The Art of Coffee |October 30, 2023

What Does My 100% Kona Coffee Cost Per Cup?

As the pinch of inflation permeates into our daily lives, we often take a second look at the things in our lives and decide whether they need to stay or go. If you add up all of the little increases in everything we consume, it can really add up, and then we have to prioritize.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us nationwide averages for consumer goods:

Dozen Eggs…… June 2020- $1.55 June 2023- $2.22      +43%
Gallon Milk……June 2020-$3.20 June 2023- $3.99       +24%
Gallon Gas………June 2020 – $2.08 June 2023 – $3.71   +78%
Utilities (therm) June 2020- $1.04 June 2023- $1.37     +31%

I look at these numbers above and while the difference between $1.04 to $1.37 seems small (33 cents) it is a 31% increase in price! When a Subway sandwich costs you $15 a person and a quick stop to buy the kids some ice cream is $40, the world seems to be spinning out of control.

We also have seen every cost associated with farming coffee rise, from fertilizer to transportation, bags, labels, labor costs, and insurance, to name just a few. If you do that percentage cost increase for each item it seems insane.  On the production side as well as a consumer myself, inflation is stressful, erodes the value of our dollars, and forces us to restructure our budgets.  

So I thought I would explore a question that we are often asked…how many cups of coffee can I get from a pound and how much per cup?

First…Some Price Comparisons

1 Gallon of Milk makes 21 – 6oz cups.
The average cost for a gallon of milk is about $5
The cost per 6oz cup is about 24 cents. (a great value!)

Coca-Cola or Pepsi-Cola is a fun example. If you buy it on sale at Walmart you can bring your cost per can to 40-50 cents…regular price is about 72 cents a can. Yet how many of us buy from vending machines at the airport at $3-4 a bottle? If you were at a New York Mets game you paid $6.75 for your Pepsi. A Reddit user claims they paid $8.49 for a Pepsi at the Taylor Swift concert in Seattle.

3 Liters (101.4 FL oz) of Ocean Spray Cranberry juice at Walmart is $10.99. You can get about 17 – 6 oz cups of juice. The cost per cup is about 65 cents a cup.

Red Bull, the Blue Edition, comes in 12oz cans. You can order a case of 24 for $47.48 and get 48 6 oz cups. The cost per 6oz cup is 98 cents…but more commonly $1.96 a can.

A standard bottle of wine is 25 fluid ounces. You can get just over 4 – 6 ounce glasses of wine from a bottle. A popular Kendall Jackson goes for $14.99 a bottle so the cost per glass is $3.75.

If you go out on the town and order a Mojito, depending on where you are, you are looking at $10-15 for 2 oz of white rum, 4-5 oz of sparkling water with lime juice, mint, and sugar. Let’s say the cost per glass is $12.50.

I lay out these numbers to show that we pay very different prices for different beverages depending on the situation, the time of day, and the joy that they bring us. It is all about perceived value.

I don’t know about you…but I love coffee and not the cheap stuff. I have developed a connoisseur’s sense for really good coffee and will not settle for the coffee that tastes mediocre, pollutes the environment, and mistreats those who grow it.

So, what are the numbers?

I drink a 6oz cup in the morning, using a 16:1 ratio of water to grounds. If I buy one pound (453.5 grams) of really good coffee for $60, and I need 10.5 grams of coffee per 6-ounce cup, that means that I can get 43 cups of coffee per pound of beans. My cost per cup is $1.40. 

This is what Greenwell Farms 100% Kona Coffee Costs Today
Greenwell Farms 1 LB Full City Roast $52 = $1.21 per 6 oz cup.
Chocolate Mac Nut 1 LB $53 = $1.23 per 6 oz cup.
Greenwell Farms Private Reserve 1 LB $58 = $1.35 per 6 oz cup.

What Our Coffee Club Members Pay (15% Discount)
Greenwell Farms 1 LB Full City Roast $44.20= $1.03 per 6 oz cup.
Chocolate Mac Nut 1 LB $45.05 = $1.05 per 6 oz cup.
Greenwell Farms Private Reserve 1 LB $49.30 = $1.15 per 6 oz cup.

Especially when I know I am getting the highest quality, 100% Kona Coffee from a multiple award-winning farm that engages in sustainable practices and gives exceptional care to every detail at every step of the process…it is still a good value for me. In the end, this is a very personal thing, everyone sees and spends their money differently. Just know that a McCafe at the drive-thru will cost you $1.58.

At a buck to a buck-twenty per cup for really great 100% Kona Coffee, I just might have a second cup.

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