• Buying coffee daily costs over $1,000 per year
  • Make your own fav coffee for just pennies a cup
  • Enjoy the process and make it a relaxing ritual
Coffee is the fuel of choice for millions of people worldwide. In fact, just in the US alone, more than 450 million cups of java are served every single day.

With Starbucks, McDonalds, Coffee Bean, Dunkin’ Donuts and your local neighborhood independent coffee shops, you can get a cup o’joe pretty much within a mile of wherever you are right now.

For many of us, stopping by our usual coffee spot in the morning is part of our daily commute. A lot of times, we’ll go to the same place, at the same time and order the same drink.

And, if you do it often enough, the barista will recognize you as you’re walking in and they’ll get your drink order started before you even get to the counter. Even better is when the drink is ready right as you’re walking in - that’s so awesome.

What isn’t so awesome is the cost of the coffee.

These days a regular cup of coffee runs around $3 including tax. And, this is the normal standard coffee.

If you get one of those specialty concoctions, it can knock you back as much as $5 for that cup. Throw in some extra shots of espresso or other add-ins and that cup of coffee can easily exceed the price of a Subway sandwich.

Buying a cup of coffee daily doesn’t seem like much of a big cost. What’s a few bucks, right?

And for many of us, getting that morning joe is a nice little luxury treat.

However, if you do this 7 days a week for the entire year, you’ll easily be dropping over $1,000 a year on coffee.


Now, we know that cutting out your cafe visit 100% is not realistic. We all want and need that little escape sometimes.

And we also know that drinking the free office coffee tastes like shit sometimes.

So, what we’re proposing is a new morning routine during the work week and saving the cafe visits for the weekends.

This means brewing up your fav coffee at the office rather than buying it to help you save money while still giving you all the roasty coffee goodness that you want and need to kick start your day.

How Much You Can Save By Making Your Own Coffee

With any products or services, the more that is done for you, the more it will cost.

For example, if you buy an office desk and then hire a handyman to assemble it for you, it will cost much more than doing it yourself.

And sometimes, it’s totally worth it. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of putting together a big BBQ grill or some Ikea furniture, you know exactly what we’re talking about.

You are paying a premium for the extra value provided by the handyman.

It’s no different with your coffee.

That barista behind the counter is working all sorts of machines for you so that you don’t have to do anything except pay and sip your wonderful java.

(Credit: Instachaaz)

This kind of convenience comes at a cost.

When you take over some or all of the work, that’s when you save money. Add in the fact that you can buy the ingredients in bulk and you’ll be saving even more.

The cheapest way to get your coffee buzz is to make it yourself with instant, whole or ground beans from your fav roaster or brand.

An average bag of coffee beans weighs 12oz. and makes between 60-80 8oz cups or about 30-40 cups if you’re drinking from a large mug.

Some of the cheapest bags of beans can be found for about $5 to $7. It’s usually the generic stuff. A decently good tasting bag of coffee can be had for about $10. And your specialty beans from Starbucks or other independent roasters can cost twice as much, up to $20 a bag and sometimes more.

So, if we use $10 as our basis for a good quality bag of beans, you can have coffee for about $0.25 per cup or less depending on the size of your mug.

You’d be spending less than $100 a year on coffee by brewing your own versus over $1,000 by buying it daily - that’s a huge difference.

Brew Your Own Coffee (BYOC) Options

There are a bunch of different ways to make your own coffee at work.

Some people like the convenience of instant coffee while others prefer ground beans. Some like to use a simple automatic drip coffee machine while others enjoy a more manual and methodical process.

And that’s the beauty of this. Everyone can have their own way and preference of making and drinking their coffee.

And if you take on a little more effort in the process, you’ll be rewarded with some glorious tasting java.

The key here is to make it fresh and don’t reheat old coffee in the microwave.

We’ve put together some of the most popular single serving brewing options along with their pros and cons.

1. French Press - For Full-Bodied Taste

You’ve seen these small coffee presses at hip cafes and brunch spots. It’s usually a glass jar that holds a mixture of ground beans and hot water.

