How much do you spend on your cafe coffee?

Hi everyone

We’re updating some content on the CHOICE website around how much you can save by making your coffee at home with a coffee machine vs buying from a cafe.

Given coffee prices have increased so much, we’d love to hear from you all as to how much you’ve been paying for your latte of late.

If you have a few minutes, could you please fill in our quick 7-question survey here.

Thank you!


Typically coffees come in 3 sizes. Small, regular or large. Although there seems to to be some variation as to what a regular size is. Recent travels to Newcastle and Sydney compared with Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast suggest the regular size varies and large at home is more an extra large down south. Some large are 3 shots, others are 2 with the option to top up an extra shot for 50c. The average cost now twice what we paid 10 years ago.

Is a shot the same everywhere? Possibly, but not all coffees are equal. Quantity vs quality vs preferential taste? An interesting survey, hope it is a success. There is no such thing as a bad coffee. :yum:


The place we patronise about once every 2 months, on the highway, offers small (that’s about a half cup), regular, large & extra large. Mr Z gets a quarter strength large flat white, and that’s $6.50 regardless of strength. The capacity of the large is 500ml (that’s filled to the brim with water) but coffee volume would be less, given froth, gap to the lid.

10th coffee is free. We might get one this year!

They only provide “takeaway” cups with lids, even for in-cafe dining, and only packaged snacks. I don’t think they have a food preparation licence with Council or room to wash dishes. Most tables are on the footpath. My gripe is the recycle triangle symbol on the cup. It only refers to the outer sleeve being made from recycled paper and not to the cup being able to be recycled.


Zip - don’t drink coffee and am a tea drinker. I don’t visit cafes as I refuse to pay upwards of $5 for a cup of tea using a teabag.


Melbourne - usually good instant coffee, but will go to our local beach cafe perhaps weekly, and get a superb 3 shot rich hot latte for $5.50 with a great view. The survey only caters for double shots - should allow you to put in the number or your “size” vs $ analysis won’t make sense. Also different outlets have different sized cups that they call different things.

For us coffee is medicine. Liver specialist prescribes 4 cups per day to reduce fatty liver. Getting rid of 3 shots in one good cup is luxury.


Going out for coffee has always been a social activity for me, a reason to catch up with friends. The lockdowns in Vic. did put a stop to that for a long time and when we emerged, we found that the price of coffee has almost doubled.
When we consider that a Latte is one part coffee to three parts milk, and a Cappuccino is one part coffee, one part milk, one part froth, what we are paying for is actually milk and steam and air! I much prefer the coffee I make at home with my Moka Express.

A bad Barista can make bad coffee, my last bought coffee at what used to be my favourite place was nearly cold, watery, and the milk was a second from going off.

Me too! Not ordering tea in coffee lounges anymore after being served a tepid, bland, teabag infused cup of tea, a few times


Pre-roasted coffee beans cost $15 - 100 per kilo. Higher price does not necessarily mean “better” beans. It might mean much fresher. It might be some other reason. You’d assume cafes would use a better quality - or at least a more consistent quality - of bean. Assume around $30/kilo.

A single shot uses 8-16 grams (depending on the machine). A small latte will have around 140ml of steamed milk. A commercial coffee machine with E61 group heads will use around 16 grams per single shot, to produce around 32 grams (mls) of espresso. This will fill a 200 ml glass cup.

Ingredients of the coffee cost around 50c and 20c for the beans and milk. Add 20c for the cup. The real cost is rent, labour, electricity (3 phase power), capital store fit-out and equipment. In some cafes, the coffee machine is supplied (leased) by the bean supplier.

That’s what you’re paying for. You get fairly quick, relatively consistent, commercial grade coffee.

