I was thinking this morning how to us all some money and pounds, and I decided to attack the big one first – Coffee. After all, it is the world’s most popular beverage. How much coffee do you drink a day? More importantly, HOW much do you spend a day, and HOW MANY calories are in each drink? Here are some quick facts.
* Coffee is the most popular beverage worldwide with over 400 billion cups consumed each year.
* Only 20% of harvested coffee beans are considered to be a premium bean of the highest quality.
* Coffee has grown commercially in over 45 countries around the world.
* Coffee represents 75% of all the caffeine consumed in the United States.
* Italy now has over 200,000 coffee bars, and growing!
* In Italy, coffee and espresso are synonymous. (1)
So what is your favorite drink? Black Coffee? Latte? Caramel Macchiato? According to Seattle-based P-I Blogs, the most complicated order the P-I New Media staff could come up with is a “tall half-skinny half-1 percent extra hot split quad shot (two shots decaf, two shots regular) latte with whip.” (2) Hopefully you are not that high-maintenance, but even if you are, you need to know a few things about that ridiculous drink you are about to put in your body.
Here are the Top 10 Coffee drinks
1. Coffee – just the regular brew
2. Espresso – ‘condensed’ coffee brewed by forcing water through coffee grinds.
3. Cappuccino – 2 parts espresso, 1 part steamed milk, topped with milk froth.
3. Cafe Latte – 1 part espresso, 1 part steamed milk and very little milk froth.
4. Cafe Au Lait – 2 parts espresso, 2 parts hot milk.
5. Cafe Americano – 1 part espresso and 3 parts hot water.
6. Macchiato – 1 part espresso and topped with milk foam.
7. Cafe Con Leche – 1 part espresso and 1 part steamed milk plus 1 tsp. sugar
8. Cafe Mocha – 1 part espresso & 2 parts steamed milk with 1tsp. cocoa powder
9. Cafe Breve – 1 part espresso 1 part steamed half and half.
10. Espresso Con Panna – 1 part espresso – topped with whipped cream (3)
This discussion inevitably leads to Starbucks. Even though my wife and I visit Starbucks on a regular basis, it is more out of necessity than desire. Don’t get me wrong, I admire their business model, appreciate their Health care initiatives for their workers, and even read Schultz’s book, “Pour Your Heart in it”. We just happen to like supporting our local roasters and independent coffee shops a little bit more, and will go out of our way to purchase from them when we have the chance. It’s not as if they will miss our business all that much – In 2007, Starbucks grossed $9.5 BILLION. (4) That’s a lot of green. But most of us drink their coffee on a regular basis, so take the time to figure out what you are putting in your body. Starbucks has a nutrition tab on their website which breaks down all their drinks according to Fat, Calories, Protein, Sugar, etc… Find your drink(s) and figure out how many times a week you visit, then figure out how many calories that is per month and per year. Then estimate the cost per month and per year. Here is a quick screen shot of the 1st page of nutrition facts. Go to this website (http://www.starbucks.com/retail/nutrition_beverages.asp) to see your drink.
So let me take my own advice. I almost always buy a drip coffee at Starbucks, because I don’t like spending more than $2 for coffee. Brewed coffee has 5 Calories per serving, and 1 gram of Protein, and costs $2 per cup. I might go to Starbucks 3 times a week, so 12 x 5 = 60 calories per month and costs me $24, not counting tip, and $288 a year. But I happen to be at the low end. If you have to have your Cinnamon Dulce Latte 3 times a week, that’s 280 calories per cup. Do the math – 12 x 280 = 3360 calories per month (if you add NO sugar or cream!), and 40,320 calories a year!! It will cost you $4.49 per grande cup, so 4.49 x 12 = $53.88 per month, $646 per year. That’s significant, both for your health and wallet.
Just a thought – monitor what you are putting in your body, and monitor how much money it’s taking out of your pocket. Consider brewing your own coffee at home, so you can control the calories and fat content, as well as your finances. If you are careful and diligent, you might see your waist slim down and your wallet fill up.
(1) 2010 Coffee Statistics Report website – http://www.top100espresso.com/coffee_consumption_statistics_report.html
(3) According to Article Base, a Free Online Articles Directory. http://www.articlesbase.com/coffee-articles/top-10-coffee-drinks-866263.html
(4) According to Cha Cha – http://www.chacha.com/question/how-much-money-per-year-do-americans-spend-on-starbucks-coffee