How much does your coffee actually cost?
Today in the New York Times, Oliver Strand wrote an article that shows people how much their Nespresso capsules and K-Cups actually cost. He says,
For example, the Nespresso Arpeggio costs $5.70 for 10 espresso capsules, while the Folgers Black Silk blend for a K-Cup brewed-coffee machine is $10.69 for 12 pods. But that Nespresso capsule contains 5 grams of coffee, so it costs about $51 a pound. And the Folgers, with 8 grams per capsule, works out to more than $50 a pound.
My initial reaction to hearing what people are paying for such a low quality coffee was frustration. Especially when you can so easily get a freshly roasted bag of some of the world’s best coffee for approximately $25. Being a lover of coffee I want everyone to drink the best coffee they can. This makes it easy to get discouraged when you read how many plastic pods of pre-ground coffee that these companies sell per year. Just when I thought all hope was lost and was on the verge of giving up coffee for good, I saw that James Hoffmann had written a kind of blog post response to that article with his thoughts on the whole thing. He has this to say,
Ultimately my point is this: Nespresso and K-Cups success clearly demonstrate that people are happy to pay more for coffee. They are happy to pay a lot more. Their enormous sales volumes are solid evidence of this. I don’t think we should be angry about how much they charge, unless we’re directing this at our own failures to reach that price point despite having better product. One could infer that Nespresso’s success implies we’re way too cheap.
What I love about Hoffmann’s post is that he shifts the attention from being angry at these companies to the lessons we can learn from their success. One of the battles that people in specialty coffee are fighting right now is trying to convince the general public that coffee, especially good coffee, is worth paying more for. Paying more for your coffee is a good thing. Why not pay more for good coffee instead of paying more for bad? I’m excited to see the world of specialty coffee step up their game and to continue to practice what they preach. I have faith in quality and I think the general public does too. It’s just a matter of convincing people how good quality coffee can be.
*Read the rest of Oliver Strand’s article here. Read the rest of James Hoffmann’s blog post here. In my opinion these guys are two of the best writers/bloggers in the coffee world and you should read as much as you can from them. Also check out the cool chart below from www.dearcoffeeiloveyou.com - another awesome coffee blog.