Category • Best Coffee Buying Guide

Why is coffee so expensive? The increasing costs of coffee on the high street

Alex | September 17, 2022

Have you noticed the cost of your morning coffee from the high street increasing? With the ongoing cost of living crisis, millions of businesses are under pressure with rising costs and overheads. Over recent years, coffee has increased in price due to a number of factors.

Firstly, coffee is and always has been a labour-intensive product to get to market. Coffee takes around 5 years to grow, then there’s harvesting, shipping, roasting and packaging costs. There are costs associated with every step of the process and that doesn’t include café costs like staff, insurance, rent, energy, cups, cutlery and so on. Also, premium quality coffee, or one that’s organic, such as Free Trade or Rainforest Alliance Certified for example, will be even more expensive.

Drought conditions in parts of South America have forced coffee prices to go up, and in the past two years, the Wall Street Journal says prices have soared overall by nearly 39%. More recently though due to soaring energy costs and inflation, data has revealed that the average price of a hot coffee is up. It’s risen from £2.78 in February to £2.88 in May. This represents a 3.5% increase in just three months. There’s evidence that this is still increasing with coffee chains hiking their prices overnight.

The Telegraph reported that the average price of a flat white coffee now tops £3 at the UK’s largest chains. Prices are up by as much as 50p per cup with no signs of them coming down.

We’re experiencing decade-high inflation and staggeringly high energy prices, so naturally, the cost of everything from our weekly shop, clothes, meals out, and cups of coffee will increase. Of course, we want to champion the high street. Cafés are a vital part of our culture, so how can we manage the price hikes but keep these establishments open?

How to save money in cafés

Many high street cafés have loyalty apps which offer customers significant discounts. Offers on the various apps might be that if you buy a certain number of coffees, you get one free. Some will have a points system. The more you spend in-store, the more points you can be rewarded with that you can use to buy drinks and food. They’ll also keep track of what you’ve spent so you can better budget your coffee habit.

If you take a reusable cup to most cafés, you’ll get a discount on your coffee. Plus you’ll be doing your bit for the environment by reducing waste. Keep an eye out for offers that tie in with holidays, for example, International Coffee Day is on the 1st October, when coffee shops tend to reward customers.

Switch your coffee drink

If you’re opting for large caramel frappuccinos or milky lattes with extra shots and syrups and so on, your coffee is going to be more expensive. Consider switching to smaller drinks, or opt for more simple choices like a filter coffee. This can help you make considerable savings.

Of course, if your coffee habit has got you visiting your coffee shop every day, multiple times a day, you might want to consider reducing your visits. If enjoying a coffee on your commute to the office is part of your daily ritual, you could always consider making a coffee at home and taking it with you.

Enjoy barista-style coffee at work

If you have a bean to cup coffee machine in the office, make the most of it! Most businesses now offer their teams quality coffee at work and you’ll be amazed by the choice they offer. Many coffee machines offer drinks like lattes, mochas, ristrettos, espressos, cappuccinos, flat whites and even hot chocolates. Whatever size your team is, there’s a coffee machine that will meet your needs. They’re really easy to keep clean and maintain, and are a cost-effective alternative to high street coffee.

View our range of coffee machines and understand the many affordable purchasing options we offer. Choose from buying your machine outright, renting it or getting it on free loan. Our team is on hand to help you make the right decision based on the individual needs of your office.

We also offer free coffee tasting sessions in our London showroom, so feel free to drop by or give us a call to book on 020 7553 7900.