The lid incorporates a metal mesh screen with an attached plunger that you push down into the mixture to filter the grinds from the brew.

For this method, it’s best to use coarse to medium ground coffee that won’t get past the metal mesh screen. Most pre-ground coffee you buy today uses a medium grind but some of the finer grinds can get past the filter.

Also, it’s important to keep an eye on the brewing time so that you don’t over-brew it, which can result in a more bitter taste.

Watch this short 2-minute clip and you’ll pick it up, no problem.

VIDEO: How to make a French Press Coffee
YOUTUBE: French Press Coffee
LENGTH: 2:12
For those that like a full-bodied flavor profile, a French press is the way to go.

Given all factors of cost, convenience and taste, we think this is one of the best ways to make full-bodied tasting coffee at work.

  • Makes robust flavorful coffee
  • No paper filters needed
  • Doesn’t require electricity
  • Can adjust brewing amounts/time to suit taste
  • Takes time to brew a good cup
  • Requires cleaning after each use
  • Filter won't catch ultra-fine grinds
  • Takes up desk/drawer storage space
  • About 4-6 minutes

2. Aeropress - For The Efficiency Minded

This is actually a brand and it uses a similar principle of pressure and a filter to make coffee. It’s just doing it from a different approach.

In the above French press method, you’re pushing a metal mesh filter through the coffee grind mixture. In this process, you’re pushing the mixture through a paper filter element.

This process takes a bit of careful skill since you’re balancing the press above your cup or mug while pressing downward. It can get a little sketchy. So, be sure to have a solid base and mug when using this process.

Watch this 1-minute clip and you’ll see what we mean.

VIDEO: How To Use An Aeropress
YOUTUBE: Black Rifle Coffee Company
LENGTH: 1:13
One of the best things about the Aeropress (besides making great coffee) is the fact that the press is compact and virtually indestructible since it’s mostly plastic.

The biggest detraction is that you’ll need to use and continually replenish the small round paper filters.

  • Makes great tasting coffee
  • Small, compact and portable
  • Won’t break or shatter like glass
  • Doesn’t require electricity
  • Need to use/buy paper filters
  • A little tricky to use
  • Hard to clean the inside
  • About 4-6 minutes

3. Instant Freeze Dried - For Speed & Ease

This is by far the easiest, quickest and cheapest way to make your own coffee at work.

Instant coffee is coffee that has been previously brewed and then dehydrated to form coffee crystals. This can then be rehydrated with hot water to make coffee.

There’s no waiting around for the coffee to brew. It’s ready to drink the moment it’s stirred in with hot water. And for this benefit, there’s a compromise in taste quality and a little less caffeine, which may be good for some folks. 😉

Here in the US, instant coffee doesn’t have a good reputation, mostly because of the inferior taste to freshly brewed coffee. And because of this, instant coffee only makes up about 10% of coffee consumed in the US, while in the rest of the world, it’s more than 50%.

A more recent kind of instant coffee is the “all-in-one” coffee packs. These are single serving packets that contain instant coffee, powdered creamer and sugar. Just dump the contents into your mug, pour some hot water and voila, coffee.

  • Instant coffee
  • Long shelf-life
  • No clean up
  • Inexpensive
  • Not as tasty as brewed coffee
  • Less caffeine than brewed coffee
  • None, it’s instant

4. Keurig Coffee Pods - For Taste & Convenience

Coffee pods were popularized by Keurig’s single serving coffee machines. In fact, their K-pods have become so popular now that you can probably get your favorite coffee in K-pods at your local Target, Walmart or supermarket.

These pods aim to offer the best of both worlds - the great taste of freshly brewed coffee and the ultimate convenience of instant.

And by most people's opinions, they do deliver on that aim.

The biggest issues that we have with this option is that the machines can be expensive, the cost of pods adds up and the used up pods create waste.

  • Fast brewing time
  • Makes tasty coffee
  • Easy and convenient
  • Minimal clean-up
  • Need to buy coffee machine
  • Requires electricity & desk space
  • Expensive K-pods
  • Generates more waste
  • 2-3 minutes

5. Pour Over Funnel - For The Connoisseur 

For those of you that enjoy the process of brewing coffee, this is right up your alley.

