This is the first of a series of posts as a part of my daily blogging journey. The goal is simple – write and post daily for as long as I can or $\geq 60$ days. Longer articles have been moved to “Essays”. To receive updates as and when I post something new, make sure you subscribe to my newsletter. Without further ado, let’s get started.

I want to talk about coffee pricing. I did not drink a lot of coffee growing up. But, my coffee intake has increased drastically ever since my sophomore year. I even have a coffee page to keep track of my consumption. I’ll talk about the pricing in three parts – instant coffee, coffee at coffee outlets, and real coffee made at home.

1. Instant coffee

This is the kind of coffee that you can readily dissolve in boiling water, add some milk and sugar, and serve. This comes pretty cheaply. A jar of 50g BRU Gold $^{TM}$ coffee costs ₹145. Assuming you can get 50 cups out of it, the price comes down to about ₹3/cup. Let’s say it goes up to ₹10 after you add the cost of milk and sugar. That is still pretty cheap.

While the cost might be low, personally, I would not prefer to drink instant coffee every day. I have not looked into the science of instant coffee or the health implications of drinking it daily. However, even from a layman’s perspective, its aroma is not that great, and it is effortless to mess up while making it. To be honest, instant coffee just tastes like flavored milk.

2. Cafes

Next up, the “real” coffee served at cafes. I think they are great, just because someone else is employed to brew them. The aroma is much more romantic (word?), and they come in a much friendlier cup. That said, coffee served at cafes costs a lot. In fact, anything served in a lovely setting in a superior cup costs way too much. I don’t think that the coffee price in cafes is justified, but it is what it is.

For context, a cup of Cappuccino costs ₹34/cup at the CCD, IITK. The same cup of coffee would cost you ₹172-186 outside the campus. That is about 6 times the price on campus. Students on campus tend to be poor kids, so it makes sense to subsidize for us. Even if we are employed at a well-paying job, the 6x price tag seems a little too much. Oh, plus, it would be bizarre to study at CCDs outside the campus.

I tend to avoid drinking coffee outside the campus for pricing reasons. But, once in a while, you just got to do it! I remember this one time I went out with a friend in Kolkata. We ordered Cappuccinos for about ₹150/cup, and it tasted worse than we expected. The moral of the story is that it is better to burn your cash on something other than coffee when you are outside the campus. An argument could be made that everything costs more outside the campus. That is a topic I shall write about some other day.

An alternative and the cost-effective way would be to make “real” coffee at home. I have not tried this personally. But, I wish to try doing so sometime in the future. If you ever brewed ground coffee at home, let me know if it went well.

3. Packaged coffee (ground/roasted beans)

It is relatively easy to find packaged ground/roasted coffee beans on Amazon. I don’t know about the claims’ authenticity, but every other company claims that they source their coffee beans directly from farms in Karnataka, if I remember correctly. That is not the point I am trying to make. The fact is that this is an alternative way of enjoying a cup of coffee while saving some money.

Nowadays, companies have started shipping ready-to-pour sachets. You just pour hot water into the coffee bag, brew for a few minutes and then add milk and sugar swaadh-anusar. I tried the ones by Blue Tokai and Sleepy Owl. Personally, I found the Blue Tokai ones quite lovely. However, they cost ₹40/sachet. That is by no means cheap, but it is still better than buying coffee outside.

So, which should you prefer?

I guess it is a matter of personal choice. I prefer to buy coffee on campus and then brew the packaged or the sachet coffee bags while I’m outside. However, drinking coffee itself is like therapy, to be honest. The act of buying a cup of hot coffee, it brewing while you wait, and then the waitress coming over to handover the cup of coffee – the entire episode is relaxing in some sense. So, if my income were to go up six-fold, I would not really mind buying coffee outside.

I don’t like instant coffee. They are just – meh!

Endnote

I guess what I’m trying to say is that IITK should call us back as soon as possible. This serves multiple purposes, to be honest.

  1. I would be able to meet this girl I have a massive crush on and ask her out for coffee. She lives 1500 km away. :cry:
  2. Besides, I would also be able to drink real coffee while paying about six times lesser for it. I miss the CCD on campus. It is my favorite place on the campus. If I ever miss IITK for anything, it would be for my room, the OAT, CCD, and the incredible people on campus.
  3. While you are here – buy me a coffee if you like what I do. Thanks.

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