Do you Mocha?

neetsiepieFebruary 8, 2006

One of my daughters works at a coffee/espresso cafe (one of literally hundreds in our community of 250,000). She had a customer come in and order a grande egg nog latte with an extra shot. This little (20 oz) cup of hot egg nog cost $6!!!! She said this customer comes in nearly every day and gets her fancy coffees.

I'm just boggled at what I see! These mochas (which are nothing more than 8-16 oz of hot milk) range from $2.25-$4.95 all over town. And I see a cup in the hands of 3 out of 5 people! Gosh, maybe I'm in the wrong business?

I like to make up a pot of fresh ground beans in the morning before going to work, and I have a cup warmer at my desk, so I can get my fix all day. I figure I've saved over $100/mo doing that, compared to going to the coffee cart outside my office. When I do feel a treat, I go visit my daughter, who comps me a freebie (she's entitled to all the coffe she wants while at work, so she gives me her daily cup.)

Anyone else with MochaMadness where you live?

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MochaMadness is alive anytime you see two coffee shops across the street from each other. There's a lot of it around.

But who's to say whether this is really wasting money? I look at it this way: I don't smoke, I don't drink often at all, I do not have a shoe collection to rival Imelda Marcos', I don't run out and buy DVDs and CDs every week. I save a good chunk of my paycheck and don't really spend a bundle on myself (and there's no one else to spend on right now, either). My two vices are eating in restaurants (which I really don't do much anymore now that I'm dieting) and good coffee -- oh, and buying vinyl LPs at Goodwill for 99 cents each. So, without knowing how the $6 eggnog latte drinker spends the rest of her money, and hoping that the public is not subsidizing some area of her life in which she's not spending enough money, why not let her spend it where she wants to?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2006 at 8:43AM
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I guess we all have our pet splurges, but for those of us with tight budgets, frugal attitudes, and a get out of debt mind set, I dare say $120 (or more) a month for a daily hot beverage seems to be an expensive "habit"/indulgence.

Meanwhile, I have a $50 a week budget for groceries (for 2 adults). I'm glad my cheap Aldi's tea bags and homemade cocoa mix are more than enough to satisfy my hot beverage needs.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2006 at 9:52AM
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I figure that I'm lucky.

Some time ago one of the local supermarkets was going out of certain items of bulk food and sold off the remainders at about 1/4 regular price, I think it was - it was over a year ago.

I got a bunch of powdered whole milk, a small amount of which I add to about a third of a cup of water - it doesn't dissolve very easily.

Then some powdered instant skim milk - that I bought at regular price.

Then a shot of cocoa powder, that I bought in that "remainder" deal. There's not a lot of that left, so soon I'll have to start paying regular price again.

Then some sugar, that I bought when the supermarket was having a special.

Then some instant coffee - that my kids gave me from their mother's kitchen after her recent death.

Swirl it around some to start the dissolution (if you'll pardon the expression).

Give it about half a minute in the microwave, then stir it to get everything all mixed up (no comments, please, about whether I may be mixed up, as well).

Add water to fill the cup, give it another shot in the microwave ...

... Voila - a great drink ...

... for a few pennies.

Since I'm retired, I don't have any worry about making a double or triple shot and carrying the extra to work in an insulated j/mug!

When you're retired - every day is holiday.

If your personal financial advisor can't help you manage your assets and income for better growth rate and reduced taxes, so that you'll be able to retire early - get another.

Preferably one that sells no financial products, so you need have no worry as to whether the advice is slanted toward probably a limited number of financial issues that s/he just happens to sell.

Have yourself a great day. Same for your family, too.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 9, 2006 at 1:08PM
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I guess we all have our pet splurges, but for those of us with tight budgets, frugal attitudes, and a get out of debt mind set, I dare say $120 (or more) a month for a daily hot beverage seems to be an expensive "habit"/indulgence.

I agree and I would not be spending that much money on daily coffee. But we don't know if Eggnog Latte Lady has a tight budget or is in debt. Assuming anything else from her coffee preferences is not something we can do with any degree of certainty.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2006 at 4:25PM
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I guess my thought was that paying $6 for hot milk is nuts. Not making any judgement calls on someones spending habits, I was meaning that the retailers really get suckers on the line with things like that.

A young woman in my office was ordering a daily iced mocha (with whipped creme topping) and was wondering a)why she was having a tough time paying bills, and b)gaining so much weight. When she added it all up, that was almost $100/mo in a single drink, and umpteenthousand calories. She quit this habit, and has taken up drinking water (free) and spending the 15 minutes she spent waiting in line for the drink out walking instead.

