I’ll admit that I am intrigued by this coffee culture of ours. I cannot really figure it out.
A coffee at Tim Horton’s, established as a Canadian chain and eventually bought by Wendy’s, is just under $2. People will visit Tim’s several times a day for their coffee, which is not one of those pleasant, smooth, rich blends. It’s just a pretty average coffee. Then there are the coffee connoisseurs who habit the more expensive coffee bars for fair trade stuff that is home roasted, carefully teased, manicured and served under a flotilla of foam. For as much as $6 or $7, and sometimes even more. Again, they will do this more than once a day.
Now there are some, but not many, who combine their visit to the coffee shop with a social stop to chat with a friend, have an informal meeting or read the paper. Most of the coffee shop visits, though, are much quicker. Up to the counter, or the drive-thru, to order a coffee that has a 10 or 12 word description (tall-non-fat-foam-French-roast-latte-with-a-shot-of-almond-to-go). They’ll spend ten minutes or more in line, and then wait off to the side for another five minutes while the barista whisks it all together, and vroom, they’re gone.
Even with coffee prices having gone up, I can purchase a very fine bag of coffee for a reasonable price. I can brew it in my very reasonably priced pot at home, and mix it up exactly how I like it. I can do this for next to nothing, pour it into my travel mug and vroom, off I go.
When I talk to people who are complaining about their financial situation, and we get honest about their coffee habit, it’s costing them an equivalent of a warm weather vacation stop (2 coffees per day at Tim’s, 5 days a week and one $6 special at Steve-o-reno’s or Just Us on the weekend, at $27 per week is about $1400 a year). That’s a lot of coffee.
I’ve calculated that my habit costs me about 60 cents a cup at home and I don’t have to stand in line to wait, and that’s for the fair trade espresso laced stuff, which I really love. I drink a cup or two a day, and yes, I visit Just Us or another local coffee place to visit with someone and spend about $18 a month doing so. That $18 plus the coffee I buy for home at about $20 a month for my son and I is less than $450 per year.
Am I missing something?