Before Starting Your Coffee Shop: Planning Your Sample Budget. Кофе budget

Coffee and Budgets

I have been following Bible Pathways reading plan and devotional this year and I’ve actually kept up with it. I’ve finished reading Genesis, Exodus, and I’m almost done with Leviticus. BUT I’m struggling. Reading through Genesis opened my eyes to how good God is. It was like reading life each day. But, to be honest, reading through Leviticus is not the same. My mind wanders; I struggle to keep my eyes open. I needed to write this because I needed to remind myself how good God is. I think as I’m typing this Satan is getting pretty mad because he is trying his darnedest to whisper those sweet little lies to me. Those lies that make me anxious. Those lies that make me think I can’t succeed in life. Those lies that take my bravery away. Those lies that make me question whether or not I should follow God’s prompting. Those lies suck life out of me. So here is some truth I learned from Genesis. I hope it helps you as much as it’s helping me.

“Then God looked over all he had made and he saw that it was very good!” -Gen 1:31

This includes me (and you).

“I will confirm my covenant with you.” Gen 6:18

God doesn’t make empty promises.

“I will protect you and your reward will be great.” Gen 15:1

God has my back.

“Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Gen 18:24

The simply complex answer is no. Relieving me of my anxiety is not too hard for the Lord. Restoring my faith in my body is not too hard for the Lord. Teaching me how to persevere is not too hard for the Lord. Softening my heart toward others is not too hard for the Lord. Taking away my selfishness is not too hard for the Lord. Comforting me when I’m discouraged is not too hard for the Lord. Gently disciplining me is not too hard for the Lord. The hard part is me letting him. He wants me to seek him. He wants to act in my life but I have to ask him to.

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you and will bless you.” Gen 26:24

Ugh, heart wrench. I don’t know about you, but I feel Satan constantly trying to undo what God does in my life. I read Genesis and felt God’s promises like never before. I felt like I was one of those imperfect people from an imperfect family called to move his kingdom along. Then Satan comes along and my old fears and anxieties creep back in and I freak out. I think God must not be with me anymore because Satan has weaseled his way in. But really it comes back to me. Am I fighting for God to be my top priority? If not, Satan has a bigger shot at claiming some of me.

“I will protect you wherever you go.” Gen 28:15

Yes! Thank you, Jesus. No matter where I go, God has me. Especially if I’m going where he’s calling me. That fear and anxiety are really useless. Listening to the Holy Spirit? Not so useless. Listening to Satan’s lies? That will actually kill me.

“God has been very gracious to me. I have more than enough.” Gen 33:11

This is so important to remember, especially on this debt free journey. Having money isn’t bad. Even having a lot of money isn’t bad. It’s all about what you do with it. Just like anything else, we need to be actively praying about our finances. God has provided multiple opportunities for us to earn enough money and we’ve been blessed with some “extra” here and there as well. I have to remember that God wants us to get out of debt even more than we do! He’s the one who tells us that the borrower is slave to the lender. He wants us to be free. I’m praying for discernment between opportunities to make money that God wants me to take and opportunities that are calling my flesh.

“I trust in you for salvation, O Lord!” Gen 49:18

I can trust in the Lord for salvation because he saves. I am saved. It isn’t a hope...I’m not hoping he’ll save me. I can really truly trust. But that trust word...that gets me. As humans we walk around hurting each other, which makes my trust sensors work overtime all of the time.

“He will bring you back to the land he solemnly promised.” Gen 50:24

God follows through on his promises!

What is something you think is too hard for God? If you get nothing else from this, it isn’t!!! Get on your knees and pray. He’s waiting to work in your life.



Before Starting Your Coffee Shop: Plan Your Sample Budget

How To Budget for Your Coffee Shop Business

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Congratulations! If you are exploring how to start you own coffee shop or coffee stand, you're at the right place.

In addition to helping you figure out your coffee shop budget, we are dedicated to providing you with some great “starter information” and real-world expertise to help you take the first steps in starting your coffee shop or coffee stand successfully.

When you are ready to take your planning to the next level, consider investing in our Complete Coffee Shop Startup Kit.

In the coming discussion, consider taking a moment to write down all the little things that you will need to figure out so that you can start your coffee shop business planning effectively.

A coffee business has many moving parts. Learning about each of them is important. We hope the list we share will bring together your entire coffee business concept, menu, and location, among others to help you plan out your business, develop your concept, and take actionable steps to opening your first coffee shop.

Once you begin to lay everything out on the proverbial table, you will quickly see how all of these elements that are needed to start your coffee shop actually determine your coffee shop startup costs and budget. 

Each expense you incur or factor into your spending plan, will begin to whittle down your overall budget. If you're not careful, expenses can grow rather quickly and impact your ability to have any funds left over to see you through to profitability. So, start working on your coffee shop budget early!

In fact, many new coffee businesses (or any business in the beverage & food industry) often fail due to the inability to secure enough cash to see them through to sustainability. 

Therefore, we strongly recommend writing everything down clearly in a coffee shop business plan, that way you can see where exactly you can adjust your purchases to suit your budgetary needs.

When it Comes to Your Coffee Shop, Don't Be Afraid to Face Your Startup Costs

Confronting the coffee shop startup costs may be difficult for many to do, but if you do, it will empower you to understand and control your budget.

The mistake we often see is that new coffee business owners don’t anticipate the number of “little things” they will need for their coffee shop. The little things can quickly add up.

By the time some coffee shop owners realize the necessity for more money to get to profitability, they are already way too deep to back out of their business completely without losing significant money.

This leads them to a desperate situation of looking for money to bridge the gap. With proper budgeting and a general awareness of the common pitfalls, many coffee shop owners can avoid this scenario.

Additionally, avoiding a financial catastrophe can be made early on by simply deciding that you want to see all of the startup costs before moving forward with you coffee shop business. While you can't anticipate every cost, you can plan for cost

Our recommendations to start things off: Write everything down that you will need to set up your coffee shop or coffee stand.

If you don't know what you need, consider getting our Coffee Shop Startups Kit to help give you a bit more understanding on what you'll need to start your coffee business.

Adding Up The Small Things 

Much of your financial needs will vary depending on your menu, your concept, and your location, the condition of the location you plan on setting up.

Additionally, you will also want to factor many of the small but important things too. From the fixtures and furniture pieces, to the plumbing, lighting, and coffee inventory, you will find that these items cannot be overlooked. So budget them in and be liberal with the amount you will need to spend for each them.

It’s better to over-budget than to find yourself knocking on your neighbor's door for more money because you figured the costs would be lower. We also recommend that you separate your personal finances with your business finances as early as possible.

As you plan your coffee shop budget and start thinking about where you are planning to get the money from, you will need to know where that “red line in the sand” is with the money that you can personally contribute to your business startup. This will ensure that your business efforts do not destroy your personal finances and ability to support yourself.



Anticipate The Evolution of Your Costs as Your Business Concept Develops and Matures

As your concept naturally changes with the realities of starting your specific coffee shop, consider what that will do to your existing budget.

When it comes to your coffee shop budget you need a financial buffer, or what I like to call “financial slack.” That is, you need to provide yourself a little margin of error on all your financial calculations. This will help ensure you have enough cash to see you to your next goal. 

Perhaps, you may want to do this by over-estimating each item on your costs list. Provide yourself some “slack” of, say 10%, of the anticipated costs. Again, it's better to have a few more dollars in your account after everything is paid for, then to be a many dollars short.

Here is the key to success: Always be honest with yourself about the costs associated with your coffee shop business planning. All the costs. Putting everything “on the table” will help you to make appropriate business and financial decisions and keep you from of extending yourself too far.

Knowing how much things are going to cost, will help you plan for contingencies (if necessary), as well as provide you with information when it comes to borrowing and raising capital for your coffee business. So start your research early and start pricing things out, everything from your espresso machine to your table and chairs.

