Coffee economics revisited


Former WBC champion James Hoffman has written an interesting post on the cost of coffee in your average cafe… He makes an interesting comparison between the price of espresso and the price of other high market beverages… he makes the point that most recession survival guides suggest cutting coffee out of their diets, and little wonder…

“Let’s say a single espresso in London costs £1.50, which is a little high but not by any means unusual. Assuming it is a 25ml shot that works out at 6p/ml.

If you were to go to a pub and buy a pint of espresso it would cost you £34.08. Or you bought a wine bottle of espresso it would cost £45. That is a phenomenal amount of money. Think about the drinks you can buy for that sort of price. They are either extremely delicious or extremely alcoholic.”

Which creates its own problems…

The problem is that a price tag like this is a pretty hefty promise. Selling an espresso for this much implies that the experience will be of equal value. Sip for sip it should be as satisfying as a great champagne. The problem is that in this country, in London, in the vast majority of businesses – it isn’t.

Charging this much and delivering something so awful as the average high street espresso destroys any trust between the coffee industry and the general public. This kind of price/experience discrepancy makes people feel stupid. It makes them resentful.

He suggests that this equation should lead towards the proliferation of brewed coffee, I’d suggest the best way to save money on coffee in a recession (and any time in fact) is to roast your own beans and make your coffee at home.

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.