The price of coffee

The price of coffee is going up, as a result of drought in Brazil and a fungal disease of coffee plants. Prices hit US$2.23 per pound last month (for Colombian Mild Arabica). Of course, droughts and disease are perennial features of the coffee industry, and prices have oscillated for decades (see the chart above, in which the dashed red line shows the “Fairtrade” floor price). Of course these prices are for “commodity” coffee – quality coffee sells at auction for twenty times the commodity price. For farmers, quality coffee is where the money is. And for lovers of coffee – really, why would we drink anything else?

Coffea arabica plant

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