Your time in research and planning your coffee shop is a real investment, which will pay off soon. Of course, there are always risks. By planning early and effectively, you should work hard to minimize those risks.


Step #1:

Know what kind of coffee business you want

If you have daydreamed about opening your own coffee shop, you will have probably kicked around some ideas in your head about the kind of coffee business you want. Settling on your coffee shop concept can take time. As it should, since your coffee business concept will impact your startup costs considerably. 

Whether you want a coffee stand or a full-fledged café and bookstore, the startup costs and day-to-day operational costs will vary. Of course, as you learn more and more about starting a coffee shop, your business plan or business concept may change. This is fine too. It happens frequently. As it should because as your depth of knowledge grows your concept will naturally change.

Step #2:

Know what your budget is (or will be) and how much you will need to get up to break-even

How much money do you have access to in order to start your coffee shop? Determining just how much money it takes to open a coffee shop depends on a variety of variables including what kind of coffee business you want.

Yet, regardless of your business concept that you dream of, you will probably have an immediate understanding or knowledge of money that you have access to in order to start your coffee shop business. For example, you might have $15,000 in savings and perhaps, you know that you can borrow another $9,000 from your parents. Again, be completely honest with yourself on the money you have and the money you have access to.  This will help you determine just how much you need to raise to see your business concept realized.

Your Break-Even Point: To determine your profitability, you will first need to understand your break-even point. You will need to add up on the startup costs and day-to-day costs and determine how much you will need to break-even. For more information on determining your break-even point, read this.

Step #3:

Learn everything you can about the retail coffee business

The coffee industry is enormous. As a small retail coffee establishment, you probably don't need to know everything about the coffee industry, but you should still be aware of the supply chain, trends, and important aspects of the business. It's important, I think, that you know about processing of coffee, the supply chain, and the coffee roasters you may be partnering with.

You will also want to know about the retailing including inventory management, pricing strategies, and marketing.

A great way to learn about what it’s like to run a coffee shop, you might want to get our Complete Coffee Shop Startup Kit or spend time talking to other coffee shop or coffee stand owners.

Step #4:

Prepare a budget proposal (through a business plan)

Preparing a budget for your coffee shop, doesn’t have to be fancy. Simply write down all of your expenses (and don’t miss anything) in relation to the concept you wish to create. A coffee shop business plan will help.

Determine how much your business concept will cost. Then determine how much money you will need to secure. A coffee shop business plan will help you articulate your concept and should allow you to prepare a solid budget proposal. We offer a tailor-made coffee shop business plan template that can help you get organized quickly.

Step #5:

Adjust your budget as your plan evolves

As you begin to develop your coffee shop concept, your budget will begin to change naturally. You will realize that you will need more resources in certain places and less in others. Don’t be afraid to adjust your budget.

Be sure to update your coffee shop business plan to reflect these changes. Don't over complicate your budget. Simple is better. But don't leave anything else either.  Your budget and costs are a part of a long mathematical equation, if you keep on entering under-estimated numbers, you will be way short. 



Step #6:

Decide on a clear path to execute your plan (Simple is better)

Once you have the budget in line for your coffee shop, consider developing benchmarks that include dates. Begin with the opening date and work backwards. Determine the steps that you need to execute in your business plan.

Remember, try not to over complicate things. Simply create a list and move on to the next step.


Step #7:

Take steps every day towards your goal (learn, do the research, & prepare!)

Every day take a step to help you reach every benchmark that you create. Develop your benchmarks and create baby steps for each of them.

Everyday choose a step to take and move forward. You’ll be surprised how far you will get if you consistently work on your coffee shop planning.


Starting Your Coffee Shop Business Planning:

Your profits will come from your detailed planning, business decisions and passion. Getting it right from the start is important.

Educate yourself on what really matters when it comes to your costs – this includes your equipment costs, your lease signing, and other important details.

When you are starting up your coffee business, you will have many one-time costs, which you may include as fixed costs – and you will have many variable costs that are on-going costs.

These variable costs grow as you grow. For example, as you grow, so too will your inventory needs grow (therefore the cost of your inventory will increase). Additionally, new hires or extra time on the clock will grow. These are variable costs. So, this is a good thing as long as your are pricing your items well and managing your labor costs efficiently. 

Overall, these variable costs are not a bad thing, as the more profit you will also be making. In addition, you will need additional startups funds that are unique to launching a coffee business. For example, you will need to pay for inspector fees, health department fees, fire department fees, and other items such as insurance premiums, and a deposit for your lease, etc.

These costs are often overlooked by many jumping into their first business. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, each of these elements vary in the time they take to “check off your list”.

For example, it may take an additional 1, 2, or 3 extra months to simply get your county health department to sign off and give you the green light to open your business if certain things aren't up to code.  In a bonus interview in the Complete Coffee Shop Startup Kit, we discuss ways you can save a considerable amount of money with some negotiation tactics that we share.

Will you have enough to cover three months of your rental lease without making a single sale? Consider the costs of any potential delays. As in anything, consider planning to spend a little more than you actually budget for – and allow for more time so that the necessary paperwork, inspections can get done.


Recommendation #1:

Set Up Your Coffee Shop Business Structure and Bank Account

Before you actually finish your coffee shop business plan or even before you start spending any real money on coffee shop equipment or leases, you should consider creating an LLC (or a business structure that works for you) in your state. Then establish your bank account.

You can then add money to this bank account and spend money for your cafe using funds from this bank account. If you choose not to legally set business up as an LLC, consider setting it up as a corporation or a non-profit.

Whichever legal structure you decide, make sure it's done before you spend any real money. That is anything over several hundred dollars. For more information, see Tips to Starting Your Coffee Shop.

In the next sample table, we’ll write these sample costs down (to get your thoughts flowing). You may need to add more or subtract some items (which will vary from coffee shop business to coffee shop business).


Recommendation #2:

Start Creating a Budget (Today!)

Creating a budget for your coffee shop doesn’t need to be fancy. However, it does need to be thorough – and it does have to get started some time. Why not today?

As you will see below, I have created a very simple sample budget for you to consider. Depending on your business concept, your menu, your design, and a cost of other important factors, items will need to be added and costs will need to be adjusted. Take a moment to consider the following sample budget for a coffee shop or coffee stand. What items will you need to add?

Let's take a look at a sample budget next…



Your “Sample” Coffee Shop Start Up Costs

First Month’s Lease $1500
Second Month’s Lease $1500
Security Deposit $1500
Insurance Premiums $ 250
Inspector Fees $ 400
Utility Connection Fees/ Deposits $ 200
LLC Fees and Other Business License Fees $ 400

Please note: In addition to these basic fees, you will need to spend money on a variety of things to ensure your business is ready to launch. Some items will take care of themselves, other items need to be added.

Either case, I have added some sample costs below (again, to get your thoughts churning as you plan your own coffee shop or coffee stand business).

As you begin to go through them, you may start considering your own coffee shop menu, the condition of your location, and of course, your overall budget. This is not an exhaustive list. Consider, what items you will need to add. What items will you seek to avoid?



Remember Your Coffee Shop Business Lease

The signing of your coffee shop business lease is important! Our Coffee Shop Startup Kit offers an excellent one-hour interview on the subject of your coffee shop business lease. (You should not miss it!)

Considering the location and the condition of your location is essential to your budget. Depending on your vision and your budget and the current state of your location, you may need to spend money to get it ready to use. Your lease ultimately impacts your bottom line, your ability to conduct business, and your ability to increase your profitability.


