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The recession-proof morning luxury

Coffee drinkers unwilling to starve the habit that gets them going

By Lisa Zwirn
Globe Correspondent / December 14, 2011
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CAMBRIDGE - Most weekday mornings, you can find Steve Smriga, 34, of Somerville, at Area Four in Technology Square, buying coffee, through occasionally he springs for a cappuccino. He loves the frothy-topped coffee drink, but says, “These get expensive over time.’’ If you’ve ever wondered what Bostonians drink in the morning, here’s the answer: We wake up to coffee, we’re willing to splurge on foamy lattes, and we continue to sip iced coffee despite wintry temperatures. That so many folks are willing to spend as much as $6 a day on a morning beverage is curious in a weak economy. Some people say they like to reward themselves, particularly on work days. These are the results of an informal survey, polling commuters in the Financial District, and at a few locations in Cambridge, Newton, and Wellesley. We are doing what everyone else in the nation is. According to NPD Group of Rosemont, Ill., coffee is indeed the most frequently consumed morning beverage and more people are drinking it outside the home. “Coffee has become fast food,’’ says Harry Balzer, NPD Group’s chief food and beverage industry analyst. Even McDonald’s serves hot and cold premium roast coffee, lattes, and cappuccinos.

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