Why Is Iced Coffee So Expensive?

More
Screen Shot 2012-03-22 at 5.45.16 PM.png

The difference between hot coffee and cold coffee goes way beyond temperature, Kurt Soller explains. Cold-brewed java is a whole different production. Here are four ways the chilly stuff is more expensive to make.

1) It takes more coffee and more time: "Cold-brewing involves mixing pulverized beans with water, but the latter process requires about twice as much ground coffee," Soller reports.

2) It takes more paper. Clear plastic cups are twice as expensive as paper cups. Straws are another expense. And the condensation requires more napkins per customer. "My paper costs, which include cups and straws, increase by about 20 percent," one owner told Soller. "Summer stresses me out."

3) It takes more machines. "Renting an ice machine, a common practice among cafés, costs up to twelve bucks a day," Soller reports.

3) It takes the same mark-up on a higher-cost item. "For a coffee shop to thrive, its owners must keep their cost-of-goods around 28 percent of menu price." The hardest part is just making sure we're prepared for cold brew," says Caroline Bell, co-owner of four Café Grumpy locations. "You've just reminded me I need to order more plastic cups."

Source: Yeko Photo Studio/Shutterstock

>

Jump to comments
Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In