Okay, let's continue by considering the following sample coffee shop business items below:

Your Sample Coffee Shop Startup Cost (Budget) – Part 2


Your Leasing Space (Physical Space)  
Electrical Installations  $1000
Counters  $800
Lighting  $400
Shelving  $500
Painting  $400
Flooring  $500
Plumbing  $500
Restroom Upgrading  $300
Vent Installations  $400
Sinks  $300
Alarm  $300
Display Cabinets  $500
Subtotal  $5900
Espresso Machine  $10,000
Two Grinders  $3000
Refrigerator  $800
Freezer  $500
Mop sink and Install  $400
Mugs/Glasses  $400
Convection Oven (If needed)  0
Commercial Drip Coffee Maker  $300
Computer, Printer and POS system  $1000
Chairs and Tables  $1000
Outdoor furniture  $1000
Small wares  $500
Music System  $400
Microwave  $300
Electronic Scales  $150
Chemex (2-3)  $150
Dishwasher (If needed)  $700
Display Showcase  $500
Internal Displays and Signage  $200
Outside Signs and Displays  $800
Subtotal  $22,000
Other Items  
Coffee Beans Inventory  $1000
Marketing  $500
Website Design  $500
Office Supplies  $200
Subtotal  $2200
GRAND TOTAL  $35,800

(5,700 + 5,900 + 22,000 + 2,200 = 35,800)


A Little Budget Analysis 

The above list is certainly, incomplete. The complete list of course, varies for every coffee business establishment. Feel free to add/edit it.

Simply running down the list, you’ll see that everything will need to be in place before you open your business. If you are still in the planning stages of your coffee business, it’s a good list to keep updated.

Nevertheless, if you put the lists together (5,700 + 5,900 + 22,000 + 2,200 = 35,800), you will need about $36K before you even pour your first drink. (This also does not include your time, your labor costs, and other miscellaneous expenses.)

Also note, this may be a very conservative figure depending on your business concept and the remodeling costs to ensure your appropriate vision. Building out your coffee shop takes planning – and perhaps the hiring of contractors – which adds additional costs. You may also have some legal fees and other unforeseen costs.

Remember, adding an additional financial slack of at least 10% to each item will help with addressing costs that run higher than expected. So, if you wish, consider adding an additional $3600 as your budget in this scenario. This additional money should be used for your startup costs. And hey, if you go under budget, you can use that money to help sustain your business as you move toward profitability.

However, I believe that you can always save money. This is especially true, if you plan early, you will be able to make better decisions that will save you money over time. That’s why we recommend our Coffee Shop Business Startup Kit, which comes with our business plan template but also some relevant discussions on important topics you will be spending money on.

Your Coffee Shop Break-Even Point

To be able to determine your break-even point of you coffee business you will need to be able to:

  • Forecast your expenses
  • Forecast your sales

Your “break-even point” really means the point at which you generate enough revenue to cover all your expenses. To be sure, investors, bankers, or serious partners will ask you what your break-even point will be. By figuring out your break-even point beforehand, you can see if your sales forecast will be high enough to finance your operating cost.

But as in many different things, the devil is in the details. While the fact is true: your break-even point is the point where your revenue covers all your costs – many will often play with the “costs” figures.

For example, you will have one-time upfront costs like security deposits, possible broker fees, equipment costs, travel costs, possible consultant fees, furniture costs, etc.

I encourage you with the help of an accountant, to amortize your equipment costs over time (breakup the costs over the span of a few years) and embed those costs within your annual and monthly expenses. OR… at least acknowledge their existence by categorizing them with your cost structure.

For example, by embedding your startup costs (variable and fixed costs) within your operating expenses in a manner that works best for you – you can be sure that your revenue will not only be covering your day-to-day operational costs but the costs associated with starting your business.

To be sure, most of your costs are controllable based on your needs, we often call these variable costs. They include such expenses as your payroll, your costs of sales (what it costs to deliver coffee and snacks to your customers), utilities, inventory, administrative expenses, and your promotional costs).  

Your fixed costs and variable costs, and embedding your “one-time” startup costs, should be added all together and divided by a specific amount of time that you choose (annually, monthly, weekly) and then calculated with your sales (or estimated sales).

Your sales will need to cover these cumulative costs. You must use these factors to determine your break-even point.

Starting Your Coffee Shop: How do you forecast your sales?

Okay, so we know that to do our “due diligence” for our coffee shop business planning, we're going to need some data – or some information to base our decisions on. There are many data points that we'll need to consider when it comes to determining our coffee shop budget. But how do you determine your future sales? How can you even arrive at the point of figuring out your actual sales receipts?

Answer: Well, to be sure, it's a bit of an art and a science. If you are buying an existing business, you will want to see the last couple of years of sales receipts or profit and loss statements. Getting this hard data will play an important role in determining your own sales as you take over the business.

Of course, you will want to make some adjustments to future sales as you change your pricing, your menu, and your marketing. Additionally, you should learn to count customers during the process of buying an existing stand or selecting a specific location to start a coffee shop or espresso drive-thru stand.  

While it's not the scope of this article, consider this brief article on counting customers for your coffee business here.

It Always Comes Down To The Math

Coming up with the data will be your job. But it's easier than it sounds and it's the numbers. The feasibility of realizing your coffee shop dream always comes down to the math. Learn to play with the numbers. Don't be intimidated by the math. The numbers aren't out to “get” you. They don't have any power over you.

By starting early in getting your data points, you will be able to open your coffee shop with confidence. You will be able to approach investors or borrow money with the confidence you will need. 


Yeah, We Got You Covered! Further Reading:

Keep Reading: Calculating Your Break-Even Point for Coffee Shops.

Is Your ‘Coffee Shop Business Planning' Causing You Anxiety or Stopping Your Dream Altogether?

Serving great coffee and loving your job. Photo credit: Tumblr/iamcollin

Don't let the numbers get you down. After all you are creative, you are industrious, your are a tenacious soon-to-be coffee shop business owner! Let's see how we can get this done!

Starting your coffee business plan can be a formidable barrier for any new and aspiring entrepreneur. It may not be the most exciting thing. 

Interestingly, we have found that “cracking the books” and sitting down to simply think about the nature of your coffee business is harder than it is.

Much of the reasoning is because many simply don't know where to start. Many have never seen a business plan or what it has inside.

The truth  is that a business plan isn't a magical document. Rather it is a practical one where all the sections help you spell out your business ideas (for yourself and other stakeholders).

Our coffee business plan template (PDF and MS Word) offers you an easy way to simply open your document, fill each sections and print!

But what's more is that it also provides you with sample Excel documents that you can use (if you choose) or simply follow as a guide to your pro forma financial documents. In addition, we know that by starting your own coffee business, you will want to general information about what it's like to start your own coffee business.

We offer this to you with our exclusive audio interviews (available via streaming audio you can listen anywhere!). Each one-on-one audio interview brings to the table some very important topics that each new and aspiring coffee shop business owners should know.

From leasing agreements to coffee equipment to navigating your health department. We know that by the end of listening to nearly 15 hours of interviews you will have a greater background information that you can use to start your coffee business planning!

The Free Coffee Business Startup Business Plan & Budget Template

In our Coffee Shop Business Plan Guide and Audio Package, we provide you with a free Coffee Business Plan Template that comes along with our essential audio coffee shop business interviews that we recommend everyone interested in starting a coffee business to listen to.

We also provide a number of free sample coffee shop budget templates (financial business documents) to help you establish your personalized budget for your coffee shop business.

We are proud to offer this affordable resource to help get your business planning off the ground! We believe the coffee business interviews will give you an in-depth look at various topics when it comes to opening and planning your coffee business.



By getting a vast array of information, you will then be able to write and plan your coffee shop business more effectively and efficiently. Our free business plan template comes in a PDF and MS Word File, allowing you to fully write, edit, and print out your plan. 


