Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Coffee in cardboard can be pricey

Hackensack's only Starbucks is on Essex Street, near the medical center.

After a great seafood dinner in Maywood on Saturday, I stopped at the only Starbucks in Hackensack for my usual: a small cardboard cup of the medium-roast coffee of the day.

When I looked at my credit-card receipt, I saw the cup of coffee cost $1.77, including tax.

The day before, I stopped for the same cup of coffee at a Starbucks in a service area of the New Jersey  Turnpike, and paid $2.09, including tax.

A food stand on the High Line in lower Manhattan offers hot dogs.

In late summer, I stood on line at a coffee stand on the High Line, an old elevated freight railroad in lower Manhattan that has been transformed into a park.

I couldn't figure out why the line was moving so slowly until I got close enough to see that each cup of coffee was made to order.

The beans from Guatemala were ground individually and the coffee was brewed using a drip method.

When I asked, I was told a cup was $2.90. I turned around and left. 

On Sunday, I attended a jazz vocal competition at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, and had coffee before the show.

A cardboard cup that looked like it held only 10 ounces set me back $3.

The smallest cup at Starbucks, called "Tall," holds 12 ounces.

The $3 cup of coffee at NJPAC in Newark.

On top of that, NJPAC soaks you for parking in its own lot: $16 or $14, if you buy a voucher online.

I found relatively inexpensive coffee, plus free parking, in Manhattan of all places.

On Monday, I stopped at a Greek diner at 11th Avenue and 43rd Street, parking in its small lot.

A cup of coffee and a free refill were $1.89, including tax.

Go figure.  

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