The point was that those little things like that really get to you and you're not even aware of the costs, even healthwise. Once in a while is fine, but daily! Oh my gosh!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 2:57PM
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I'm glad somebody mentioned those calories! Some of those Starbucks drinks have 1500 or more calories each.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 6:30PM
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I might invest in one of those fancy coffee companies (let's see, it is a disposable product that is addictive? Who wouldn't want a part of that?) but I don't drink their brews since most of them are pretty harsh, not to mention expensive!

We have coffee trees in the back yard so I guess we have backyard brew. Hamakua coffee is similar to Kona coffee but with a bit more of a nut flavor. (Affordable, too.)

I have discovered "elixer" though! Take the old leftover morning coffee and chill it in the refrigerator. Mix equal parts with chocolate milk. Great afternoon drink!

A hui hou,

    Bookmark   February 11, 2006 at 3:52AM
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The point was that those little things like that really get to you and you're not even aware of the costs, even healthwise. Once in a while is fine, but daily! Oh my gosh!

Now, I'm with you 100% there! I would love to have the kind of income that would let me buy $6 lattés without thinking about it. But, since I don't, a latté is a sometime thing for me (and mine cost $3.10 including tax!).

    Bookmark   February 11, 2006 at 9:38AM
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I'm not sure about the cost of the one that I make, about which costs I mentioned above - but probably about 15 cents.

I wouldn't call that exactly a "splurge".

It does have the hot milk - but lacks the foam: weelll, it does develop some "scum" on top - I guess an advertiser could call that "foam". No whipped cream on top, though - sorry.

But - so far I've (well, more or less) been able to avoid the expanded gut that a good many males of a certain age seem to be sporting.

Enjoy your drinks, guys & gals, but ...

don't "drink" (of a certain kind) and drive soon after, please.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 12, 2006 at 2:21PM
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Oh Cathy, I'm so envious! Imagine having coffee beans in your own backyard. When DH and I visited Hawaii, we were instantly converted to the Kona...nothing came close. Back on the mainland we couldn't find anything so good. We started ordering Kona directly from Hawaii...but even then it's not the same. My guess it's the water (the scenery doesn't hurt, tho!)

What a great idea for an afternoon splurge...might have to keep this in mind for the summer when I like an iced drink.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 3:03PM
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Especially in the wintertime I really enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning. Well, more than just one cup, it seems. I find it so easy to make some at home and take it with me in a thermos. But when I'm extremely lazy I'll splurge on occasion (especially if it's bone-chilling cold!) and grab a cup at McDonalds for a buck or so or SuperAmerica for about 79¢.

Never got into the shee-shee, fru-fru drinks. But I too have though about getting into a coffee business. When I was up north a couple weeks ago, staying in a town of about 2000 people and there was at least 3 coffee places I saw advertised, well, hey, I started thinking about that too. BTW, I got a kick out of the one name. My favorite was "Brewed Awakenings"! Really gave me a chuckle. To me, the prices at these places are a rude awakening. But how much would it be to brew some coffee and maybe have some deli sandwiches and pastries?

Course I suppose anyone who pays $6 for a cup of coffee will pay at least that for a bagel at a bagel shop. How high would they go for a ham & cheese on rye? :) Water optional at extra cost.

Of course anyone who can afford it can do what they please. I'm just a little too frugal to spend that much on that item. And we all have our quirks...

    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 11:16PM
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I'll take a "Tims" (i.e. Tim Hortons, a ubiquitous coffee shop chain in Canada - 23 in London, a city of 250,000 plus) (and now owned by "Wendys")...

... over a "slack Mac's" ...

... any day.

Hope you got your (non-life threatening) fix today.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 14, 2006 at 4:18PM
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In the wet PNW they started the whole espresso thing. Now we have stands in doctors offices as well as on every street corner. Downtown there are dozens, as well as a Starbux on each corner of one short block.

The coffee stand outside my office serves sandwiches (on a croissant, so that makes em 'special') and a bag of chips for $7.95. Add a cup of pasta or mac salad and it's $8.95, and this doesn't include a beverage. She sells out of sandwiches almost every day. Sooo...I guess if people are willing to spend an average $3 for their morning java, they'll spend $8 for a sandwich too.