Learn how launch and open your own coffee shop business with the help of coffee business experts. We've created a comprehensive and affordable startup package to help you better understand the retail coffee industry – and help get your business planning done right.

Our very affordable coffee shop business planning kit will better prepare you and strengthen your planning – and potentially save you dozens of hours and thousands of dollars.


Buy it now

Receive Our FREE Guide!

Receive our 30 FREE TIPS on starting your coffee business! (Also get free updates and emails on starting your own coffee business!)

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Best Budget Z370 1151 Coffee Lake Motherboards 2018

Intel’s new 8th generation Coffee Lake processors are here. From our perspective, this is a generation that’s finally worthy of an upgrade. Here’s a brief synopsis of what you get with the 8th gen CPUs:

  • 6 Cores for i5 and i7 CPUs
  • 4 Cores for I3
  • Increased Turbo Speeds
  • A 50Mhz increase in integrated graphics card clock speed
  • 2666Mhz support for the i5 and i7 along with 2400MHz support for i3

For us, the pressure from AMD’s Ryzen series of processors forced Intel into finally giving us more cores for our money. Ryzen, which still doesn’t do quite as well in clock speed, was simply giving consumers more bang for their buck. Now with Coffee Lake the market is leaning more towards Intel’s side but availability, at this point in time, is a bit of an issue.

Worth Noting

  • Improves Overclocking and Power Delivery
  • No additional PCIe lanes over Z270
  • Still no native USB 3.1 Gen 2
  • Same Realtek ALC1220 Audio

Our Favorite Intel Z370 Motherboards from $150 to $300

Coffee Lake is the kind of multi-generational upgrade we’ve been looking for. It’s especially beneficial for those coming from Haswell or earlier; however, an additional two cores at every price point is still an enormous upgrade over Skylake. For a good motherboard CPU combo, here’s what we’d recommend.

What’s New With Z370 Chipset Motherboards

If you plan on using Intel’s new Coffee Lake processors, you’ll need to go with a Z370 motherboard. These new processors cannot be used with previous generation boards. Additionally, previous generation processors will not work with the newer motherboards. Yes, even though they use the LGA 1151 socket. Intel claims this comes from the new processors requiring additional power.

Cheaper B360, h470, and h410 chipsets will be released in the first part of 2018. So, for now, you’ll have to go with a more expensive board. If you’re a power user, then most likely there’s no real issue with this. Below you can find the changes to this new chipset and our recommendations for Z370 motherboards by price point. Additional information can be found on Intel’s product briefing.

Under $150

Although we can’t purchase any of the budget H and B series motherboards right now, there are still a ton of good options in the under $150 price point and some for as little as $120. So, here are recommendations starting from low to high.

MSI Z370-A PRO – A Good Budget Z370 Combo for the i3-8100 and i5-8400

For $110 after rebate, the Z370-A Pro from MSI has become the go-to option for i3-8100 and i5-8400 builders looking for a budget-oriented option. It’s a fairly simple board with a black and white theme and MSI’s PCI Express Steel Armor. We’ve seen this steel armor type of option become fairly standard on motherboards these days and like it a lot. (Especially after having accidentally ripped the slot out of a few boards in the past.)

Memory Support:

One nice thing about having a Z370 chipset motherboard is that you get the high-speed memory support. This motherboard supports up to 64GB of Dual Channel DDR 4000 (OC) where H and B motherboards won’t support more than 2666MHz. So, this should net you a few frames in PC games if you purchase faster RAM.

The MSI Z370-A Pro also supports M.2 and is Intel Optane Memory ready. So, if you decide that Intel’s futuristic memory caching is for you, you’ll have what you need to implement it.

No Built-In HDMI Support:

One important thing to note on this particular board is that it comes with no HDMI support. This shouldn’t be an issue if you have a graphics card; however, if not the motherboard itself includes DisplayPort, VGA, and DVI-D ports.

Notable Features:

Like many of MSI’s motherboards, this one is more durable than you’d think for the price with Military Class 5 guard Pro. It also supports 2-way AMD Crossfire (no mention of SLI). With Audio Boost and the Realtek ALC892 audio chipset you also get decent audio.

Final Thoughts:

There are not a lot of extras with this motherboard. It has basic Z370 features, looks pretty basic too, and gets just as much performance out of those Coffee Lake i3-8100 and i5-8400 CPUs as you’ll get with higher-end motherboards. So, if you’re looking for a budget Z370 PC build, the Z370-A PRO is a good place to start.

Asus Prime Z370-P vs Z370-A

The Asus Prime Z370-P is Asus’ budget entry into the Coffee Lake motherboard space. As your next upgrade from here is likely the Asus Prime Z370-A, I thought it’d be beneficial to go over the differences between these boards.

Key Differences:

The Prime Z370-P is stripped of even more bells and whistles than the A is when compared to the STRIX versions of the Asus motherboards for the Z370 chipset. Its aim is value and to get there it offers the Realtek ALC887 codec rather than the Crystal Sound 3 branded Realtek ALC1220 codec.The A uses the Intel I219-V gigabit Ethernet Controller while the P uses the Realtek RTL8111H. The Z370-A also includes five 4-pin PWM headers in addition to the thermal sensor and AIO headers. The Z370-P, on the other hand, has a dedicated header for AIO CPU cooling and 3 4-pin PWM fan headers.

The Z370-A offers support for 3-Way Crossfire and 2-way SLI while the P version of it only offers Crossfire support through the latency added based PCIe slot. In other words, we wouldn’t recommend a multi-GPU configuration for the Z370-P. That’s probably not a huge deal to some.

In addition to these key differences, the Z370-A offers some subtle RGB lighting which is something we wouldn’t expect those who purchase the stripped down looking Z370-P to care about.

Overall, as you can see above, there are quite a few aesthetic changes from the Z370-A to the Z370-P as well as some additional shielding.

ASRock Z370M Pro 4

If you’re looking for a cheap micro ATX Z370 motherboard, I like the ASRock Z370M. It’s stripped down pretty far but still maintains mostly all you’ll need for a budget build. One dealbreaker for some may be the lack of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth integration. There is also no RGB LED on the board nor a header for additional options. So, again, this motherboard isn’t really for showing off an aesthetic.

Yet the performance of this board is impressive. It has 2 full-length PCIe slots and does well overclocking Coffee Lake CPUs.

Key Features:

The ASRock Z370M Pro 4 features support for up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM at up to 4300(OC) MHz. In addition, it features 2 Ultra M.2 sockets, 2 PCIe 3.0 x 16 slots, Realtek ALC892 audio chipset, Intel I219-V LAN chipset, HDMI, D-Sub, DVI-D, and 5 USB 3.1 GEN 1 Ports (1 Type-C).


Overall the ASRock Z370M Pro 4 has a lot of great features but lacks Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and RGB lighting support. If you need one of those, you may want to look elsewhere. If you don’t, then this is a solid option for a Micro-ATX build.

Asus TUF Z370-PRO Gaming vs Plus Gaming

There are two boards very close in price that represent the around $150 price point for Asus. These are the PRO gaming and the Plus Gaming. If you’d like to have one of Asus’ Tuf Boards, here are the differences you’ll come across between the two.

Unlike past Tuf series motherboards, this one only has a three-year warranty. Some of that comes back to you in the form of a budget price.

Minor Differences:

The difference between this boards include a glowing LED strip on the right side of the board for the PRO where the PLUS has RGB lighting in the same spot. Another RGB strip header is also included with the PLUS so that you can use your Asus Aur Sync compatible strips.

In addition, there are some differences with the PCIe slots. The PRO has 3 full PCIe x 16 with safeslot reinforcement while the PLUS skips the third full PCIe slot and gives you four PCIe x 1 slots instead of 3.

