This Is Why Your Cup of Coffee Is Now a Lot More Expensive

It's a combination of three major global factors, and the effects of those are going to hit smaller cafes harder

Coffee bean prices are surging around the globe due to three main issues. Pictured here: A cup of coffee and some coffee beans
Smaller cafes may have to increase coffee prices if three global issues aren't resolved
Alin Luna / Unsplash

Coffee bean prices have soared 44 percent this year, according to a report in the The New York Times — and that is most certainly going to change what you pay, at least at your local, artisanal cafe.

The culprits here are expected: Extreme weather in Brazil, shipping bottlenecks due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and political protests in Colombia (not mentioned but another worry: coffee leaf rust was recently discovered on Hawaii, similar to the fungal epidemic in South America and Mexico in 2012).

While coffee giants like Starbucks and Nestle buy their coffee in advance and can weather price fluctuations for probably another year, it’s the smaller coffee shops that are going to be hit hard.

“These increases are making me nervous because one of the main tenets that we operate on is being able to make specialty coffee and make the pricing affordable,” as Quincy Henry, a co-owner of Campfire Coffee in Tacoma, Wash., told the Times. “It’s got me thinking about how we’re going to survive.”

The most recent setback for coffee owners arrives via Brazil, where an unusual cold spell and severe frosts have caused Arabica coffee to rise to its highest price in seven years.

Then again, it might not matter — according to Bloomberg, consumers seem willing to pay for their caffeine fix. Despite a small dip last year due to COVID-19, coffee consumption is expected to continue to grow. Coffee is “such a key part of [consumers’] daily routines, it would take a lot to change their coffee habits,” as Darren Seifer, food and beverage industry analyst at research firm NPD Group, told the financial site, adding that customers are “accustomed” to volatile prices.


Join America's Fastest Growing Spirits Newsletter THE SPILL. Unlock all the reviews, recipes and revelry — and get 15% off award-winning La Tierra de Acre Mezcal.