Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Starbucks Lattes at Home

As of today, Starbucks is raising their prices about a dime. Does it make sense to buy an espresso machine instead? With a Starbucks Grande Latte running at about $4.40 before the addition of bells and whistles like flavors, extra shots, or soy milk, it certainly might. Let’s compare.

My co-worker brought this one in for us to use.

Grande Starbucks Latte: $4.40.
Once a week for a year: $228.80.

Gallon of milk: $3.93.
Pound of espresso from Starbucks: $12.99. (When it is purchased in-store, Starbucks will give you a free tall cup of coffee. Some stores even do a free tall latte, so be sure to ask.)

The cost of a home-made Grande Latte is about 82¢, meaning that if just one latte a week is made at home instead of purchased out, the annual savings is $186.16, not including the cost of the machine.

I used to use this type regularly on my stove top.
It requires a bit more hands-on time, but is simple to use.
Clearly, when we pay $4.40 for a latte that costs 82¢ to make, we are paying a very high convenience fee. But by considering the benefits of making a latte at home, we may choose to forgo that convenience fee. Many of the benefits come from being able to choose the ingredients that go into the latte. One can choose to use milk, soy milk, lactose-free milk, or even almond milk. If the espresso maker doesn’t come with a wand for steaming milk, a whisk in a small pot works just as well, so either way, one can choose just how much foam she would like. One can also add flavor by buying pure vanilla extract, bourbon extract, chocolate powder, etc., which can have fewer chemical ingredients than those used by Starbucks. And while it may add a little time to a sleepy morning routine at home, it actually saves time when compared to waiting in line.

To re-create the Starbucks lattes at home, use these guidelines:
Tall Lattes are 12oz, one of which is a single shot of espresso.
Grande Lattes are 16oz, two of which are espresso (two shots), and 14 of which are steamed milk.
Venti Lattes are 20oz, but just like the Grande, the Venti has two shots of espresso, making the milk portion 18oz.

Of course, switching to coffee made at home is even less expensive, but that might be too much of a jump for those of us who are latte-addicted.

Espresso makers under $100 (some as low as $50)
Stove top espresso maker under $10

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