Saving On Your Coffee

SMART SPENDER>BEST VALUE FOR MONEY

Saving On Your Coffee

Budgeting for your caffeine intake can give you the best aroma for your finances. Find out how

By Lynda C. Corpuz

Coffee starts and ends the day for Australian and master mariner Robin Lockwood, 42 – one big mug of strong instant coffee with milk and no sugar before his shower, and another mug before he goes to work. (He can finish off a 500 gm. jar of about AU D60 in only two weeks at times). He also can have café latte (up to AUD 5 per order) with his steak and it would not give him any stomach problem. Before bed time, he can have another two mugs of his brand of coffee or pick up from Mccas (McDonalds) on his drive home and to cap his long day.

Whether it was plainly for the caffeine fix, how we like coffee varies – and at times, puts a strain on our budget.

Spending for your blend and brew

When Robin was in the Philippines, coffee was a must – and kept him company while waiting for his fiancée to arrive for their meet-ups. He would hang out at Bo’s Coffee Club in Glorietta and order, yes, a big mug of café latte, and read a book until his fiancée arrived. On occasions, he would have another round of his favorite blend with her. He has been to Kota Kinabalu, Singapore, Italy, France, the Mediterranean, Japan, America, and among other countries, and he did try those coffee offers each of those locations has. “Like how I enjoy quality, at times, pricey bottle of wine, I don’t mind spending for my coffee. I know what I want and my kind or brew, or the “proper coffee” (those offered in specialty coffee shops) versus the instant brands I like,” he says.

Ordering from a nearby coffee shop

As for the new generation of Filipino coffee lovers, it’s not just about having a caffeine fix, it is about a host of other factors that define how the coffee culture is very much a part of our daily lives.

For tax accountant Maria Cristina Salvosa, 27, a daily trip to Starbucks near her office for her favorite Chocolate Frappuccino is a planned spending. She adds, she goes to the US-coffee chain not because she has coffee as favorite, but more for convenience, as Starbucks is the most ubiquitous of them all. Despite being around in almost every corner, Starbucks gets full, so Cristina would go to either Gloria Jeans coffee (for brownies) or Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf for its tea offers. “Although I go to Starbucks everyday, I only have one round of my favorite blend. It has always been a planned spending since I have budget for that. And I spend about P700 for my coffee blend,” she cites.

Drinking for the ambiance

Brunei-based copywriter Earvin Charles Cabalquinto, 26, loves the local coffee chain Figaro, especially its SM North branch for its ambiance, and its coffee and pastries, of course. “Plus, I prefer experiencing the outdoors than the shop’s interiors,” he adds. His alternatives are Starbucks and Coffee Bean, because they are everywhere and more popular.

Boosting your day

Earvin adds he likes Oreo flavor blend because it boosts him when he is gloomy and it feels like it brings out the child in him. “Admit or not, coffee could also be a reflection of our childish cravings!” he exclaims.

Depending on the mood

Depending on his mood and availability, Earvin says he gets his caffeine fix from his favored coffee shops about a maximum of thrice a week. He admits it is a part of his impulsive purchases. “Sometimes, simply walking at the mall and seeing a group of teenagers hanging around while enjoying their coffee provokes me to buy one. Plus, the smell of the coffee makes me drool. It’s totally tempting and irresistible,” he reasons.

Satisfying crave

Donor relations specialist Anna May Patao Aldana, 32, she goes to Starbucks for Caramel Coffee Jelly or Seattle’s Best for Javakula, which she says is perfect for non-coffee addicts. She adds she goes to these shops only when she has a craving, since she doesn’t classify herself as a regular drinker. For her, going to the coffee shops are expensive. “So it should be a planned spending,” she points out.

[sidebar]

Brew Your Savings

Literally it is the latte factor – many of us dismiss that a grande café latte of P115 from Starbucks is not that much – but multiply that by five (being five working days a week, where most usually frequent these coffee chains), you spend P575 a week, P2,300 a month, and P27,600 a year – such money for specialty coffee alone. This is excluding your weekend trips to the coffee shops at that.

The following are suggestions on how to still have your coffee fix, and at the same, fix your budget:

Brew from home. Invest in a good coffee maker or an espresso machine, buy your bag of beans and have them grind (or purchase also a coffee grinder), get filters, and prepare your coffee at home. Some will argue that preparing coffee daily is more laborious than going to the store, but it is about making it a routine – setting up your coffee machine would be as easy as entering a shop, waiting in line, and having your coffee.

If you really can’t avoid going to the coffee shop, you may try the following:

Dig the perks. Most coffee shops offer rewards or gift cards that entitles you to a host of perks, like free brewed coffee refills, free add-ons like syrup for select drinks, free drink when you buy a whole bean, or free hour or so of Wi-Fi use. Some of these shops also offer online promos like free coupons, or coffee club meets and tours.

