Most coffee drinkers in the U.K. have a sense of how pricey, or not, Starbucks seems. At an average price of £2.25, a small (or “tall” in Starbucks-speak) hot latte from Starbucks is pricier than a regular cup of coffee, even ordered from a coffee shop or restaurant. But it’s less costly than, say, a meal or an alcoholic drink when ordered out.
But how indulgent is Starbucks beyond our borders? To assess that, we took prices for a hot Starbucks latte in 39 other countries and adjusted them to reflect the cost of other goods and services there compared with the U.K. (See the methodology below for a detailed description on how we generated this data.)
The results reveal that Starbucks is pricier, relatively speaking, in almost every country outside the U.K. Just how much pricier varies significantly around the globe.
In only two countries, the U.S. and Australia, does a latte feel cheaper to Starbucks patrons than in the U.K. Other froth-friendly nations include New Zealand and Canada. Here, Starbucks is more of an everyday purchase than a big indulgence.
On the other hand, stepping up to the Starbucks counter in the most costly countries feels like a far bigger extravagance. Nothing matches the luxe indulgence of ordering a latte in Russia, where the tab would feel like spending £9 for the drink here at home. In other pricier countries, including India, Indonesia and Thailand, the sticker shock would be more akin to spending £6 or so at home.
The relative expensiveness of these Starbucks lattes underlines how inexpensive many other goods and services are in those countries. With bread, milk or other staples less costly there than in the U.K., Starbucks seems like a big spend indeed. The figures may also explain why in many countries Starbucks is an exotic, status-laden chain – an embodiment, perhaps, of affluence and indulgence.