The Starbucks Index - Coffee Price Parity

Tyler Durden's picture

Despite Abe's protestations, it would appear - from WSJ's index of Starbucks coffee prices around the world - that Japan's currency 'value' is similar to the US while it is Mr. Hollande (in France) that has more reason to hope for a currency devaluation in his country. With India and Mexico showing the lowest price for a grande latte (suggesting undervalued currencies), it appears Europeans (from Madrid to Paris to Athens) pay significantly more for a latte than even the New Yorkers. Forget the Big Mac Index, forget Purchasing Power Parity - the Scandinavians are suffering from over-priced currencies and significant divergence from Coffee Price Parity.



Source: WSJ

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13thWarrior's picture

Too bad they don't have how much is robusta and how much is arabica component.

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

All their coffee tastes burnt - good arabica beans are wasted on Starbucks.

Dr. Richard Head's picture

Hence the need for syrups and surgars to flavor away the burn. 

hedgeless_horseman's picture



We have hundreds of Yaupon Holly bushes on our property, and the surrounding countryside filled with the stuff.  I don't have to pay for my caffeine, I get it for free.

With cream from our grass-fed cow, the cost of my Chai Latte is, was, and will be close to $0.00 regardless of quantitative easing. 

Fuck you, Bernanke!



jazze's picture

Starbucks/Bigmac index are so pointless.


In Germany/France you can go to a family owned cafe and get better and CHEAPER coffee than Starbux. In Asia, Starbucks is generally "luxury".

boogerbently's picture

What impressed me was the highest prices were in the very socialized scandanavian countries.

(Where we're headed)

Karlus's picture

I would posit there that everything is paid for, and SBux feels it can get a larger share of discretionary money. Not sure if this is true...

thisandthat's picture

Was about to say the same - 1st, I didn't even knew we had them here in Portugal; 2nd, 4$ for a coffee? Are you f* kidding me? It costs less than 1 € at a coffee shop anywhere (actually, it's closer to .5/6€ on most places), and just over 0,3 € at home, in capsules (which are a whopping 5x more expensive than grinded/bean packs: ~10 €/Kg), so why would anyone care?

CPL's picture

Thank christ for Tim Hortons.

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

I tried their coffee and donuts at one of the places they put in Erie, PA. Really good!

BeaverFever's picture

And it's rrrrrol up the rrrrrim time!

Lost My Shorts's picture

Yes, the secret of global fast food chains is uniformity, and burnt coffee all tastes the same.

BLOTTO's picture

Rolllllll up the rim, to


I'm 1/5 for rollup.


mayhem_korner's picture



Best buy on the board is Istanbul.  Turkish coffee is "chewy".

astoriajoe's picture

I was surprised how easy it was to roast coffee at home. and I roast it at home.

Jim B's picture

I used to, but issues with getting a reliable roaster...  (went through 3 of them)

astoriajoe's picture

I just use a stainless steel pot and shake the beans as I heat them. But I don't really claim to have a sophisticated palate when it comes to ...well anything really.


Jim B's picture

Probaly the approach that I should have taken, the consumer roasting machines tend to not be very reliable! 

fahmahbob's picture

Hot air popcorn maker works perfectly.

Floodmaster's picture

All you need is good beans and a Rancilio Silvia.

semperfi's picture

Vegas (Excalibur):  $4.50 venti coffee (bold-pike-blonde)

HardlyZero's picture

Yes, yes.  I go there for the foods and coffee or when travelling and need reliabile location and place to get simple eats in the cities.

Ever since the 'new Starbucks' and Pike...allll their in-store brewed coffee tastes costs more for fresh brewed and Starbucks gotta profit (with the new/old management).  I still like their simple Breakfast and House, and I still have my SB am a SB fan.

orangegeek's picture

Starbucks is going to be an interesting play as deflation ramps up.


Starbucks layoffs have already begun.



JonNadler's picture

deflation? People still believe in that stuff?

Edward Fiatski's picture

A fucking $9.83 for a Starbucks in Oslo? I bet a fucking Royale with cheese costs even more than $6.38 that the Swiss pay.

ihedgemyhedges's picture

Helsinki is in Switzerland?????  Wow, learn something new every day here.......

Edward Fiatski's picture

Put one more question mark after your ADDisorder question one more God damn time. I dare you,  I double dare you.

What country you from? What? WHAT COUNTRY ARE YOU FROM? They don't have a fucking ROYALE WITH CHEESE in WHAT? If you DID, you'd know that a motherfucking ROYALE WITH CHEESE is not listed on the motherfucking list.

