Mar 27, 2011 Ami Olson Uncategorized
Is it finally time to kick that caffeine habit?
Coffee prices around the globe are soaring, and local roasters are feeling the burn.
At Kind Coffee Co. on the West Side, Doug Nicolasien said the cost of un-roasted green coffee beans is the highest he’s seen in his 15 years in the business.
Jesse Daino, co-owner of Recess Coffee & Roastery in Westcott, said he’s watched costs rise each of the last three times he’s ordered green coffee. His last order cost $11 per pound, he said.
The increasing cost of coffee has been well documented in the last year, as bad weather and an overall increase in food commodity prices continue to rise. Coffee giant Starbucks raised prices of its packaged coffee by up to 12 percent last week at retail stores; last September the chain hiked prices on some specialty caf drinks but maintained or lowered the price of brewed coffee and espresso beverages.
While coffee roasters in Syracuse have seen the cost of beans bump up, some hope to be able to continue absorbing the increases instead of passing it on to customers.
Employing only two people, and both of them owners, has helped Recess keep prices steady, Daino said.
“We really should (raise prices),” Daino laughed. “But we’re trying to wait it out and keep them the same.”
Matt Goddard, who owns Caf Kubal in Eastwood, has not been so lucky.
“As far as coffee prices, I absolutely have seen a dramatic change in my business,” Goddard said. “We have had to raise prices in December and will likely have to raise them again in the coming months.”
Goddard said the changing economies and infrastructures of the first- and third-most coffee producing nations in the world (Brazil and India, respectively) has had a huge impact on costs by creating record low exports that drive up prices.
“Land that once grew coffee is now growing cubicles,” Goddard said. “Labor that once picked coffee is now working in phone banks. These same people, by the way, are also for the first time drinking more coffee at their desks.”
Employ a philosophy that if people have to pay more for a product, offer them a higher quality product.
Adding additional seating space to the caf , and switching from batch-brew to a hand pouring technique will raise the standard at Kubal, Goddard said.
“I have specifically decided that at our shop we are going to raise our standards and quality so that our price structure continues to be a value,” Goddard said. “Our approach is to make ourselves better in a tough time.”
So don’t fret about kicking your caffeine habit just yet. And remember: the more you patronize a local roaster, the better equipped they’ll be able to absorb fluctuating costs.