The price of espresso in London

Looking through the Allegra London Coffee Guide, I noticed that each of the 125 places inside has the price of coffee listed for most drinks.  124 of them served espresso, so I thought it would be a little interesting to have a look at the distribution of prices charged.

Essentially this the price for a double espresso – many places serve doubles as standard (mostly due to naked portafilter use), and so if two prices were listed for espresso I used the higher of the two.

Prices range: £1.30 – £2.60

The average price charged: £1.89

The mode price:  £2.00

The distribution:


via chartsbin.com

Anything meaningful to take away from this?  Well – pricing that has 5p increments isn’t very popular.  (May as well round up.) The mode is more interesting to me than the average. I’d say that the lowest pricing is probably bad data, and is for a single espresso (or at least I hope so).

One could dig further into the data, map out average price by part of the city – see the impact of rent on the price of coffee. You could go further and split out the outside/cart operators from that too, though the takeaway would likely be that they stand a higher chance of profitability (but maybe not high turnover).

Does the pricing itself mean anything? Is it expensive? Is it cheap? I can’t really comment.  All I would say is that if I were planning to open a shop, and focused on serving high quality drinks, I’d know with some confidence that the market can bear at least £2.00 quite comfortably.  I would also add that as a consumer my expectations do change with the pricing.  I’m extremely unlikely to spend £1.30 on an espresso, because I would suspect it wouldn’t be good.  However, I’d expect that a £2.00 be pretty damned tasty…