Why Some People Think I’m Crazy

Yes, some people think I am crazy, and I’ll tell you why.

I drink Instant Coffee.

There I said it. I drink instant coffee and I love it.

When I started drinking coffee, instant and percolated coffee was what was drunk at home. And that was fine. Instant worked well when my father, brothers and I had to wake up early to go work on the farm. It was quick and easy.

Decades on from then, I still drink instant, even though I don’t have to wake up before the crack of dawn anymore.

Many of my friends don’t understand. I have a decent salary, and I could afford to have an expensive coffee machine at home, with a grinder, buy freshly roasted beans. And make the perfect brew at home. Or, go out and pay someone to make me a coffee.

Am I crazy?

Coffee is King

Kiwis are obsessed with coffee. Over the last couple of decades, New Zealand has undergone a coffee revolution. Kiwis have become connoisseurs of that favoured black beverage. And they are willing to pay for it.

Kiwis even claim to have invented the flat white- a less milky brew with less froth.  Then again, others think our arch-rivals, the Australians invented the flat white.

Then there is the number of different coffee types you can order. An espresso, short black, macchiato, long black, flat white, cappuccino, caffe latte, mochaccino, ristretto, piccolo latte, affogato, espresso, Romano latte, macchiato espresso, con Panna, cortado and a fluffy.

I don’t even know what all those are. And a fluffy doesn’t even have any coffee in it.

Are Perceptions at work here

I keep wondering, is human perceptions involved in the coffee debate? Is it because we pay more for that cup of brew that it must be better?

There is some evidence to say no. Experts say that coffee loses some quality in the freeze-drying process to turn it into instant coffee. So even if you start with the best beans,  they will lose some quality.

Experts also say that the process itself is expensive. So to make up for this, lower-quality beans are normally purchased. So lower quality beans put through a process which makes their quality even worse.

Instant must be awful.

But that hasn’t been my everyday experience. I go out to a cafe now and then and usually buy a coffee. I expect it to be amazing. Far better than my daily instant. But when I finish it, I am left underwhelmed.

It’s the same thing you experience with KFC. You go with the expectation that it’s going to be amazing, but you’re left underwhelmed and feel like a fatty.

The Cost

You and I know that going out for a coffee every day is terrible for our passive income goals. Coffee can be anywhere between $4.5 to $6. Going for coffee every day eats at our bottom line.

So if you’re into getting a daily coffee on average, you’re paying about $25 a workweek.  About $1200 per year. That’s a crazy amount of money to spend on coffee. 

I have an allowance of $200 per week after all my automatic mortgage, and investment payments go out. That includes petrol, my phone, and any other things I want to buy. My true hourly rate is thus  $200/80 hours. $2.5 an hour. So I have to work for 2 whole hours every day to earn my coffee.

No thanks. Where’s the instant at.

Why I drink Instant

There are several other reasons why I drink instant coffee over going to buy one every day. Or forking out for an expensive coffee machine at home. And they’re not all financial reasons either.

As I mentioned, I can’t taste the difference between coffee from a cafe and a cup of instant.

Instant coffee is, of course, much easier and quicker to make than brewed coffee. You boil some water and add instant coffee to a cup. Go to go.

In terms of convenience, instant coffee wins every time. There is no bean grinding; there is no waiting in line. Wins every time.

It’s more green. Rather than buying a disposable cup with every coffee, I use a mug every day that doesn’t need to be thrown out. Even if they’re recyclable cups, there is some effort and energy gone into recycling them.

And of course, it is cheaper. A bag of instant will make me about 50 cups, and it cost around $5. That’s about 10 cents a cup, excluding the milk.

One of the final reasons I drink instant, at least at work, is that it free at work. That’s awesome. The thing that baffles me is how little my colleagues exploit this benefit. Rather, groups head to the coffee truck across the road daily.  

So, am I crazy for drinking instant? Or should I give in and spend $1200 a year on going out for coffee?


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4 thoughts on “Why Some People Think I’m Crazy”

  1. In your case, I wouldn’t swap as you are happy with your current choice.

    Personally I rarely go out for a coffee as it tends to cover my daily subsistence limit. I got for a few solid meals and if necessary a 10 peso coffee.

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