…and I won’t dis whatever indulgence you’re wasting your money on, because I’m sure I can find something that qualifies.
Longtime readers may recall that one of my earliest posts was about my infatuation with coffee. Now, a coffee “brew-haha” has me all “steamed up” – even frothing” 😉 – over indelicate comments posted to a CNN article about gourmet coffee.
The article mentioned a coffeehouse charging $13 for a cup of exotic coffee. Following the article were numerous reader comments denigrating anyone who would pay $13 for a cup of coffee. My, my…their coffee indignity cup runneth over.
Now I certainly wouldn’t pay $13 for a cup of coffee either. But not for the reasons the commenters present. They dismiss the gourmet coffee crowd as financial fools and/or superficial status seekers for paying more than $1 a cup.
Heck, I’m reluctant to pay even $1 for a cup of coffee unless I’m out town and can’t brew my own. Because, from a financial perspective, even $1 coffee isn’t a value. What are you likely getting for that $1? In my view, it’s not coffee but coffee-flavored water. It’s the equivalent of buying a bottle of Ripple and thinking it’s “wine.” Technically, it is…but only technically.
There’s only one reason to buy Ripple. You want to get drunk…cheaply. That’s also why anyone buys $1 coffee. They want cheap caffeine. (A Mountain Dew might do the same job for less money.)
If you’re a wine lover, you’re drinking for flavor not alcohol. Similarly, if you’re a coffee lover, you’re also drinking for flavor not caffeine. If your interest is only in the drug, whether alcohol or caffeine, then of course you want the cheapest delivery system.
But since my interest is in flavor, there’s no way I’m drinking that $1 coffee-flavored water. Because even if it had flavor, it has little value from a price perspective. After just seven cups, I’d have paid the equivalent of the price for a pound of “real” coffee, say Guatemalan Antigua. And that would yield me more than 7 cups of coffee. Price per cup? Less than 15 cents.
So that’s why I don’t buy the idea that $1 coffee is the way to go. (I invite all those financial wizards pushing $1 coffee at CNN to attend my seminar on buying into the Bernie Madoff fund or maybe Enron.)
My reply to those commenters sniffing that paying for a cup of Starbucks is financial foolishness is this: don’t throw stones, because you live in a glass house. Do you wear a “name brand” polo, such as Nautica or Izod? You can buy a polo for less at Wal-mart. Do you own a Camaro or similar “performance” car? You could have provided for your transportation needs with a much more economical model.
Few folks make one dimensional buying decisions. Clothes are not just about protecting us from the elements. A car is not just about transporting us between two places. Every one of us is paying more than we have to for something and we’re doing it for a reason that has nothing to do with that item’s fundamental purpose.
So don’t dis my coffee choice and I won’t dis your name brand polo shirt, Camaro or whatever it is you’re indulging yourself in that makes no economic sense.
Peace, prosperity and passion for coffee! (And consider moving up to real coffee at less than 15 cents a cup when you brew at home.)
P.S. I correctly answered 9 out of 10 coffee questions at the CNN link, although the “French author” question was a lucky guess. I missed the “frappe” question because I don’t like those “fancy” coffee concoctions.