Key Specifications:

Both of these motherboards give you the I219-V gigabit network chip from Intel and the Realtek ALC887 codec. Other features include Asus OptimMem, Fan Xpert 4, TUF Components, and TUF protection.


Overall we like the yellow and black aesthetic of this board over that of the Asus Z370-A but keep in mind you get the Realtek ALC887 codec with these rather than the higher-end ALC1220. Also, with a similar warranty, there’s clearly not as much to the name TUF here.

MSI Z370 Gaming PLUS

Similar in price to the PRO that we mentioned earlier, MSI’s Gaming PLUS is another option in the $120 range meant to target budget PC builders.

It’s a bit more attractive with its black and red scheme, saves money with its minimal use of heat sinks without heat pipe, and offers a basic entry into the market of motherboards for Coffee Lake processors. Like other inexpensive Z370 boards, Only CrossFireX is supported on this one.

You still get Audio Boost, XMP Profile with DDR4 up to 4000Mhz, and a compatible Coffee Lake motherboard. So, it’s definitely worth of consideration if you want a slightly more attractive board that has some RGB lighting included and allows for more with its single RGB header. It’s a decent overclocker as well although lacks some of the features of the higher-end boards.

Under $200

Asus ROG STRIX Z370-E vs Z370-F

Here are another two boards from Asus worth looking at with very similar technical specifications. So, what’s the difference between the Z370-E and the Z370-F?

First of all the Z370-E has a front panel connector 10Gbps USB header and Dual 802.11AC Wi-Fi where the Z370-F does not. In terms of design, the E is a lighter finished board with metal heat sinks while the F uses plastic ones with a much darker style to them. Other than that these boards are pretty much the same.

Key Specifications:

With the Intel I219-V Gigabit LAN controller and the Realtek ALC1220 you get a fantastic combination that Asus used for most of its mid-range boards. In addition, these boards support two way SLI and 3 way CrossfireX. Take a look at our specification table above for additional details.

Also, the E and F are some of the fastest boards that have been tested receiving editor’s choice from several different websites.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, these boards look great, have fantastic gaming performance and overclocking options, robust connectivity, Dual M.2 Slots, support for Intel Optane, and plenty of room to add on to your Coffee Lake system. The cost difference between the E and the F is around $20.

High-End Under $300

Asus ROG Maximus X Hero

When you’re paying this much for a motherboard, there are a lot of expectations. As you would expect this one has just about everything you’d like. BIOS Flashback, rear mounted Clr Cmos buttons, Dual M.2 sockets, plenty of headers for your AIO and fan, multiple monitoring options, RGB LED Strip headers in the perfect location, a plethora of USB ports, SupremeFX Audio, Intel I219-V and AC WiFi, and much more.

In terms of overclocking you get a top board here – albeit not much better than Asus more budget-friendly Asus Z370-A. That means an over 5GHz overclock on the i7-8700k. Memory is similar as well and you should be able to get up to 4,000MHz.

Final Thoughts

The aesthetics are here for this board and just about everything else. Performance, quality, longevity, and even enough RGB options to make your head spin. Overall, this one may come down to whether you like the look of it or not and could use the extra features. This board received the OC Enthusiast award.

High-End Under $500


When you call yourself Godlike you better look the part. And MSI has done everything they can to make this board set itself apart from the crowd. The lighting is spectacular, the color scheme, and the quality of the parts.

Of course, you’re paying a lot for a board like this. As a reward you get 3 M.2 slots, a U.2, six SATA 3 ports, 2 USB Type-C, 10 (yes, 10) USB Type-A, and one Type-A USB 3.1 Gen 2. If that’s not enough MSI also included an additional 6 USB 2.0 ports.


Performance for this board is similar to what you’ll get on the Maximus X Hero. So, again this one comes a bit down to aesthetics and the massive amount of options and features it includes. We’ll leave it up to you as to whether you think it’s worth it or not.


Building a Budget $1,000 i5 Coffee Lake PC for Gaming 2018

Intel’s 8th generation Coffee Lake processors bring the multi-generational upgrade to the market we’ve been waiting for. More cores for just about the same amount of money. Perhaps it was AMD’s Ryzen processors that forced Intel’s hand. Regardless, it only means good things for PC gamers.

At the $1,000 price point we’re focused on having six cores and using a graphics card like NVIDIA’s GTX 1070. AMD GPUs are still a bit priced out of the market thanks to the popularity of Ethereum mining.

Coffee Lake i5-8400 vs Skylake i5-7400 vs Ryzen 5 1600

If you’re not a power user, it makes a lot of sense to go with a Coffee Lake processor right now. In the under $200 price point you’ve got the 6 core i5-8400. Compared to Intel’s previous generation i5-7400 it has an additional 2 cores and a max turbo frequency of up to 4GHz rather than the 3.5GHz of the i5-7400.  Compared to the i5-7600k overclocked, the i5-8400 still comes out ahead in many games.

Gaming Performance vs the Ryzen 5 1600

Some power users might be thinking about picking up a 6 Core 12 thread Ryzen 5 1600 and overclocking it. Unfortunately, even with a killer overclock, you won’t be able to make up the ground here. The i5-8400 does a substantially better job even when used with AMD’s very own VEGA 64 GPU.

Of course, you do have to consider the price of a Z370 motherboard and that of a B350 budget motherboard. However, we should see cheaper B and H series motherboards for Coffee Lake in the first quarter of 2018.

As we’re sticking to a $200 budget for our CPU, we should have plenty of money for our additional components. Here are my thoughts on each.

Budget $1,000 i5-8400 Coffee Lake Z370 Gaming PC Desktop Build for 2018

Here’s a look at our $1,000 build as it sits for this quarter. For more information on why each component was chosen additional information can be found below. If this build is out of your price range, also take a look at these affordable gaming computers. Keep in mind that GPU pricing is according to MSRP. Alternatives may be necessary depending on where the GPU market is when you build this PC.

 $1,000 Intel BuildNotes$1,000 AMD Build
CPUIntel Core i5-8400We're going with the i5 8400 Coffee Lake 6 Core Processor with turbo up to 4GHz. If you'd prefer the 6 core 12 thread Ryzen 5 1600, you can overclock it along with the B350 motherboard we've listed below. Alternatively you can splurge for the i5-8600k .Ryzen 5 1600
CPU CoolerStock OnlyThe Ryzen build will need a mount with this CPU Cooler that you can get free from the Cooler Master website. Alternatively, you can try your hand with the included Wraith Spire Cooler. Depending on your chip, it could be enough.Stock or Hyper 212 Evo
MotherboardASRock Z370 Pro4Our favorite budget options with plenty of features. Gigabyte B350 Gaming 3
RamCorsair Vengeance LPX 8GB DDR4-3000 MemoryInexpensive DDR4 ram with most of the performance. Ryzen likes fast ram and while this isn't Samsung B-Dye ram that will assuredly get you to 3200MHz it should still get you most of the way there.Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB DDR4-3000 Memory
SSDSandisk SSD PLUS 240GBSpending $80 on a solid state drive for your OS and most important programs is a must for those who you this PC beyond just gaming. It won't increase your FPS, but your PC's overall speed will get a huge boost. Sandisk SSD PLUS 240GB
HDDWestern Digital Caviar Blue 1 TB Hard DriveCheap, high capacity, reliable, and 7200RPM. Double Capacity in the Hitachi Deskstar for around $15 more.Western Digital Caviar Blue 1 TB Hard Drive
GPUGTX 1060 6GBIf you find that prices have returned to normal in the GPU market, it's possible to afford a GTX 1070 or perhaps even 1070Ti. As it sits, the GTX 1060 is a more reasonable goal for our budget.GTX 1060 6GB
CaseCorsair 100R Mid Tower Case Corsair 100R Mid Tower Case
PSUEVGA SuperNova 650 G1 Gold Power SupplyFor around $75 you get a power supply here that will not only be efficient, but also last you a long time.EVGA SuperNova 650 G1 Gold Power Supply

RX Vega 56 vs GTX 1070 Performance

First of all, it’s important to point out that the GTX 1070 is around 15 months older than the RX VEGA 56. NVIDIA will likely release Volta graphics cards in the first quarter of 2018. Second, many VEGA 56 cards are overpriced from their original market values right now.

