How Large Is Your Latte

So Waitrose have caused a stir by announcing that they’re going to stop supplying disposable cups with their free coffee. Now, these days they are most often my takeaway coffee of choice, so clearly I’m going to have to jump on the bandwagon and start carrying a reusable cup. And that of course is where it starts to get complicated.

Now technically I already own one reusable cup; it’s a Starbucks one, used for peppermint lattes on long journeys, but it gets too hot to hold without the little cardboard sleeve so it’s less useful outside of a Starbucks. So perhaps an everyday cup is in order, ideally one that will also seal in the dregs when I put it back in my bag.

Now in the last few months there have been myriad reusable coffee cup reviews and comparisons so it didn’t take me long to narrow my preference down to either the KeepCup or the Ecoffee cup. In the process however I became aware that I would have to make another decision – how big a cup to buy.

Waitrose had only said “bring your own cup” and that it needed to fit in their machine*. So I contacted them to ask both the size of the regular latte from the machine but also the size of the large, which they sell in their cafe. After talking to them via customer services and Twitter I finally established that a regular coffee is apparently 8 fl oz and a large one is 10 fl oz (although the disposable cups they use are much bigger).

But by now I was considering the bigger picture. My main alternative coffee supplier is Costa, but I’m not hugely fussy, I’ll buy a coffee wherever is convenient, so I started comparing coffee sizes and prices.

Naturally I made a little spreadsheet so here are the highlights. Coffee sizes vary widely but in general a regular coffee is 12 fl oz. Caffe Nero and Greggs also do a large at 14 fl oz whereas Starbucks and Costa will super size you at either 16 or 20 fl oz (I rarely need a pint of coffee).

Obviously, the cheapest coffee is free from Waitrose but astonishingly the most expensive would be a large coffee from Waitrose if you have to pay for it.

After free Waitrose coffee, Greggs and Costa are cheapest. Allowing for the discount for bringing your own cup doesn’t change much except that Pret is now cheaper than Costa (that’s because Pret gives you 50 pence off as opposed to Costa’s 25 pence). Caffe Nero give you ‘bonus stamps’ on their loyalty card, I only allowed for the one extra coffee that gets you when calculating the discount (so not including the ordinary loyalty stamps).

If you want value for money in volume then large coffees are generally better than regular ones and again, obviously, don’t pay for coffee in Waitrose!

Where does that leave me? Well, despite the lure of the ‘value for money’ argument of a larger coffee, I think a 12 fl oz cup would be big enough for an everyday coffee cup. Now I just have to choose the design I want.

*Waitrose reckon 15cm is the maximum cup height that fits in their machines.

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Things I Can’t Find

Once upon a time there was no internet. People looked up information in huge paper things called books (not sure what one is? Google it). Or they just lived not knowing the answers. Shopping was something you did by walking into shops and choosing from the items on the shelves and finding out what products were available relied on the knowledge of your friendly local shop assistant.

Now of course, we have the internet. I like the internet, I can find out almost anything almost instantly. I can choose from a variety of products and have them delivered to my door without me having to get cold, wet or sore feet from walking around town all day. It does however have its limitations.

So here are some things I have not been able to find:

  • A website which tells you which new phone is the best one to upgrade to based on your current phone (If I find one it will laugh at me and tell me to get two tin cans and some string, but that’s not the point).
  • A way of automatically marking up an e-book script for a part (if you use Apple though, ScenePartner looks amazing and does audio too).
  • A website which given a dish and a geographical area will find a restaurant that serves it.
  • A website which lists all the things that you can’t easily find on the internet (hang on…).

If you happen to know any answers, or even have things of your own you cannot find then do please comment and tell me.

Pondering Getting Fit The Lazy Way

I’d like to be fitter. Not ‘running a marathon’ fit but more just a little all-round fitter.
We do have a Wii and indeed Wii Fit Plus but these days it always seems as though I’d have to throw somebody out of the lounge to use it. So wouldn’t it be a good idea to make more of my everyday activities and try and measure them and therefore motivate myself to extend them. With this in mind I started doing some research into what technical toys would help me with this because a) I’m a geek and b) how better to avoid actually doing any exercise than Googling about it. I started with the FitBit because I’d heard them mentioned quite a lot recently. Continue reading