The economic downturn is beginning to get to folks’ bottom line — their coffee money.

Java junkies looking to pinch pennies are sipping less expensive coffee drinks, brewing at home or going cold turkey altogether. The shift is hurting both small-time coffee shops and giants of joe such as Starbucks, which said Wednesday that it expected lower second-quarter profit and full-year earnings than it originally projected because in-store sales and traffic had declined.

Historically, coffee is one of the last things to go from consumer budgets… but that history of spending doesn’t necessarily account for a more modern affectation: the five-buck-a-cup über café latte.

Those who haven’t given up the coffee-shop routine are buying less expensive drinks: drip coffee rather than a caramel macchiato, or an iced coffee instead of a frappuccino.

“Fancy coffee has had its run,” said Dean Trucco, owner of Stir Crazy, a boutique coffee shop on Melrose Avenue.

While brewed coffee — both at home and in the coffee house — should be poised to make a come-back, what might that mean for the five-buck-a-cup Clover-brewed single origin? We’ll see.

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