With all of that being said, the GTX 1070 is still a fantastic performer right now. So, if you’re in need of a GPU and can’t wait for several months, it’ll definitely do a great job.

If you come across this post when both of these GPUs are similar in price (which they should be), keep in mind the following benchmarks which show the cards trading blows. If energy efficiency is important to you, the GTX 1070 is the leader in that category.

GTX 1070 Ti Release

The GTX 1070 Ti is here and is positioned between the GTX 1070 and the GTX 1080 in our GPUs for the money. So, if you’re looking for a little more performance and a newer GPU right now, you’ll want to take a look.

Graphics Cards Under Around $250

If you’re simply planning on running in 1080p at 60FPS or casually play games you may find that you can get enough out of the RX 580 or the GTX 1060 6GB. Both of these cards do a fantastic job of handling AAA titles in ultra settings this year and even some in 1440p.

Unfortunately, the RX 580’s limited availability likely means that the  GTX 1060 is your only choice here. Still, it’s a good card at a good price and should save you around $150 that you can put towards other parts.

Finding the Right Motherboard

Keep in mind that if you’re using Coffee Lake, you’ll need a new 300 series LGA 1151 motherboard. Coffee Lake is not backwards compatible with previous generations. If you go with something like the Ryzen 5 1600 instead here, a cheap B350 motherboard like the MSI PC Mate would be a good choice here.

I wish we could go with a cheap H or B motherboard here. Keep in mind that if you end up doing that in a few months, you can only use up to 2666MHz memory. So, you might want to go with something cheaper than I’ll list here.

The best alternative to an H or B motherboard is an inexpensive Z370 board. Fortunately, we get a ton of features even on the lower-end side of Z370. The ASRock Z370 Pro4 is our choice here. It features plenty of expansion slots including 2 x Ultra M.2 sockets and the Realtek ALC892 chipset. Not bad for a $120 board. Other features include 10 Phase, Digi Power, Intel LAN, M.2 Key E, Triple Monitor, and RGB lighting.

Storage Options

We want something fast and inexpensive here so we’re going with a 250GB Western Digital M.2 drive. Throw in one of your old hard drives if you need additional capacity. If you need additional storage and can’t afford above $1,000, you’ll likely need to cut the cost of the GPU here.

The Right Kind of Memory for This $1,000 PC Build

We’ve talked about what we think is the best DDR4 memory for the money in the past. And even though it would be nice to go with 16GB of memory here, it simply isn’t possible with our budget and the current inflated price of RAM. So, we’re going with Corsair Vengeance LPX 3000MHz memory. The faster speed should give you some additional performance here and doesn’t cost that much more. If you end up going with an H series motherboard in 2018, buy the cheaper 2666MHz RAM.

Power Supplies Under $50

Even with a $1,000 budget, it seems well worth it to get a good power supply here. Stable power and longevity are just a few of the reasons. Seasonic makes quality options that I put high up on our tier list. However, the EVGA G series is typically the overall best value here. The CS 550M would be an additional alternative here.

Gaming Cases Under $50

There are any number of cases that would work here, but the one drawing my attention the most this month is the Corsair 100R. At around $50 it gives you a lot of value for the money and has plenty of space for the parts we’ve chosen.

Low Availability of Coffee Lake CPUs

Still, if you’re building right now, the Ryzen 5 1600 is more available and has a wider variety of motherboards to choose from. Regardless, you end up with a processor that more than capable of driving a graphics card that we can afford at this price point. Overall this setup gives you a decent motherboard CPU and GPU combo for what you spend.

Additional References:

The video below from Hardware Unboxed gives you some in-game benchmarks for reference:

Final Thoughts:

Overall, I feel like our $1,000 build is a good place to start for gamers looking for a Coffee Lake processor that want to maximize performance and value. See the chart above for the entire build as well as some additional thoughts and insights.


Big Dreams, Small Coffee Shops. How to Start Your Coffee Shop on a Budget

You might have dreams to start a small coffee shop or full-kitchen café that serves a larger crowd during breakfast and brunch. Or you may envision opening a busy coffee house that offers live music and a wide variety of food.

Whichever you choose, one thing is for certain:

You have big dreams.

However, your actual budget may be delaying your goals to start your coffee shop. This is where I believe it's time to switch tactics to realize your dream. When you switch strategies, I believe that you can and will reach your ultimate goal.

If you already know your ultimate goal. You're in good shape. Most people aren't sure what they want. Financial barriers can also muddy the waters. I believe that sometimes the best way to move forward towards realizing your goals is by taking small and deliberate steps in that direction. It sounds simple, right?

When it comes to opening your dream coffee shop, dream big, but start small.

Many successful and larger coffee shops actually started off small, very small. This would include starting off as a coffee drive-thru stand, a coffee cart, a coffee kiosk, or coffee cart.

Or you might consider starting a tiny café with outside seating only.  

Many successful coffee business owners can reduce their initial startup costs, day-to-day operational costs, and fixed costs by trimming down their business concept – in the beginning. By never losing sight of your ultimate goal, you can take an important and potentially profitable step in reaching your goal.

Additionally, starting a small coffee shop can help you “grow as you grow”, especially when we are talking about things like taking care of human resources.


Coffee trailer. Source:

A Lowered Coffee Shop Budget May Increase Your Creativity

Okay, so you may not have a million dollars to open your coffee business. You may not even have $200,000 to start a coffee shop. That’s okay, because most likely you wouldn’t need that much anyway – if you start a small coffee business!

You will soon discover that the actual costs of your coffee shop or coffee stand will depend largely on the concept, real estate, remodeling, furniture, and fixtures. Doing a complete remodel on a real estate place can cost tens of thousands of dollars and up.

Some coffee shop owners can easily spend $200,000 dollars on remodeling, doing light construction, and putting in the fixtures that would help realize their vision.

But you can also start very small too. By minimizing your business concept and increasing your creativity you can align your coffee business with the available financing that you have.

For example instead of opening a large coffee shop or coffeehouse, you may consider opening a coffee drive-thru stand or kiosk. You may be able to utilize a “space” that isn’t being used for anything at all.

By having the ability to see through the current uses of space in different parts of your city in a manner that best serves customers can offer you an opportunity to build a great coffee business!

Opening a Small Coffee Shop Has Its Benefits

By opening small coffee shop first, you can learn the skills and get the business experience you will need to effectively and efficiently run a larger-scale coffee business (or businesses). There are plenty of great benefits to starting a coffee shop. If you are looking at the financial barriers of starting a coffee business, why not scale-down and start a smaller coffee business?


Here’s a quick brief list of some benefits when you start a small coffee shop:

  • It costs less money to start a coffee business. Of course, this is a big one for most soon-to-be coffee shop owners. The investment you will make will be considerably less than a full-fledged café. A coffee shop with a full kitchen, coffee bar, and adequate space for seating could cost you $250,000 to remodel, build out, and buy the equipment for. Yet a relatively small coffee operation may cost you only $15,000.
  • Your day-to-day operations will be less expensive as well. For example, you probably might not need a large number of staff or baristas. Labor costs can quickly add up. Variable costs such as utilities, coffee, etc., can add up the costs.
  • With a small staff you can learn about HR (Human Resource) issues, such as payroll, workers compensation, and insurance.
  • Inventory: You will be able to learn about how to manage your inventory.
  • Ability to build your brand. Starting a small coffee shop means that you can slowly and effectively build out your brand. Test your marketing before “going big”.




