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Mar 4, 2011 02:31 PM

Why do I pay 45 cents a day for a shot of soy milk?

Maybe it's just me, but I'm sick of paying an extra 45 cents a day for a decaf soy latte as compared to a decaf latte.

Don't misunderstand ... I think I get that soy milk costs a bit more than milk or cream. Our house it totally soy -- we don't just dairy milk -- but I see the prices in the grocery store and I think it's fair to say that soy milk costs a bit more than milk. Fair enough --

But there is no way that it costs enough more so that it takes 45 cents to cover the costs of the little bit that gets steamed into a latte. Furthermore, if I order a regular coffee and ask for "just a splash of soy" to lighten it (and I mean, just a splash) they still charge 45 cents. (I guess for the record, some chains only charge 40 cents).

If I get one coffee a day, I think it's costing me over 100 dollars a year for soy milk in my coffee.

What should I make of this? Am I being ripped off because I don't drink milk? Is this soy surcharge legit and I should just shut up? (Don't be shy -- if I'm way off base please let me know.)

It's funny, for the past few years the coffee place closest to my office (it was called Espresso Roma -- yes, it's a small chain) didn't charge for soy. A latte was a latte no matter what kind of milk they used. They even put soy out on the counter near the half and half and they sugar so you could add your own. But they closed down -- they lost their lease. So, I really noticed it when I had to start going somewhere else.

Yes, there are solutions. I could drink black coffee. I could bring some soy milk in from home and keep it in the little fridge under my desk. No one is forcing me to pay this soy tax.

But I was wondering if I'm the only one who feels this extra charge is a bit high -- if for nothing else the principal of the thing.

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  1. Learn how to pull shots at home. Your ROI for an espresso machine and grinder will be quick

    1. I guess I learn something new. I didn't know soy milk costs more than regular milk. Where I go to Chinatown, a bottle of soy milk is about the same as a bottle of regular milk. The fresh ones (made in the same day) cost a bit more though.

      So maybe you are paying daily fresh soy milk, maybe you are paying for ORGANIC soy milk, but most likely you are just paying for the convenience.

      A bottle of water for $1-1.50 -- same reason.

      1. Not sure where you're getting your coffee, but if you're a Starbucks fan (I'm not), you can get free soy after 5 drink purchases (green level) using their rewards card.

        1. It could be that the retailer needs to account for extra wastage - they might not have the turnover to use up an entire catering-size carton of soy milk in the time before it would spoil. So they charge the customer more to accout for the soy milk they have to throw away.

          I do think that 45cents is a bit steep though.