Bargain Betty

Bargain Betty’s money savvy tips

Some thoughts about coffee


I’m the biggest hypocrite when it comes to buying coffee.  I don’t believe in buying the daily Latte. But I do it.  I try lamely to justify it by saying it is my sanity time. Or when I’m really being fanciful I suggest it’s a big part of our culture here in New Zealand to drink coffee in cafes. That is true, compared to places like the US and UK. But it’s still not an excuse.

Since the GST rise the price of a coffee has risen way more than the 2.5% rise. I’ve seen lots of cafes put it up from $4 to $4.50 in the past few weeks. For the first time I’m starting to rate cafes not just on the quality of their coffee, but the price.

I have to say that I’ve become way more attached to the Devonport Deli in the past month.  That cafe (where the coffee is decent, but not amazing) sells pre-paid cards for 11 cups of coffee.  That brings the price of the daily latte down to $3.60 per cup (less if you’re a flat white drinker). Admittedly that’s still $3.60 too much. But it’s an awful lot better than $4.50 or even $4.80 that I’ve seen.

Finally, caffeine is an evil drug. It really is. I once read that it’s more addictive and more toxic than LSD.

15 Comments to

“Some thoughts about coffee”

  1. On November 12th, 2010 at 1:47 pm cedar51 Says:

    I am in two minds about it all. When I’m at Uni or similar places we ‘catch’ up with one another and we always do the ‘coffee’ – sometimes the cake as well.

    I have quite a few coffee cards for the various places on Campus only about 3 of them use the same card. Once you got a free coffee every 5th one but now many of them have zoomed up to 9th. Some write on the card what your usual one is for when you get the free one so you don’t go to larger size.

    S.K. & I met once a week when GST soared we changed cafes but then we missed the nice staff and the great service so we went back to it.

    I have a tendency to go to places that understand my needs – I have a disability that makes drinking out of cafe cups difficult so I either have to have a mug or a take-away container. I also gauge it on taste. There is one place ‘trendy’ place on campus I will never get another cup of dishwater again from!!

    I haven’t thought about the pricing but it ranges from $3.90 (not changed yet) – $4.50/60.

    I also like to ‘hot choc’ which again can vary…one place on campus (just take-away) uses a very nice Belgian grade of choco most use something that looks like Cadbury drinking choco a bit wishy washy…

  2. On November 12th, 2010 at 4:35 pm Rajesh Says:

    I would be fooling myself if I said I was a coffee addict though I used to go to the Devonport Esquires almost every other day. I would drink White chocolate Mocca. Almost always ended up on the $6.90 deal of coffee and chocolate cake – which I shared with my son. None the less it was my cholesterol that went up !!

    I do miss reading the NZ business magazine and the ideas it gave me however have now moved to having Jarrahs coffee blends. I think processed sugar is the silent killer as compared to Caffeine. I like how Doctor OZ presents health issues –

    What are your thoughts on Flora Pro Active – I think its totally rubbish – spread your way out of cholesterol – maybe another blog from you 🙂

  3. On November 12th, 2010 at 5:15 pm Bargain Betty Says:

    I haven’t really given Flora Proactive any thoughts. You can do without spread completely if you simply choose not to buy it. Usually the best policy with this sort of thing. But that’s just my opinion.

  4. On November 12th, 2010 at 7:39 pm Pip Says:

    Now I am feeling faintly superior here – my wine habit costs less than your coffee habit per week!!

  5. On November 12th, 2010 at 8:17 pm Bargain Betty Says:

    Fair point. But a few questions. Do you only buy 1.5 bottles of wine a week? Or do you buy very cheap wine?
    How much is your wine and coffee habit per week cost you? 🙂

  6. On November 12th, 2010 at 9:09 pm Henriette Says:

    Hello! Nice to find your blog!
    I hardly spend any money at all on coffee or wine. I have a ‘Keep Cup’, which I fill with home espressed coffee before I leave the house (or tea, depending on the time of day).
    If I ever find myself meeting a friend at a cafe` (although I do try to meet somewhere more ‘free’ – ha!), I order a plain hot soy milk, and usually get charged $2.
    Yes, I pretty much refuse to spend money on coffee from cafes, when I can make just as nice coffee at home.
    As for wine? I’m a breastfeeding Muma, so wine doesn’t feature in my healthy food pyramid any more. Shame.