 How to Start Your Coffee Shop on a Budget

It takes money to start a coffee shop. The question is: how much money does it take to start a coffee shop?

The answer you want to hear depends a lot on your startup costs, fixed and variable costs.

Fixed and variable costs are those such as rental space, equipment, labor, and inventory expenditures. If you can reduce your fixed and variable costs while serving coffee you can create a profitable business.

A small coffee shop business might cost between $45,000 and $150,000. However, you might be able take over ownership of a coffee stand for $10,000 or less. It all depends on the location (location, location!), the existing Profit & Loss Statements, Income Statements, Cash Flow Statements, and the comparable value you, as a buyer, believe the business has. 

What costs will you have to pay to establish your coffee shop or coffee stand regardless of size?

  • Legal/Business Registration Fees
  • Espresso Machine Costs
  • Coffee Grinders
  • Power supply
  • Water
  • Furniture & Fixtures
  • Small wares
  • Inventory (coffee)
  • Rental Space
  • Security deposits
  • Other costs depending on your concept/space/location

Looking at all these costs is important to your overall coffee shop budget. Previously, we’ve detailed coffee shop startup costs in this article here for you.



Dream Big by Opening a Small Coffee Shop

Starting a coffee shop starts with a dream. Realizing your budget, it’s okay to dream big by starting a small coffee shop. We’ve seen it before and we know we will continue to see small and profitable coffee businesses pop up everywhere.

Starting small can reap bigger or better profits over time for the obvious reasons. For many, you want to climb out of a mountain debt to simply get to the all-important “break-even” point.

You can experiment with your logo, branding, and develop a very local following.  Developing your expertise and familiarizing yourself with local laws, hiring practices, and regulations can be easier with a small scale coffee shop or coffee stand.

  • Start with a minimal viable business
  • Do your research and planning
  • Understand your budget
  • Look at Crowd sourcing for additional funding


Start With The Minimal Viable Coffee Business

This is the great “non” secret: Start your coffee shop by starting small. If money is your biggest issue, then you may consider starting with the minimal viable (but profitable) coffee business that you can. This may mean starting a coffee stand, a coffee kiosk, or maybe a coffee cart. You may also consider starting a coffee espresso catering business.  Any of these may (emphasize the may) cost you less than a traditional small coffee business.  

If money has got you down when it comes to your coffee business. Act like you have the money anyway. What I mean by this is that you should through the motions of starting a coffee shop or coffee cart.  Planning and writing your business plan doesn't require a lot of money at all.

Begin to develop your branding, your logo, your business concept. Write your business plan. Check out potential competition. Do your market research. Invest in getting to know the retail coffee industry.

These things require time, thoughtfulness, and maybe some time writing things down. What you'll find is that doing the heavy lifting thinking can help you start your business.


This small coffee stand is embedded in a building in downtown Seattle. It's about 140 square feet.


Making healthy profits doesn't have to be created from a giant coffee shop. Healthy profits can be generated from a small coffee stand, coffee kiosk, coffee cart, or coffee truck. Of course, there are a multitude of factors that may lead to profits, but the biggest one is fixed costs. By having a smaller coffee shop business, typically your fixed costs will also be lower. 


This beautiful coffee shop is located in Portland.


Coffee businesses can come in all shapes and sizes. And they could also be beautiful and interesting too! The coffee shop above is well designed for the unique space it has to generate income. 


Great cafes come in all shapes and sizes: Photo Credit:


Consider areas in your town or city. Can you utilize an existing space that is already in use in a different way? Or perhaps the space is not in use at all. We've seen many great coffee business build out of existing spaces.


This coffee business is located in a shared-work space in Seattle.


Many coffee businesses start small but end up making a big impact in their communities, for their customers, and for employees. We have a feeling that if you start a coffee shop or coffee business in your community, you will be driving up value for you and your neighbors too.  

Consider taking a look at our blog for more topics on starting a coffee shop or setting up a coffee stand.  If you want to start a coffee shop, but don't know where to start you have plenty of options and plenty of “starting” points. For starters, you probably have lots of questions about the process of setting up your coffee shop.

That's why we've created one of the easiest, convenient, and affordable way to start your coffee business.

Our Coffee Shop Startup Kit contains hours and hours of audio interviews with coffee shop owners and business experts, offering relevant discussions that you will want to hear before you start your coffee business.



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Set your coffee budget and avoid most expensive coffee

Unless you live or work in a coffee shop or can get your fill at work, you will most likely be making coffee at home some days. Ideally, coffee made at home should be more convenient, cost less, and taste better. Sure you can try the most expensive coffee you can buy as a treat but over the course of a year making coffee at home will save you money. Even trying the most expensive coffee you can find from a specialty coffee roaster which could run up to $100 a pound (we recommend avoiding the gimmicky Kopi Luwak) will not break the bank if you regularly are making coffee at home.

Let’s look just at the cost of making coffee at home.

Below is a visual representation of the price of roasted coffee beans for home use compared with the price of a Starbucks 12oz tall coffee that currently runs about $1.85. (Prices as of 1/1/2016).  See of table of how many cups of coffee in a pound.



*Home brewing equipment costs not included in this graph (see below for those)

It is no surprise that the price of coffee beans for home brewing always works out to be less than buying Starbucks coffee (with the exception of the most expensive coffee at about $72 per pound Intelligentsia special reserve coffee sold in bags under a half pound in size). Intelligentsia regularly special selection coffee priced at over $70 a pound.


BUT brewing at home has other costs that include:

  • Coffee machine (or AeroPress, pour-over device, French press)
  • Grinder (if you purchase whole bean coffee)
  • Scale (optional but a good idea)
  • Water and electricity (small)
  • Time (generally more favorable for home)


Taking the long term view on avoiding most expensive coffee

Purchasing coffee brewing equipment for home requires taking the long view. Ignoring the cost of water and time, it’s fun to calculate potential five-year costs with 3 different equipment budgets. All of the calculations are done on a household level assuming a day budget for $4.90 in purchased coffee which is equivalent to 2 Starbucks Venti drinks at $2.45 apiece or any other combination of drinks you want or making two small pots or one larger pot of coffee at home. (40 ounces of brew water at the SCAA dosing level or slightly less coffee if you dose higher.)

Green = equipment $

Blue = coffee $

Red = coffee shop $

Interested in a coffee subscription and how that price compares? The Intelligentsia single origin column is approximately the higher end price of what a subscription service costs that provides a 12 ounce bag every week. On average the cost would land between the third wave bulk purchase and the Intelligentsia single origin price. For example here are a few prices:

  • MistoBox subscription is $17.50-$18.70 a week (12 ounce bag) based on a 1.5-3 month commitment
  • Ruby coffee is $22 a shipment (1lb once a month)
  • Counter Culture subscription is $28.35 for 2-12 ounce bags



  1. Cheapest route possible and an equipment budget of just $80 over 5 years. Find whatever brewer you have lying around and just make it work. Paper filters will eat up all the equipment budget. Purchase all coffee pre-ground.



2. Deluxe home brewing equipment budget over 5 years. This budget of $742 would include the purchase of a high-end home grinder and numerous brew devices along with a scale and a kettle or high-end coffee machine.


3. Commercial equipment budget. This budget is high enough to purchase a Mahlkonig EK43 grinder and numerous brew devices, a fancy scale or two made by Acaia, along with a kettle or high-end coffee machine. Total equipment budget set at $3252 over 5 years.


There is also the question of quantity and quality. If you need a caffeine fix sometimes anything will do. Personally, I cannot drink a 20-ounce Starbucks at once (or over the course of the day!) due to caffeine overload. When making coffee at home, often just an 8-ounce cup will do.

