The price of coffee beans - Why we should take a closer look
20% more coffee was drunk at home last year than in previous years. Thanks to home offices and the like, making coffee at home is becoming increasingly popular. But what should a cup of good coffee be worth to us? How much should your coffee beans cost so that you can enjoy coffee with a clear conscience?
Table of contents
The price of coffee on the stock market
Coffee is a commodity and is therefore also traded on the stock exchange. The current exchange price for conventional coffee is around €1.50/kg. In order to cover costs, a coffee farmer needs a price per kilo of about 1.90€. Labor costs and compensation are therefore out of proportion here. Quite apart from the fact that the coffee also incurs costs for transport, storage, roasting, packaging and distribution until it finally reaches our shelves.
Supermarket prices as a guide
Nevertheless, we as consumers are constantly inundated with offers in the advertising of large supermarket chains such as: "-50% - now only €4.99 per kilo". If you then look at the prices per kilo of small coffee roasting companies in comparison, most people are put off for the time being. However, what all flows into the coffee price and why 4.99€ for 1kg of coffee can't really be sustainable is often forgotten.
Even the weight is cheated
After roasting, the finished beans are dried. Here, the industry uses a trick: the beans are cooled with steam. During roasting, the coffee loses up to 30% of its weight through water loss. The steam causes the beans to absorb water again, making them heavier again. As a result, there are effectively fewer beans in 1kg of coffee than in air-dried products. Cooling with steam also has a negative effect on taste. Specialty coffee, on the other hand, is air-dried slowly and retains its full flavor.
Industrial large-scale roasters vs. specialty roasters - what makes the (price) difference?
85% of the German coffee market is dominated by just 6 large corporations. This results in products like "Die feine Milde", which we then find at knockdown prices in the supermarket. But what is in it? Coffee beans from a wide variety of countries, without sufficient labeling about origin and blending ratio - a mishmash from all over the world, so to speak.
This process is completely different for us and other specialty roasters. Starting with the purchase, we are in the most direct contact possible on site and can therefore rely on individual pricing, depending on the quality of the beans. In this way, we can build on long-term, stable partnerships and secure fair wages for the local farmers for their goods.
There are also major differences in the processing of green coffee beans. In industrial roasting, the beans are burned rather than refined in the hot air roaster at very high temperatures in a very short time. 3-5 minutes are sufficient for the industrial roaster for the roasting process. As a result, mainly bitter substances are formed and also the acid cannot be completely decomposed. This is different with small-scale roasting: gentle drum roasting tickles fine aromas out of the beans at a roasting time of 9-18min and makes the coffee pleasantly mild and well tolerated.