Is home roasting coffee worth it? From a pure economic perspective, the answer is undoubtedly yes. Let’s run through the numbers.
Assuming that you are using an inexpensive set-up, then we’ll negate the cost of the roasting equipment. From my previous blog post, there are plenty of ways to get started roasting for under $20.
Although SweetMarias.com is not the cheapest source of beans, it’s probably the most reliable. We’ll use the average cost of coffee from Sweet Maria’s as $6.25 / lb, based on the cost of an 8 lb sampler pack (one of the cheaper options) plus $10 shipping.
We’ll assume 15% content loss for the beans, which is fairly standard, although darker roasts may see 20%. This puts us at $7.25 / lb.
Comparison with Other Coffee
For $7.25 a pound, you’ll have some great, freshly roasted coffee. In my experience, this is about $3 cheaper than the “big names coffees” like Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Peet’s at the Grocery Store, which tend to be over roasted and stale. For example, Starbucks is selling on Amazon for roughly $10 / lb. Assuming that you go through a pound a week (as I do), the savings would total roughly $150 a year to drink better coffee!
Compared to specialty coffee, the cost savings are astronomical! And let’s be honest, the alternative for most home roasters is buying craft coffee at a local coffee shop. My local coffee shop sells Amaya Roasting beans for $17 per 12 oz. bag. That puts the cost of a pound at roughly $22.50.
( $22.50 / lb – $7.25 / lb ) * 52 lbs / year = $793 a year in savings!
Those $793 can go a long ways towards a nice home roaster…