How many cups of coffee in a pound?


12oz mug 10 oz mug 8 oz cup 6 oz cup
1 pound bag 18 21 27 36
12 ounce bag 13 16 20 27


Cups per pound was calculated using a standard 60 grams of coffee per liter of brew water at about 200-205F. Density adjusted at 960grams a liter. Finished beverage weight was calculated by subtracting two times the weight of the coffee to account for water absorbed by the grounds.


Source links:

Size of Starbucks Venti at 20 ounces

Coffee prices:


Maxwell House

Costco $39.99 for 3 (2 pound bags) on (1/2/16)

Price for the third wave bulk was from an order I placed earlier this year for 4kg of coffee.

Starbucks prices:

Starbucks large or Venti price increase of July, 2015 to $2.45

Starbucks whole coffee $8.99 a pound on sale (1/2/16)

Starbucks whole coffee $14.99 a pound (1/2/16)

Intelligentsia single origin prices (1/2/2016)


Caffeine safe limit of 300-400grams a day (EFSA or European Food Safety Authority) for an adult, which would be about 1 Venti

Best Budget Coffee Lake Processors for Gaming & Work in 2018

Intel has finally come up with their latest 8th generation Coffee Lake processors for Desktop users. These new 8th Generation Coffee Lake processors offers major improvement over the previous Skylake (6th generation) and Kaby Lake (7th Gen.) processors, as they are faster and comes with more cores and cache compared to their equivalent counterparts in previous generations.

Intel Coffee Lake processors are built on the 14nm manufacturing process. These processors come with LGA 1151 Socket but due to their different pin-layout, Coffee Lake processors are not compatible with the previous Skylake and Kaby Lake motherboards. These 8th generation Intel processors will only support the new Intel 300 series Z370 motherboards. If you are thinking of upgrading your PC or looking to build a new PC for gaming and professional work then it is better to go for these 8th generation Coffee Lake processors, because of their better performance and future upgradability. Here in this post I am going to list down the best budget coffee lake processors from Intel for building a gaming PC or a powerful workstation.  Let us first now look at the new features in the latest Coffee Lake Processors.

Major Features of Coffee Lake Processors

  • Increased number of Cores
  • Increased L3 Cache in all models
  • Higher Turbo Clock Speeds (up to 200MHz)
  • 50MHz higher iGPU speeds
  • Supports DDR4 2666MHz (i5 & i7) & DDR4 2400MHz (i3)

The increase in the number of cores and cache in the Coffee Lake processors went up to 4 Cores and 6MB (8MB in i3-8350K) for Core i3, 6 Cores and 9MB for Core i5, and 6 Cores and 12MB in case of Core i7 processors. The latest 8 Gen Core series processors will now support higher speed DDR4 RAM and has discontinued the support for DDR3 RAM. Although the new Coffee Lake CPUs are faster and has got higher specs but their power consumption remains the same as Kaby Lake processors.

Budget Coffee Lake Processors (8th Generation)

Here are the best Coffee Lake processors for the money. These include Intel Core i3 and Core i5 processor models and all of them include support for Intel Optane Memory.

Intel Core i3-8100 Processor

Intel Core i3-8100 is an entry level and a budget Coffee Lake processor that you can get for your budget gaming PC or for professional work. This is a true quad-core processor that has got clock speed of 3.6 GHz and comes with 6MB cache. The processor comes with Intel UHD Graphics 630 graphics which is sufficient for running older games on 720p or 900p resolutions, running 4K video and watching Blu-ray or FHD movies. The maximum power consumption of this processor is 65W and it comes bundled with fan and cooler. I would certainly advise you to get a good budget aftermarket CPU cooler for this processor because the stock coolers are not good enough for these fast processors. When paired with a good mid-range graphics card, you can easily play all the latest games on high graphics settings at 1080p using this processor. 

The introduction of more cores and higher cache in the Coffee Lake processors has really changed the whole game. This is because this Core i3-8100 processor can be easily compared to the seventh generation Core i5 7400 and Core i5 7500 processors that have got almost same specifications but comes with a much higher price. So, now by getting a Core i3-8100 you can expect the same performance of the previous mid-range Core i5 processors at much lower price. So, if you are on budget and want the best budget coffee lake processor then I think you won’t get anything better than the Core i3-8100.Highly Recommended by me.

Intel Core i3-8100 Processor Specifications
Clock Speed 3.60 MHz
Cores 4, Quad Core
Threads 4
Cache 6 MB
Socket LGA 1151
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 630
Hyper-Threading No

Buy Intel Core i3-8100 Processor

Intel Core i3-8350K Processor

Intel Core i3-8350K is the top of the line Core i3 Coffee Lake processor that comes with much higher clock speed and more cache. This is also a quad core processor that has got clock speed of 4 GHz and comes with 8 MB cache. As it is a K series processor which means it has got unlocked multiplier and you can overclock this processor further using a good liquid CPU cooler or air CPU cooler. This high-end Core i3 processor comes with Intel UHD Graphics 630 integrated graphics and has TDP of 91W which is a bit on the higher side.

The performance of this processor can be comparable to the 7th generation Core i5 7600 or even to Core i5 7600K. Core i3-8350K is much cheaper than the high-end Core i5 Kaby Lake processors and it offers almost similar kind of performance. So, if you want a budget powerful processor that can be overclocked then this processor is really a steal.

Intel Core i3-8350K Processor Specifications
Clock Speed 4.00 GHz
Cores 4, Quad Core
Threads 4
Cache 8 MB
Socket LGA 1151
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 630
Hyper-Threading No

Buy Intel Core i3-8350K Processor

Intel Core i5-8400 Processor

Intel Core i5-8400 is the entry level and a budget Core i5 processor in the latest Coffee Lake processor series from Intel. This is a hexa-core processor and has got Base clock speed of 2.80 GHz and TurboBoost clock speed of 4.00 GHz. The processor comes with 9 MB cache and Intel UHD Graphics 630 IGPU. The processor is very power efficient and has got TDP of only 65 Watts.

This is a powerful processor and its performance can be matched against the AMD Ryzen 5 1600 or Core i7 7700 & 7700K Kaby Lake processors. This is a great processor for gaming and when coupled with a mid-range or high-end graphics card, you can play all the latest AAA games on highest settings at 1440p and 4K. Also, you can get processor at a much cheaper price compared to a high-end Core i7 Kaby Lake Processor. Highly Recommended by me.

Note: If you want an unlocked Core i5 8th generation processor then you can get Core i5 8600K, but it will cost you way more than the Core i5 8400.

Intel Core i5-8400 Processor Specifications
Clock Speed 2.80 GHz (Base) / 4.00 GHz (Turbo)
Cores 6, Hexa Core
Threads 6
Cache 9 MB
Socket LGA 1151
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 630
Hyper-Threading No

Buy Intel Core i5-8400 Processor

High-end Coffee Lake Processors for Gaming

The high-end Coffee Lake processors include Core i7 8700 and Core i7 8700K. Both of these are hexa-core processors (six cores) and come with 12MB cache. Core i7 8700K is an unlocked processor and can be overclocked to higher frequencies using a good liquid CPU cooler. Also both of the these 8th generation Core i7 processors supports Hyper-threading and can execute 12 Threads at once which makes them more suitable for heavy multi-tasking jobs and for use in high-end multi-threaded professional softwares or applications.

Final Thoughts

It is no denying fact that the latest Coffee Lake processors from Intel are very fast and offers considerable improvement over the previous generation Kaby Lake and Skylake processors. They are super fast, consumes less power, great for gaming & VR and offers you most value for your money. The successor of Coffee Lake processors will be Cannonlake processors which will be built on the 10nm manufacturing technology. If you have any doubts regarding processors then you can ask me your queries by leaving a comment below.

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