Coffee people are buzzing today over Sprudgie Award winner Erin Meister’s brand new article over at Serious Eats. Using the breadth of her knowledge and experience with Counter Culture Coffee, Meister breaks down the true price of buying, roasting, and retailing coffee in this modern day and age. Articles like this are especially important education tools for the new-to-coffee enthusiast, family members, and the generally curious public. Here’s a lil’ excerpt:

Roasting green coffee comes with its own share of financial burdens that include maintaining year-round stock both off- and on-site; keeping up-to-the-minute tabs on quality and quantity; hiring, training, and retaining highly skilled professionals to command the roasting machines; devising blends and coffee profiles; and doing the actual labor of lifting, sorting, blending, and cupping coffee after coffee, all day long.

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(Did I mention that coffee beans shrink during roasting, too? That loss must get factored into their price as well.)

Not only all of that, but no roasting company runs on caffeine alone: A team of people do the officey things that are required when running any business. Consider personnel needs for any company of modest size: Warm bodies are needed to answer phones and take orders; put the roasted coffee into bags and those bags into boxes; design those bags and boxes in the first place; print shipping labels or manage local deliveries; handle account payment and paperwork; write paychecks and answer benefits questions; and handle IT hiccups—among other things.

Oh, and then there’s the rent of the building, the utilities, the maintenance on the machines, the office supplies, the packing and printed material, the taxes, the marketing, the trash removal…

Read the full article here via Serious Eats.

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