I love coffee, I have a cup almost every day in the morning and likely another cup or two depending on the days events. That said I also love cafes, I mean the European style, Parisian sidewalk cafe, but also anything that closely approximates this here on the left bank of the Atlantic. I am for one used to paying the expensive price of coffee that Starbucks has made most Americans accustomed too. I’ve discussed these prices with others before, justifying the cost as it pays for the space for out of work authors, students and others to lounge about all day. So when I read an article on Slate which I enjoyed called “Bitter Brew – I opened a charming neighborhood coffee shop. Then it destroyed my life.” on Slate, which went over the failure of opening a cozy neighborhood cafe, and the impossibility of profit (Makes it sound like you need lots of take out coffee orders to succeed, ah the brilliance of the Starbucks drive thru) But the price break down on coffee, i.e. that it is pure profit seems pretty dead on.
Coffee was a different story thanks to the trail blazed by Starbucks, the world of coffee retail is now a rogue’s playground of jaw-dropping markups. An espresso that required about 18 cents worth of beans (and we used very good beans) was sold for $2.50 with nary an eyebrow raised on either side of the counter. A dab of milk froth or a splash of hot water transformed the drink into a macchiato or an Americano, respectively, and raised the price to $3. The house brew too cold to be sold for $1 a cup was chilled further and reborn at $2.50 a cup as iced coffee, a drink whose appeal I do not even pretend to grasp. – Bitter Brew
However, I am not deterred, it is a sort of retirement hobby that I’d like to take on, however the big difference in my dream is that I want to have a cafe/bistro, and while I only hope to break even, I plan to serve bistro food and drinks and it is there, inalcoholl where I feel that places can pull in the extra money, who orders multiple coffees, but a few extra Kronenberg 1664s and hopefully I’ll be in business.