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Is your caffeine kick costing you more? Coffee prices are up. How one local cafe is dealing with the hike.

If you drink coffee for your morning caffeine kick, your wallet has probably needed an extra shot of cash.

News 12 Staff

Sep 9, 2022, 9:58 AM

Updated 653 days ago

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If you drink coffee for your morning caffeine kick, your wallet has probably needed an extra shot of cash. Drought conditions in parts of South America have forced coffee prices to go up, and in the past two years, the Wall Street Journal says prices have soared over all by nearly 39%.
One local coffee shop owner says while that's making it difficult to keep her prices down, customers can still find ways to make up for the higher coffee prices.
“Let's say we were paying $8 a pound for our regular coffee before pandemic, now we're paying about $10,” says Wanny Wong, owner of Intrinsic Café in Newark.
Wong’s coffee shop is near two college campuses, which means a student population with limited expendable cash. So, while higher coffee prices have forced her to increase prices, she is making personal sacrifices to keep the hikes there for now.
“Like I do more hours on my own, so that cuts down the payroll,” says Wong. “We bake most everything ourselves, completely in house.”
She says there are ways coffee loving customers can make sacrifices, too, if they don't want to feel the heat of higher coffee costs. 
“It's cheaper to make it at home, obviously right, but most people come here for the environment,” says Wong. “You can stay here all day, literally you can stay here all day.”
But if you can give up that indulgent cafe experience, making your own coffee at home is cheaper. We did the math, and a one-pound bag of Starbucks coffee at your supermarket costs, on average, about $10.99 and gives you about 22 cups. Compare that to one cup of a tall Starbucks on their menu that costs $2.95. So that's $64.90 for the same 22 cups -- a savings of nearly $54.
Another money saver? Ditch the oat, soy or almond milk substitutes and stick to good old fashioned and less expensive whole milk.
“It's like 75 cents cheaper,” says Wong. “The real deal would be don't do milk replacement if you don't have a milk allergy.”
Customers at the cafe say the best money saving decision they've made is to ditch larger chain coffee shops altogether and give smaller local coffee shops their money instead, especially at a time like this.
Wong is grateful since, she says, larger coffee chains can take the increased prices a lot easier than she can.
“I really feel as if small places like this will be the first places to go,” says Wong. “Because we don't have backings like the big corporations where you can weather the storm.
The bottom line for saving on your coffee is remembering that buying local will usually be cheaper.
You can also find deals - at McDonalds right now, you can get any sized coffee for 99-cents using their app.
You'll get more deals everywhere on National Coffee Day, which is Sept. 29. You can also join rewards programs and earn points toward free coffee at both chain and local shops. As for home brewed, the price of ground coffee at the supermarkets are up too.


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