Dr Paul Krugman's picture

Tyler has it backwards:  When the price of a good is low compared on an index, then the purchasing power of a currency is strong.  Since S.F., Detroit, and N.Y. are low on the grand scale of things - especially considering the cost of living in S.F. and N.Y. - this means that the dollar buying the coffee has high purchasing power.

So since this is true, is it also true that inflation is low?  Yes, this is correct.  This means that the Fed has more room to increase its purchase program, because we will need to increase exports, via Starbucks coffee and other goods.

Shell Game's picture

Leave it to a 'PhD' to lay a foundation on a single, high std. deviation data point.  Tenure, like the welfare/warfare state, means you aren't required to live in reality..

Dr Paul Krugman's picture

I didn't.  Tyler did.  I just put it in the correct perspective.

Matt's picture

The premise of the chart is that weak currency = cheap coffeee, strong currency = expensive coffee. I do not see any proof of this looking at that chart.

Tokyo has more expensive Star Bucks than New York, but the Yen is much weaker than the Dollar. Moscow has some of the most expensive coffee, but the Ruble is a weak currency. Even if they are trying to use this chart to show whether a currency is under- or over-valued relative to the others, there are disparities within the Euro and Dollar.

The chart seems to track living expenses and amount of disposable income of the people in the particular city. Expensive city with high wages and cost of living = expensive coffee. Affordable city with low wages = less expensive coffee.

yogibear's picture

"So since this is true, is it also true that inflation is low?  Yes, this is correct. "

I take it you don't go to a "normal grocery" store to go shopping?

If you get out of your ivory tower and go where shopping where everyone else hops you'll notice how much items have gone up in the last couple of years!

Notice the price of coke, coffee, meat have all increased substantially.

Also notice the average price of gasoline has also increased.

Yeah, I know about ex-food and energy, but people have to eat and  drive and use transportation. So it's inflation we have to deal with. Real inflation, not a pick and choose inflation like the government does. The government does it because they have obligations based on the CPI.

Just like real unemployment vs adjusted unemployment. 

Bernanke and the Fed bankers want inflation and their getting it. Not in wages because there is an over supply of labor world wide.

Bernanke and the fed will get a lot more inflation as they continue devaluing the US dollar. It will just squeeze people that much more. They will have even less money to spend.

Around me the public transportation just raised their riding fees by 87% along with taxes and fees. That's inflation. 

I suggest you look  around and smell the roses rather than just take the government line.





mayhem_korner's picture



Oh my did you botch that logic, PK.  Funny, tho.

NoWayJose's picture

You don't suppose there might be a link between coffee prices snd socialism, where the barristas get jacked up minimum wages, free health care, and shorter work weeks?

Spastica Rex's picture

Why is Starbucks so "cheap" in San Francisco?

ziggy59's picture

Its in a different country than detroit is..

Shaten's picture

The argument that the prices reflect currency strength, while listing 3 different data points (detroit, san fran, new york) for the same currency is just bad math. Cost of living indexs tied back to the amount of gold need in that currency.

malek's picture

Really makes one wonder, especially compared to Detroit...

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

It's a known scientific fact that the presence of fags makes brewed coffee cheaper.

Tango in the Blight's picture

In Detroit they have to pay protection to armed gangbangers wielding AK47s.

buzzsaw99's picture

Wrong conclusion. It costs more in Norway, where they pay employees a decent wage, than in India where they pay slave wages and use poisoned water. I'll pay up for the Norway coffee if I have a choice.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

They are fucking pulling espresso shots. A retarded monkey can be trained to do that better than your average Starbucks employee. Anybody who knows anything about coffee knows how shitty Starbucks espresso is. They get paid commensurate with the value of the service they provide-- which is, not much. The only reason they get paid more in Norway is because Norway is awash in oil.

Shell Game's picture

As soon as someone brings the 14 oz. 'Grande' to market we'll know the coffee wars are really picking up steam.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Dunkin Donuts reduced their medium coffee from 16oz to 14oz at some point in the last few years. Sneaky fuckers.

Shell Game's picture

The not-so-stealthy inflation creep..  Bought some Breyers ice cream the other day, a rare treat in our house. The rectangular container has a narrower width and tapers down to a false bottom to offer 4 fewer ounces at the same, or higher, price.  This is happening with everything.  The grocery store does not have a paper COMEX market that can hide true inflation. Neither does the minimum wage trend - another establishment 'confession' of inflation in the disquise as a gift. 

Sneaky fuckers, indeed.

Aegelis's picture

This is like comparing the prices of an NFL football.  Of course Americans will pay stupid-high prices for Starbucks more than tea-centric England.  Where's the Dunkin' Donuts Index?  Better still a necessity like gasoline/petrol.