Try an alternative. If you only prefer your coffee as brewed, then it might save you buying from McCafé than Seattle’s Best. (McCafé is also now giving Starbucks a tough competition in the overseas market). Better, try the local coffee chains, like Bo’s Coffee Club, Figaro, or Coffee Dream, which also make blends comparable to those offers of foreign brands.

Share a drink. Depending on the store policy, it may be possible to request for your drink to split – say, order a venti and split in two glasses than buying two tall orders. Also, it would also be good to have a friend to share this similar drink with you – you get your coffee and you also get to enjoy it with a good company at that.

Be nice. Frequent customers like Robin, Cristina, Earvin, and May, on occasions get freebies from their favorite coffee chain. The key is to be the friendliest customer you can be. Baristas who know their customers well – from what time they come in to their regular order – not only serve them well, but also can, at times, give their loyal patrons freebies or perks and discounts.

Robin jokes, had he stayed longer in the Philippines and the Glorietta Starbucks baristas got to know him well, he would probably be having his café latte for free. “They were friendly with me right from the start, asking why I was there, and would I be regularly getting my coffee from them. I told them I was just on a visit, and still, the few times I went there, I was served all right, and chatted with often,” he cites.

Cut on your coffee trips. Better, save those trips to the coffee shops on special occasions, like meeting friends on Friday night-outs or hanging out on weekends, or a friend or relative from abroad comes home.

Truly, the coffee shops are more than just for coffee, they have become the mecca for most activities outside of home (usually after lunch or dinner, a movie, or touring the mall), and it would not hurt to spend for such deserved bonding or business-related occasions.

TABLE:

Your Coffee Shop Guide

Listed here are the coffee shops with most branches in the metro, with their coffee menu and prices. McCafé offers the lowest price for P50 for a regular espresso, while Starbucks’ lowest offer is P80 for a short brewed coffee (figure gathered as of January 15, 2009):

Coffee Chain Coffee Drink Size And Price
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Today’s Brew

(Brewed Coffee)

Small – P85

Regular – P95

Large – P105

CBTL café drinks
Café Mocha Sm. – P105

Reg. – P120

Lar. – P135

Café Vanilla Sm. – P105

Reg. – P120

Lar. – P135

Café Caramel Sm. – P115

Reg. – P130

Lar. – P145

Hot Vanilla Sm. – P100

Reg. – P115

Lar. – P130

Hot Double Choco Sm. – P100

Reg. – P115

Lar. – P130

Iced Double Choco Reg. – P115

Lar. – P130

Espresso drinks (hot or iced)
Espresso Single – P85

Double – P110

Macchiato Sing. – P90

Dou. – P110

Cappuccino Sm. – P110

Dou. – P125

Americano Sm. – P85

Reg. – P100

Lar. – P115

Latte drinks
Café Latte Sm. – P95

Reg. – P110

Lar. – P125

Mocha Latte Sm. – P105

Reg. – P120

Lar. – P135

Caramel Latte Sm. – P115

Reg. – P130

Lar. – P145

White Choco Dreams Sm. – P115

Reg. – P130

Lar. – P145

Ice blended (the original ice blended)
Mocha Reg. – P135

Lar. – P145

Vanilla Reg. – P135

Lar. – P155

Double Choco Reg. – P155

Lar. – P175

Caramel Reg. – P155

Lar. – P175

The Ultimate Reg. – P155

Lar. – P175

Extreme Reg. – P155

Lar. – P175

White Choco Dream Reg. – P155

Lar. – P175

Mocha Mudslide Reg. – P175

Lar. – P195

Non-coffee ice blended
Pure Vanilla Reg. – P125

Lar. – P175

Pure Double Choco Reg. – P135

Lar. – P155

Mango Reg. – P155

Lar. – P175

Sunrise Reg. – P155

Lar. – P175

Figaro Hot drinks
Cappuccino 8 oz. – P85

14 oz. – P109

Café Mocha 8 oz. – P95

14 oz. – P105

White Choco Mocha 8 oz. – P105
Café Latte 8 oz. – P85

14 oz. – P109

Café Au Lait 8 oz. – P85

14 oz. – P109

Americano 8 oz. – P75

14 oz. – P99

Brewed Coffee 8 oz. – P75

14 oz. – P99

Espresso Small – P75

Tall – P99

Macchiato Sm. – P85
Cold drinks
Iced Cappuccino 8 oz. – P95

14 oz. – P109

Iced Mocha 8 oz. – P109

14 oz. – P125

Iced Latte 8 oz. – P95

14 oz. – P109

Coffee Jelly Float 14 oz. – P125
Iced Coffee 8 oz. – P85

14 oz. – P99

Frost
Cappuccino 14 oz. – P125
Mocha 14 oz. – P125
Choco 14 oz. – P125
Vanilla 14 oz. – P125
Strawberry 14 oz. – P125
Mango 14 oz. – P125
Dalandan 14 oz. – P125
Coffee Caramel 14 oz. – P115
Caramel 14 oz. – P115
Mocha 14 oz. – P115
Choco 14 oz. – P115
McCafe Espresso coffee
Espresso Reg. – P50
Macchiato Reg. – P50
Americano Reg. – P60
Long Black Reg. – P70
Cappuccino Reg. – P70

