Sunday, 9 August 2009

Daylight robbery – £2 for a cup of tea at Costa

Photographs show my bill for a small bottle of mineral water, the Eat & Drink Co and the Costa at a Moto service area on the M3. Let's get one thing straight here: paying £2 for a cuppa is fine if the environment is something really special, but a motorway service area? I don't think so.

I wouldn't call myself a communist or a Marxist, but there are times when capitalism really stinks. Normally, I get a little cheesed off when I discover that to travel by train to, say, Huddersfield, at 9am in the morning, will cost me in excess of £200. Why, when a hour or so later the fare is more than halved? The answer, of course, is exploitation.

Train travel is one thing, but how about a cup of tea for £1.99? That, in teashopandcaff's opinion, is daylight robbery when you consider that a cup of tea costs only pennies to make. I should know. Many moons ago I was the editor of a catering magazine. I was often told by the brand managers for PG Tips or Twinings that tea only cost 3p to make so that selling a cup for 50p was, in itself, a good mark-up.

Fast forward to Sunday August 2nd 2009 and even assuming, hypothetically, that the price of producing the Great British Cuppa has rocketed to, say, 12p, £1.99 is still extortionate. But that is the price of a cup of tea in a Costa Coffee on the M3. Why is it so expensive? Because they have a captive audience and can charge what the hell they like. Disgusting. It's the same price at an Eat & Drink Co outlet in the same Moto motorway service station where, incidentally, a small bottle of mineral water is also £1.99 (normally it's around 60p in shops).

Nobody should be expected to pay £1.99 for a cup of tea. Sort it out, Costa, your tea is not THAT good. For £2, I'd expect free biscuits at the very least.

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