Opinion with Derek Goforth: Escalating costs are a factor but won’t convince me to give up caffeine splurge

Derek GoforthGeraldton Guardian
Salt Dish coffee is one of Geraldton’s favourites.
Camera IconSalt Dish coffee is one of Geraldton’s favourites. Credit: Derek Goforth/RegionalHUB

Exceptional coffee isn’t just a beverage; it’s a sensory experience that captivates the palate, engages the nose and even touches the soul.

From the meticulous selection of beans to the precision in brewing, the art of making great coffee is a journey worth savouring, one cup at a time.

Geraldton and the Mid West, in my humble opinion, stand out as one of the best places to unravel the secrets behind what makes our cup of joe great.

Through my journey over the past couple of years writing my Flavour Report column, I have explored most of the cafes, takeaways, supermarket and restaurant coffee in the region. On the whole, we have a great selection to choose from, no matter your taste, location or budget.

However, unfortunately, the third criterion, budget, has become a more pressing consideration in recent years. With the rising prices of fuel, food and clothing, everything seems to have increased in cost and the people of WA are feeling the pinch more than ever before.

Sadly, coffee is not immune to these economic challenges. I can vividly recall when a large coffee cost less than $4 without compromising on taste.

Yet the average price for a regular cup of coffee in Geraldton has now soared to $5.50 and it seems that sizes have been subtly reduced over the past few years.

While an extra $1.50 might not seem like a significant hit to your wallet, when you consider that most individuals grab their coffee at least five times a week, the cumulative effect becomes substantial — just shy of $400 a year.

If you’re part of a duo with a shared caffeine craving, that amount can easily double. And for those who opt for specialty milk, be prepared to tack on an extra $200 to $400 annually.

Beached Barrel in Geraldton.
Camera IconBeached Barrel in Geraldton. Credit: Geraldton Guardian

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Salt Dish’s coffee is my favourite. It never fails to hit the spot, but sometimes I crave a quick stop, a sweet treat at the beach and a coffee to last me for my entire trip to the foreshore. So where do I go? Beached Barrel, my second choice.

Even in the face of escalating costs — my go-to coffee order is now $7 with my soy — my love for Beached Barrel remains unwavering. The truth is, I still see the cost as worth it.

The rich, flavoursome coffee and the sheer size of the cup, which practically requires two hands to hold, offer an experience that transcends the monetary aspect ... at least for now.

Perhaps my perspective is a touch biased. Maybe, after years with the charming shack, I’ve become enamoured, convinced that it embodies the epitome of excellence.

Yet the ever-increasing prices force me to question the sustainability of such pleasures and whether our favourite coffee spots can weather the storm of economic challenges.

Coffee will be one of the last things to go from my budget, but who knows what the future holds in this financially unstable world?

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