When I buy really excellent coffee beans, I'm horrified by the cost. Shipping (which is highway robbery of course) pushes the rates up to about $28 per pound. To assuage my conscience, I follow an expensive order with a cheap one, more like $7/pound. In my opinion, the $7/pound coffee I buy still makes a better drink than you can buy in Starbucks, for dollars per cup.
I had never tried to figure out how many cups of coffee I can get for that money, but I'm tracking my consumption this time. At first I was hoping that the cost for my expensive beans would be less than $1.50 per cup, but it appears that the cost per cup will be much better, about $0.85. That's pretty fantastic, considering that I believe I'm making better coffee than I can buy in nearby coffee houses, and much cheaper too.
But here's the thing: As I noticed that the likely cost per cup was coming down, I did not get very excited. Because no matter how many cups I get per pound of beans, it's obvious that the $7/pound coffee costs one fourth of that. In relative terms: compared to Starbucks, my expensive coffee is a bargain; compared to supermarket prices, it's a grand luxury.