  7. On November 12th, 2010 at 9:14 pm Bargain Betty Says:

    Don’t give up that breastfeeding too soon. It’s a wondering time with your baby. I was horrified when my last child gave up breastfeeding one morning when he was two and a quarter years old. He simply said; “poo yuk” and that was it. A friend of mine, who never intended to breastfeed beyond six months, was still waiting for her “poo yuk moment” when her boy got to four years old. 🙂

  8. On November 12th, 2010 at 9:21 pm cedar51 Says:

    Henriette, I also have a keep cup which is useful addition instead of takeaway cups but somehow it is never in my bag!! I didn’t get it because of that but because of the problems I have with my hands – a hereditary complaint that I mentioned above.

    According to my OT some places are now offering a discount if you have a keep cup – but I haven’t found one yet!

    Rajesh, I have never thought about the various spreads that are supposed to do something for ‘one’ – I have a tendency to buy the Oliv*** sort in the biggest container at the time of a big shopping days. I know someone who thinks anything that says something about lower *** must be good for you!

  9. On November 12th, 2010 at 9:27 pm Bargain Betty Says:

    I can make just about as nice a coffee at home with my Rancilio Silvia machine. But it’s the experience of sitting in a cafe and getting out of home that I enjoy, more than the caffeine itself. It’s part of being a Kiwi to me. But I’d rather not spend the money.
    The story behind why I bought this machine is a real what-not-to-buy story if you’re a tightwad. Maybe one day I’ll tell it. 🙂

  10. On November 12th, 2010 at 9:28 pm Bargain Betty Says:

    I suppose I could also justify the coffee in that I don’t pay to commute to work (petrol or public transport fares). But that is also an excuse. I’m full of them.

  11. On November 12th, 2010 at 10:30 pm Pip Says:

    If you’re spending $18 – 20 per week, that would equal almost 2 bottles of a decent wine brand with all the specials out there at the moment – and I don’t have a decent cafe anywhere near me (believe me, have tried them all!) so I think you’re just in front – I’m sure I’m not drinking 2 bottles a week on my own – surely not?!
    We all need a habit of some sort to keep our conscience fit and healthy and functioning. That’s my excuse anyway.

  12. On November 13th, 2010 at 12:52 am katherine Wilson Says:

    A three shot black coffee in the UK costs about £2 so I’m not sure if that is cheaper than the prices you are paying, but the real thing for me is that unlike most things which are much nice when you make them yourself, coffee (assuming you don’t go anywhere near starbucks) is better than you can make at home – something to do with the pressure at which the water passes through the coffee I think. It is for this reason mainly that I keep handing over the cash.

  13. On November 13th, 2010 at 9:19 am Henriette Says:

    Thanks BB, I fully intend to keep bf’ing as long as possible! “Poo yuk”? Ha!
    Ceder – you just have to get into a habit with carrying the Keep Cup. It’s part of my ‘pack up the pram and leave the house’ routine 😉
    My husband makes THE BEST coffee with our simple Italian stovetop espresso. Better than most cafe’s 😉

  14. On November 13th, 2010 at 2:55 pm Rob Hosking Says:

    The first cafe coffee I ever had, I felt I’d been shortchanged. Just after moving to Auckland, mid-80s. I’d had a late night, I’d heard about this espresso stuff and thought I’d give it a go.

    Ordered one in a little coffee bar up one of the arcades just south of where Whitcoulls Corner in Queen St is now.

    They served me this black liquid in a cup about the size of a film cannister.

    Bloody rip off, I thought.

    Four hours later, I was still bouncing off the walls…..

  15. On December 4th, 2010 at 5:50 pm cedar51 Says:
    20 reasons why you should work in a cafe – thought you might like this…

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