A whole latte love: coffee shops vs coffee machines?
Expensive gourmet coffee has taken a lot of flack this recession. The consumer gourmet coffee ambience triangle of financial incontinence is something we both love and hate. We know how ridiculous it is to spend £3 on a cup of coffee, yet we keep on doing it. Here are some sobering statistics about coffee in the the UK (and the world):
- 30% of the coffee consumed in Britain is instant coffee.
- Almost three-fourths of Brits drink coffee regularly.
- In the north east, coffee is consumed almost twice as frequently as tea.
- Next to oil, coffee is the largest trade commodity in the world.
- According to Mintel, increased coffee drinking in the UK is mostly due to expansion of the big boys like Costa, Starbucks, and Caffe Nero, a segment of the economy that was worth £1.2 billion in 2008.
Speaking of Starbucks, there are almost 400 branches of Starbucks in the UK. For the customers who fork out over £2 a day on a small latte there, it adds up to a hefty £500 a year (assuming regular lattes Mon-Fri, 1 cup a day). For those happy drinking their coffee at Caffe Nero, a small Americano can be had for £1.30, or a small Latte for £1.50. Over the course of a year, the difference of drinking coffee at Starbucks or Caffe Nero is actually quite staggering: a difference of over £110.
But why do people keep going out for coffee when a 39 oz can of Folgers costs £19, enough for 120 servings according to the label? £0.16 per cup, even with the costs of water, electricity, and filters factored in, is not a huge cost. The likely answer? Laziness, and the cost of machinery. A coffee machine to make that £0.16 cup of coffee is not cheap. Most run in the region of mid to high 3 figures.
Here are 4 coffee machine options you can consider (and if you find better deals, please share them with us!):
- The Krups XP4020 is an Espresso and Capuccino Coffee Maker. At £94.33, the programmable 15-bar pump espresso machine with Thermoblock,steam nozzle, filter holder, 32 ounce removable water tank and a stainless steel drip tray for easy cleaning makes a pretty good buy. Reviews on Amazon.co.uk are worth a quick glance at, but appear generally good.
- The Philips Senseo Coffee Machine is £149.99. Sixty-four pods of Senseo Douwe Egberts Coffee costs £20 on Amazon, equal to £0.32 per pod. Don't let the single 1/5 rating deter you, as the reviews on Review Centre fare much better.
- The John Lewis Dualit Espressivo 84200 costs costs £155.
- The De'Longhi ESAM4200S Bean to Cup Espresso/Cappuccino maker is £349.99.
But that doesn't answer the fundamental question: why people go out for coffee rather than making it at home, if it saves money. Is it the coffeehouse ambience? The delectable aroma of gourmet coffees being served? Or following the wisdom of crowds? Or are we all just a bunch of lazy bastards?