$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?


A Case Against Telling Your Coworkers What You Earn

While I don’t dispute the notion that transparency can prevent people from being underpaid, the chaos that can be caused by people sharing their salaries suggests that there needs to be a better way to share that information.


Starving on Campus

College students are known for being broke, heavily in debt, and surviving off of instant ramen, but there is also an invisible population of students who have “food insecurity”—not having enough to eat on daily basis. These students are often hidden because they feel ashamed about their circumstances.


A Chat With the Women Who Started ‘Rice Paper Scissors,’ A Vietnamese Restaurant in San Francisco

We’re Valerie and Katie, the founders of Rice Paper Scissors, a Vietnamese restaurant based in San Francisco.


Winnipeg, Manitoba: The Slurpee Capital of the World

Here’s a delightful post from Priceonomics on the invention of the Slurpee. Who would have thought that Canadians were such huge consumers of flavored icy drinks? Canadian readers, is this true?


How Much Should You Tip for Office Food Deliveries?

I know this has been covered to death, but I have a question about institutional tipping. I’m lucky enough to work for a company that sees fit to provide its employees with a variety of free food – lunches, breakfasts, snacks, etc.


Cereal Boxes Designed to Make Sustained Eye Contact With Children

from Venessa Wong at Businessweek: “Is Cap’n Crunch Staring Straight Into Your Child’s Soul?” (Answer: yes.)


Americans Pouring Ranch All Over Everything

The Salt reports that NPD Group, a consumer market information company, has found that ranch dressing has becoming the number one dressing “shipped to the country’s cafeterias, restaurants and institutions.”


There’s a New Chicken King in Town

Big news in fried chicken land, courtesy of Businessweek: Chick-fil-a has now outpaced KFC as the #1 chicken provider in these here United States.


How Much Would You Pay For Elephant Poop Coffee?

If the answer is $1500 a kilogram, then it might be time to start booking your next vacation. On the island of Macau, China, you can get a cup of “black ivory” for 488 patacas, which is about $60 USD (plus tip!).


An ATM, But for Cupcakes

New York joins cities like Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Beverly Hills that have a cupcake ATM—a place where people can go 24/7 to pick up a cupcake for $4.25 if they having a craving for one. The ATM is run by Sprinkles, and a robotic arm picks up cupcakes to deliver them in a compartment when a customer orders one. I’ll likely never use it, but you never know.


Restaurant Week With Fair Labor Practices

Here’s a spin on “restaurant week,” which happens in various cities across the country and allows diners to try prix fixe lunches and dinners at participating restaurants for what is usually a fraction of the price: High Road Restaurant Week.