I do love the names of some of these places...but Brewed Awakenings is the best I've seen.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 3:46PM
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i complain about spending a buck for regular coffee, no way will i spend that much on one cup of crap. Heck, for that price i can buy 5 lbs of Foldgers and have coffe for a year, i do not fix much at home so it may even last 2 years!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 5:36PM
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Don't mocha, but I sure do plenty of other things many would consider dumb.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 2:10AM
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radioactive quilt,

No kidding!

Care to elaborate?

Oh - sorry that should be on another thread.

Let us know what title you give it - we'll be all ears (well, all eyes).

Hope you're enjoying your weekend.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 1:45PM
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Joyful, I'd like to have a Timmy's around here. I've heard a lot of good things about them. Not sure if it's true or not but rumor (or for the northern folk "rumour") has it that they're a reasonably priced cup of beans.

Believe it or not, the McCoffee is one of the best around here (but they changed it recently so it's not quite as good, but it's still better than most any other place). So you can tell how bad the coffee is in this area! Most of the problem is that every place sells coffee but nobody will clean the pots! And the quality of water varies tremendously. Bad water=bad coffee. A part of the reason I brew my own. Frugal and better. That's what's called a "win-win" situation!

And another name I just ran across that I enjoyed. I've recently acquired a cat who was on it's way to the vet for its final shot and it took a detour here so I was researching pet foods and ran across a pet food store called "Bone Appetite"! Then there's the little bar up north called "Brewsky's" I like a little imagination going into the name.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2006 at 3:46PM
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cynic, you seem to live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area (mentioning Rainbow in another thread and Bone Appetit here). There's another pet-goodies store in the area named "Bone Aventure" (like the tony shopping mall). Then there's the Curl Up and Dye hair place in St. Paul. You're right -- it's more fun when they're creative with the name.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 9:16AM
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My DD and I used to spurge on the Starbuck coffee. I got her an expresso machine for Xmas. Now we can do all the coffees in the convenience of her home, watch a movie at home and not spend as much money.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 11:44AM
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Hi cynic,

I don't know whether the quality of the drink at Slack-mac's up here is same as down south - but up here, Timmys is **much** better.

Up here, Timmy's beats Wendys, who own them, as well - and a guy at a Wendys told us that they don't use the same coffee as Timmys. Wendys is about to spin Timmys off, we hear - don't know why, as much of their profit comes from Timmys.

The Burger Boys' stuff can't touch what Timmys makes, either.

Three or four years ago, when daughter'd been in AZ working for a while, she was flying to Edmonton to attend her cousin's grad as nurse.

I was to drive out from here - through northern MN, by the way - and daughter emailed to ask Aunt Fran if they had Tim Hortons in Edmonton (they did). If not, I was to get her a couple of cans to bring from London to Edmonton, so she could take them back in her baggage to AZ. Three times over the border.

She's back here now - came back over 2 years ago to care for her mother, ill with colon cancer. Ironic - as head of food service in a major psych. hosp for 20 years, she'd fed probably a couple of million people or more.

She retired early, when there was discussion of closing her hosp. or another 20 miles away.

When she died, kids said in the ordinary course, she'd have retired about a year before her death - and I said that she'd have been ill for well over half of that year.

As it was, she had 10 years to pursue hobbies, travel south for a few months every winter, and enjoy life: have a ball.

We have a Williams Coffee Bar up here, as well - but their coffee not as good as Timmy's, I figure.

Enjoy your drinks - but if you drink too much, don't drive.

For us seniors - that goes for coffee, as well.

Like they used to say about beer- you can't buy it ...

... just rent it.

Have a great week.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 5:50PM
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And of course as Red Green says, "the morning coffee is as much a part of the Canadian experience as two official languages, 10 provinces and one working helicopter!"


    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 11:52AM
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" ... one working helicopter ..." ...

... that'd be one o' those 40-year-old Sea King helicopters that we have in the army, no doubt.

Had one crash while on maneuvers in the Baltic a wnile ago ...

... and they didn't have another on hand to replace it!

Our Parliamentarians had some serviceable but slightly ould flying machines to haul them around a while ago, but had to replace them with new ones.

I said that our P M and his pals should be forced to fly around in those 40-year-old Sea Kings for a while.

ole joyful

P.S. Is there any truth to the rumour that one of those famous coffee houses may be about to change its name to "BigBucks"?

Oh, no - that'd be a place that'd sell venison.

o j

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 4:09PM
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