Another year, another newspaper tirade on cafes enforcing a "pregnancy tax" on decaf...
This time it's courtesy of the Daily Mail newspaper here in the UK.
The Daily Mail goes on to assert that 'mothers-to-be outraged as Caffe Nero slaps 10p 'pregnancy tax' on decaffeinated coffee' because 'They say that they have no option but to pay the surcharge on decaffeinated beverages because caffeine is linked to health issues and miscarriages'.
Of course, at the end of the article, Caffe Nero is allowed a reply and the Spokesperson states that 'our decaffeinated coffee costs us more to produce as we ship our beans to a specialist facility in Germany for careful decaffeination using no chemicals. For this we charge customers a modest 10 pence supplement.'
And there's the rub. Decaf coffee costs a lot more to produce. No argument.
I'm sure if we spoke with the Management of Caffe Nero, they would probably say that they're actually absorbing some of the costs themselves and could charge a larger supplement to reflect the high cost of decaffeinated coffee if they could.
However, this is still not common knowledge. Decaf coffee is still barely mentioned by cafes or roasteries - more regarded as an extra like a syrup or an extra shot supplement than a completely different coffee, which has gone through an amazing feat of technology to arrive almost caffeine free.
We regularly search the twitter tweets for decaf references to see what people are talking about and No 2 or No 3 of mentions are consumers complaining that decaf costs a little extra.
This is not to say that consumer is wrong to complain. After all, there's often no mention of why they're being charged more when they visit their local cafe, so feel like they're being fleeced because the cafe chooses to charge more.
So, what to do?
To quote a much disregarded politician these days, the solution is education education education!
If a cafe charges more for decaf, it needs to explain why!
It doesn't need to be an essay - just a sentence explaining the process and hence why it's more expensive.
But, since most cafes still only add decaf because they feel they have to - there's often no passion or desire to improve it among cafe owners - I won't hold my breath for the cafes to educate consumers more on decaffeinated coffee.
Having said all of that, we at Decadent Decaf Coffee Company are on a mission to educate and delight people with amazing Swiss Water Decaf coffee - and we're starting to win hearts and minds one cup of decaf at a time!