The volume and cost of a regular flat white can vary considerably depending on where in central Tauranga you buy it.

A Bay of Plenty Times Weekend survey of seven cafes revealed the price of an average coffee varied more than $1 between the cafes, while the sizes were up to 160 millilitres different.

The Med, The Terrace, Robert Harris, The Dry Dock Cafe, Grindz, Elizabeth Cafe and Bravo were all compared to see which cafe offered the best value for money.

Ranked best value was Robert Harris, which charged $4.60 for 370ml of coffee. Owner Susanne Irwin said she was stoked to hear they had topped the pack.


"We have a big advantage in being able to do bulk purchases of milk, it's all part of being a franchise, the group gets very reasonable prices from suppliers. We're conscious of holding the price back, the last price increase we had was with the GST increase."

Close behind was The Dry Dock Cafe. Owner Sandra Johnson said the result showed they had both quality and value.

"We've got some of the best coffee in town. The cost of our coffee hasn't changed for two years, nor has the milk so there is no reason for us to raise the price. What we sell for $3.90. I've seen sold for $4.50 elsewhere."

Third best value was Grindz and owner Steve Graham said it was good for them to be perceived as good value for money.

"The coffee would be the biggest part of our business, if we sell it too cheap we would go out of business.

"The last price increase we had was a couple of years ago when milk and coffee both went up."

In the middle of the range was The Med. Owner Jo Brown said in the nine years she had owned the cafe, she had only increased the price of coffee once.

Bravo was the third most expensive cup of coffee in the survey. Owner Nancy Hogg put this down to high overheads at their Mid-City Mall location.

"Everything we sell is governed by overheads. We haven't had coffee increases in a long time and I think it's a fair price for what people get. Our costs come from the downtown rentals, the coffee, the milk and the other overheads such as our large number of staff. Our coffee cards add value for money plus people can go in the draw to win a voucher ...

"I don't feel that we are expensive, the price of coffee has gone up considerably over the years and we've only raised the prices once, it couldn't be cheaper. I believe for the service you get, it's very good value for money."

Ms Brown is also the co-owner of Elizabeth Cafe, which ranked the second most expensive in the survey. She said a flat white cost more there as they used more expensive coffee, plus they were in a prime location with highly-trained staff.

The most expensive flat white was from The Terrace, which charged $4 for 210ml of coffee. The owners were unable to be contacted for comment.