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As Coffee Prices Are Soaring Amid Inflation, Find Good Coffee At Cheap Prices At This Place In NYC

Inflation has led to record high coffee prices in New York City, forcing residents to pay more for their daily cup of joe. However, some cafés are still offering quality coffee at low rates.

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In New York City, coffee lovers are struggling to get a good coffee at a good price. Inflation has driven coffee prices to record highs, forcing residents to pay more than ever for their daily cup of joe.

However, a few cafés are resisting this trend, offering quality coffee for as little as $2.50, which is less than half the average price for a good cup of coffee in the city.

One such place is Casa Salvo, an espresso bar on the Upper West Side by chef and creator Salvo Lo Castro. Casa Salvo aims to make quality coffee accessible to everyone, regardless of income. “I produce coffee, and coffee must be a drink for everyone, not something out of this world,” said Lo Castro.

Every drink at Casa Salvo, from a quick espresso to a cappuccino with pistachio cream, is priced at $2.50. This is comparable to an Americano at 7-Eleven and significantly cheaper than at Starbucks. Lo Castro, who has 30 years of experience in the coffee business, can offer these low prices because he is a brand ambassador for Dokito, a Rome-based coffee supplier. This partnership allows him to obtain high-quality beans at a lower cost.

Lo Castro’s mission is also inspired by his desire to replicate the coffee culture of Italy, where espresso is typically affordable and served quickly. “In Italy, the price of the coffee is cheap,” he explained. “And you arrive, drink the coffee, and go.” Casa Salvo encourages this swift experience by offering only outdoor seating with six tables for 12 customers.

This initiative comes as the average cost of coffee in New York City has soared to between $6 and $7 per cup, influenced by rising rent and goods prices, erratic weather affecting coffee crops, and increased labor costs. Starbucks, for instance, recently raised its prices in California due to the state's $20 minimum wage mandate.

Since its opening in May, Casa Salvo has served 7,500 coffees and has garnered positive reviews for its quality. In addition to coffee, Casa Salvo offers Italian pastries and a selection of affordable specialty market items such as pastas, olive oils, and prosciutto.

Lo Castro’s pricing strategy might succeed, as it follows in the footsteps of other successful cafés like Matto Espresso, which built a loyal customer base with $2.50 coffee (now $3). Porto Rico Importing Co., a historic downtown coffee roaster, also offers relatively affordable coffee at $3.77 per cup.

Looking ahead, Lo Castro plans to open a second Casa Salvo location near Columbus Circle in July and promises to maintain his prices through 2025. “I will keep the set prices — even for the openings throughout 2025,” he affirmed, aiming to ensure that good coffee remains accessible to all New Yorkers.