A stranger in a strange café
This photo is taken at the Starbucks a few blocks from my house. These people are waiting about 10 minutes in an artificial traffic jam for the privilege of spending $6 on mediocre coffee.
It's actually really easy to make better, faster, cheaper coffee at home.
After this, the cost of each marginal cup of coffee is the cost of beans and — if you're a latte person — milk.
I get my ingredients from the local Whole Foods where 28.5 oz of ground coffee is $9.30 and a half gallon of whole milk is $2.
Each serving of coffee uses about 0.5 oz of ground coffee and half a cup of milk, for a grand total of $0.30 per serving.
That's over $5 per day in savings. If our Starbucks customer goes every workday, that's $1300 per year. Seattle's median after-tax income is $60,000 — $1300 is over 2% of that!
If I told you that you could get a 2% raise by drinking better coffee and not wasting 10 minutes in a drive-thru, would you do it? Of course!
It gets even better. Our median income Seattleite values their time at around $30-40 per hour. Taking into account the time value of waiting in a drive-thru, the real cost of that drink is actually around $12.
I've dialed in a routine for making a silky-smooth foamed latte in about 2.5 minutes, so taking time into account, my all-in costs are around $2. That's $10 saved every single day! $2500 per year! Enjoying higher quality coffee!
I had to time myself making coffee to write this article accurately, so here's a video of an extra-foamy latte I made.