Newest Review: ... can't we all when we're rushed off our feet, but the coffee is served hot and quickly. They have a good selection of drinks available, an... more
A coffee a day keeps the mortgage free existence away
Member Name: pert_abacus
Advantages: Nice drinks
Disadvantages: V Expensive
Famous for their 1976 court case in which they unsuccessfully argued that albino's should be banned from visiting their coffee shops during winter months (for fear of alarming their then largely circus based client base) Costa Coffee have become a fixture on many a high street.
Dating back to 1899 when their first coffee stand was visited by Queen Victoria who stated 'We are not amused' due to the barrista forgetting to offer chocolate sprinkles on her royal highnesses Hazlenut Mocha, Costa limped along as a small business with an annual turnover of less than 14 shillings for much of the 20th Century.
Their fortunes changed in 2003 when they started to serve their various caffeine based hot beverages in drinking receptacles rather than dismissively tossing the burning liquid at the floor in front of their customers feet and shouting 'drink you dog!'. This more family friendly, and let's face it, saner, approach let to some customers providing them with repeat business and the franchise really took off.
Recent statistics reveal that there are quite literally quite a lot of Costa Coffee franchises throughout the UK (including the Pennines) and these range from shops, outlets within businesses such as in SAP HQ, Clockhouse place and Mrs Biggin's Brothel Company, Denbeigh Ave, coffee machines within random restaurants and that man who offers people a slurp from his flask outside Birmingham New Street station for 50p.
Costa has a lot of high street rivals, some of which also sell coffee, including Starbucks, Café Nero and MucDonalds yet there appears to be such a demand for ridiculously overpriced caffeine that none of them appear to be struggling.
For those who are more than happy to pay prices that range from the extortionate to the bloody ridiculous for boiled water added to 5ps worth of coffee beans, several pennies worth of bovine lactation and a dash of syrup with the semi-obligatory 'dusting' Costa Coffee offer a wide range of drinks from Coffee to Tea, Hot Chocolate to milkshakes, they'll even let you buy a 25p bottle of orange to take away for only a pound.
You can also buy assorted pastries or cakes for the price of a small meal.
You can consume your beverage & snacks inside most Costa Coffee shops and listen in to generally boorish conversations of the aspiring middle classes and they browse through the free copies of the Daily mail or take your purchase out through the streets and pretend not to notice that you could have bought your treasured cinnamon swirl pastry for a third of the price at the bakery next door (usually a greggs).
My personal favourite waste of money is a large cinnamon mocha with an extra dash of espresso but also foolishly sample all of their other drinks at assorted times, usually en route to work in the morning either desperate for a caffeine injection or just convincing myself that I need one in a bid to stave off my arrival at work for another few minutes.
To be fair to Costa Coffee it's not all about corporate greed as they do also run the Costa Foundation a charity which any tips you may leave are snatched away from the low paid baristas (aka students or people of low self-esteem convinced that they can't get a job that involves receiving a proper living wage) and donated to various schemes helping folk in other countries achieve the type of education that will lead to them realizing that £3 plus for a cup of coffee is ridiculous and that adding a dash of vanilla to your skinny half-caf latte is ever so slightly pretentious.
Costa also use a customer loyalty card scheme in which you're given a few points for every pound you spend which can ultimately be coverted into a 'free drink'. To get a large hot chocolate with cream for example you only need to spend a sum similar to your monthly mortage payment.
So, they're over-priced and they're only selling a product that with a small amount of effort we can make for ourselves so why do we keep going back?
Could it be that we aspire to be European, indulging in café culture? Probably not because in true British style most of us go in, drink our drinks as fast as thier temperature allows and get out (or grab a quick cup to take out as we dash urgently to our next point of call).
Is t because we all watched friends in the 1990's and expect to be served by & flirt with a Jennifer Aniston type yet routinely get disappointed by meeting up with a Gunther? Unlikely...
Are we all just addicted to caffeine? Do we all aspire to have so much money that we can routinely waste it on overpriced drinks and therefore pretend we can afford it whilst racking up debt? Are we smiling on the outside whilst internally we seeth that we are becoming not only financially but morally bankrupt as we pour pound after pound into the corporate coffers?
Or is it just a fact that we like the taste of coffee with added syrups but would feel embarrassed if our friends ever discovered bottles of peppermint flavouring, chocolate dusting and boat sized cups in our cupboards?
Any why is Costa Coffee an anagram of Ffeet As Coco? And what does it mean?
Summary: Caffeine injection at a cost