Essentially, you’re acting like an auto-drip machine by manually slow dripping hot water through coffee grinds. It’s the most time consuming option on this list.

This option requires an electric gooseneck water kettle and a pour over funnel along with paper filters.

The coffee grinds are put into a cone paper filter in the funnel and then placed on top of your mug. Then, you slowly drip pour your hot water over the grinds, soaking all areas thoroughly, but slowly.

The hot water will release all the flavors of the coffee grinds and the filtered coffee then exits out the bottom of the funnel directly into your cup.

For some people, this slow process can be a meditative and calming experience. For others, it could be an infuriatingly slow ordeal.

Watch this 2-minute clip and you’ll see why.

VIDEO: How to make Single Serve Pour Over Coffee
YOUTUBE: French Press Coffee
LENGTH: 2:10
  • Easy clean up
  • Makes great coffee
  • Requires constant attention
  • Need to buy an electric gooseneck kettle
  • Need to buy pour over funnel & filters
  • Takes awhile to brew a cup
  • 4-6 minutes

6. Coffee “Tea Bag” Singles - For Milder Tastes

If you've ever wondered why coffee isn’t available in the same way like a tea bag is, you’re not the only one.

We love the idea of just dropping in a coffee tea bag into a cup of hot water and getting great tasting coffee fast. But, in actuality, it falls a bit short.

Here’s why.

In one standard cup of tea, a regular tea bag is sufficient to make flavorful tea. However, that same size tea bag for coffee grinds just isn’t enough. You need to use 2 coffee bags to make decent tasting coffee - at least to the same level as normally brewed coffee.

Next, to extract all the great flavors from coffee grinds, hot water needs to flow through the grinds consistently at around 200 degrees. A teabag style method just doesn’t provide this same kind of flow at a consistently high temp.

And while you can just double up on the bags and steep it for longer, you end up with a slightly more flavorful but less full-bodied tasting coffee.

So, why are we even mentioning this here?

Well, some folks don’t like strong coffee but prefer milder varieties and using coffee bags are a great way to get mild coffee fast without all the fuss of brewing. All you need to do is steep it just like tea.

If you’re part of this camp, you should try brewing cofftea, a mix of coffee and tea. It’s pretty damn good.

  • Great for mild coffee drinkers
  • No clean up
  • Must use 2-3 bags for normal taste levels
  • Oversteeping results in more bitterness
  • 4-6 minutes

7. Automatic Drip - For Anyone & Everyone

The product that really kicked-off the automatic coffee machine for the masses is none other than Mr. Coffee.

Before the introduction of Mr. Coffee in the early 1970’s, the way most people brewed coffee was using a percolator stovetop kettle. This basically recirculated boiled water over the grinds until it was taken off the stove and poured. It made real bitter coffee.

With Mr. Coffee, you had a fully automated way of making great-tasting coffee.

In today’s modern terms, it’s like having an automatic machine that combines the careful and thorough process of a pour-over funnel and the automated convenience of using a k-pod.

As the price of these machines came down, they quickly became a ubiquitous countertop appliance across millions of homes around the world.

Today, you can pick up a personal size auto-drip machine for under $30 easily and keep it at your desk at work. Think of it as the old-school way to the more trendy Keurig machines.

  • Auto-brew simplicity
  • Consistent taste
  • Cheap machines
  • Needs electricity
  • Requires paper filters
  • Takes up desk space
  • 4-6 minutes

You Can Have Both - Save Money & Enjoy Great Coffee

Making your own coffee at work doesn’t mean that you have to drink cheap nasty stuff. You can easily make great-tasting coffee at work that will soothe your soul without having to spend a lot of money.

It all starts with changing up your morning routine by replacing the usual visit or drive thru at the coffee shop and making it at work instead.

So, when you’re doing your food shopping this week, buy some of your favorite coffee and follow one of the options above.

Saving money and making your own awesome coffee is a great way to start the day.

And this little positive habit change may even motivate you to start packing lunch instead of going out to save even more cash.

It’s these kinds of little changes that can lead to better things.

Feel Better,

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