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We are a nation, no a world, better yet a planet of coffee drinkers! And the UK consumer is officially addicted to those magic little black beans. The British high street is made up of outlets such as Starbucks, Costa, Caffe Nero, Wild Bean Café, Coffee Republic etc and for good reason. We simply cannot get enough of the delicious and energy enhacing black liquid.

But have you ever stepped back to think how much your spending on your love of coffee? You might be surprised and consider it before handing over Starbucks another £3.50 for your iced caffe mocha!


We cannot get enough of that dark and bitter liquid.

Some may prefer their coffee back, with just milk, or milk and sugar, either way we consume gallons of the stuff.

Globally, 400 billion cups of coffee are consumer each year!

In just July of this year, over 9 million bags of coffee were shipped/exported. That’s in just one (1) month.

It is estimated that over 140 million 60kg bags of coffee were produced 2014/2015.

There seems to be no slowing down of coffee sales either.

It is a billion pound industry across the world, and not cheap either.



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In The UK

Here in the UK, we consume 70 million cups of coffee a day. That’s a day. To put this figure into perspective, the total population in the UK, men, women and children is almost 65 millio

We coffee drinkers here in the UK spend £730 million each year.

And the coffee industry is not slowing down, it is in fact growing. The number of coffee shops in the UK is set to rise from 18,000, to 21,000 by 2020.

Coffee shops are replacing pubs. Everywhere you look a new Costa Coffee or Starbucks is opening. I fully expect one day to walk out of a Starbucks only to see another Starbucks directly across the street. The nexus of the universe.

A few interesting facts:

  • Fair trade coffee has increased by 2% in 2013 – 2014
  • 0.11kg of CO2 carbon emission is from the production of each paper cup
  • 57% of people would be willing to pay 2% more for their cups of coffee to be served in
    compostable takeaway cups
  • If we assume that half the world’s coffee is served in takeaway cups, the carbon emissions from
    the paper cups is equal to emissions created by 811 passenger vehicles.

The breakdown in the markets shares for coffee shop chains is as follows:

  • 37% non specialist, such as Greggs
  • 32% Independents
  • 31% branded chains, such as Costa Coffee and Starbucks

The Cost of High Street Coffee

Coffee can come in varying prices, but for some of the branded chains, a cup of coffee is not so cheap.

You can pay anywhere from around £1 at a Weatherspoons, to almost £3 at a Starbucks. And this adds up to a tidy sum each year.

You could be spending almost £700 each year, just for your coffee.

On average it can add up to £15,000 in a lifetime!

If you switch from buying that cup of coffee out to just drinking the office coffee, you could afford almost two holidays from the savings.

How to Cut The Costs

No one is saying give up your love for coffee, especially the coffee industry, but when you look at how much you may be spending, there are a few ways to cut back and save some money.

  • Reduce the size: Get a medium or small cup as opposed to a large cup. This can save you 30%.
  • Go simple: Skip the cappuccinos and get a regular filtered coffee.
  • Skip the extras: Coffee shops sell much more than just coffee. Skip the muffins, crisps, and cakes.
  • Loyalty rewards: If a coffee shop offers loyalty stamps or cards, use them and save.

How Much You’ll Save At Home

Then there also is the option of just making a cup of coffee at home. Even if you factor in the initial cost of a coffee machine, even an expensive one, over time, say five years, you come out ahead.

The average cost per cup:

  • Starbucks: £1.60
  • Delonghi Magnifica Espresso: £0.20
  • Bosch Tassimo: £0.25
  • Stove top coffee pot: £0.09

You also need to factor in your time. The time it takes you to make the cup of coffee and clean up, as opposed to standing in a queue at the coffee shop. And the coffee shops always seem busy to me.

Instant Coffee: We Brits seem to favour instant coffee over freshly brewed, 77% of households prefer instant. And instant coffee does save you money as well, as the cost per cup is only £0.06, with the average annual cost being £277.96, which could save you hundreds of pounds each year.

As with any habit that costs you money, the easiest way to save is to quit. But we’re no quitters, and where is the fun in that:)

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