Advantages High Quality, Loyalty Points On all Products, Choice over when and how points are spent
Disadvantages Lower Accrual Rate that Competitors
COSTA COFFEE; OVERPRICED?
People tend to fall into two broad categories when it comes to Coffee Shops; those that use them (whether infrequently as an occasional treat or regularly as a caffeine fuelling station) and those that never venture into such territory on the grounds (small pun intended) that £2 or more for a 'cup of coffee' is a complete and utter rip off.
So are coffee shops ripping us off by charging us so much for a single hot drink? In my opinion, not at all. I'll explain why. On the face of it, the cost is unjustified; the beans, milk and water used for a single cup simply don't add up anywhere remotely close to 200 British Pennies. But there is more than just this to take into account. If you were to make a coffee at home, for example, you would also have to use electricity to heat up the water in the kettle, you would need to use hot water and a cleaning product to clean the cup and spoon after (all of which cost extra pennies). In a coffee shop, you aren't JUST paying for the overheads either; you're paying for someone else to make your drink with a little expertise and you're paying to sit in a warm and comfortable environment. You're also paying for convenience; to be able to pop in and grab a coffee in the middle of a shopping trip perhaps. If you're out shopping and suddenly could do with a nice rest and a coffee, to trek back home for the trouble just wouldn't cut it. Even if it were desirable, the petrol used to drive home and back and the pure hassle and time taken would have a cost all its own. The key here is to realise you're not just buying a coffee when you hand over two small gold coins and a silver or two in Costa; you're buying the whole package. In short, you're paying for an 'experience'.
COSTA; A HERITAGE OF QUALITY
Having a wife who has extensive experience as a Barrista (I hope I spelt that correctly. If not, I apologise to anyone working in legal services) and being a coffee-lover myself, I have compared several different coffee stores and chains. For me, Costa is probably the most superior coffee chain in the UK. The company was started by two Italian brothers who came to London in 1971, bringing their Italian Coffee expertise with them. Today, the company is far larger than that first store in London but Costa continues to deliver high quality. The time taken for a 'shot' is around 20 seconds; the optimal time to strike a good balance between strength and taste. This rates better than Cafe Nero, for example, who pull their shots far quicker to serve customers more speedily but at the cost of quality and flavour.
Costa also use Monin Organic syrups for flavouring their lattes and Mochas; a high quality brand of syrup. Perhaps the only caveat I have detected in a Costa store is a barrista using a shot to pour into a coffee that had been left sitting a short while; perhaps left over from the previous drink made. This might not seem an issue but if a shot is left sitting for more than about 25 seconds or so, it starts to become very 'bitter' and will make the coffee bitter when it is used.
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