What determines the price of my cup of coffee?

It’s easy to get “sticker shock” when visiting your local coffee shop, and you might have wondered why it costs so much. We took a look at the entire coffee industry and simplified your choices at work into the following diagram.

What will I pay for a cup of black coffee?

 $0.15 – 0.80   Big Box Delivery

When price is all you care about nothing beats the big box stores. They typically stock 1-2 blends from a few select distributors, that their buying group chooses based off of profitability. (Interestingly, we provide the office coffee to an unnamed big box store’s buying group!)

 $2.50   The Corner Coffee Shop

Found on almost any corner, these shops—like Starbucks and Peet’s—popularized the concept of a quality coffee experience in America. They created standards to keep their product quality consistent wherever you buy it. They also developed coffee sustainability certifications and often run socially conscious campaigns that bring them into the national conversation. Now people of all ages can go to any franchise store, pay for their favorite drink, and get the experience they’ve come to expect from a brand they trust.

 $4.00   Specialty Coffee Shops

Known as the “third wave of coffee,” these shops cater to those who are willing to pay a premium for an artisan, handcrafted experience. These shops emphasize the traceability of their beans and the small-batch process in which they are roasted and brewed. They also tend to be attentive to the attractiveness of their beverages.

 $0.20 – 0.95  Image of a full 10oz coffee in an Ambassador Cup, brewed by San Diego's premier Office Coffee Service. Office Coffee Service

Office Coffee Services cater specifically to companies that recognize the value of having coffee onsite. At Coffee Ambassador, we know that workers have raised their coffee standards but that companies need to watch the bottom line. We work directly with our roasting and equipment partners to source high-quality products. We then combine this quality with our time-proven consulting, delivery, and maintenance methods specifically designed for the office breakroom and budget. The result is a great office coffee experience for you and your coworkers.

Short Answer: Depends on who you ask.

Long Answer: There are a lot of factors, but the most common ones are the origin & quality of the beans, the traceability & sustainability of the sourcing process, and the attention paid to roasting, brewing, and freshness.

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