If you hang out in Novice Network or certain FFXIV Discord servers, you’ve probably heard of “Cookie Leves” or “Coffee Biscuit Leves” as a potential money-making method. The leve in question is “A Cookie for Your Troubles,” available to culinarians at level 78 in the Crystarium. What makes it so special, though — and is it a good use of your leve allowances?
“A Cookie for Your Troubles” is a great money-making leve because it
- Is “3-peatable”: you can turn in three sets of the requested item per leve allowance
- Pays well on a per-turn-in basis (around 3,000 gil for NQ, around 6,000 gil for HQ)
- Has a turn-in item that is fairly easy to craft (and to craft in an HQ version)
- Has a turn-in item whose ingredients are fairly easy to acquire
Because you can 3-peat with high-quality items, the net proceeds per allowance typically exceed 15k gil. Moreover, since this is a guildleve, you get paid directly by the NPC, which means this is a stable income source unless and until it’s nerfed in a patch (as of 5.58, it’s still going strong). Unusually among FFXIV gil-making opportunities, this one can be gathered, crafted, and delivered without ever interacting with the Market Board if you choose. A final reason to consider cookie leves is that you can batch your turn-ins as more leve allowances accrue. In other words, it doesn’t have to be an every-day thing: you could, for instance, cash out 42 allowances every week or 84 allowances every two weeks if you choose.
Recipe & Ingredients
“A Cookie for Your Troubles” requires 3 coffee biscuits per turn-in, which are crafted in a set of 3 from
- upland wheat flour
- garden beet sugar
- coffee beans
The flour is made from upland wheat, gathered in the lower half of Kholusia near Wright. The coffee beans also come from Kholusia: the upper half, near Tomra. Garden beets come from Il Mheg northwest of Lydha Lran.
Here’s a breakdown of what’s required to make those cookies:
- 5 upland wheat + 7 fire crystals → 3 upland wheat flour (recipe: CUL 74)
- 5 garden beets + 6 fire crystals → 3 garden beet sugar (recipe: CUL 72)
- 1 flour + 1 sugar + 1 beans + 7 fire crystals + 7 water crystals → 3 biscuits (recipe: CUL 79)
Thus, to complete a 3-peat (3 turn-ins of 3 biscuits each) and get your full value out of the leve allowance, you’ll need
- 5 upland wheat from lower Kholusia
- 5 garden beets from Il Mheg
- 3 coffee beans from upper Kholusia
- 34 fire crystals
- 21 water crystals
The first three ingredients can be gathered, but this may look like a pretty expensive leve in terms of crystals. However, in addition to gil, the leve gives fire crystals, water crystals, and coffee beans as possible item rewards. In my experience, these don’t quite get you to replacement levels (i.e., you will still have to put some crystals into the system) but they do take a huge bite out of your net spending on crystals.
Cooking by the Book
A well-geared (full Aesthete’s or mostly Aesthete’s + some Facet) level 80 culinarian can consistently make HQ coffee biscuits from NQ flour, sugar, and beans. This is the “coffee biscuit macro” I use, which costs a total of 280 CP to execute:
/ac reflect <wait.3> /ac "waste not II" <wait.2> /ac innovation <wait.2> /ac "preparatory touch" <wait.3> /ac "preparatory touch" <wait.3> /ac "byregot's blessing" <wait.3> /ac groundwork <wait.3> /ac groundwork <wait.3>
Some add a final command to signal that the process is complete:
/echo <se.1> Biscuits done!
I recommend running through the steps in any crafting macro manually before using it. This will allow you to check that the macro works with your current stats and make adjustments if it doesn’t. Here, for example, there are a couple temporary cases where the macro might not totally suffice:
- Insufficient Progress: You’re not finishing the recipe in 2 casts of Groundwork (i.e., not making 1853 progress per cast). If you have the spare CP to put a third cast of Groundwork (a third line of
/ac groundwork <wait.3>) into the macro, this is a good stopgap fix. If you keep upgrading your gear, you’ll eventually find that the third cast is no longer necessary, and you can edit your macro again to remove it at that point.
- Insufficient Quality: You’re not getting 100% HQ chance out of the macro’s quality-boosting moves.
- If you are close (like 90% or more), it may be worth running the macro, selling the NQ “spares” on the Market Board, and just allocating your first few days of leve proceeds to gear upgrades.
- If you’re falling pretty far short of 100% HQ, it can help (though it’s a bit time-consuming) to prepare HQ versions of the flour and sugar, which will boost the initial quality of the recipe and thus the HQ chance.
Should You Do Cookie Leves?
This “leves” the question: are repeated turn-ins of “A Cookie for Your Troubles” a good use of your leve allowances?
It depends. If you:
- have, or can easily gain, access to the leve in the first place (CUL 78 plus the Shadowbringers expansion)
- aren’t actively using leves to level other classes
- don’t know of some other, more profitable leve that I haven’t found yet 😉
then I’d say the answer is yes. In particular, if you’re capping out on leve allowances, this is a good way to get some value out of your extras without sitting at your max of 100. If you have other pressing uses for your leve allowances (like leveling other crafts), then cookie leves are still worth keeping in mind for down the road. There are other ways to make gil in the meantime.