It's like I'm on autopilot: my feet are moving towards the aroma of coffee and I don't even have to think about it. That's how I feel nearly every day when I find myself walking towards Starbucks and ordering either a blonde roast with room or a grande almond milk latté, depending on how rich I'm feeling. It's also how I feel on those days where I'm so tired and need to go for round two.

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There's something addictive about buying coffee from a café, and if this also relates to you, I think it's time to look at why buying coffee can become such a routine. Not only could this benefit the contents of your wallet, but I think it's important to actually think about the patterns that we mindlessly go through on a day-to-day basis. 

The in-store experience

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The Adaptive Marketer's article on why Starbucks is so addictive states that coffee experience is more important than actual coffee quality. It's not on accident that every Starbucks has a relaxed atmosphere with friendly baristas and softly playing jazz music. And this doesn't just apply to Starbucks. 

I return to the same cafés over and over again, not because the coffee is exceptional, but because I like the vibes when I'm there. When a coffee shop has a welcoming environment, it makes you want to return despite other options, like making it at home before you have to leave the house. 


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I do enjoy trying to new cafés, but the truth is, Starbucks and Tim Hortons are so accessible that it's easy to get into the routine of buying coffee from the most convenient coffee chain. This pattern can be problematic when you pride yourself on supporting local businesses, or if you're looking to try new things. 

It's also pretty obvious that if you buy coffee outside of the house, you don't actually have to make it yourself. I can vouch that even though I have a coffee maker and a Nespresso machine, I still buy coffee more often than I make it. Unfortunately, the bill adds up. 


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Life is unpredictable and buying coffee from the same place every day can sometimes feel like you're adding one element of consistency to your life. I love walking into a café and knowing that I'll be drinking the same smooth cup of brew I drink every day. 

The cup

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I don't know about you, but I love feeling the warmth of a coffee cup in my hands as I leave the shop and head to work or class. There's something comforting about holding onto that light-weight, labeled cup that is perfectly tailored to my caffeinated desires.

What perpetuates this pattern even more, is that I've never found a travel mug that I like to drink out of, so when I'm on the go, I just end up buying it at a coffee shop.

It tastes good

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Of all possible reasons, I feel that the taste itself is a significant driver of buying coffee instead of making it at home. A café's business relies on making tasty and fresh coffee, so unless you're going to a crappy shop, you know you're going to get a good cup of joe every time you stop by. 

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I'm not saying it's solely a bad thing to buy coffee out of the house, but the cost adds up and the environmental impact is significant. Spending two dollars on a coffee doesn't seem like that much, but compared to the price of making it at home, the difference is considerable.

The waste produced from daily disposable of coffee cups is also something to think about. According to CBC, in 2010, Canadians used an estimated 1.5 billion disposable coffee cups, equivalent to more than half a million trees. My point is, that if you find yourself buying coffee way too much, it's time to break the pattern and consider a more budget-friendly, environmentally sustainable option.