More Clever Accounting

Published by patrick honner on

coffee-bagWell, they got me again.

I’ve become something of a coffee snob.  A few years ago I never drank the stuff, but now I buy good coffee and enjoy it.  To me, it’s worth paying a little extra per pound to get high quality coffee.  I just didn’t realize how much I was paying per pound.

Operating under the assumption that the standard unit of coffee beans was one pound, I assumed that I had been paying around $11 per pound for my coffee.  But recently I found myself buying coffee a little more frequently than usual.  So the next time I bought a bag, I threw it on my scale.

And then I took a closer look.


The fine print says this is 12 ounces of coffee, a full 25% less than the 16 ounces I naively assumed I was buying!

Come to think of it, my coffee shop doesn’t advertise prices by the pound.  If they did that, they’d have to admit that my bag of coffee was actually around $15 per pound, not the $11 that common experience might suggest.

I might not have noticed this, had I not recently had a similar realization about my orange juice.

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patrick honner

Math teacher in Brooklyn, New York


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