In the UK, the going price for a cup of coffee in London is £1.85 for an “Americana”. This consists of a cup of medium size black coffee with a small jug of cold milk on the side. We are assailed by advertising that 70% of people prefer Costa’s coffee to Starbucks. And I have to admit, I have always thought they were the best of the chains and Starbucks the worst. So I will talk about Costa.
Many people buy much more fanciful coffees and pay up to £5 a cup and, no matter how much people earn, I do find this difficult to understand. What on earth are their objectives when visiting a coffee bar? Mine are either to waste a little time between appointments, pass a little time with clients or friends, or have a shot of caffeine to keep me awake. One thing it is not is to gorge myself in thick cream or lots of milky froth. Or to waste money I could more productively use elsewhere.
This is not to say I don’t appreciate the taste of coffee. I am a coffee fanatic. But I like the taste of coffee a lot more than I like the taste of milk or froth. I spent £725 on a “beans to cup” coffee machine which makes really professional coffee. And I have discovered a half priced pachaged coffee from I.K.E.A. Apart from assemble-your-own furniture, their stores have a small Swedish shop by the checkouts where you can buy all sorts of foods from Sweden. Their coffee, at £1.15 for a 250 gram bag is much less that half of the price of a bag from the Supermarkets and tastes 100% better. For example, Tesco’s top of the range at £2.80.
Using my machine, 250 grams make 36 cups of coffee – I have just measured it for this article. That is 3.2p per cup of first rate adorable coffee. And 58 cups of this excellent coffee work out at the same price of a single Costa, Starbucks or any other of the chain coffee shop Americana coffee..
How much do you pay for your coffee? If you just drink one cup each working day in a coffee bar, that works out at £481 a year for an Americana. However, if you drink the top of the range fancy coffee, then you are paying up to £1,300 a year. If you buy three cups a day, then you are paying between £1,443 and £3,900 a year. This is sheer madness. If I were still working, I would take a flask to work to cut down most of my expenditure. A cup of my home coffee for a 7 day week for the year works out at £11.65, or £34.95 if I have three cups a day.
Those of you still in jobs who think they can afford to ignore this must be very, very sure that their jobs are secure.