Today’s post is about one of my favorite and maybe most abusive relationships, the one I have with coffee. You heard it. I’m confessing it all.
When I was 5, my father taught me how to use the coffee-maker (obviously, at that point, only to his benefit). When I was 13, my grandmother had me prepare her coffee for her each morning, and since then, I’ve been hooked.
A nice, beautiful, bold, brew starts each of my days and carries me some nights. In the States, we opt for a slow, dripped coffee for the every day, that produces a substance that’s much lighter in taste than the coffee that most other countries enjoy. I’ve heard our version of coffee described as “weak,” “watery,” and “useless.” Coffee drinkers typically have strict preferences. Some must grind their beans and make their own grounds. Some must drink it “black.” Others make their order, “light and sweet.”
Gone are the days when coffee was strictly a luxury beverage fit for queens and kings. Many of us celebrate our everyday royalty ritually, drinking a cup daily. But, what does coffee really cost us?
Well, a lot, if we are constantly getting our java on while on the go. One year, I kept track of the total amount of money I spent on coffee in a year. While, I won’t give the exact amount, it was relatively close to the price of a modestly priced used car.
We are all about convenience in the US, and now our coffee machines meet that desire too. Keurig’s single cup coffeemakers have been on the market since 1998.
Packaged with the price is the speed at which the coffee can be made, and we’ll happily trade money for time. It’s impacted what we expect and allow ourselves to pay for coffee. According to Oliver Strand’s article published today:
“Americans under the age of 40 are thinking about coffee pricing in cups,” said Ric Rhinehart, executive director of the Specialty Coffee Association of America. “If you asked my mother how much coffee cost, she would have told you that the red can was $5.25 a pound and the blue can was $4.25. If you ask people in their 20s and 30s, they’ll say coffee is $1.75 to $3.75 a cup.”
The way that coffee beverages are created and consumed, has shifted the way the consumer unitizes it. I’ve been pricing espresso machines for the past few years so that I can create the perfect cup of foamy espresso at home. I’ll tell you, it’ll be my next major purchase. Bye, bye, roasted, made-for-drip machine grounds. You may be missed.