By Ezra Klein
Iced coffee probably shouldn’t cost $3.08. Particularly when normal coffee just costs $2.00. Iced coffee, after all, is partially distinguished by the presence of ice, which is another way of saying the absence of coffee. And ice, in my experience, is cheaper than coffee. But $3.08 is what Caribou Coffee charges for a large iced coffee. And I’m happy to pay it. Want to know why? Because they don’t discriminate against decaf drinkers.
Yes, yes, I’m a decaf drinker. The lowest form of life. I know. I get it. I even agree with it. If my body didn’t react to caffeine as if John Travolta had just injected speed directly into my heart, I would drink it more often. But it does, so I don’t.
This is generally one of life’s less bothersome burdens. Real coffee does indeed taste better, but since I use coffee as a conveyor for cream and Splenda, it ends up in pretty much the same place. But the summer months are different. Coffee shops bring out the iced stuff. Some even bring out the cold press. But not for decaf drinkers. Never for decaf drinkers. We get hot coffee poured over cold ice. We get, in other words, lukewarm coffee-water.
Except at Caribou Coffee. They’re giving us the cold-pressed stuff. Are they charging a bit more? Yeah, they are. But it’s good. I don’t even use milk. And I’m willing to be ripped off in service of equality.