You Don’t Need That Premium Coffee


Starbucks, the biggest coffee chain in the world, serves over 40 million customers a week. This week, I was one of them. I walked in to my local store, waited on line, ordered my coffee with chocolate and slapped my $5 bill on the counter, only to get back a few silver coins and a couple copper ones. As I walked over to the drink counter, awaiting the incorrect pronunciation of my name, I thought – how can people order this every day and still afford rent?

Coffee is the most popular drug in the world (well, the caffeine inside of it is), so naturally, people drink it almost every day, sometimes two, three, or four times. But is it the addictive nature of the caffeine that makes people purge their wallets for the hot beverage? Or do they really see a value in buying a daily or semi-daily $4 coffee?

In my experience, most dark roast coffees taste the same, with slight variations based on the origin, etc. But why are people paying $4 for a medium coffee at Starbucks, when McDonalds and 7-11 sell any size cups for $1. That’s a savings of $21 a week, or $1,092 a year. Simply because you went to McDonalds instead of Starbucks.

There are a lot of people who enjoy the experience of getting coffee. They enjoy the dim lighting of a local shop, with people around tapping on laptops, sitting in outlandish chairs and sofas, and the high-pitched squeaking of the espresso machine. These aren’t the type of shops that are usually the go-to in the early morning of the daily commuter (unless you live in Beverly Hills, or something). These shops are important and have their place. They’re meant for people to come in, sit down, and recharge. They’re a destination for friendly meet-ups or interviews, reunions with old friends, and refuge from a cold winter day. In this case, I could understand getting the $4 coffee and watching it be made in front of your eyes to be put in a giant mug that you can shuffle to your seat in the café.

But at Starbucks? When you’re running in to grab energy and leave needing to think about a second job? There’s no value in that. Starbucks serves strong coffee, and maybe that’s why it costs so much. But if I’m going to invest in this drug every day, it needs to be affordable.