$4 gas got you down? Try $192-a-gallon espresso
May 16, 2008
High gas prices got you steamed? Just be glad that Chevy doesn’t run on lattes.
A lot is made about the rising price of gas, but coffee prices are already through the stratosphere.
Not that anyone cares.
Dawn Mosier, a barista at the Java Café on Patrick Henry Village in Heidelberg, said she rarely gets a comment about the shop’s coffee prices, which are higher than those at some other on-base joints because they sell Starbucks.
But her neighbors at the shoppette not 50 feet away don’t get the same consideration.
"When I’m in the shoppette I always hear people complain about gas," Mosier said. "I guess it’s because they’re buying [fuel] coupons."
Rosalie Rasmussen, a speech and language pathologist in the Heidelberg school district, shelled out $3 on Thursday for a Java Café Grande Caffé Latté, which despite its imposing name measured in at a whopping 16 ounces. A gallon of the stuff would run $24.
"It’s a treat," said Rasmussen, who said she rarely buys coffee. Does it bug her that coffee costs more than gas? Nah.
"I don’t take my car out on the weekends at all," she said, adding she drives only when she absolutely has to for work.
"And I think that’s the difference: You have a choice about coffee; you don’t have a choice about gas," she said. "I have concerns for people who have to travel long distances and for families that have to work that into their budget."
But, she said, she didn’t have a problem herself with gas prices.
"You’d rather not pay $3.78 a gallon, but it is what it is," said James Corneliussen, who works for U.S. Army Garrison Baden Wurttemberg’s command chaplain office. He was talking about gas, not coffee.
Corneliussen gets a 16-ounce Java Café Caffé Americano every Monday through Friday — that’s $10 of joe per week. The equivalent amount of regular unleaded gas would cost $2.36 at today’s price. "I know it’s more expensive than gas," he said smiling. But he hasn’t even considered giving up his morning cup.
"It would be like giving up steak, which is also more expensive than gas," he said. "It probably wouldn’t happen."
The cost of Heather Auge’s thrice-weekly Java Café chai is of so little concern to the arts and crafts center worker that she had to check the board to see how much it cost.
"It’s not a necessity," she said of the $30-a-gallon beverage. "It’s kind of like my thing that I do for me."
Like the others, she also wasn’t fretting about gas prices — the Germans pay more than double what you pay on base, she said. She lives in the Odenwald, far from any form of public transportation, "So I have to drive," she said.
At least she wasn’t drinking single espresso shots, which run $192 a gallon.
"I guess they get more gratification out of their latte" than they do from driving, Mosier said.