I probably drank too much coffee in 2012

I drink a lot of coffee. I start my day with a mug or two of freshly ground and brewed coffee, usually black. A couple times a week and especially in the winter, I’ll also have a Starbucks Via in the evening, though I have been trying to drink more tea instead. On top of all that, I drink a lot of lattes. I generally don’t make new year’s resolutions, but I do like to try new things each year. For 2012, I decided I would dive further into the world of self-tracking. Using the free and wonderful DAYTUM, I tracked each latte I drank throughout the year. Here’s what that data looks like.

Credo Coffee
Credo Coffee on 4th Street Promenade

In total, I drank 120 lattes in 2012. I did my best to record diligently and while I’m sure I missed a few, that’s probably fairly accurate. That’s an average of 2.3 lattes per week. If I had purchased each one myself at an average of $5 (thankfully I didn’t, others often buy me coffee) that would be $600 over the year.

Here are my top ten lattes by number consumed:

  1. Credo Vanilla Latte (46)
  2. Starbucks Caramel Macchiato (12)
  3. Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Latte (10)
  4. Starbucks Eggnog Latte (7)
  5. Credo Iced Vanilla Latte (5)
  6. Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (5)
  7. Roast Vanilla Latte (4)
  8. Transcend Vanilla Latte (4)
  9. Latte (3)
  10. Second Cup Caramel Corretto (3)

Plot everything on a graph, and you get a long tail:

The other thing I can do with the data is look at my consumption over the year:

And I can see which days of the week I was most likely to indulge on:

I plan to keep tracking this data throughout 2013, so it’ll be interesting to compare at this time next year.

Transcend Coffee
My first latte of 2013!

Though it seems like a lot of lattes, I’m not sure I necessarily want to cut back. Many of those lattes represent an opportunity to sit down and chat with someone, and that’s something I am not ready to give up!

  • http://twitter.com/gadgetgreg Greg Gazin

    Awesome post, Mack! I’d be afraid to track my coffee consumption, including speciality coffees. Happy New Year!

  • Nadine

    Mack, I know at least one or two of those beverages were consumed with me, so I’m glad you had them! That being said, I don’t drink much coffee, myself, so I’m always looking for alternatives. Some of my favourites:

    London Fog earl grey tea latte, or any other tea latte variation, is always fun. Also, a nice chai is a hot and spicy delight. Plain tea is always an option if you’re looking to cut down on the sugar and milk intake. Or – a steamed milk (with or without flavour shot) can be so comforting, and fairly guilt-free if you get it with skim.

    • http://blog.mastermaq.ca Mack D. Male

      Glad we had a few coffees together too! I generally order skim milk (or 1%) lattes, so it’s not as bad as it could be. Hopefully :)

  • http://twitter.com/alpinejcobb Jason Cobb

    Great post, Mack. Nice way to start off the New Year.

  • guybob

    Now, match those numbers up with nutritional data.

  • http://twitter.com/reileycat Jessica Holt

    Great post! I’m making a conscious effort this year to not use non-compostable, disposable cups as an environmental step. I did it in 2010. It’s often very difficult.

    • http://blog.mastermaq.ca Mack D. Male

      Good idea! I would say the vast majority of my Credo coffees are in a mug in the café. Not so for Starbucks, I’m afraid…

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  • Amelia Bellamy-Royds

    Kudos on following through on your commitment to be more aware of your own habits.

    However, if you say that you drink coffee every day, but (according to your data) only indulge in lattes a couple times a week, maybe this data doesn’t capture the full picture.

    If you kept track of coffee consumption as a whole, you could add in information about whether your preference for latte versus black changes with the season or the location, as opposed to just having more opportunities for coffee-shop chats in general.

    And, of course, you could have a much better estimate of the total cost of your caffeine addiction. I was shocked a few years back when my sister showed me her budget analysis demonstrating that she spent as much in coffee shops as on all other food/groceries. I admired her for at least crunching the data and being honest about her expensive habit, since so many people spend their $5-10/day without thinking about it, but still! A lot of money for flavoured hot water… (Can you tell I’m not a coffee drinker?)

    • http://blog.mastermaq.ca Mack D. Male

      The reason I didn’t track regular coffee was because I always make it at home, every morning, and I drink it black. It doesn’t change with the season or anything either, it’s black coffee every morning! Lattes and everything else are on top of that.

      I suppose I could track the number of bags of coffee beans we buy, because that could be interesting. I prefer to buy Transcend or some other higher quality roast, but occasionally we pick up a bag of something cheaper and because I drink it black, I notice the difference immediately.

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