A Penny Saved Is a Latte Earned

The total permeation of Starbucks into our daily lives has created a convenient metric for putting life’s recurring revenues and expenses into perspective: the cost of a grande latte—with tax, roughly $3.75. I’ve been using the latte-ometer for so long, it’s second nature to me. I can do the calculations faster than Russell Crowe in “A Beautiful Mind.”

In a way, the latte-ometer dates back to ancient Greece, when people commonly calculated wealth in simple, concrete terms. The poet Theocritus describes how a cyclops wooed…

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