Sep 12, 2010 6:37 PM by Matt Stafford

Coffee prices on the rise

While it's usually not the most expensive thing on your ticket at a diner, coffee is getting more expensive as you sip.

At Colorado Springs coffee importer Barista Espresso, they're already seeing price increases and say you'll probably see them too.

"In the gourmet market, you'll start to see that in your cup price here really soon," says Scott Hill, a technician with Barista Espresso.

Hill says increases are coming for industrial brands you get from the super market too; although likely not by as much.

Problems for major world coffee producers are causing the spike according to Hill. The International Coffee Organization says 64.8% percent of the world's coffee comes from three countries -- Brazil (38%), Vietnam (14.5%) and Colombia (12.3%) -- and problems there mean problems everywhere.

"If anything happens in those three countries, it usually affects the prices of coffees worldwide," explains Hill.

The largest coffee producer, Brazil, had a smaller crop last year because of weather issues. They're still making up for it. Also, the weather is causing trouble this year for producer number two, Vietnam. The two countries produce over half of the world's coffee.

"We're seeing basically a high demand, and not enough production to meet that demand," Hill says.

No one's questioning the demand for coffee, but will price increases change the coffee habits of consumers?

"I don't see that changing," says John Genet, a coffee drinker talking about changes affecting him. "It would have to change a lot."

Coffee drinker Matt Young adds, "If it's just a couple cents, then no, but if it goes more than that then yeah, I'll probably slow down."

As for a prices dropping back down, that may take some time.

"Until next year's crop is out, we're stuck with what we have in the market," Hill explains. He says that crop, for now, is looking good.

Hill expects consumers to be noticing the price increases in a couple of months.


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