Med. – P80

Latte Med. – P80
Flat White Reg. – P80

Med. – P90

Mochaccino Reg. – P80

Med. – P90

Smoothie
Strawberry Reg. – P100
Dalandan Reg. – P100
Ice blended drinks (McFrappe)
Caramel McFrappe Med. – P85

Lar. – P95

Double Choco Frappe Med. – P85

Lar. – P95

Latte Frappe Med. – P100

Med. – P100

Lar. – P115

Mocha Frappe Reg. – P100

Lar. – P115

Mocha Blends Espresso heritage
Short Black Piccolo – P70
Long Black Piccolo – P75

Medio – P85

Café Vienna Pic. – P95

Med. – P105

Cappuccino Pic. – P90

Med. – P100

Café Latte Pic. – P85

Med. – P95

Flat White Pic. – P85

Med. – P95

Espresso in ice
Iced Coffee Med. – P80

Supremo – P90

Iced Latte Med. – P90

Sup. – P100

Signature mocha (hot)
Café Mocha Pic. – P100

Med. – P115

Mocha Adorata Pic. – P130

Med. – P150

Signature mocha (cold)
Mocha Frost Med. – P130

Sup. – P140

Non-espresso (hot)
Hot Choco Pic. – P85

Med. – P95

Moo Steamer Pic. – P75

Med. – P85

Non-espresso (cold)
Iced Choco Med. – P115

Sup. – P130

Iced Moo Med. – P80

Sup. – P90

Freddoccino
Espresso Med. – P120

Sup. – P130

Mocha Med. – P120

Sup. – P130

White Mocha Med. – P130

Sup. – P140

Vanilla Plain Med. – P130

Sup. – P140

Banana Mocha Med. – P130

Sup. – P140

Black Forest Med. – P150

Sup. – P165

Mocha Javajello Med. – P130

Sup. – P140

Caramel Med. – P130

Sup. – P145

Choco Nutella Med. – P130

Sup. – P145

Cookies & Cream Sup. – P135
Seattle’s Best
Starbucks Espresso
Caramel Macchiatto Short – P115

Tall – P130

Grande – P145

Café Mocha Sh. – P100

Ta. – P115

Gr. – P130

Café Americano Sh. – P85

Ta. – P95

Gr. – P105

Café Latte Sh. – P95

Ta. – P100

Gr. – P115

Cappuccino Sh. – P90

Ta. – P100

Gr. – P115

Espresso Sh. – P85

Gr. – P95

White Choco Mocha Sh. – P115

Ta. – P130

Gr. – P145

Iced Espresso
Iced White Choco Mocha Sh. – P130

Ta. – P145

Gr. – P160

Iced Caramel Macchiato Sh. – P130

Ta. – P145

Gr. – P160

Iced Dark Cherry Mocha Sh. – P145

Ta. – P155

Gr. – P170

Iced Praline Mocha Sh. – P145

Ta. – P155

Gr. – P170

Iced Coffee Mocha Sh. – P100

Ta. – P115

Gr. – P130

Coffee (brewed coffee)
Hot Brewed Coffee Sh. – P80

Ta. – P90

Gr. – P105

Café Misto Sh. – P80

Ta. – P90

Gr. – P105

Pressed Coffee 12 oz. – P100

16 oz. – P110

20 oz. – P200

Classics
Signature Hot Choco Sh. – P105

Ta. – P115

Gr. – P130

White Hot Choco Sh. – P100

Ta. – P110

Gr. – P115

Frappuccino (Blended coffee)
Mocha Ta. – P125

Gr. – P135

Venti – P150

Espresso Ta. – P125

Gr. – P135

Ve. – P150

Caramel Ta. – P125

Gr. – P135

Ve. – P150

White Mocha Ta. – P135

Gr. – P145

Ve. – P160

Coffee Jelly Ta. – P145

Gr. – P155

Ve. – P170

Java Chip Ta. – P145

Gr. – P155

Ve. – P170

Cream
Caramel Cream Ta. – P125

Gr. – P135

Ve. – P150

Choco Cream Ta. – P120

Gr. – P130

Ve. – P145

Strawberries & Cream Ta. – P145

Gr. – P155

Ve. – P170

White Choco Ta. – P135

Gr. – P145

Ve. – P160

Choco Cream Chip Ta. – P145

Gr. – P155

Ve. – P170

3 comments on “Saving On Your Coffee

  1. Hay, I miss a latte at starbucks. But since I need to tighten my belt this year, Kopiko brown is a great alternative. Thanks for this info. I don’t have a cup of coffee beside me but a glass of extra joss.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>