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Eye-opening survey Coffee in Zurich is the most expensive in the world



Making coffee at home - or training your toddler to do it - is ten times cheaper in Zurich than going to an independent coffee shop

Making coffee at home - or training your toddler to do it - is ten times cheaper in Zurich than going to an independent coffee shop

(Keystone)

Coffee lovers in Zurich will be frothing as much as their cappuccinos to discover that they pay more for their caffeine boost than people in any other city in the world.

Costing an average of CHF3.65 ($3.65), a coffee in Switzerland’s largest city cost CHF0.25 more than in runner-up Copenhagen, according to the 2016 Coffee Price Indexexternal link by online office supply company Service Partner ONE.

Basel, Bern and Geneva rounded out the top five, consolidating Switzerland’s reputation as a high-price island. Rio de Janeiro in Brazil offers the least expensive average coffee price at CHF1.05, fractionally below São Paolo.

The survey looked at 75 cities in 36 countries around the world. To create the ranking, the researchers averaged the cost of four separate types of coffee: a cup of coffee in an office, a Grande Latte from Starbucks, a medium cappuccino from an independent coffee shop and a cup of coffee at home.

Other findings

The cities with the most affordable office and home coffee are Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Bandar Seri Beg in Brunei where an average cup costs an office CHF0.11, or CHF0.10 at home.

The city with the most expensive office and home coffee is Jakarta in Indonesia at an average of CHF0.90 a cup in an office, or CHF0.75 at home.

The city with the most affordable independent coffee shops is Bogotá in Colombia where a cup of cappuccino is priced at an average of CHF1.70.

(Source: 2016 Coffee Price Index)

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The Swiss cities were most expensive in all four metrics apart from independent coffee shops, where Copenhagen came out top (CHF6.75). In Zurich, the average prices were CHF0.70, CHF7.15, CHF6.15 and CHF0.55, respectively.

Grinding beans, teeth

One surprising finding was that Milan was the fourth-cheapest city on the list, with an average coffee price of CHF1.60. Independent coffee shops were particularly competitive at CHF1.82, compared with CHF6.15 in neighbouring Zurich.

The authors pointed out that Italy is one of the few markets where Starbucks is not yet active, with the first of the chain’s outlets set to open in Milan in January.

Starbucks was selected as a factor in the index as it is “the most widely available, premium-priced coffee chain the world over, and as such offers an interesting economic barometer between countries”.

In this respect, it is similar to the Economist’s Big Mac Indexexternal link, a light-hearted way of measuring purchasing-power parity between countries. According to the latest burgernomic analysis, in July a Big Mac in Switzerland cost $6.59 (CHF6.50) whereas the average price in the US was $5.04. This suggests the Swiss franc is overvalued by 30%. 

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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