The cost of tea, the cost of coffee

by  |  20-07-2011

I’m an admitted tea drinker and I’m quite happy with that. I do sometimes splurge and go out for a cup of coffee at somewhere like Hooker’s Sweet Treats [sadly closed in 2019]. Naturally, I have to do it somewhere else as, unlike my neighbor who awesomely restored a pull lever Gaggia machine, I don’t have the ability to make proper espresso at home. But, beyond the fact that I just need a pot to boil water and an infuser (scratch even that if you’re bag user) there is also the issue that the difference in cost for the raw materials of tea and coffee are tremendously at odds with one another.

Cup of Tea Cost

  • Mighty Leaf Organic Breakfast – $65.89/kg
  • 2.5g of tea per cup
  • $0.17 cost per cup

Cup of Coffee Cost

  • Sightglass El Salvador, Santa Ana, Siberia Estate – $81.40/kg
  • 24g per espresso pull
  • $1.92 cost per cup

Now, these are both high-end teas and coffees which I believe to be equal in taste and quality level. As you can see, the tea is around 75% the cost per kilo of the coffee, but the difference is in how much you use to make a cup. With that in mind, coffee is 11 times more costly per cup! Of course, if you’re a coffee drinker, then you smile and pay that, but what I can’t understand is how a single shot of espresso and a cup of tea are often the same price at a café. I guess that’s why I stay in a lot. That and I don’t much like most people.


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