Cough Up More for Coffee: Price Hikes Coming to Starbucks

  • Share
  • Read Later
Mark Lennihan / AP

Hey coffee lovers, here’s a little jolt that may help wake you up. The asking prices for a half-dozen different Starbucks beverages are getting more expensive at a broad swath of the coffee chain’s locations around the country.

Higher costs associated with fuel and coffee beans are causing Starbucks to raise prices for part of its menu, according to the Associated Press. The net result to Starbucks customers is that a “tall” coffee—which is what you’ll get by ordering a small—will cost 10¢ more in store locations in the Northeast and the Sunbelt regions.

Among the major cities where a “tall” and a half-dozen other Starbucks beverages will soon cost more are Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, New York, and Washington, D.C. Prices at locations in Florida and California will remain the same, at least for the time being.

(MORE: No Joke: Walmart Coffee Tastes as Good as Starbucks)

The timing of the price hike may seem curious. Coffee prices actually rose steeply throughout the spring in much of the country, before several major brands dropped coffee prices in late summer.

Why is Starbucks raising prices now, then, and why only in limited markets? Only Starbucks can say. Most likely, though, the decisions were based on where and how much the giant chain thought it could get away with in order to raise revenues without scaring away too many customers. It’s always a balancing act.

Interestingly enough, not long ago, the local newspaper of record in one of the affected cities—Boston—published a story about how spending $6 a day on coffee has more or less become standard practice.

(MORE: 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Budget)

In light of a $6-a-day habit, what’s another dime?

Brad Tuttle is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @bradrtuttle. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.