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Save $1,588 A Year By Making Your Own Atas Cafe Coffee At Home

profileJacqueline Yan

Are you inspired to open a cafe, but feel like you will never have the time or money to do so?

Or you simply cannot function without coffee and need to drink it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY?

Source: Giphy

While it’s absolutely delicious, getting a latte from an atas (sophisticated and upscale) cafe can get pretty expensive as each cup costs between $5 and $7.

And get this.

In an interview with Today, a manager from The Community Cafe Bar revealed that espresso-based coffee like a latte costs just $0.80 ($0.40 for the espresso shots and $0.40 for the fresh milk) to make!

The rest of the cost of the coffee goes to things like rent, worker’s salaries, training and equipment.

Assuming that each cup of coffee costs $6, this dependence on coffee will cost you about $2,190 per year!

Have you ever wondered how much you can save if you make your own coffee at home instead?

Well, the answer is, quite a latte.


TL;DR: – Save $1,588 Per Year Just By Brewing Your Own Latte At Home

ItemCost Per Cup
Espresso Machine$0.29
Coffee Grinder
Whole Coffee Beans$0.73
Full Cream Milk$0.63
TOTAL$1.65

Now, let’s assume that you only drink one cup each day, you’ll essentially be saving $6.00 – $1.65 = $4.35 per day. 

Since you’re addicted and drink coffee every day, your total savings amount to $4.35 per day x 365 days = $1,588* a year!

*Rounded up to the nearest dollar.


Setting up a nice and cosy coffee corner at home doesn’t just save you money, it’s likely to make your family and friends go ‘wow’ when they visit.

Source: Freepik

What Do I Need To Make A Latte And Other Espresso Based Coffees At Home?

Depending on the style of coffee you like, you will first have to start out with some basic equipment if you want a similar experience to what you get at those atas cafes at home

It may look like a large sum to shell out at first, but if you take care of them just like your regular household appliances, they can last you a long time.

Also, the cost per cup will go down the longer you use the machine.

As a coffee addict myself, I finally took the plunge earlier this year to get a bare-bones budget Espresso set-up.

Here is what you need:

Budget Espresso Machine Set-Up To Make a Latte And Other Espresso Based Coffees

  • Espresso machine: $449
  • Coffee grinder: $79.90
  • Whole coffee beans (per kg): $44
  • Full cream milk (per 2-litre): $6.35

We’ve compiled out a range of prices for the basic necessities when it comes to making coffee at home.

ItemAverage CostDurationCost Per Cup
Fixed Upfront Costs
Espresso Machine$450 - $4,5985 years$0.29 - $2.73
Coffee Grinder$80 - $398
Variable Costs
Whole Coffee Beans$44 - $79.602 months$0.73 - $1.33
Full Cream Milk$6.3510 days$0.63
TOTAL$1.65 - $4.70

But for this guide, we will be referencing the most budget option.

We have excluded the cost of water and electricity as these costs are fairly negligible considering the low power draw of coffee machines and trace amounts of water used.

Fixed Upfront Costs

For this budget espresso set-up, there are two main upfront costs.

Coffee Machine

Erm, how else are you going to make your perfect cuppa in the morning?

It may be a bit of a pinch initially, but a decent espresso machine can cost you anywhere between $449 – $4,598.

This is not a recommendation per se. But, I bought the well-reviewed De’Longhi Dedica EC685 during the 10.10 sale this year.

The coffee it makes is quite decent and I have no complaints so far.

Coffee Grinder

A wise barista once told me that you’ll want to grind your coffee fresh to optimise the flavour of your cup.

This is why you want to get a decent coffee grinder which will generally cost about $79.90 – $398.

You might want to check out the Hario Electric coffee mill/propeller which will produce a consistent grind almost every time.

Source: Monotaro.sg

So depending on how fancy you want your machine set-up to be, the total fixed upfront costs for your coffee equipment will cost from $530 – $4,996.

As the average coffee machine lasts about five years, your coffee machine and grinder cost averages out to $0.29 – $2.93 per day. 

Variable Costs

For this budget espresso set-up, there are a couple of variable costs if you want to enjoy atas coffee on the daily.

Whole Coffee Beans

Now that you’re armed with the necessary equipment, let’s talk coffee. duh

This is where we get dizzy with excitement since there are just so many choices, depending on your atas taste.

Generally, whole bean coffee can cost you anything between $44 – $79.60 per kg.

