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?
I don't know about this whole robots taking over the coffee business
, though I'm sure it will have an effect. One of the reasons why I like getting coffee is the real-live human interaction I get from a coffee shop. The person who takes my coffee order every morning knows my name. She asks me how I'm doing. There is a good buzz going on. If there were a human-operated coffee shop down the street from me next to a robot-operated coffee shop, I'd pay the premium to go to the one with humans.
If there's a one coffee jingle I know, it belongs to Folgers—even if it's not the brand I buy at the grocery store. But it's still America's favorite coffee, according to Bloomberg Businessweek
which shows Folgers leading with 15.6 percent of the U.S. market
(third-party brands were in second, Green Mountain has 4.3 percent, and Starbucks has 3.3 percent of the market). I generally tend to buy fresh beans at the store and have them ground fresh. Are you a Folgers fan? What do you like to buy?
Stumptown Coffee Roasters, which is based out of Portland, Ore. and Intelligentsia Coffee, based out of Chicago, are expanding their locations in New York
and flying their coffee nerd flag fast and hard.