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Ask RiotACT: Cheap coffee in Canberra – where is it hiding?

By scentednightgardens - 8 June 2016 15

Ask RiotACT

I have recently returned to the take-away coffee market after a number of years sourcing my caffeine through alternative means.  I have been paying around $4.50 for my regular double-shot flat white (or ‘large’ flat white), or around $3.50 for a double espresso straight up, at various places around Civic, Belconnen and Woden.  But I would love to hear about places around town that can do these coffees for less.  Where are the places that can pump out satisfactory coffee at a great price?

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15 Responses to
Ask RiotACT: Cheap coffee in Canberra – where is it hiding?
therightjob35up 3:53 pm 10 Jun 16

Mate, beleive it not the shell servo near hindmarsh were the car yards are at Phillip, has great coffee FOR 80 cents! (the first 3 second drop of the milk is actually water, so wait til the stream turns white) I leave the car running opo in click click Ka Ching, Byron Bay cookie $2 and you r ROOOLLLLINNNNN 🙂

AS a coffee shop hanger former Barista I cant believe Im going to Shell for a coffee daily

Enjoy!

Mysteryman 3:07 pm 10 Jun 16

dungfungus said :

clairee said :

Mordd – IndyMedia said :

John Moulis said :

creative_canberran said :

bigred said :

…and tip if you get really good service from the staff.

At $4-5 a coffee (which seems about the standard for a large these days) they won’t be getting any tips.

And given that the actual input costs are only around $1 depending on the type of beans used and overheads, they are making a fair profit already.

Material costs, not full input costs including rent, wages, insurances etc.

That’s true. But it’s still not my job to pay extra to subsidise an employee’s wage.

Who asked you to pay extra? But the price of wages needs to be included in the cost of what is sold, including coffee.

Precisely. Staff get paid by their employer. I’m not going to tip (read: pay extra) for someone doing their job well. That’s a standard that I expect as the minimum.

JC 10:10 am 10 Jun 16

clairee said :

Mordd – IndyMedia said :

John Moulis said :

creative_canberran said :

bigred said :

…and tip if you get really good service from the staff.

At $4-5 a coffee (which seems about the standard for a large these days) they won’t be getting any tips.

And given that the actual input costs are only around $1 depending on the type of beans used and overheads, they are making a fair profit already.

Material costs, not full input costs including rent, wages, insurances etc.

That’s true. But it’s still not my job to pay extra to subsidise an employee’s wage.

Who asked you to pay extra? But the price of wages needs to be included in the cost of what is sold, including coffee.

Mordd 8:09 pm 09 Jun 16

I wasn’t suggesting tipping the venue for the quality of the coffee, as you point out you are already paying for that at around $4/4.50 for a large double shot coffee. What I said was if the STAFF give you really good SERVICE, then tip the STAFF. They are working on low hospitality wages and deserve a little extra if they give really excellent service. But don’t put in a tip jar, give it directly to the staff member. I won’t tip a venue for quality, but I will tip staff for good service.

Mysteryman 5:29 pm 09 Jun 16

Mordd – IndyMedia said :

John Moulis said :

creative_canberran said :

bigred said :

…and tip if you get really good service from the staff.

At $4-5 a coffee (which seems about the standard for a large these days) they won’t be getting any tips.

And given that the actual input costs are only around $1 depending on the type of beans used and overheads, they are making a fair profit already.

Material costs, not full input costs including rent, wages, insurances etc.

That’s true. But it’s still not my job to pay extra to subsidise an employee’s wage.

dungfungus 3:11 pm 09 Jun 16

Mordd – IndyMedia said :

John Moulis said :

creative_canberran said :

bigred said :

…and tip if you get really good service from the staff.

At $4-5 a coffee (which seems about the standard for a large these days) they won’t be getting any tips.

And given that the actual input costs are only around $1 depending on the type of beans used and overheads, they are making a fair profit already.

Material costs, not full input costs including rent, wages, insurances etc.

Fair comment JC.
Then there is that element called “risk” which is difficult to put a cost on. Take the case of the family coffee shop/cafe at Cooleman Court (Weston) who got 30 days notice to vacate in favour of a landlord appointed franchise type coffee shop. Anyone one who decides to go into a small business these days deserves the Order of Australia.

CatlikeTread 2:56 pm 09 Jun 16

The sad thing is that the prices are not related to the input cost. Messy-to-make milk coffee with substantially more costly raw materials sell for the same price as a short black that takes a fraction of the time to make and minimum of raw materials.

There is a hole in the wall in the arcade that leads up to AusAID from outside Industry House (above the casino end of City Walk) where you can get a $1 espresso “off peak”. I visit when I am in the area.

JC 11:56 am 09 Jun 16

John Moulis said :

creative_canberran said :

bigred said :

…and tip if you get really good service from the staff.

At $4-5 a coffee (which seems about the standard for a large these days) they won’t be getting any tips.

And given that the actual input costs are only around $1 depending on the type of beans used and overheads, they are making a fair profit already.

Material costs, not full input costs including rent, wages, insurances etc.

neanderthalsis 11:41 am 09 Jun 16

creative_canberran said :

bigred said :

…and tip if you get really good service from the staff.

At $4-5 a coffee (which seems about the standard for a large these days) they won’t be getting any tips.

And given that the actual input costs are only around $1 depending on the type of beans used and overheads, they are making a fair profit already.

Mysteryman 10:40 am 09 Jun 16

bigred said :

…and tip if you get really good service from the staff.

At $4-5 a coffee (which seems about the standard for a large these days) they won’t be getting any tips.

Kalliste 8:02 am 09 Jun 16

As others have mentioned, that seems like the average price to pay around Canberra.

I know that Studio 7 and Social Bean in Belconnen both have cheaper prices but I’m not sure if that extends to “double-shot” coffee (I don’t drink coffee so have never needed to know). That being said, I hear the coffee at Social Bean is very good and they have a great barista. My experience is only through Hot Chocolate which is actually decent at both of these places, which is unusual for a café in my experience.

I suppose it depends on what you want out of the coffee. Is it purely because you want the caffeine or because you want something that tastes good?

JazzyJess 7:37 pm 08 Jun 16

There’s a tiny hole in the wall café next to Mezzalira’s on London Circuit that does a large coffee for $3

Mordd 6:49 pm 08 Jun 16

I am not sure it is really worth the effort trying to save 50c to $1 on a coffee, just find the place that has the beans you like the best and stick with it, and tip if you get really good service from the staff. $4 for a large coffee is quite average, anywhere selling it for less than that is most likely cutting something from the part that makes it a “satisfactory coffee” unless they are not paying wages/tax properly in which case you wouldn’t want to support them anyway. Fact is you can’t make a good coffee on the cheap unless you do it at home or have a work with a nice espresso machine.

pink little birdie 4:43 pm 08 Jun 16

Belconnen labor club does ok coffee for $2.50-$3.00
The place in the Oracle apartments does coffee for $2.50 but it’s not to my tastes.
Chatterbox is the cheapest of the Belconnen federal public service end of Belconnen coffee shops.

Usually bringing your own cub knocks .20c to 50c off the price

depends on what taste in coffee you have. There is a Lonsdale street roasters that is popular but I know several people who don’t like it.

neanderthalsis 3:29 pm 08 Jun 16

The Shell servo does the for 80c. I can’t attest to the quality though.

Prices around $4 seems normal across Canberra for a generic brew of regular size.

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