Again, it may seem like a lot, but one kg of coffee beans will easily fuel you for about two months if you drink one cup per day.

Let us do the math for you, even if you chose the most expensive option, that will be about $0.73 – $1.33 per day.

Full Cream Milk

The last magical ingredient binding everything together is milk!

If you’ve got a keen eye like us, you’ll notice that most cafes in Singapore use a certain brand of full cream milk.

Source: FairPrice

This is going to cost you $6.35 for a 2-litre bottle.

Assuming that the bottle is used exclusively for your daily dose, a 2-litre bottle is going to last you about 10 days which brings it to $0.63 per day.

Total Cost of a Daily Cup of Latte Made at Home

In total your daily latte at home will cost you about $1.66 – $4.70 a day.

This works out to about $602 – $1,716* a year

*Rounded up to the nearest dollar.

How Much Can I Save?

As you’d have seen, the cost of your set-up varies depending on machine models and features, and the type of coffee you like.

Ditching your $6 per cup habit and making your latte at home will potentially free up to $474 – $1,588 a year.

That’s about 454 plates of $3.50 Hainanese Chicken rice a year if you need another unit of measurement.

Source: mila0506 | Flickr

Bonus: Have You Considered Filter Coffee? It Can Save You Even More Money!

Source: freepik

Not a fan of milk or espresso-based beverages?

Always thought baristas looked cool making filter coffee?

Turns out, it’s really easy and cheap to do that yourself too!

ItemAverage CostDurationCost Per Cup
Fixed Upfront Costs
Coffee Brewer$6 - $685 years$0.03 - $0.25
Coffee Grinder$79.90 - $398
Variable Costs
Whole Coffee Beans$54.80 - $94.002 months$0.91 - $1.57
Paper Filters$7 - $18100 days$0.07 - $0.18
TOTAL $1.01 - $2.00

Cheap Filter Brew Coffee You Can Make At Home

We’ve calculated the cheapest latte you can make at home based on the following assumptions:

  • Coffee equipment lasts 5 years
  • Each kilogram of coffee lasts 2 months
  • Each 2-litre bottle of milk lasts 10 days
  • Paper filters last 100 days

Fixed Upfront Costs

For this budget filter coffee set-up, there are two main upfront costs.

Filter Coffee Brewer Cost

You’ll soon find out that this is mainly the portion that will help you lower your buy-in, ahem, aka cheapest option since your typical filter coffee brewer starts from $6 – $68.

All coffee should be treated equally, so your filter coffee should be ground fresh too!

Coffee Grinder Cost

Depending on your needs, you will likely spend about $79.90 – $398 for a decent grinder.

You might want to check out the above mentioned Hario Electric coffee mill/propeller which will produce a consistent grind almost every time.

For such a cool method to brew coffee, the fixed costs for this setup costs only $85.90 – $466.

Again, assuming that your equipment lasts for 5 years, your cost averages out to $0.05 – $0.26 per day! 

Variable Costs

For this budget filter brew coffee set-up, there are a couple of variable costs if you want to enjoy atas coffee on the daily.

Whole Coffee Beans

Here’s where your atas taste buds might cost you more. Most of the interesting flavours that you get when you drink filter coffee come from using single-origin coffee, and these typically cost a little more compared to your blends.

Hence, for filter coffee, it typically ranges from $54.80 – $94.00 per kg.

Your 1kg stash can last you for about 2 months if you drink 1 cup per day.

So that averages out to $0.91 – $1.57 per day, even if you choose one of the more expensive coffees.

Paper Filters

Let’s assume that you chose to use a brewer that requires you to use disposable paper filters, which typically cost about $7 to $18 per 100 pieces.

Source: PerkCoffee | Hario Paper Filters 100 pcs: $7

adding on just about $0.07 – $0.18 per day. 

How Much Can I Save?

The numbers are probably starting to work out in your head by now but yes, with your average cup of filter coffee costing you only $1.01 – $2.00 per day; you’re looking at costs of $368.50 – $730 a year.

As such, making filter coffee at home can save you $1,460 – $1,821.50 a year!


This money saved can be used to accumulate more savings or to allocate more funds in your investment portfolio.

If you would like some investing ideas or got some questions about investing, why not head on over to Seedly and join our savvy community members to discuss all things investing!

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About Jacqueline Yan
Full-time coffee nerd playing the personal finance game to feed her insatiable wanderlust.
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