The must-read coffee blog of the week comes to us from Tim Wendelboe, writing on his own Wendelblog. The World Barista Champion has published a two-part post entitle “coffee is cheap”, in which he breaks down coffee's pricing structure, rails against those who complain about his coffee being expensive, explains why his own shop eschews Fair Trade and direct trade labels, and stands up for his importers. Here's an excerpt:
Nothing frustrates me more than people complaining about coffee being expensive. The fact of the matter, is that coffee is extremely cheap if you start looking at the amount of labour and how many people are involved in the chain from seed to cup. The C-market price today is about the same as it was 30 years ago, ranging from USD 1,30 to 1,60 per lb (453g) of green unroasted coffee. In other words, the majority of coffee farmers are getting the same pay today as 30 years ago. I can’t imagine anyone in the consuming countries, especially in Norway, being satisfied with having a salary that correlates to the salaries paid in 1982.
I realize that the lack of knowledge and education is a contributing reason why we get some customers who complain about our coffee being expensive, especially when a supermarket coffee cost about US$13 per kg in Norway and our coffee costs US$65 per kg and up.
“Nothing frustrates me more than people complaining about coffee being expensive” should be made into a key chain. We're especially impressed by Tim's breakdown of one of his own recent green coffee purchases, explaining how much he paid F.O.B., how much the farmer actually received, and where his money went. This is fascinating and laudably transparent stuff, so you should definitely read these posts!