (Just the prices of the coffee, not the makers). Has any jelly switched over to a Keurig coffee maker? Was it more or less expensive to drink the same amount of cups of coffee with the two different types of coffee (K-cups vs. Folgers for example)? Or do you know of any sites that have figured out the comparisons of cost?

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9 Answers

Seek's avatar

Logically speaking, a specialty coffeemaker will probably never be as economical as one that can use any brand of coffee you choose.

Now, I consider myself a coffee snob. I have a few brands I like, and that’s it. Yes, I pay more (usually about $5 per 12 ounce bag), but because the brands I like are available in my grocery store, I have the opportunity to get them on almost monthly “Buy one, get one” offers. That means, I get 2 weeks’ worth of coffee for $2.50.

The specialty coffee that is specific to your maker will never have those deals, because they know full well the users of their product are “fish in a barrel”, as it were, and they have the choice of buying their product or going without.

syz's avatar

We use a Kuerig at work. I think it’s pretty clear that the individual cups are going to be more expensive (although Amazon is getting pretty cheap). But I console myself with the idea that there’s less wasted coffee (no left over, half full pots).

jaytkay's avatar

You motivated me to do a little research, I am pinching pennies lately.

$0.42 per 8 oz cup ($21/50 K-Cups at Amazon with free shipping)
$0.06 per 8 oz cup ($6.00/2 pounds Folgers, typical sale price) *
$0.12 per 8 oz cup ($6.00/pound Trader Joe’s)
$0.24 per 8 oz cup ($12.00/pound Starbucks)

I have a permanent gold filter. Compared to the cost of paper filters it paid for itself a few years ago.
I see there is a permanent filter for the Keurig, too.

* I use a Melitta Take 2 coffee maker ( highly recommended by me, apparently discontinued, but I see them on eBay ). I make a 12 oz cup, and my kitchen scale says I use 12 grams of coffee, so one gram per fluid ounce coffee.

jca's avatar

one thing i don’t like about individual coffee makers like Keurig is that nobody points out the waste of each plastic container that holds the coffee servings. In a society that tries to reduce waste we make a coffee maker that requires little plastic containers that i’m willing to bet a lot of people don’t even recycle.

a great coffee maker is the French Press. I have one by Bodum which is made in France, I think. it requires no filter, therefore, like a gold filter, the oils from the coffee get put into the coffee, giving it bold flavor and texture. Because you use boiling water, or close to boiling, the coffee is as hot as you want to drink it. Other than heating up your water, there is no electricity involved (so i guess it would be a good coffee maker for a camping trip or where there’s a fireplace as the only heat source). and because there are smaller French Presses, you can do individual servings if people want decaf or another type of specialty coffee.

@jaytkay : your research and the breakdowns were great. Good answer to you!!

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

@jca Good point. While it is easy to clean, the waste from the plastic cups is considerable. I’ve tried to make at least two cups of coffee with each K-cup (the second is definitely not as strong) in order to save some money and have less waste. I’m also really considering purchasing one of the permanent Keurig filters that @jaytkay pointed out.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

The coffee maker itself is about $149.00. My Krups 12 cup drip was $49.00 at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

I make two pots of coffee on the weekend, and drink the equivalent of 6 cups (3 mugs full) each time myself, with the other 6 cups being consumed by various others in the household or passing through. I buy $8.99 – 12.00 lb. microroasted beans, from local coffee roasting houses. The value of each pot of coffee is $2.88 per pot x 2×52 weeks = $299.52 + the coffee maker = $350 a year for my coffee habit. With the Keurig, I’d be looking at 12 x .42 = $5.04 per 12 cup pot equivalent x 2×52 = $514.16 + the coffee maker = $670 a year for the equivalent amount of coffee.

Where it would make sense would be if you were in the habit of going to Starbucks every day and getting a grande flavored foo-foo something for $4.50 a cup. Then the equivalent of 3 – 8 oz. K- cups would be a savings. Me, I like my three big mugs of dark roasted coffee with a little milk and sugar. And I like to offer friends a cup. A 12 cup pot isn’t wasted, and we never drink Starbucks, unless traveling.

jca's avatar

has anybody tried the new Starbucks instant coffee that comes in little envelopes? i saw it at Costco but it’s not cheap and i would not buy it if someone didn’t tell me it’s better than regular instant (and i hate regular instant). i would only consider it if someone said it’s pretty close to regular coffee.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

@jca Don’t waste your money, it tastes terrible.

arnbev959's avatar

I just use a tiny percolator that makes 3 cups (ends up filling two coffee mugs).

It’s great for me, since I can never use an entire pot of coffee. The unit is relatively inexpensive, and it can use any kind of coffee.

I don’t know if you’d be interested in using a perc over an electric machine, but I thought I’d throw it out there.

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