A Better Cup of Cappuccino – And For Less

I stumbled on a new interesting site via The Old New Thing.

Economist Tim Harford writes an advice column called Dear Economist for the Financial Times. But instead of applying economic theory to economic problems, he applies economic theory to personal problems.

It’s my productivity nightmare come back to haunt me — Tim Harford has been writing for years and there are lots of interesting articles.  I’d hate to miss any.

This is one that resonated with me:  Starbucks economics

Here’s a little secret that Starbucks doesn’t want you to know: They will serve you a better, stronger cappuccino if you want one, and they will charge you less for it. Ask for it in any Starbucks and the barista will comply without batting an eye. The puzzle is to work out why.

You can read the story yourself if you want the secret  😉

This secret is related to another that I already knew (that’s why it resonates).  Starbucks sells their espresso based drinks in Tall, Grande, and Venti sizes.  These cups receive one, two, and two shots of espresso into 12, 16, and 20 oz cups.  If you like some volume (like I do), you can get an extra 4 oz. for a quarter or so — the last 4 oz. are much cheaper than the first 4.  Keep in mind though that the first upgrade comes with more espresso, and the second does not.

As long as you’re paying $5 for a cup of coffee, you might as well add another shot of espresso for fifty cents.

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