If you want better coffee than you get from a cafe, but a good home coffee machine - e.g. a single boiler (with heat exchanger) with an E61 group head and a PID to control the temperature. Add a good quality grinder with fine grind adjustment. If you make 2 coffees per day, 300 days per year for 5 years, and do your own equipment maintenance (cleaning and descaling) your $2,500 machine costs less than $1 per coffee. It should last much longer, so the rest are free. If you price in your time, you may be surprised…the cafe will probably be cheaper…

I still make my own coffee mostly.


Cost of production is factored in by any business and a profit margin is also added. Coffee is considered to have one of the biggest mark-up in the industry. People are willing to pay for the convenience. A lot would depend on personal disposable income I guess. Buying a cup of coffee from a coffee lounge could became a status symbol?


Not more than that on a cup of tea? There are some great but very expensive leaf teas if one knows where to go. Fortunately no need to predigest in some animal as is done for one blend of coffee bean.

Similar on markups can be said of many other eat or drink out and take away options. Should I start a rival topic on the price of beer or wine by the glass at the local. Always cheaper as take away unopened, and certainly far cheaper if you make your own. Worth considering on a Friday night the entertainment at the pub is unlikely to be performing for nought.

So many of the little things in life we see as expenses have intangible values. Worth more to some than others. There’s a value for some of us in making the effort to go out, to stroll the street, and to dream of things free of the every day shackles of the home over a long macchiato. Coffee is one of my escapes, available nearly everywhere I find myself each morning. Hopefully the benefits extend to delaying the decline into older age, and we don’t become hermits. Regardless happiness comes with the first sip where ever it is.


Imagine having to say to your guests that there is no coffee today because your civet is constipated.


What a tribute to a cup of coffee! Not sure if you’re waxing poetically or philosophically :wink:


I thought that title went to garlic bread…


Pain a l’àil (that American thing like Spaghetti and meatballs) might be worth it for those who like a lot of space around them? :wink:


Coffee & tea at the cafe is about $1.50 - $2.50 with a cup or mug, dearer if you get a setting with pot, milk, sugar bowl, cups for two.

The difference with the Coffee Shop is the theatre that comes with the Barista & staff. Ours does the full tipping from a great height, noisy frothing, dusting or making ferns or faces on the froth, flourishing the cup as though making a sacrificial offering etc. Until last month they had a lass who remembered everyone’s name and usual. Not been there for 3 months, she greeted me by name and asked if I wanted my “usual” and was he with me and wanting his? That’s worth coming back for. If you were lonely or bored $6.50 is probably worth it for the mental boost.


I only ever get it when I’m out for brunch with a friend… in restaurants it seems to be between $4 and $5. I never buy takeaway coffee anymore, I prefer my own, filtered. I’ve developed a complete distaste for “espresso” and the rest.


I have a coffee in the morning at home using a plunger.

Occasionally the wife woman and I might go out for a hot date over a cuppa (or an icecream). Other than that we hardly ever have coffee out, usually only if we have a chance encounter with a friend, or an acquaintence that we wouldn’t normally see.

I scored 0. What is the score about @Pru?


I drink a lot of coffee a day. I once bought a Gaggia espresso coffee machine 13 years ago, have looked after it well since then and it still makes excellent coffee. And so I do it like “Captjack” and drink coffee 95% of the time at home.

But if I’m in a nice café somewhere with a cosy or attractive atmosphere and they brew good coffee, then I’m also prepared to spend good money. In addition to the good coffee, I also pay for the surroundings. And then the price is not quite as important to me.

I can’t imagine drinking a coffee in the middle of a shopping centre with the normal mixture of different types of music coming from different sources at the same time. And especially not if the coffee comes in a paper cup that you can throw away. And if I “had to” (e.g. because a friend would like it), I would certainly not spend more than about 4 dollars on it.


I VISIT MY local credit union , they supply an automatic coffee machine for their customers. With 7 varieties of coffee, I BRING MY OWN CUP, use 1 of 4 IPADS to do my banking and business, free coffee tastes so much better, THANK you, BHCCU.


Me too. Perhaps we are failed as coffee drinkers.


So did I!

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