Droppin’ Knowledge With George Howell

Droppin’ Knowledge With George Howell

Our dear friend George Howell drops some serious knowledge on his blog today:

George Howell File Photo, courtesy of Eric Levin

Although retail and wholesale coffee prices have remained quite stable over the past decade, the price of raw exchange grade  coffee, traded on the commodities market (the “C”) has steadily risen, as can be seen in the graph below (price is shown in cents per pound).  Exchange grade coffee must be within a specified range of bean sizes, be limited to a specified number of defects per 300 grams and have no off-flavors due to contamination, such as mold.  This past spring the C was at $1.35 to $1.50 per lb. The C has climbed sharply since then  and is hovering around $2.00, a 40+% increase over last spring. This C price is the benchmark for  nearly all other coffees, even the coffees we purchase; the exceptions could be counted on the fingers of one hand.

With all this said quality coffee prices remain a bargain. For every $20 dollars paid per pound of coffee, a ten-ounce cup made at full strength in the home costs $0.80.  A ten dollar bottle of wine translates to $3.94 for 10 ounces.

This dovetails nicely with a hot topic of discussion at this week’s Counter Intelligence New York: the slow death of the $2 cup.  Read read read.


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