$45 a Month for a Bottomless Cup of Coffee

The Wall Street Journal reports that a new “subscription-model coffee club” is currently in beta testing in NYC. Customers can pay $45 a month for unlimited drip or pour-over coffee, or $85 for unlimited espresso at select coffee shops in the city. One caveat is that customers can only use their membership card to buy one coffee every half hour (likely to prevent sharing the card with others).

Not everyone is into the idea:

Andrew Hetzel, a coffee industry specialist who is a Board Member of the Specialty Coffee Association of America, said he thinks the CUPS model can be popular with consumers but has concerns about the “bottomless cup” concept from the perspective of quality.

“My fear is that flat-rate pricing model will be a disincentive to the use of quality coffee and reduce overall consumption, making the app a poor value for consumers,” said Mr. Hetzel.

As a daily coffee drinker, $45 a month might actually be worth it, though it would really depend on which coffeehouses decide to participate…

Actually thinking about it some more, I probably wouldn’t do this—I’d feel too much pressure to get my money’s worth. What about you other coffee drinkers out there?

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16 Comments / Post A Comment

garli (#4,150)

I’m still confused by people who can leave the house prior to drinking coffee.

E$ (#1,636)

@garli THIS. Granted, I created my own dependence in the first place by stocking up to make coffee at home, but now I just can’t get by without it.

@garli I’m confused by people who wake up early enough to eat breakfast and have coffee before having to leave the house. Travel mugs and portable breakfasts for everyone!

garli (#4,150)

@polka dots vs stripes Breakfast? Sounds awful. I just feel like I’d be a danger to all on the road without coffee. I also don’t want to leave the house early enough to stop somewhere or drink the dirt water they call coffee at my work. :)

There’s also programmable coffee makers but I’m a brat so I like to grind my beans right before brewing.

honey cowl (#1,510)

Yes yes yes!

This seems like a good alternative to renting at a coworking space…

ATF (#4,229)

I think it would depend on the coffee houses doing it and what it included. $45 a month is $1.50 per day, weekends included. If you were actually spending more than a $1.50 on coffee every day, 7 days a week, sure. This would likely be great. But if you only drink coffee M-F, you’d need to be spending slightly more than $2/day on coffee to break even.

And it only goes up from there if you drink coffee out only a few times a week. So for those out there that make a $3+ cup of coffee a daily ritual, this would likely be a great deal. But I don’t know how many people would actually save money with it.

andnowlights (#2,902)

I am one of those obnoxious morning people that doesn’t drink coffee at all! So I would totally be down for an unlimited cookie subscription, please and thank you.

garli (#4,150)

@andnowlights Me too but only if it came with a program where you could swap your pants for progressively larger sizes.

andnowlights (#2,902)

@garli HA HA! Yeah, I’m trying to do the exact OPPOSITE of that right now. Unlimited fruit cups? That’s not nearly as appealing.

garli (#4,150)

@andnowlights Well it wouldn’t be fair at all if you were a morning person and could eat cookies without any pants-related side effects.

I would be into this just as a way to budget-like, I know my coffee budget will never exceed $45 a month. Perfect. Although currently I only spend like $20 a month on it, including home and away coffees. So who knows!

tw0lle (#4,354)

This is such a good idea. I drink a lot of coffee, and though I spend less than $45 to make it at home, it’s not MUCH less than $45. But like it says above, I’d be interested in whether the participating shops maintain quality, faced with bottomless coffee hounds chugging as much as possible to get their money’s worth.

Hm. But wouldn’t the coffee fall out?

jilligan (#6,427)

In Toronto we have a conceptually related thing called the Indie Coffee Passport where you buy kind of a punch-card for $22 and then get a free coffee at each of 22 coffee shops. It is a nice excuse to check out many new coffee shops, but I have used it less than I thought. Also, my experience with it has made me realize that I’m quite susceptible to the “must get my money’s worth” mindset, so I bet this type of subscription would totally do that to me.

ThatJenn (#916)

Not a coffee drinker (I’m sadly allergic to coffee and black tea), but used to drink massive (I mean, massive) quantities of Diet Coke every day, and if this membership existed for soda and was convenient to use I would have been ON IT. I saved about $2,500 per year (or possibly more) when I quit drinking soda daily in 2012. I still have it every now and then, but rarely (at worst, once a week, but there are often weeks I don’t have any at all).

Though mostly this reminds me that I gotta kick my caffeine habit again. :(

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